• 10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The Victory Octane

In its short life, Victory produced some great motorcycles and the Octane might just have been the best

LISTEN 07:38

Victory had a short life as a motorcycle brand but certainly made its mark on the American motorcycling scene, with a thoroughly modern take on the traditional American cruiser. Its life might have been short, but it paved the way for the subsequent success of its Polaris stablemate, Indian Motorcycle. The Octane model was introduced in the same year the brand disappeared and was a tantalizing glimpse at where Victory was heading.

The Victory Octane Shares a Lot of Components with the Indian Scout

10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Victory Octane
- image 1094079

The modern Indian Scout, like its ancestor, is the smallest Indian in the range and was introduced in 2015. The Victory Octane, introduced in 2017, was in effect a re-badged Scout, although it had a slightly larger engine - 1179cc against 1133cc - and, as a result, put out a little more power - 104 horsepower against 100 horsepower and a broader torque curve and a higher peak torque figure.

The Octane retained the same riding position as the Scout and the bikes shared 35-percent of their parts.

It Was Fast!

10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Victory Octane
- image 1094081

The 60° V-twin engine loves to rev and would propel the Victory Octane to 60mph in four seconds and on to a top speed of 130mph, covering the quarter mile in 13 seconds. More importantly, the tidal wave of torque from as low as 1,250 rpm made it easy to ride - just stick it in fifth gear and let the engine do the work. It was the fastest Victory available.

Victory Only Built 4,000 Octanes

10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Victory Octane
- image 1094082

The Octane appeared in 2017, which was, unfortunately, the same year that parent company Polaris decided to abandon the Victory name in order to concentrate on Indian which it was felt had a much better chance in the market as a historic name.

As a result, only 4,000 Octane models were produced, although Polaris committed to stock every spare part for at least ten years.

It Holds The Record for the Longest Burnout

10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Victory Octane
- image 1094086

Even if this statistic isn’t particularly useful to you, it is kind of cool!

In 2016, during Daytona Bike Week, a professional stunt rider performed a 2.23-mile burnout on a Victory Octane at the Daytona International Speedway, setting a new Guinness World Record. We don’t recommend that you try that at home!

Which Came First: Scout or Octane?

10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Victory Octane
- image 1094083

Even though the Indian Scout was launched a couple of years before the Victory Octane, it is likely that the design was always a Victory design and intended to hit the market earlier. Having acquired the Indian name in 2011, Polaris had obviously already decided the fate of the Victory name and so chose to start putting its eggs in the Indian basket, hence the Octane design appearing as an Indian Scout first.

Not Everyone Was Happy When The Octane Was Launched

10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Victory Octane
- image 1094080

After the Indian Scout had been launched, Polaris revealed the ‘Project 156 Race To The Clouds by Roland Sands’ bike, using a ’prototype’ Victory engine. The name comes from the 156 corners on the Pikes Peak hill climb course and the bike was intended to race there in 2015 or 2016, being a naked sports bike.

This lead many to hope that the new Victory Octane would be a powerful standard American motorcycle, quite unlike anything that an American manufacturer had produced up to that point.

Sadly, for some, the Victory Octane turned out to be a feet-forward cruiser, although the Project 156 clearly pointed the way to something special in the future and that would turn out to be the Indian FTR1200.

The Braking Could Have Been Better

10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Victory Octane
- image 1094084

Victory decided to equip the Octane with just one front brake disc, with the rear disc being the same size - 298mm. Strangely, ABS was an option (and only operated on the front wheel) but at least Victory equipped the Octane with braided brake hoses, which seems like an admission that a single disc up front really wasn’t enough so the poor, overworked brake needed all the help it could get in reining in the 550-pound weight.

It Made the Harley-Davidson Sportster Look Old-Fashioned

10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Victory Octane
- image 1094085

While the Victory Octane was playing on the same playing field as the Harley Davidson Sportster, in reality the Sportster couldn’t hold a candle to the newcomer.

Part of the problem for the Sportster was that it was an ancient design, not least the engine, which is an air-cooled, two-valve V-twin whereas the engine in the Octane is a liquid-cooled, four-valve v-twin.

The Octane’s engine could rev much higher, with an 8,100rpm ceiling compared to the Sportster’s 6,000rpm. This helped the Octane’s engine produce 104 horses, compared to the Harley’s 60 horses, while the peak torque figures for both engines might have been similar at around 70 foot-pounds, but the Victory produced this figure at 5,900rom, compared to the Sportster’s peak arriving at 3,500rpm. The Victory octane loved to rev!

Also, the chassis of the Octane, being made up of aluminum castings, was much stronger and lighter than the steel tube frame of the Sportster, giving it much sharper and more dynamic handling.

It Would Go Round Corners!

10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Victory Octane
- image 1094087

Cruisers aren’t generally known for their ability to corner with extreme lean angles but the Octane went some way to dispelling this myth with a lean angle left and right of 32 degrees. While that is far short of what a sports bike could achieve, it is good for a cruiser.

What is even better is that the chassis, which uses the engine as a stressed member, encouraged throwing the Octane into corners: it would track securely on whatever line the rider chose and, despite the limited suspension travel and lack of adjustment, would not be diverted by mid-corner bumps.

In short, this was the most sporty cruiser available on the market at the time and it still stands up well in today’s motorcycle market.

The Victory Octane Has Held its Value Well

10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Victory Octane
- image 1094088

When new, the Victory Octane retailed for between $9,999 and $10,499, depending on the color. Six years later, on the used market, the price range is between around $7,500 and $10,000, meaning it has held it value extremely well and is likely to do so if the bike is well maintained and looked after.

FAQs

How much HP does a victory octane have?

The Victory Octane’s engine produces 104 horsepower.

Is the Victory Octane an Indian Scout?

The bikes are very similar and share around 35-percent of components. They were, of course, built by the same company - Polaris

Did Victory go out of business?

Polaris pulled the plug on Victory in 2017, in order to concentrate on the Indian brand. Victory did not cease to exist because it was unsuccessful as a brand.

How much CC is the victory octane?

The liquid-cooled, four-valve v-twin engine in the Octane has a displacement of 1179cc

Harry Fisher
Harry Fisher
Motorcycling Contributor
Born and raised in England, he has lived in South Africa with his family since 2002. Harry has owned examples of Triumph, Norton, BSA, MV Agusta, Honda, BMW, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Kawasaki and Moto Morini motorcycles. He regrets selling all of them.  Read full bio
About the author

Related Articles

2020 - 2022 Indian Scout Bobber Twenty

2017 Victory Octane

What do you think?
Show Comments
Motorcycle Finder: