2017 2017 Victory Octane - Performance, Price, and Photos

More muscular looking than the usual Victory style, the Octane promises a lively ride

Victory used its success in the power-cruiser sector as a springboard into the burgeoning, performance-oriented American-made bike market. The Victory Octane led the charge to appeal to buyers looking for something a little more progressive and a little less constrained by classic design considerations.

  • 2017 2017 Victory Octane - Performance, Price, and Photos
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
    Octane
  • Displacement:
    1179 cc
  • Price:
    10499

2017 Victory Octane Performance and Capability

2017 2017 Victory Octane - Performance, Price, and Photos
- image 1094596

The 60-degree, liquid-cooled V-twin dominates and defines the Octane design. The engine runs a decidedly over-square configuration with a 101 mm bore and 73.6 mm stroke for 1,179 cc in total displacement. The mill borrows heavily from the Indian Scout lump, but with a few more cubes and a slightly different look.

A single, 60 mm throttle body manages the induction, and a DOHC setup actuates four valves per head to open up the combustion chamber and allow the engine to breathe. The Victory Octane produces 104 horsepower at 8,000 rpm, and 76 pounds of grunt at 6 grand. That’s in its stock setup. The equivalent of a Stage 1 kit easily modifies it to really open the engine up, similar to the “Harley tax” many of us are familiar with.

The Octane’s purpose-built, six-speed transmission eliminates much of the old shift-clunk noise to make a quiet transmission that fits with the progressive bent of the rest of the bike. A conventional, wet clutch couples the tranny to the mill, and a reinforced-belt drive makes the rear wheel go roundy-round.

The Octane gets from 0 to 60 in under four seconds and runs the quarter-mile in 12, so there is no lack of opportunity to get yourself in trouble, to be sure. The Victory Octane top speed is 130 mph.

Engine & Drivetrain
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled 60° V-twin, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Displacement: 1,179 cc
Bore x Stroke (mm): 101.0 mm x 73.6 mm
Compression Ratio: 10.8:1
Horsepower (HP): 104 hp @ 8,000 rpm
Torque: 76 lb-ft @ 6,000 rpm
Fuel System: Sequential Fuel Injection with single 60 mm throttle body
Exhaust: Dual slash-cut mufflers with common volume
Clutch Type: Wet, multi-plate
Transmission/Final Drive: 6-speed/belt
Final Drive Ration: 2.536 : 1

Design

2017 2017 Victory Octane - Performance, Price, and Photos
- image 1094583

If you look at the Victory Octane vs Indian Scout, you’ll notice the Octane looks an awful lot like the Indian Scout. In fact, the Octane shares 35% of its parts with the Scout. Sure, the engine dressing is a bit different in more ways than just the blackout treatment would explain. The jugs and rocker boxes are a little different as well.

While the upper lines are also similar, Victory used a sporty-looking fuel tank with recesses reminiscent of the old Triumph “knee dents,” but with an angular quality that is unique to the brand. The Octane retains only a little of the Nessy swoop-a-doop prevalent among Victory products, and what remains lends the upper lines a certain grace.

A proper, saddle-shaped solo seat cups the rider’s butt with a lip to keep you on it when you grab a fistful and twist it. The lack of pillion accommodations keeps the rear fender nice and clean.

On a whole, the bike displays a stripped-down, almost naked look that eschews any features or components that don’t directly contribute to performance. This is classic bobber philosophy, if not a particularly bobber-looking execution.

The low stance and cruiser-like rider triangle place the pilot in the windsock position. I gotta say the windsock isn’t the best position for quick-and-fast riding styles, but you get used to it after a while.

2017 Victory Octane Specs
Overall Length: 90.9 in. (2,286 mm)
Seat Height: 25.9 in. (658 mm)
Wheelbase: 62.1 in. (1,578 mm)
Fuel Capacity: 3.4 gal. (12.9 l)
Dry Weight: 528 lb. (240 kg)

Chassis

2017 2017 Victory Octane - Performance, Price, and Photos
- image 1094602

Victory took an unusual step with the bones of the Octane. Instead of welded steel or even welded aluminum members, the factory used a cast-aluminum skeleton to set the stage. The layout allows for a 32-degree lean angle in both directions, which opens up the possibility of hitting the corners with some authority.

I would expect to see some upside-down forks on a ride billed as a performance machine. Not only does it look boss, but it also significantly stiffens the front end to better handle the forces associated with aggressive riding. No such luck here, though the 41 mm, dual-rate forks are about as torque-resistant as you can get without going inverted.

Victory kept the rear suspension simple with a pair of dual-rate, coil-over shocks with adjustable preload. Wheel travel is typical at 4.7 inches in the rear and 3 inches up front, sufficient for around-town riding but you had better not jump the tracks with it.

The factory kept the brakes simple and honest. Without ABS the rider has naught but his own skill to bleed off speed ahead of a turn. A single, 289 mm disc and twin-pot caliper slow the front wheel, and a single-piston caliper binds the rear. Cast, 10-spoke, blackout wheels mount the 18-inch front hoop and 17-inch rear.

Chassis & Suspension
Front Suspension/ Travel: 41mm damper-tube forks with dual-rate springs/ 4.7 in.
Rear Suspension/ Travel: Twin shocks with dual-rate springs, adjustable preload/ 3.0 in.
Rake/Trail: 29.0°/ 5.1 in. (130 mm)
Lean Angle: 32 degrees
Front Brakes: Dual piston caliper, 298 mm disc
Rear Brakes: Single-piston
Front Wheel: 18 X 3.5-in. cast, 10-spoke
Rear Wheel: 17 X 4.5-in. cast 10-spoke
Front Tires: 130/70-18 63H
Rear Tires: 160/70-17 76H

2017 Victory Octane Price and Availability

It’s certainly priced to put some performance within reach of the unwashed masses. The Victory Octane costs $10,499 in a monochrome, Matte Super Steel Gray and blackout finish. While the Octane lasted only for the 2017 model year, rumors say it’s possible to find new-old stock if you look long and hard enough.

Pricing
Colors: Matte Super Steel Gray
Price: $10,499

Competitor

2015 - 2017 Harley-Davidson Night Rod Special
- image 1094608

Since the Victory is a pure-bred, domestic muscle bike, I decided to put it up against a model family that represented a radical departure from the norm for its parent company when it launched the bike in 2001. I’m talking about the VRSC “V Rod” descendant, the Harley Night Rod Special.

Harley-Davidson Night Rod Special

Harley built the mold for the genre with the original V Rod, and the apple didn’t fall far from the tree as the Night Rod Special carries the same, muscular look with a raked front end and low-slung stance. While the Octane doesn’t look quite as beefy, it still carries a gritty edge that gives away its stoplight-burning purpose in life.

Both fit within the “American muscle-bike” class, even if each manufacturer has its own interpretation of exactly what that looks like. The Octane presents a no-frills, serious business face to the world that I find refreshing if a little single-minded. The V Rod carries itself with a little more grace, and some mildly feminine curves, for a femme fatale look. Both rides have a menacing, custom blackout paint scheme.

2015 - 2017 Harley-Davidson Night Rod Special
- image 1094609

Engine size is likewise comparable, with a slight edge going to the H-D model at 1,247 cc versus the Victory at 1,179 cubes. Torque output is neck-and-neck as well with Harley on top at 83.4 pound-feet, a skosh more than the 76 pounds out of the Octane.

Before you get too excited about the power difference, I would point out that the Octane weighs 528 pounds, dry, whereas the Night Rod tips the scales at 637 pounds, a weight difference that will soak up some of that extra torque. The bottom line here, is the engines are pretty much a wash as far as deciding factors go.

Victory slices and dices at the checkout with a $10, 995 MSRP, a bargain-basement deal against the Harley Night Rod’s $16,849 starting price.

He Said

“Prior to its release, I had been looking forward to the Octane, and though I liked what I saw, I kind of wanted to see something a little more unique to the brand. Maybe something that doesn’t look like an Indian Scout with a few custom touches you almost have to look for. Still, form follows function, and in the end, aesthetics are just a vanity. Would I ride it? Go ahead and pencil me into the “Yes” column.”

She Said

My wife and fellow writer, Allyn Hinton, says, "I gotta say I really like the look of the Octane. It’s more muscular looking than the usual Victory style. Performance-wise, the numbers look like they’ll deliver a lively ride."

"In a way, it’s really a shame, the Octane came out in 2017, just when Polaris closed down the Victory line. Folks that were eyeing the Octane can look at the Scout as an alternative unless you can find a Victory Octane used in the market somewhere."

TJ Hinton
TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read full bio
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