Workhorse Speed Shop Indian FTR AMA [Builder Interview]

The last time we checked in on Brice Hennebert, he was at the 2020 Baikal Mile watching his Workhorse Speed Shop Appaloosa v2.0 streak across Siberia’s Lake Baikal at 112 mph in sub-zero temperatures. Now, he’s back with a more down-to-earth build—the Workhorse Speed Shop Indian FTR AMA.

Workhorse Speed Shop Indian FTR AMA: Custom Motorcycle

This is a build that a customer commissioned for his brother. The customer wanted “Something colorful, but sharp like a war tank,” according to Hennebert. “The only restriction was that it should have a Martini Racing livery. After a little research and brainstorming, the main influence became the Lancia Delta HF. I’ve mixed this with a bit of the early Bol d’Or racebikes and some muscle bike flavor, keeping an upright riding position close to the original FTR, which works so well.”

“With the FTR AMA build, rather than start with the clay, here I used direct CAD design based on a 3D scan of the FTR chassis,” Hennebert explains. “Then all the body parts were 3D printed and reinforced with carbon fiber.”

Workhorse Speed Shop Indian FTR AMA: Bespoke Motorcycle

Our eyes were immediately drawn to the fuel tank—or, at least, one of the fuel tanks. The Workhorse FTR AMA actually has two fabricated aluminum tanks. One sits under the seat, and the other is under a cover in the traditional location. AN10 connectors are employed to keep the tanks working in concert, and the total fuel capacity is 3.7 gallons, which is plenty for a good spin.

Of course, the main tank’s cover required an appropriate paint job. “The amazing paint job designed by Axecent in Japan has been applied by my friend Fabian who’s near to my workshop,” Hennebert relates.

Workhorse Speed Shop Indian FTR AMA: Custom Paint

With a different tank, the intake has been reworked. DNA Filters sent a pair of its high-performance cotton air filters from its factory in Mandra Attika, Greece, attached to a 3D-printed intake designed by Workhorse.

At the other end of the combustion process is a hand-welded stainless steel exhaust pipe. S&S Cycle Grand National slip-ons were modified to handle muffling duties.

Workhorse Speed Shop Indian FTR AMA: Custom Stainless Steel Exhaust

From there, the power must be put to the ground. “The FTR AMA wheelset is a total eye-catcher,” Hennebert allows. “I collaborated with Fabio from JoNich Wheels in Italy. The design is based on his Rush wheels, but without carbon flanges. They are machined from billet aluminium, and the design made me think about the turbofans wheels used on the racing Lancia, so that was a perfect choice. They are completed by a Dunlop GP tire set with this mad 200 section rear tire.”

Braking is equally essential. “I called [Beringer Engineer] Etienne [Bocard] to get their 4D braking system, the same system I used on Appaloosa,” Hennebert says. “Etienne is always motivated for technical challenges. So, we played with different colors on the components to work with the AMA mood, and then, because I removed the ABS module, I had to find another way to get the speed signal on the bike, and the solution was a Motogadget Moto Scope Mini.”

Workhorse Speed Shop Indian FTR AMA: Dashboard

Suspension on the Workhorse Speed Shop Indian FTR AMA is handled by Öhlins. Öhlins 43mm forks are grasped by modified Bol d’Or race replicas. Twin shocks are retained, with the piggyback-reservoir units mounted to a 40mm-longer-than-stock swingarm constructed of 7020 aluminum tubes machined in Holland by Vinco Racing. The rear subframe was also modified to accommodate the Öhlins shocks, while a 3D-printed chain slider prevents damage to the bespoke swingarm.

“Vinco Racing spent a lot of time on the machining,” Hennebert relates, “which saved me a lot of time to focus on other areas.” Vinco took his CAD files and created chassis plates, fuel tanks, brake mounts, and more.

Workhorse Speed Shop Indian FTR AMA: LED lighting

The bright yellow front number plate has a cutout for a PIAA racing headlight. The unit doubles as a mount for the prominently positioned Setrab oil cooler. Hennebert appropriated a round dash from an Indian Chief to give the FTR AMA a bit more of a retro feel while providing Bluetooth connectivity with a smartphone. The dash unit sits next to a Motion Pro coolant recovery tank, and just above a ProTaper handlebar.

Jeroen at Silver Machine in the Netherlands provided the smooth brushed-leather seat mounted on a 3D-printed seat pan that doubles as a battery holder. Although the rectangular taillight has a retro look, it features LEDs.

Workhorse Speed Shop Indian FTR AMA: Motorcycle Riding

Despite its striking appearance, the Workhorse Speed Shop Indian FTR AMA isn’t purely an exercise in style. It is a motorcycle intended to be experienced in motion. “This build is aggressive, massive, and a real pleasure to ride,” Hennebert reports. “I had a lot of fun testing this ride.”

Photography by Antoine Hotermans

Workhorse Speed Shop Indian FTR AMA Photo Gallery