A recent trademark filing indicates Indian Motorcycles is working on a new electric bike.
The news about Indian’s new battery bike follows a trademark application for a motorcycle called the EFTR (see the application here). That’s basically all we know for sure; the application is intended to nail down the name, to be used on a new electric motorcycle and its components—and that’s it. There are no patent drawings, no gossipy spec sheet leaks, no dealer meeting reveals, nothing.
However, we have seen an electric motorcycle from Indian, before—almost. US-based powersports manufacturer Polaris owns Indian, and also owned the Victory brand in the recent past. Before Polaris shut down Victory, it sold an electric motorcycle under that marque, the Empulse TT. Victory even fielded the bike at the Isle of Man TT. The Empulse TT wasn’t a ground-up Victory design; it was based on a design by EV manufacturer Brammo, before Brammo got out of the motorcycle business and focused on other vehicles.
The Empulse TT wasn’t as fast as other battery bikes, but it had a six-speed gearbox, instead of a twist-and-go transmission. Some riders thought this was a very desirable feature, and others felt it ignored one of the biggest advantages of an electric motorcycle—instant torque, with no gear-shifting needed to adjust power output.
Either way, the Empulse TT was dated technology when Victory unveiled it, and the electric motorcycle industry has come a long way since then. The Empulse TT looked like a superbike, and Indian’s new EFTR badging sounds an awful lot like it will be an electric version of the FTR street tracker design. There’s lots of talk about an electric AMA flat track series in the near future, too, so don’t be surprised if Indian debuts a battery-powered tracker prototype sometime later this year.