Polaris recalls 26,182 Victory motorcycles for possible melting of brake lines and wires.
After making motorcycles for 18 years, Polaris shut down operations of Victory Motorcycles back in January as it struggled to keep up with the attention pulled by the Harleys and the Indian. But had made commitments to assist dealers with providing service and warranty coverage for a period of 10 years.
Looks like its first proof of the same commitment has come up the surface in the form of this major recall from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) which affects a swath of models from the defunct American manufacturer that have issues with their brake line melting away.
Victory Motorcycles gets the ax from Daddy Deep-Pockets as Polaris Industries cuts back on the number of projects under its umbrella (ella ella eh eh...) in an effort to focus its energies and resources on the popular Indian Motorcycle brand and the Delta-trike Polaris Slingshot line.
Continue reading for more information on Polaris’ decision.
Victory’s Gunner brings modern, V-twin performance and a fresh take on the classic Bobber look. Essentially unchanged between 2015 and 2017, the Gunner carries the Freedom 106/6 mill that pushes it into the power-cruiser category with 100-plus pounds of grunt and a top speed upwards of 130 mph. It needs every bit of that power to compete against the other big U.S. players; Harley-Davidson and Victory’s sister under the Polaris umbrella and longtime H-D foe, Indian Motorcycles. As the new kid on a very tough block, Victory bills itself as the American Performance brand, a brave moniker if you aren’t prepared to back it up. Let’s see what Victory has in store for us in its base-model cruiser, ya’ know, other than the monster V-twin.
Continue reading for my review of the Victory Gunner.
Price king in Victory’s 2017 cruiser lineup is the Hammer S with its awesome 250 mm rear tire, inverted forks and red on black racing-style colorway. Originally introduced in 2006, the Hammer S appeals to the cruiser crowd with that easy-going rider triangle. With plenty of torque in the low-to-mid range, the bike is surprisingly nimble and responsive for its size. As a "super-cruiser," the Hammer S won’t be left behind if your friends are still into sportbikes. For the size, power, black-out look and almost bare-necessity instrumentation, you definitely get the no-nonsense "muscle" vibe.
Continue reading for my review of the Victory Hammer S.
Victory is something of a Johnny-come-lately in the American motorcycle scene (since 1998). Its main competitors, Indian Motorcycles — which falls under the Polaris umbrella along with Victory — and Harley-Davidson, boast over 100 years of experience each in the U.S. market, so there can be no doubt that Victory has its work cut out for it. The factory usually uses its lack of deep roots as a springboard for a more-progressive design, but the High-Ball is something of a departure from the norm. Let’s take a look at this ride and see what Victory does with the modern-retro combo.
Continue reading for my review of the Victory High-Ball.
Even though Victory and Indian Motorcycles both fall under the Polaris Industries Inc. umbrella, the products offered by each company are as chalk to cheese. Indian tends to embrace the past, while Victory looks to the future. The Vegas line represents the factory’s attempt to define the contemporary American, bare-cruiser market.
After a three-year hiatus, the Vegas base model made it onto the 2016 lineup in Sunset Red sheet metal with a blackout drivetrain and bits of chrome while the 8-Ball version takes this Victory all the way over to the dark side with a fully blacked-out, custom look sure to appeal to the domestic crowd. These colors carried forward to 2017. End result: a naked cruiser that elevates understatement to an art form. In fact, the bare-cruiser design is something of a blank canvas for custom builders, and there are projects out from Rick Fairless and the Ness family, just to name a few.
Continue reading my review of the Victory Vegas and Vegas 8-Ball.
Pike’s Peak is sometimes referred to as “America’s Mountain,” and it serves as something of a proving grounds as wheeled contraptions of every persuasion race from bottom to top, or thereabouts, in order to test their mettle (or metal if you like, they both work here). Victory Motorcycles came up big at the 2016 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb by winning first-in-class in two separate categories and taking second- and third-place overall.
Continue reading for more on the Victory finishes.
Polaris Industries has its hands full these days with two companies — Victory & Indian — under its umbrella in direct competition with American heavyweight Harley-Davidson. Victory is starting to make a name for itself as the “American Performance” company with its progressive styling and large, powerful V-twin engines.
The 2017 Cross Country (CC) and Cross Country Tour (the Cross Country 8-Ball wasn’t carried forward to 2017) take a stab at grabbing the attention of U.S. buyers with the baggage capacity and wind protection we expect and looks similar to what we are accustomed to. Let’s face it, “baggers” and “tour bikes” look different here than anywhere else in the world, ’cause the “lower 48” is big with long, straight roads that span for miles and miles, unlike some European countries and island nations where one must do laps to get a long-distance ride in. Let’s look at what Victory is doing to compete in this long-legged market with the CC and CC Tour.
Continue reading for my review of the Victory Cross Country and Cross Country Tour.
Introduced in 2007 as an addition to the Victory touring lineup for 2008, the Vision came in two versions: the Vision Street, which came standard with a full fairing and hard side bags and the Vision Tour, which included those features plus a hard trunk. In 2010, Victory renamed the Vision Street version the Vision 8-Ball, keeping the Vision Tour as its full dresser.
For 2017, Victory offers the Vision — with ABS and cruise control standard — alongside the Cross Country Tour as its mighty duo in the tourer bracket.
Continue reading for my review of the Victory Vision.
Victory uses its success in the power-cruiser sector as a springboard into the burgeoning, performance-oriented American-made bike market. The Victory Octane leads the charge against opponents such as the V-Rod from Harley-Davidson, and perhaps the Indian Scout, and is meant for buyers looking for a domestic muscle bike that doesn’t fit in the Harley Breakout or Star Raider mold — buyers who are looking for something a little more progressive and a little less constrained by classic design considerations.
This is an important step for Victory since H-D is still king of the cruisers with Indian close behind and there isn’t a lot of room in the market for more cruisers, especially since the aforementioned companies are packing more punch into their powerplants nowadays. I believe Victory has found a niche, and is attempting to fill it. Let’s take a look at the filling, shall we?
Continue reading for my first look at the Victory Octane.
Victory may be the new kid on the block amongst American motorcycle manufacturers, but it has some significant advantages that “new” builders seldom enjoy. Namely, it falls under the Polaris umbrella, and benefits from the deep pockets and technical expertise that Polaris brings to the table. Victory started out making cruisers with an eye toward capturing a slice of the domestic market, and at this point it’s fair to say they have succeeded in gaining more than just a toehold and are beginning to pose a serious threat to the “Old Guard” brands such as Harley-Davidson and Indian.
Well OK, the threat to Indian is more of a case of Polaris taking some wind out of its own sails since the Indian brand also falls under their purview, but the point remains valid; Victory is gaining momentum. Join me whilst I take a look at the Magnum family, and let’s see if we can smoke out the reasons behind its burgeoning popularity.
Continue reading for my review of the Victory Magnum and Magnum X-1 Stealth.
In direct competition with Harley-Davidson and other Made-in-the-USA brands in the traditional American style of a heavier motorcycle, Victory continues to reap a share of the market. When Polaris pushed a major expansion of production and marketing of Victory Motorcycles in 2010, it introduced the Cross Country as a hard-bagged cruiser with a handlebar-mounted fairing. For 2016, the Cross Country is still a contender, with the awesome Freedom 106/6 engine, a six-speed — with overdrive — transmission and smooth, on-demand power.
Even at 800 pounds, the bike seems well balanced and is easy to handle at low speed in traffic and while cruising the parking lot looking for an empty slot. On first rides, I’ve heard more than a couple of people said they really liked the way the bike handles and that was even before they got it out of the parking lot.
Continue reading for my review of the 2016 Victory Cross Country.
Polaris Industries Inc. owns quite a few subsidiaries, and it recently added to them with the acquisition of electric bike manufacturer Brammo in 2015. Since Victory already serves as Polaris’ progressive-cruiser branch (as opposed to the nostalgic Indian designs), it seems a natural pairing to put the two together. Instead of starting from scratch, Victory adopted the Empulse concept from Brammo to give us the 2016 Empulse TT. Folks, this ain’t like the battery-powered toys we had as kids, or the slightly-better electric scooters and minibikes as of late, this is a real-world motorcycle that provides honest, practical service as a sustainable (read: green) form of basic transportation. While the technology hasn’t advanced enough to make electric bikes as practical as internal combustion bikes, its coming along, and the roughly 100-mile range of the Empulse TT ain’t exactly peanuts either – certainly enough for most daily commutes or weekend romps.
Continue reading for my review of the 2016 Victory Empulse TT.
Is it a half bagger, a cruiser or a boulevard bruiser? No one knows for sure. What I do know is the look is growing in popularity, and nearly every major manufacturer produces bikes that fall in this sort of in-between category. Indian and Victory are two such manufacturers, with the 2015 Chieftain and Cross Country models that follow the “bagger sans tour-pack with a vestigial windshield” look. Although they both are owned by Polaris Industries Incorporated, they each retained their own identities and own ideas about bike design, and it shows. Let’s take a look and see how these two bikes from their together-but-separate companies stack up.
Continue reading for my comparison of the 2015 Indian Chieftain and the 2015 Victory Cross Country.
Victory Motorcycles has recovered its electric TT motorcycle a few days after the prototype was stolen from Brammo’s headquarters in Talent, Oregon. Local police officials in Talent received critical information on the bike’s whereabouts shortly after Victory announced a reward of $1,000 to whoever was able to provide details on the stolen motorcycle.
No word yet on who’s going to receive the cool $1,000, but that doesn’t mean as much in the larger scheme of things as seeing the motorcycle community rally together and step up to the plate to help somebody in need, which in this case turned out to be Victory Motorcycles.
Two individuals were taken into custody, including a man who has had a long history of law-breaking. According to the police, the man admitted his plan to strip the bike and sell individual parts in the market. As I expected, the electric TT motorcycle had significant damage to its bodywork upon recovery, including the loss of the rear wheel. But other than that, it remained largely complete, drawing a huge sigh of relief from Victory Motorcycles.
Now that the bike is back in the hands of its rightful owner, expect Victory to take up the task of rebuilding it back to the machine that Lee Johnston rode to claim third place in the recent Isle of Man Zero TT Challenge.
Hopefully, it stays with Victory for the foreseeable future, or at least until the company decides to willingly part with it, be it as a sale or at an auction. None of us need another episode like this for the time being.
Continue reading to read more about Victory Motorcycles’ recovery of its stolen electric TT race bike.
Victory Motorcycles’ Isle of Man TT electric racing bike was stolen from the Brammo’s headquarters in Talent, Oregon. Now, the electric motorcycle company is doing whatever it can to learn about the stolen bike’s whereabouts, even going so far as to offer $1,000 to anybody who can help find the bike
I don’t think this was the kind of headlines the company was looking for when it decided to enter the Zero TT challenge at the 2015 Isle Of Man TT. Rider Lee Johnston finished that race in third place, turning in a good performance for himself and Victory Motorcycles. But nobody seems to pay too much attention on that because all the company wants is to find the stolen bike, whose frame is stamped with the VIN #004, and have it returned to Brammo’s headquarters where it was on displace with its complete race bodywork before it was unceremoniously pilfered away.
Local police officials are spearheading the investigation and recovery efforts of the stolen machine. That said, investigators are also seeking assistance from the public. Requests for information have been posted on various media and social media channels. Anybody who may have anything relevant to help find the stolen machine is being encouraged to contact Bill May of the Talent, OR police department at 541-535-1253 and refer to case #15-2149.
Even though it’s preparing itself for the worst, Victory has promised to provide updates on the investigation on its Facebook page.
Continue reading to read more about the search to find Victory Motorcycles’ stolen Isle of Man Zero TT Challenge electric race bike.
Victory Motorcycle’s Project 156 electric racing bike lived up to everything we had come to expect from it at the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. After so much hype surrounding the bike, it was only fitting that Project 156’s turn in the Race to the Clouds represented promise, excitement, disappointment, and hope, all rolled up into one memorable lap on the mountain.
The bike started out great, qualifying fourth out of 60 entries. More importantly, it qualified at the top of its class, somewhat justifying all the work Victory Motorcycles and Roland Sands Design put into the development of the bike. Pikes Peak veteran rider Don Canet followed that up by posting the second-fastest time of the day in section one of the track. Unfortunately, the excited mood surrounding the bike’s impressive first section run quickly turned somber when Canet crashed in the second section before finally pulling over in the fourth and last section - two miles away from the finish line - to give Project 156 a disappointing Did-Not-Finish (DNF) for its run.
While there were a lot of people who were bummed with Project 156’s DNF, there’s still plenty of reason to be excited for the bike’s potential. When it was running smoothly, Project 156 was blisteringly fast as it also posted the fifth fastest split time in the third section of the track. But like most bikes that are still in the early stages of their development, Project 156 also showed that it still had a long way to go before it can really challenge some of the incumbents in its class.
Victory certainly isn’t taking the setback lying down, not when Project 156 showed so much promise as well. So instead of trying to tinker with the bike to make some subtle adjustments, the company is now going all out with its plan of not only winning its class at Pikes Peak, but posting the overall lowest time in the motorcycle category.
From what I saw, Project 156 is more than capable of doing that, as long as it doesn’t crash out again.
Since its first production model rolled off the line on the fourth of July in 1998, Victory Motorcycles has been roaring forward, establishing itself as a premier American manufacturer. To meet demand for the increasing popularity of baggers — and with 21.3 gallons of storage, it fits the bill as a "bagger" — Victory built the 2015 Magnum to be a somewhat pimped-out version of its Cross Country. I say “somewhat” because the Cross Country was pretty fly to begin with, and while the changes seem small on paper, their collective impact makes a big difference.
Continue reading for my review of the 2015 Victory Magnum.
Nobody said riding up the Pikes Peak course was going to be easy. Victory Motorcycles found that out the hard way when its much ballyhooed Project 156 suffered a crash during one of the practice sessions in preparation for the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 28, 2015.
Part 4 of Victory’s ongoing web series documenting the story of Project 156 revolved entirely on the crash, which occurred when rider Don Canet lost control of the bike at the 12.42-mile course. Canet walked away from the crash unhurt, but unfortunately, the bike wasn’t as lucky.
As soon as it was sent back to the garage, the bike’s designer, Roland Sands Design, discovered a significant amount of damage on its prized creation. According to RSD’s Aaron Boss, the guardrail the bike crashed into hit the shocks at the exact spot where it would’ve dealt significant damages. The team eventually determined that the bike’s frame needed major straightening, which would require a complete rebuild of the entire design.
It’s not the kind of news you would expect to hear this close to the Race to the Clouds, especially with a bike that’s been as hyped as Project 156. But if there’s a silver lining to this, it’s that it happened early enough for Roland Sands Design to regroup and piece everything back together in time for the the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Hopefully, there’s still enough time to do it because the event is less than a week away.
Continue reading to read more about Project 156’s unfortunate crash while practicing in Pikes Peak.
Swiss endurance rider Urs Pedraita is planning to do something only a handful of people in history have ever done. Then again, circumnavigating all seven continents in less than 100 days isn’t really in anybody’s immediate plans.
That’s what Pedraita plans to do and appropriately enough, he plans to do it on a Victory Cross Country, the very same bagger that Victory Motorcycles launched back in 2010, presumably not knowing that there would come a time when the name of the bike would take an entirely new meaning of its own.
Pedraita, who is commonly referred to as “Grisu Grizzly”, is looking to beat the current world record of 120 days and two hours. He’s currently in the middle of what I can only imagine to be a hellacious training run through Russia, continuing on to Odessa, Kiev, Vienna, and back to Zurich where his training run began.
The objective of the record-breaking attempt is to complete the 62,137-mile trip in under 100 days. Not to sound like a cynic here, but that sounds like an immensely tall order, even for someone who is supposedly as well-trained as Pedraita. Then again, I’m not the one pursuing the record so all I can really do is root for the guy to accomplish it.
Pedraita is getting a little help as his Victory Cross Country has been modified to a certain degree to handle the requirements of this incredible record-breaking attempt. It’s got a larger 33-liter fuel tank, a customized seat with its own back support (can’t forget that!), and aftermarket LED lights that can provide better visibility at night. Something tells me that if he ever makes it to Antarctica, he’s going to need those lights.
The record attempt is scheduled to begin in February 2016 and will start and end in Zurich. If he somehow manages to beat the record, we should expect to see him back in Switzerland sometime around May 2016.
Continue reading to read more about Urs Pedraita’s audacious record-breaking attempt.
Victory Motorcycles has officially pulled the covers off of the Project 156 race bike, revealing what many of us have already believed from the very beginning. Project 156 is a real work of art, meticulously built from the ground up by Victory and Roland Sands Design.
What we still don’t know is the bike’s tech specs, including its power output. I’m guessing Victory is continuing its trend of slowly dropping information about the bike as we get closer and closer to the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 28, 2015.
In any case, the latest reveal shows Project 156 in all its physical glory. From what I can see, the hype surrounding the bike has been more than justified. It looks like a bonafide racer, which is really what it’s initial purpose is supposed to be. The absence of a lot of aesthetic components lends itself to the belief that the bike is lighter than most bikes Victory has in its lineup these days. The small presence of carbon fiber bodywork components also points towards a more svelte appearance than what we’re used to.
You would think that Victory would go crazy with the carbon fiber components, but upon closer examination, you’ll notice that the company, presumably at the behest of Roland Sands Design, was judicial in distributing the lightweight material, opting only to use it on the tank and airbox cover, side panels and the tail section.
Every other component of the bike, particularly the tubular frame, the engine, and the three radiator units can be clearly seen, even at first glance.
I’m not necessarily a fan of the bike’s color scheme (are those magenta wheel rims?), but since Victory Motorcycles is using Project 156 for the specific purpose of racing it up the Race to the Clouds, I suppose it could go wild with the flashiness without turning off would-be customers.
Overall, Project 156 still looks like an incredible book. It’s too bad that we’re still being kept in the dark on how much power it can generate, but knowing that Victory is developing a proprietary new liquid-cooled Victory engine for the bike makes me optimistic that none of us will be disappointed when the power numbers are finally released.
Continue reading to read more about Victory Motorcycles’ Project 156 race bike.
When Victory Motorcycles announced that it would be running two electric bikes at the Zero TT Challenge at the Isle of Man TT in June 2015, a lot of people were curious about the two riders it tapped to race for the team in the competition. One of those riders is Lee “General Lee” Johnston, who isn’t really a household name in the world of motorcycle racing the way folks like Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez are.
Despite his lack of top-class pedigree, Johnston is still a talented racer who has some impressive finishes in his resume, including a top 5 finish at the Isle of Man TT in 2014. This year, Johnston will return to the Isle of Man where he will suit up for Victory Motorcycles in the aforementioned Zero TT Challenge.
Apparently, Victory decided that I was important for us to get to know the General so it released a video introducing the General to legions of fans who will have their eyes trained on him and partner Wiliam Dunlop as they carry Victory’s flag into competition.
It’s worth noting that both Johnston and Lee will be piloting electric motorcycles that may or may not have been Brammo electric bikes in the past. If you’re a little confused about this arrangement, remember that both Victory Motorcycles and Brammo’s electric technology development are owned by Polaris Industries. It’s no coincidence that upon buying Brammo back in March 2015, Polaris immediately gave the keys to the proverbial Brammo EV kingdom to Victory Motorcycles, which is why we’re seeing the motorcycle brand compete in not one but two races in the coming months. Have we forgotten Project 156, everybody?
Details surrounding the bikethat Johnston and Dunlop will ride at the Isle of Man TT have yet to be revealed in full. What we do know is that the bike will make use of Brammo’s newly acquired technology to go with participation from world-class manufacturer Parker Hannifin, which provided the GVM PMAC motors and what Victory describes as "highly sophisticated electric controls” to maximize the bike’s peak power, power delivery, and overall durability.”
Seems like Lee Johnston’s going to have his hands full with this bike, huh?