MotorcycleDaily.com – Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Polaris Shutting Down Victory Motorcycle Brand

MD just received the following press release from Polaris Industries regarding its decision to “wind down” the Victory Motorcycles brand and related operations. To say that we are shocked would be a gross understatement.  Victory has undertaken high profile, and expensive, promotional activities just recently at Pikes Peak and other venues, so it appears that this decision has been quite recently reached by parent company Polaris.

Indeed, we have a Victory Octane in the garage for testing (you can see one of our photos above) currently. The entire press release follows, but we want to note that Polaris will be supporting dealers in its liquidation of inventory, as well as providing parts support for an additional ten years.

You might also be interested in a local Minnesota news report concerning this matter. Here is the full press release from Polaris Industries Inc.:

MINNEAPOLIS (January 9, 2017) — Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) today announced it will immediately begin winding down its Victory Motorcycles brand and related operations. Polaris will assist dealers in liquidating existing inventories while continuing to supply parts for a period of 10 years, along with providing service and warranty coverage to Victory dealers and owners. Today’s announcement does not affect any other Polaris business units.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision for me, my team and the Polaris Board of Directors,” said Polaris Industries Chairman and CEO Scott Wine. “Over the past 18 years, we have invested not only resources, but our hearts and souls, into forging the Victory Motorcycles brand, and we are exceptionally proud of what our team has accomplished. Since inception, our teams have designed and produced nearly 60 Victory models that have been honored with 25 of the industry’s top awards. The experience, knowledge, infrastructure and capability we’ve built in those 18 years gave us the confidence to acquire and develop the Indian Motorcycle brand, so I would like to express my gratitude to everyone associated with Victory Motorcycles and celebrate your many contributions.”

Several factors influenced today’s announcement. Victory has struggled to establish the market share needed to succeed and be profitable. The competitive pressures of a challenging motorcycle market have increased the headwinds for the brand. Given the significant additional investments required for Victory to launch new global platforms that meet changing consumer preferences, and considering the strong performance and growth potential of Indian Motorcycle, the decision to more narrowly focus Polaris’ energy and investments became quite clear.

“This decision will improve the profitability of Polaris and our global motorcycle business, and will materially improve our competitive stance in the industry,” said Scott Wine. “Our focus is on profitable growth, and in an environment of finite resources, this move allows us to optimize and align our resources behind both our premium, high performing Indian Motorcycle brand and our innovative Slingshot brand, enhancing our focus on accelerating the success of those brands. Ultimately this decision will propel the industry-leading product innovation that is core to our strategy while fostering long-term growth and increased shareholder value.”

Polaris will reduce the appropriate operating cost based on this decision, while continuing to support the future growth of the ongoing motorcycle business.  Polaris remains committed to maintaining its presence in the Spirit Lake, Iowa, community with Indian Motorcycle production and in the Huntsville, Ala., community with its Slingshot production.

Any one-time costs associated with supporting Victory dealers in selling their remaining inventory, the disposal of factory inventory, tooling, and other physical assets, and the cancellation of various supplier arrangements will be recorded in the 2017 income statement in respective sales, gross profit and operation expense. These costs will be excluded from Polaris’ provided 2017 sales and earnings guidance on a non-GAAP basis.

Polaris will release its fourth quarter and full-year 2016 financial results and provide 2017 guidance on Tuesday, January 24, 2017.


See more of MD’s great photography:

Instagram


162 Comments

  1. road. dog ( says:

    Yea further more,I went.to ocean city Maryland bike week I did not see one Indian. I did see a dozen or so victorys. They say Indian is#2 selling American cruiser. That’s because there are only 2.Harley and Indian.it’s not because there selling. I never see one on the road. If I spend 30g for same price I can get the real deal.a Harley with the New Milwaukee 8,117 cubic inch.

  2. road. dog ( says:

    Soon. As Polaris. Looses. Profits. It will bail on Indian.Indian will fail as have in the past. Who can trust Polaris after dumping victory,they. Could. Have kept. Baggers. For a while in their line up.and gave them a new look and more chrome. I have the cross roads classic. The only decent one they really made.there selling nothing more than the Indian name.it’s not or ever going to be the original.Luke Harley. Why pay 30 g.for an Indian when you can buy Harley #1.seriously you think you will ever see an Indian police bike.Harley already beat Indian with the Milwaukee 8.Indian will. Not survive. Victory owner a will dump Polaris Luke they did their vox customers and jump right on Harley. Not Indian.there fools

  3. BikerBredSL says:

    *NOT TO DERAIL FROM THE DEMISE OF VICTORY*

    But in lue of Victory closing its doors it made me scratch my head, what the heck is Buell doing to make THEIR comeback!

    Why doesn’t Buell actually bring back a bike that the general population gave two rats about and could really get them back on the map. Seriously, the Blast fundamentally changed the motorcycle industry for the better from the inside out.

    People cry, ‘boring beginner bike’, ‘under powered’, ‘ugly’, and blah blah blah. But I can bet within good reason that not one of these fair weather, couch riding, keyboard warrior has ever thrown a leg over one. I can assure you, you will be blown completely away.

    It’s time for the Blast to step in and fix what Victory did wrong with their niche market. Buell needs to release a resigned (But sticking to its roots) Blast and bring their brand back to life!

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      This is a joke, right?

    • todd says:

      I test rode a Blast. Terrible. I say it would compare to a Honda Nighthawk 250 but not as smooth or comfortable and also difficult to look at. There are better ways to design a Blast, maybe look at the Kawasaki and Suzuki 650s for inspiration – though I understand that’s what the 900cc Buells were up against.

      • mickey says:

        Just read that Buell is closing doors again and liquidating tooling and parts, mainly because he couldn’t line up a dealer network and that production and sales numbers were below expectations.

        The only Buell people seemed generally in love with was their ADV bike.. XB9 or something

        You can’t say the guy didn’t give it a shot.

  4. z1 says:

    Polaris announces they are dropping the dead weight of Victory…and their stock soars today. Must really make those Victory riders feel good.

  5. ThomBoz says:

    I wondered how Polaris came out with the new Indian motor so fast. Perhaps it was already in the works for Victory, but certainly with the flathead look a like styling its a much better fit in an a Chief. But I can’t see how Indian & Victory can exist together, and Indian has the better ‘marketing’ name. So will Indian have the Victory motor in its line up next year?

    • Bob says:

      In my opinion, the air cooled Victory V Twin was overdue for a major redesign. I’m sure the timing of that eminent redesign and Polaris’ decision to drop the brand rather than invest in an all new engine was not coincidental. So, other than the similarities between the Octane and Scout motor, no, you want be seeing the Polaris motor in Indians.

  6. Gary says:

    Well now, that’s a damn shame! I would have bought a Victory over an HD just about any day. I did like the styling, but wasn’t in the cruiser market, and don’t plan to be for a while yet. I will say they did try to compete with HD too much, just like some others with having v-twin cruisers, black out cruisers, and even a so called performance octane that still was just a glorified cruiser with not that much extra performance. I had hoped they would go a more different approach with their bikes (more non v-twins), and leave most of the cruisers to Indian. I hope Indian does not stay with the same old air cooled stuff like HD has done for so long. Classic only goes so far with me, I like modern up to date, and I don’t see that happening with Indian so much, except the Scout is a good shot in that direction. I was also encouraged with the Victory Empulse electric bike even though it was for the time being a mostly redone Brammo. RIP Victory, maybe make a run again in the future with something other than so many same old same old cruisers when the economy is finally better.

  7. Carl says:

    Agreed Polaris failed Victory, since they had Indian they could have gone in a whole different direction, they had the technology with the octane/pikes peak bike to prove it. They could have increased that engine to 1800cc water cooled and made their super comfortable tourers into something even better. Ya the styling wasn’t for everyone but then again if I wanted a harley clone I would have just bought a HD.

  8. Jim vincenti says:

    Hell this absolutely sucks big time. Can anyone remember Buell motorcycles? Last week I stopped at a harley dealership and test rode a 2017 Sportster 48. It rode nice but guess what, my 2000 Buell m2 cyclone smoked it in all out acceleration and handling. The only thing the harley had over it was a nice paint job! Come on folks 17 years ahead technology and fuel injection. Now let’s look at the Indian. I test rode a new Indian Chief last summer. Nice bike, nice engine and a big price. I compared it to my 2004 victory tour cruiser and guess what, my Victory manages the heat way better. The Indian was a right leg cooker. Now they decide to stop production of a perfectly good motor. This what I am going to do, I’m gonna keep my two great bikes because they are well paid off, do everything well and there really isn’t anything out there that is worth the payments for. Sad day for the VOG!!

  9. BearChicken says:

    I test rode the first bike they built. I want to say it was in ’98. I enjoyed it, but I withheld purchase because it was a new brand. As many have said, once Ness got involved with styling, there was just no way. I thought it was comically horrible. That Cross Country thing, or whatever it is, makes me laugh out loud. So ridiculous. I remember thinking “I wonder if there’s a good motorcycle under all that superfluous crap?”.

  10. HS1.... says:

    It was a silly brand based on an oxy-moronic concept. There never was and never will be a market for modern styling wrapped around base motorcycles with dynamics and specifications that were far surpassed in the 70’s. Classic styling atop modern running gear is workable, but not the exact opposite. They jettisoned the popular look of traditional cruisers and kept everything that people who aren’t already in the Harley fold despise, like exaggerated rake and trail, portly weight, and moderate power. Victory never produced a bike that was anything more than just some kind of cruiser conspicuously screaming out its apology for being some kind of a cruiser.

    • SeTh says:

      There was a niche for heavy, stylish sport/standards that aren’t adventure bikes, competition to Suzuki Bandit 1250S, Honda VFR1200F, etc. It only made sense to try to fill it, especially with Arlen Ness styling cues.

    • Grover says:

      HS1- you’re spot on. It was a flop from the beginning. Hard to believe they stuck with their plan to offer bikes that were always slow sellers and unprofitable at best. Too bad because Victory could have been so much more than a cruiser builder, especially with the financial backing from Polaris.

  11. Mbrem says:

    Besides any employees let go as a result of this move, the dealers are the ones who may take the hit on bikes they’ve agreed to floorplan and will be tougher to sell for a reasonable return. The Des Moines Register reported a local Iowa dealer as finding out about this via social media-a real classy way to treat their dealers!!

  12. JoeyD says:

    Sad to see it happen. I’ve ridden all their bikes at demo rides and they handle better than anything in their class. I almost bought one but I couldnt warm up to the styling, too bad they were not more attractive. They will do well with the Indian line up, need to come out with a standard or adv touring bike and I’m in.

  13. ledcat says:

    Guess I can stop hoping for the Pikes peak bike to come to market as a standard non cruiser bike? Something Ive been waiting for for almost 2 years now. SO much for a standard US made motorcycle, long live the cruiser, NOT. The US motorcycle market is dead as the median age for purchasing is > 50 years old. What a shame.

  14. Artem says:

    H-D is more of metal. Really?
    Hanson is still poular all ower the world.

  15. ERADICATOR says:

    It was never any secret within Polaris that their future rested with the Indian name once they spent tons to secure it and settle the outstanding claims.

    They did the research and found that the Indian name, despite who builds them, remains strong due to the history of the brand and not necessarily because of the actual product. That sentence is worth re-reading because it epitomizes their entire business philosophy behind making this decision.

    I can promise you that you will see many of the same components in future Indian brand bikes, cutting re-tooling and more importantly, re-engineering and recertification costs!

    Part of Polaris wanted to exercise their engineering prowess by introducing 150-170HP cruisers but they were stopped because the management didn’t want the bar to be set so high for Indian who would find it impossible with air cooled machines.

    This decision will allow for some lucky buyers who have their cash ready when the “time” comes to liquidate the inventory. There will be “out of business” sales, then BOOM, the REAL price cuts will arrive….if you want a good bike, be ready!

  16. Ferd says:

    Well Polaris can sell there products to the buyers south to the border. I really hate to see good American jobs lost to Mexico.

    • gks says:

      Mexico????
      I saw nothing in the press release of any production being shifted to Mexico.
      They are eliminating the Victory brand. Indications are that most employees will be shifted to other Polaris divisions.

  17. Frank says:

    Sad news. Build a better bike and they will come? Not so Victory. Indian, yes. Tradition rules in this market segment.

    • Grover says:

      I wonder how many $35,000 Indians they will sell before they go belly up? I’m sure hope the Scout/Octane will be able to carry the company before they follow Victory to the grave.

      • Scottie says:

        The reason Polaris is having success where Stellican did not is Polaris is pricing their bikes on par with H-D. Stellican’s entry point was $35,000, Polaris’ is $18,500.

      • Chris says:

        Really? Please show me your $35k Indian. Even the highest spec Roadmaster is skirting $30k. My Springfield ended up being right around $20k and, as a long-time BMW rider, I love it.

  18. Vrooom says:

    Shame, hate to see a large US brand like that go away. Unfortunately they never made a bike that appealed to me, they basically stayed in Harley’s segment of the market, where sport tourer or ADV bike with a normal seat to footpeg relationship and I might have been there, but they didn’t design for me. There’s probably some deals available now.

    • Scott says:

      Yep. Same here. I can’t comment on the world of cruisers and their market, because that type of bike has never appealed to me, and never will. The only way Victory would have gotten me as a customer is if they had built something in the neighborhood of a street tracker/performance standard, based on the 156. Instead, they built the Octane. So here we are.

      • mickey says:

        By all accounts it was a thouroughly modern gem of an engine, wasted in an archaic design of a motorcycle

  19. Z1 says:

    Good riddance. This should have happened years ago. Or, better yet, Victory should never have happened. A dreadful ridiculous-looking motorcycle. Better to put their energies into Indian.

  20. Carl says:

    Well sad day, Victory threw us under the bus. I’m not a fan of V-twins but I came off a 2007 goldwing to the Cross Country Tour because you can’t find a more comfortable motorcycle on the market for long distance. I tried them all but the 18 inch floor boards, seat combo is just fantastic and just ask any Vision rider their thoughts, it may be ugly but owners will not part with them. I was hoping they would update the CCT with electric shield and a Octane based water cooled engine in the future. My 2012 has worked flawlessly, only oil and tires, and I primarily use it for long distance weeks long trips.

    Sad day because I usually change bikes regularly but nothing has matched the comfort on these bikes. Here is hoping Yamaha gets off its butt and builds a new full size tourer with their new V-max engine. Not holding my breathe though since motorcycle market has been on a decline for years and the US market can’t seem to give up Harley Davidson no matter the crap they put out.

    • Grover says:

      Riders seem to like the “crap” (as you call it) that Harley puts out and are willing to pay a premium price to get it. After owning bikes from all the major manufacturers I can tell you that the quality of build and the reliability of Harley is on par with the rest of the industry. The performance of Harleys that many complain about is of no consequence to the riders that buy them. If they want performance they just turn to the Japanese, Brits or Italians and pay good money for that experience. Riders will continue to buy “crap” bikes because they push all the right buttons.
      Victory had its run in the marketplace and the riding public decided it’s fate. That’s the bottom line.

      • Carl says:

        They are still crap, I have owned my fair share of HD’s. Service department always full, I know how many damn times they broke down, I started on a shovelhead all the way to the new crap. Still crap with great great marketing department!!

    • Bubba Bleu says:

      Most Harleys are really nice rides. The Dynas especially, the Super Glide and the Low Rider, are really very affordable, delightful bikes to own and ride. And they come with friends everywhere you go.

  21. Ed in AZ says:

    I have wondered how Polaris could sustain two separate marques that occupy essentially the same market niche. Although this announcement is surprising, it’s not entirely so. BTW, the article linked by downgoesfraser in his post is nearly 7 years old and appears to have little or nothing to do with motorcycle production but instead relates to Polaris ATV and “side-by-side” products.

  22. dt 175 says:

    Couldn’t sell cruisers in America. Sad…

  23. Norm G. says:

    game over man…!!! GAME OVER…!!! (Bill Paxton as Pvt. Hudson)

    • MGNorge says:

      Story is almost 7 years old! Brings to mind the price pressures faced. Build them here and not be as competitive price-wise as those that produce across the border. Build them there and be criticized for doing so.

      • downgoesfraser says:

        Honda, Yamaha, and Kawasaki all have facilities in this country. I believe the reason folks buy Polaris off road products is price and American product.

  24. downgoesfraser says:

    https://www.mprnews.org/story/2010/05/21/polaris-folo

    Wonder how much the tariff will be on hecho e Mexico product?

    • Ricardo says:

      Polaris already makes most of their four wheelers and the can-am spider in Juarez, Chihuahua Mexico.

      • Joe Bogusheimer says:

        Can-Am is made by Can-Am, a brand of BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products), and has nothing to do with Polaris AFAIK.

        • Mindspin says:

          You are correct. It’s amazing how many people think that Polaris owns Can-Am. I think it has a lot to do with Polaris making the Slingshot now and how similar it is to the Spyder. Polaris is American and BRP (Can-Am, Sea-Doo, Ski-Doo, Evenrude, Lynx) is Canadian, and they are huge competitors. BRP also owns the Austrian engine manufacturing firm Rotax.

  25. SmokinRZ says:

    I hope they don’t let unnecessary Ness in the door at Indian. Then it will all be over.

    • Grover says:

      When you’re building boutique motorcycles it does not matter if Ness stays at the party or not, your time in the market is limited. Victory enthusiasts will tell you that Ness hasn’t been involved with the design for many years, but you’d never know it to look at his influence on their bikes.

  26. allworld says:

    It never really made sense for Polaris to have 2 cruiser only brands, Indian has the advantage to compete with HD, so Victory was their wild card.
    Polaris is a fairly well run company so there are most likely more things at play then most people are aware of. It is generally true that when one door closes another one opens, so lets spend the off riding season creating rumors. 🙂
    Here are a couple leads to get the rumor mill started:
    1. Recently Polaris was in talks with MV Agusta, which seem to go nowhere ……
    2. Buell… and the talent that made up the brand……
    3. Is Polaris looking for the right brand or partner to design, and build a full lineup of motorcycles and is BRP a possibility?

    • thrus says:

      Indian is an old name with a history of being sold. Victory was a new name but with 18 years under one roof. Personally years operated under the current parent mean more to me then years existing owned by someone else, and the willingness to drop a brand in the industry makes me question the commitment to Indian as well. Perhaps I would feel differently if I had seen any Indians on the road like I do Victorys but I don’t around here.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Victory has been around for 18 years, and yet I have seen more new Indians on the road than Victory motorcycles.

        Polaris is committed to profit. As long as Indian generates returns, Polaris will continue to invest in the brand. Heck, they kept Victory alive for 18 years without that brand ever being able to make an impact. I’m surprised it lingered for that long.

  27. Mick says:

    I accept that Polaris is consolidating to one cruiser brand with bikes that are considerably better looking. I just hope that they don’t allow anyone named Ness near company property anymore. While they are at it. How about a new road map? All cruiser and all V-twin is so tired, boring and, unfortunately, predictable. They could at least make the dirt track bikes available to regular customers to fog the mirror and bit.

  28. Slorben says:

    A hopeless brand with some truly weird designs. I have tested a few of the models and i think they were at least on par with HD. But that can never be enough when you compete with such an iconic brand as HD. Indian obviously has a better chance, but still a very long way to go.
    Flash Gordon and the Jetsons will have to find another bike now.

  29. Jim Taylor says:

    I sold my new Dodge Challenger in 1970 because I wanted a van & be a hippie.I chopped my 350 Honda because I wanted to be a biker.I bought a Moto Guzzi because I wanted to go Euro.I bought a Victory because I wanted to be an alternative American.I wanted a Polaris snowmobile so I could be an alternative outdoor lover.Now I need some advice.Should I invest in a Elio 3-wheeler or a Slingshot? Never thought it would be this hard to be cool…

  30. Artem says:

    You are not at the worst situation.
    There are some “Victories” in Russsia.

  31. Ken says:

    The handlebars and fender look so lame on all those Victory bikes. Goofy lookin bikes don’t sell very well. There are reasonable exceptions like the Suzuki Hayabusa. Not so for the Victory.

  32. downgoesfraser says:

    When you are spending money with no return, this is the result. Who’s next? Suzuki?

  33. Tank says:

    Potential Indian buyers are now feeling a little less confident in Polaris. If they dropped Victory, what’s to stop them from dropping Indian. Good news for Harley (they need it).

    • Montana says:

      My guess is they paid a lot for the rights to the Indian name, which has much more cachet than “Victory”. Why build two similar lines and compete against yourself?
      Is there anyone who didn’t see this coming when Polaris bought the Indian name?

      • thrus says:

        I never really understood buy a name with an old trademark date and a history of failure or the company being sold.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          Hey, it worked for Triumph. If you understand your market and make great products to satisfy it, then good things will follow. I think what Polaris learned from Victory is that a heritage is required to play in the premium cruiser market. If you don’t have a heritage, your only option is to buy one.

          • Grover says:

            You’re right, Triumph understood the market while Victory had no clue. One look at the “Vision” made most riders shake their head and think what was Victory thinking? Also, 18 years of building Nessy styled machines was way to long for Victory to get a clue as to what the market wanted. Nope, they continued to throw ugly monstrosities at us and begged us to buy them, or at least test ride them. Even after a test ride it was a hard sell.

    • Norm G. says:

      Q: If they dropped Victory, what’s to stop them from dropping Indian(?)

      A: the dropping of Victory.

    • jimmihaffa says:

      Poor sales. I think Polaris inherited a branding problem with this move. Indian motorcycles are purchased as much for their name and historic ties to the past reflected by their appearance. At least Victory pushed the boundary a little adapting bike builders’ designs (Ness). The Indian brand may be so inextricably tied to it’s legacy that Polaris has painted itself into a manufacturer of boutique limited market motorbikes that in the end, I don’t think anyway, will carry the day.

  34. Skybullet says:

    My take is Victory failed to offer products that excited the market. It’s just that simple. Whoever said it takes a Harley name plate to sell to to that crowd has been proven right. Indian has brand cred but they better offer significantly better bikes or they will never dent the cruiser market.

  35. TrueBlue182 says:

    Victory is the quintessential NOT A HARLEY American made bike what regular guys and gals could afford. Oh yes and for thousands less than Hardly and forget the cost of an Ingenuine. Now, I have a Harley. It is broken…again. If it wasn’t for the fanboys who bought Harley even the AMF junk, Harley would have been gone long ago. Sonny Barger has criticized Harley, so don’t take it as just my word.
    Why bash Victory you puds, it is an American bike that had good American technology and really great reliability. What it lacked was leadership to make it in the market and the lack of a social media ground game to get it sold to anybody but the Harley expats.
    Polaris should have looked to sell Victory rather than just shut it down.
    I’ll ride my Victory Hammer until I can’t get parts, which will be a very long time since I seem to need only tires, fluids, filters and plugs.
    In the last year my Harley has needed a drive belt, clutch, brakes, entire charging system, battery, wiring and the assorted maintenance items.
    Message to Polaris… You failed with Victory because you thought too much like Harley and marketed to the over 50 affluent. You missed the entire entry market until you finally brought out the octane. And you failed in the style department in the lack of cool flair to cylinders and other engine parts while going all Jetsons with the tank and wheels…too weird in one vein and too bland in another.
    Indian won’t last long…again…with Polaris in that their market segment is to the guys that want to spend more that they would on a Harley for bike. That is a very small market and easy to saturate.
    Next bike, regrettably much less likely to be American Made now.

  36. JPJ says:

    Polaris Industries business decision to cease production of the Victory brand, only reduces our choice as consumers of two-wheel machinery. As motorcyclist we all lose. Victory motorcycles was the American built alternative, to Harley. Tough competition from the Japanese and European manufactures. Ever increasing emission standards EURO 4 and upcoming EURO 5, will further reduce consumer choice. I hope Polaris can build brand loyalty with Indian.

  37. John says:

    This hurts all of us, consumer and industry. Sadly this might be the last chance for an American non cruiser motorcycle

    I buy new bikes. About 1 new bike every 3 years. I keep hoping for an American bike I’d buy (motus is close but price isn’t there…yet)

    Polaris had a great opportunity to break away from the cruiser market w the 156.

    If Bmw can transform from old weird and slow air cooled opposed twins then it can be done

  38. Tim C says:

    I don’t remember the details – was Brammo basically on the ropes when Polaris bought them? Or is this now the sad end of Brammo who should’ve remained independent?

  39. EZ Mark says:

    Just like women buying Coach purses, a huge portion of US riders will never ride a bike without Harley-Davidson on the tank.
    Polaris is trying to create the Michael Kors of motorcycles with Indian.
    All the other brands, including Victory, are just JC Penney’s to the boutique riders.

    • Tim C says:

      Heh I was recently talking with a lifelong Harley-only rider. He’s telling me about all these great roads here in CO. I’m like, geez dude have you considered another brand maybe? (Yes I kept this rhetorical…he has an H-D tattoo for god’s sake.)

  40. Dennis says:

    I just purchased a octane just over a month ago I am upset with the decision to shut it down I still am happy with my choice and have at least 10 yrs to not worry

  41. Jabe says:

    I feel bad for any workers who may have lost what was probably a decent job,assuming some don’t get absorbed into other parts of the company. As for the bike, I personally couldn’t care less about a fat, loud cruiser that’s trying to imitate another fat, loud cruiser.

  42. azi says:

    My scoffing at all the people previously saying “Polaris should buy EBR!!!” has now evolved into smug scoffing.

  43. VFR Marc says:

    It’s a damned shame given the investment, but the market speaks. I don’t think they did enough to unseat the HD riders – such as offering big HD trade-in allowances or creating a huge bling add-on market. Not being a cruiser rider, maybe I missed those efforts.

  44. ben says:

    RIP Victory. If any American manufacturer would ever build something other than grandpa’s throwback cruiser or some variation built on grandpa’s throwback cruiser,I would probably buy one. A good standard or an adv influenced bike. A MODERN one,not one powered by grandpa’s air cooled 1955 V-twin. It is sad that we , as americans,have outdated yestercycles as our only contribution to the motorcycle world. They do not interest me. yeah, I know the Victory Octane is a semi modern design, but it is still a feet forward cruiser bike. Not interested

  45. Fred M. says:

    RD350 wrote: “Indian is the better choice, particularly in a still bad economy.”

    I’m guessing you’re in Europe. Here in the U.S. we’ve added 22.3 million jobs since the worst part of the recession (January 2010). Unemployment is under 5% (partially because older workers who were just hanging on for medical insurance could retire and get insurance under the ACA). The stock markets have almost tripled. Middle class household incomes have been rising.

    Still, new motorcycle sales in the U.S., while up, are not nearly as strong as they were ten years ago. Some of that is people replenishing their savings after the recession took its toll, either putting off discretionary purchases or buying used, rather than new.

    It’s also an aging motorcycle population, with more older riders leaving the sport than young ones entering it, no doubt exacerbated by the lack of affordable, full-size bikes with automatic transmissions (remember, most millenials have never operated a clutch on any kind of vehicle). Indian appeals to a wealthier, older demographic (my peers — even though I’m not a cruiser guy). But Polaris is likely to find themselves in the same precarious position as Harley, with a rider base that is aging out after only purchasing a few bikes, making it harder to amortize customer acquisition costs.

    • VLJ says:

      “Unemployment is under 5%”

      :facepalm: – the Untold Millions Who Simply Stopped Looking For Jobs and Are No Longer Included Among the “Unemployed”

      • jim says:

        Plain and simple mismanagement of the Victory brand. I lay this at Scott Wine’s feet. The lack of vision is astounding.

      • Tom says:

        And let’s not forget those working at service jobs, the most plentiful jobs, can’t afford even a motorcycle.

      • Tim C says:

        +1000 The recession never ended…ACA barf

        Sorry Fred no way

        • Fred M. says:

          Tim C wrote: “+1000 The recession never ended…”

          Maybe your personal recession never ended, but that’s not Obama’s fault.

          Tim C wrote: “ACA barf”

          My wife had surgery a year ago to remove a brain tumor and she will require annual MRI follow-ups for a decade. Were it not for the ACA, any insurer could, and would, deny her coverage because of that “pre-existing condition.” So thanks for your compassion.

      • Tim says:

        Agreed, we have record low work force participation in the US right now. The unemployment rate percentage is low only because so many people have given up looking. I live in a fairly affluent area, and things are fine here, but where I grew up, the vast majority of people are really struggling. If I wasn’t in contact with friends where I grew up, I would think things are great.

        Whichever party is in charge loves to quote low unemployment rates, but they never mention the asterick. Motorcycles are a luxury item to most people, and one of those things they give up when money is tight. A lot of dealers are struggling right now in many parts of the US.

      • Fred M. says:

        The “Untold Millions Who Simply Stopped Looking For Jobs” is a right-wing myth. I’m one of those “Untold Millions” because I was able to retire (due to my investments more than doubling and the availability of medical insurance to those of us with pre-existing conditions). Others, who have “aged out” of the workforce and moved into retirement aren’t counted as unemployed.

        My friend and my niece, both of whom left the workforce to stay at home to raise their kids while their husbands continue working, also aren’t counted.

        That makes sense: People who are retired or who choose to stay home to raise a family aren’t unemployed; they’re just choosing not to work. They aren’t discouraged workers who have given up on finding work.

        I understand that those on the right would like to count all of us who voluntarily left the workforce as “unemployed” because it makes Obama look bad, but let’s skip that kind of partisan gamesmanship.

        • Tim says:

          It’s not a right or left thing, Fred, both sides are guilty of using a flawed statistic when it makes things appear better than they are. I intended my comment to be politically neutral. I didn’t vote for Trump or Hillary. That being said, if things were as great with the economy as the current administration wants everyone to believe, do you really think Trump would have won traditionally democratic states? All I know is that I have friends who I grew up with, many of them, who struggle to find decent paying jobs with benefits, and many of them are intellegent people with good educations. Here in suburbia, where I live, America appears to be thriving, but that’s not the case in rural and small town America, or in the inner cities, and that’s bad for the motorcycle industry.

          • Fred M. says:

            Tim, I’ve got friends all over the country who moved to where they could find good jobs. I just got a Christmas card from a couple in aerospace who moved from the east coast to the west coast to pursue better jobs.

            I also have relatives who refuse to leave the small towns in which they grew up and they bemoan the lack of jobs. But America has been like that for years, with wealth and jobs moving around as industries rise, mature, and fall.

            People voted for the Donald because they desperately want to believe that he can transport them back to the days when their town had a thriving film processing plant, a television manufacturing plant, five different video rental stores, two record shops, and a bunch of small farms that ran completely on manual labor.

            I could write pages on trade wars, tariffs, automation, the dismal state of Europe and Japan after WWII when American industry was king, etc., but it’s a bit too much for here.

            I’ll close on this thought: What helps the motorcycle industry is a thriving middle class. Instead, we have 80% of Americans fighting for 7% of the income.

    • Bob says:

      “Middle class household incomes have been rising.”

      Really? Median Income rose about 5% in 2015, but is still 6% below the level at start of the recession in ’07.

      • Fred M. says:

        Sure, because the top 1% decided that they’d rather keep more of the money. What do you think has happened to their income over the same time period. It’s not a recession problem — it’s a greed problem.

  46. Mark says:

    The timing surprises me but not the result. The Victory models I’ve seen look leftover from the 90’s. I’m amazed they milked it this long.

  47. Tom says:

    I suspect the entire industry is in trouble. HD owners are aging out and dying out. Used HDs are cheaper than ever. Young folks are not only not buying motorcycles, but due to the job market, digital toys, and the economy young people are also not buying cars, trucks, boats, and houses. The last chance to save the motorcycle industry is what we are seeing: a proliferation of inexpensive, rather-high-performance, easy-to-ride small bikes, all in the hopes of capturing the youth or at least some commuters who can’t afford a car. End of an era, and the final nail in the coffin is when electric-bike-share becomes the norm…

  48. Frank says:

    Victory can’t compete with the Indian name, so might as well drop the Victory brand and go all out with Indian.

  49. CrazyJoe says:

    I went to three Victory dealerships. I only found one bike that was stock. It was around 15k I loved it was along the lines of a muscle bike like the v rod. Fit like a glove. All the rest of the bikes were heavily at least cost wise customized. One of them even had a psychedelic paint job. All were over 20k. I don’t know why they did this but even if they were stock if you could find one their list price was close to Harley. So why not buy a harley. The skinny tire up front didn’t help.

    To bad some of them looked great. I loved the dashboard on their bagger.

    • MGNorge says:

      “So why not buy a harley” I find that interesting, to approach the cost of a Harley that one may as well buy a Harley? There are undoubtedly many reasons for buying a Harley and many for not buying one. But your statement suggests it’s a Harley that people want, if not for their cost?

      That’s not me at all, not sure about everyone else.

  50. Bob says:

    No surprises here. Slingshot will be next.

    • Pacer says:

      Maybe, but as of the moment they claim by dropping Victory they will be able to put more resources into Indian and the Slingshot.

    • ApriliaRST says:

      There is no reason to expect the demise of Slingshot. Quit trying to pile on.

      • Grover says:

        I was told by one of the largest dealerships that sells Slingshots that they are not moving on the sales floor. That’s why their demise is inevitable. I predict 1-2 years most before they’re history (and that’s being kind). It’s that simple. Better buy a Slingshot now if you’re in love with it.

    • Norm G. says:

      no worries about the Slingshot, Slingshot is the new “hot cakes”.

  51. Grover says:

    Victory earned its demise. The most bland, unimaginative motorcycles on the planet. Good riddance!

    • Provologna says:

      Wow! I’m surprised it took this long for someone to post exactly my sentiment. Who really cares about Victory’s passing? I sure don’t!

  52. sam says:

    if you’re in the market for a cruiser, get ready for some smoking deals on victory bikes. i remember when HD announced they were killing Buell, and the asking price on Buells dropped almost 50%.

  53. ApriliaRST says:

    It’s only the brand name on future models. If you like what Victory has done, there’ll be parts and accessories far into the future. So I see no problem. Putting production under one unified banner is just being market savvy. Ford eliminated Mercury cars. Mercury outboards did away with the Mariner brand. There are more examples. But all the names are still great companies. Another thing, you only have to run ads for one brand, which saves quite a bit. Guessing.

  54. Scottie says:

    Saw this coming as soon as they priced the Indians comparable to Victory and H-D rather than $35,000+ as Stellican (previous Indian owner)had attempted.

  55. jimmihaffa says:

    Sounds like they’re consolidating their lines under one brand for cruisers (Indian) and trikes (Slingshot). I’m wondering if this could be a Trump phenomenon in that they had either significant off shore manufacturing or were planning to and the reimportation of product for their biggest market (U.S.) would have been met with the much vaunted 35 % “Carrier” tariff. Anyway, with the European brands, particularly BMW, coming on so strong there was clearly casualties coming somewhere in the competition for the 2-wheeled dollar…I guess Victory got the short end of the spoke.

  56. mechanicus says:

    Their main problem was hooking in with Arlen Ness. Garish sharp angles, giant sweeping panel covers, and doofus space pod appendages, etc. Alen Ness never had the pulse of most riders and I’m not sure why Victory was so hot to get him on their team. All Ness ever did prior was build crazy one-off customs for Hot Bike and other chopper mags. It’s sort of like staring at the the bearded lady in the fair while munching on a candied apple. When you are through gaping at the strange scene you just throw down the core and walk away.

    That being said, I still was inquisitive and gave them a chance. I rode most of the models at a local open-house event. All except the big Vision thing – what a pig. All that I rode were set up for top-end and felt sluggish around town – they just don’t feel good redlight to redlight. I still feel that there is a market for an alternative to HD – a lighter, batwinged tourer/bagger with smoother styling and real-world cams with emphasis on bottom-end torque. Nothing Indian makes appeals. All giant heavy behemoth stuff.

    Victory had a big coup with the Pike Peak racer. But then when they came out with the Octane it looked NOTHING like the racer. This p.o.ed a lot of people. Just look at the Octane ads “…sharp edgy styling – not a smooth curve anywhere…” what kind of stupid $h!t is that? Smooth clean styling is the definition of well-done engineering. “…no shiny stuff here. Chrome dont get you home…” OK that’s a mantra from way back, but most people take pride in their ride – that thing looks like it was spray painted all over with grey primer. Fugly. Again I think they were listening too much to Cory and Arlen and not to the target audience.

  57. Steve says:

    I’ve been contemplating buying a touring bike and a used Cross Roads is on my short list.
    If you go to the Thevog.net there are a lot of happy Victory owners out there. I feel for them today. That being said, this is not a total shock.
    The cross bikes are excellent but are now 8 model years running and due for a replacement. The steel frame ones are just antiquated. How many years have they been in production? Every review cites great power and handling but crappy brakes. Easy enough to fix but it never happened. When the 2017s were first listed on the Victory site, I could have sworn they gave you the option of getting ABS on the Vegas, Gunner and so on. That somehow disappeared and they just weren’t competitive in today’s market without huge discounts. They all seem pretty reliable so I don’t think it will be that big of a deal to own one going forward.

  58. Tank says:

    “Well then, let me be the first to say farewell.”- Forget P(ol)aris

  59. Jeremy in TX says:

    Well, this is exactly what I thought would happen when Polaris went live with Indian. I figured three years and Victory would be gone. When project 156 came about, I thought that Victory might make an effort to reinvent themselves and go after the void left in the market when Buell crumbled. But once I saw the Octane was the result of all of that effort, I knew the end wasn’t far behind. Victory needed a new strategy to make itself relevant, but the company culture and management team could only ever come up with one vision. (Pun!)

  60. tr790 says:

    What will happen to the Empulse brand of electric motorcycles, since it is currently a “sub-brand” under Victory? Will it be shut down, or will it become its own brand, alongside Indian and Slingshot? Sporty Electric bikes are a separate market from the rest of Victory’s lineup, and I would think that Polaris might use the Empulse brand to hedge its bets on the future of motorcycling.

  61. Denny says:

    This brand did not have future, IMO. Overly fancy, overpriced, basically another unnecessary cruiser. Indian has tradition, let it live instead.

    • thrus says:

      their tradition is of failing as a company or being sold, the only thing today that is historic about it is the date on the trademark/copyright papers and a few bike names.

  62. Trent says:

    If they support current bikes for 10 years, then I see it as just a transition to the Indian brand name. It’s the same company making Indian motorcycles instead of Victory and Indian motorcycles. Makes sense to me. I really like Victory bikes. Now they can make them branded as Indian bikes instead. If that’s what they want to do.

  63. Sam says:

    If the Gunner is on sale for $6,000 out the door I’ll buy one, you know, just to do my part to help Polaris! Oh, I’m a Retired Veteran also so I get another 10% off! $5,400 ain’t bad and maybe I’ll buy two of them:) Victory’s have always been about the most bland and uninspiring bikes built. When I go into my local HD dealer the eye candy blinds me with its beauty:)

  64. Don says:

    Several dealers carrying multiple brands closing in my city with no one taking them over and now this – I’m starting to think that the motorcycle industry in the US is less healthy than they are letting on.

    • Spaghetti says:

      The motorcycle industry IS less healthy than is being let on. The entire economy is less healthy than is being let on.

      As Short-round once said: “Hang on, Lady. We go for a ride.”!

  65. BPinAZ says:

    As a HD rider I think it sucks. Competition makes the market better. I doubt after being burned by Vic, those guys will be running to Indian.

  66. RD350 says:

    Agree with Curly .. Indian is the better choice, particularly in a still bad economy.

    PS .. Indian, please build a street tracker version of your excellent looking flat tracker.

  67. roadrash1 says:

    I wonder if there’ll be a Buell-like “Fire Sale”.
    Unlike the Buell demise, I’m not interested in a marked-down cruiser. But, many folks might enjoy it.
    And what becomes of the Brammo technology?

  68. Bubba Bleu says:

    I saw it coming 15 years ago when they brought out the “Nessies.” They were kind of custom-trendy at the time, but after a few years they just looked dated. Polaris never changed the underlying look. They evolved into clownish designs. Polaris could have stayed with the original classic look Victory had from 1998 to 2004 and evolved and improved upon it.

    Victory seemed to be appealing to disaffected Harley riders. That’s who mostly bought Victorys, in my experience. It’s a small group.

    Also, Victory should have come out with a BMW style bike instead of just a Harley wannabe replacement. They could have picked up Buell or made a sport bike.

    Now with Indian. It really isn’t an Indian. It’s a Polaris. Why doesn’t Polaris
    just make a great bike instead of relying on someone else’s name or disaffected customer base? Call it an Indiana or something if that’s what they want to do. But “Indian.” It’s almost offensive. It’s like they’re trying to get away with something or make it look like something it’s not.

    • Half Baked says:

      So Indian’s built prior to 1928 weren’t really Indian’s either they were Hendee’s. And you find the use of the name Indian offensive not because it trivializes and marginalizes the indigenous peoples of the America’s but because its use is disingenuous.

    • MGNorge says:

      “..Victory should have come out with a BMW style bike..” What is that exactly? A boxer twin, an Adventure bike, a six-cylinder super sport,…?

  69. rider33 says:

    some see Indian as the death knell for Victory. After 10 or 15 years of bludgeoning themselves against the Motor Conpany, I thought Indian would flank them on that freeing Victory to go places that heritage brands dare not tread. They did some wonderful work too and where just starting to open up a bit in that direction. Profitability is key but ultimately it’s the long and not the short term game on that that matters, particularly after the heavy lifting of the last 18 years. ‘Tough call but it’s apt to be one that will bite them in the end as it’s not likely to buy them much good will either with consumers or the trade.

  70. Doc says:

    And the employees bottom line?☹️️

    • thrus says:

      A companies goal is to turn a profit for the owners (shareholders also works). Thinking otherwise makes you naive, it is a very rare company that is operated to give jobs as the primary reason. Sometimes they trade profit for PR but never mistake they are buying something with that money. If it is not doing that the owners burn out quickly or if it investors then that term tells you even more that they just want a return, even if they accept a loss for a while.

  71. Curly says:

    Sensible move to put their effort into Indian. Now let Indian do the diversification and extend that name into segments where Victory didn’t.

  72. Tim C says:

    Guess they don’t see enough of a market for what Victory could’ve become (American not-cruisers). The redundancy with Indian is obvious but it’s a shame to see the world made a little safer for boredom….

    Note, the stuff they teased vs what they came out with does underscore they didn’t really understand the potential here…or it just doesn’t exist….

  73. Neal says:

    Well, damn. A Cross Country was my top pick for my forever bike after the next promotion at work.

    • Tim says:

      They’ll be selling them cheap. You may not have to wait for that promotion.

      • Neal says:

        I’ll just find another excuse to stick to window shopping. My Mean Streak is paid off and costs $10 a month to insure.

        • Arturo says:

          No payments are always a plus (Says the guy riding the 2000 Honda Valkyrie Interstate). 🙂

        • Bartolo says:

          Mean Streak? I had one for about a year (2005). I couldn’t sit on it for more than half an hour. Bought a 650 VStrom in 2006, which still is my daily commute bike after ten years.

          • Neal says:

            Bar risers have made a big difference. I lean forward a bit in the wind on the freeway but risers give the option not to when going slow. V Strom seem pretty awesome. The new 650 is a more realistic next bike for me than a 20k tourer.

  74. mickey says:

    We’ve been telling them for 18 years to diversify this brand or face extinction. Build an American ADV, build an American Sport Tourer, build an American standard, but they wouldn’t listen to us. Now with no diversification and under the crushing competition of Harley and now their brother brand Indian, they have no place to go but out. What a shame.Could have been something.

    • Tim says:

      Agreed. I had hoped they might put that Scout / Octane engine in something interesting. I do believe there would be a market for an American standard and an American adventure bike. Buell never found the right formula, but that doesn’t mean the right formula couldn’t be found, with adequate financial resources thrown at it. If it was ever going to happen, Polaris was / is the company who could make it happen. Maybe they’ll do something more than cruisers using the Indian name.

      • mickey says:

        Everyone seemed to love their Buell SB9 or whatever they were, Buells ADV style bikes, but Buell left them stranded. Since most big ADV bikes don’t leave the pavement (even if they could giving nod to those who insist they ride their big ADVs everywhere) it wouldn’t have been hard for them to make an upright ADV looking road bike using that 100 hp Octane motor as a base, and could probably have sold quite a few of them. Some decent suspension, a 6 gallon tank, and a decent seat. How hard could that have been? Same thing with a sport tourer. Sometimes I wonder what goes on in board meetings that doesn’t involve discussions about golf, booze and which secretary is in charge of ordering lunch.

        • Grover says:

          I totally agree, Mickey. They went on for 18 years and never really tried to expand their product line. An ADV would have been easy if it was brought to market in a timely manner. I always thought that these big companies hired Ivy league executives to make business decisions, but it turns out the the average motorcyclist with only a high school education could have probably headed Victory in a more profitable direction. As to what goes on in managerial meetings, the word is “compromise”. Unless there is a strong, overriding personality (think Bloor, Iaccoca etc.,) it takes a lot to make a lot to make a simple decision and it’s always a compromise.

        • Tim says:

          I have to believe many of those sitting in board meetings don’t ride. If they do ride, they ride company products and know nothing else. If they paid any attention at all to the competition they would see the ever increasing chunk of the market adventure bikes are taking, and they would be quick to jump on the bandwagon.

  75. GoodlyRun says:

    WTF!?!?!?!?!?!