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Polaris Industries Shutters Its Victory Branch

Polaris Industries Shutters Its Victory Branch

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.

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Victory Recovers TT Zero Electric Bike

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.

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Search On For Stolen Victory Isle Of Man TT Racer, Victory Offering Reward Money

Search On For Stolen Victory Isle Of Man TT Racer, Victory Offering Reward Money

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.

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Victory’s Project 156 Shows Potential, Crashes In The End

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.

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Swiss Rider Eyeing Cross Continent Motorcycle Record

Swiss Rider Eyeing Cross Continent Motorcycle Record

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.

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Victory Motorcycles Releases Official Photos Of The Project 156 Racer

Victory Motorcycles Releases Official Photos Of The Project 156 Racer

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.

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Ducati Gets Top Nod On Pied Piper Rankings

Ducati Gets Top Nod On Pied Piper Rankings

Ducati Motorcycles once again took top honors in the Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI), one of the most important ranking systems assessing the state of the motorcycle industry in the US. Ducati’s reign atop the PSI index shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that the Italian motorcycle brand, together with Harley-Davidson, have remained in the Top 3 of the PSI rankings for the better part of the past decade.

The PSI rankings does have a different purpose than gauging consumer happiness of bike brands. What it does is measure “dealership treatment of motorcycle shoppers, with rankings by brand determined by the patent-pending Pied Piper PSI process, which ties ‘mystery shopping’ measurement and scoring to industry sales success.”

Based on the latest rankings - and the past decade’s rankings, for that matter - Ducati is still the top dog with Harley-Davidson not too far behind.

Speaking of Harley, the American bike manufacturer came in a close second to Ducati’s 116 score at 112, followed by Victory Motorcycles at 110 points, somewhat validating a Consumer Reports poll from April 2015 that identified Victory as the brand that scored the highest customer satisfaction in the US.

Comparing this year’s results to last year’s results, it’s worth noting that some brands parlayed exceptional performances to either rise and fall in the rankings in just a year’s time.

Triumph, which finished fourth in the latest rankings, was one of the big winners at 109 points, vaulting ahead of Can-Am, which fell to sixth place at 106 points, a point under 107 points, the number the PSI rankings determined as the “industry average.”
BMW was also a big winner, moving up from ninth place in last year’s rankings to fifth place with 108 points. More importantly, BMW moved ahead of the industry average, making it one of only five manufacturers to pull that of.

Everybody else, including Suzuki (103 points), MV Agusta (103), Kawasaki, (102), Honda (97), and Yamaha (96) all fell well bellow the industry average.

Continue reading to read more about Ducati retaining its number one ranking in the Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index.

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Video: Victory Motorcycles Bring Bike Back To Life After Being Encased In Eyes For Four Years

Video: Victory Motorcycles Bring Bike Back To Life After Being Encased In Eyes For Four Years

Back in 2011, Victory Motorcycles encased a 2002 V92 TC bike in a block of ice as an experiment of sorts to showcase just how tough and durable its bikes are. Fast forward to May 2015 and the bike was finally taken out of its icy box with the objective of bringing it back to life.

First of all, putting a bike inside a block of ice isn’t really the smartest thing when you’re trying to preserve it. But this experiment wasn’t an exercise in novelty; Victory Motorcycles really wanted to show how tough its models are. So the block of ice was sent to Stonetown Custom, where it proceeded to put in the work to resuscitate the bike back to working condition.

You would think that Stonetown Custom would have its hands full figuring out how to bring the bike back to life, but for the most part, the aftermarket company was met with little mechanical resistance after the bike was left outdoors to melt and rain. Once the actual work was done to put the pieces back in place, engineers from Stonetown Custom came away surprised to see that the frozen V92 TC only needed a new battery, new oil, fresh fuel, and a new air filter before it started working again.

To be fair, the V92 TC had a whole lot of miles on it as a test bike when Victory decided to encase it in ice for four years. It’s also been through the mechanical ringer a handful of times so it’s not like the parts that were replaced were still stock.

But the fact that the bike sprung to life as soon as work was done goes to show how tough Victory bikes really are.

Continue reading to read more about Victory’s ice-melting experiment with the V92 TC.

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Polaris Industries' Motorcycle Brands Post 1Q Sales Revenue Growth in the US

Polaris Industries’ Motorcycle Brands Post 1Q Sales Revenue Growth in the US

Polaris Industries is one of a handful of motorcycle companies that have released earnings reports from the first quarter of 2015, and just like BMW Motorrad, Polaris is throwing out words like “growth” and “record sales” in describing its 1Q 2015 sales performance.

According to the company, the three brands under its ownerships - Victory Motorcycles, Indian Motorcycles, and Slingshot - all combined to help Polaris increase its motorcycles sales revenue in the US to $137.4 million, in the first three months of 2015, a 74-percent improvement from the $78.9 million sales revenue the company earned in the same time period a year ago.

All three brands contributed significantly to the massive bump in sales, although according to Polaris, Victory and Indian Motorcycles each reported increasing their sales numbers by 40 percent compared to last year’s total. Slingshot, the ubiquitous builder of the three-wheeler bearing the same name, also did its part with retail sales “ahead of expectations.”

The sales numbers for all three brands were largely aided by certain additions to their respective product portfolios. Indian Motorcycles, in particular, leaned heavily on the arrival of the Chief Dark Horse while Victory motorcycles did the same with the market introduction of the Magnum X-1 bagger. Even Slingshot got in on the fun, adding a limited edition package for its three-wheeler to help boost the brand’s sales numbers.

Overall, Polaries Industries’ sales performance in the US is an encouraging sign that more and more American buyers are warming up to these Harley alternatives. The way they’re trending, it wouldn’t surprise me if more record sales numbers are in the horizon for Polaries and its three motorcycle brands.

Continue reading to read more about Polaris Industries’ sharp growth in US sales revenue.

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Video: Victory Motorcycles Teases Project 156

Video: Victory Motorcycles Teases Project 156

Victory Motorcycles isn’t really the type to release attention-grabbing teaser photos, but on the rare occasions that it does, the American motorcycle manufacturer makes sure that it’s able to convey the right amount of “teasing” attached to these images.

The company’s release of the “Project 156: Race to the Clouds” teaser is a pretty good example of that.

Apparently, Victory Motorcycle’s got something big planned for the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb that’s scheduled on June 28, 2015 at Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Without outwardly announcing as much, Victory Motorcycle definitely left a strong hint of its plan in the teaser, which includes “Race to the Clouds” in a huge, red Speed Racer-type font. Just below that is an illustration of the Colorado Mountains, a clear indication that Victory Racing, the company’s racing division, is preparing something in time for Pikes Peak.

So what exactly is that “something”? That’s the part that’s unclear, although a silhouette of a sports bike on the teaser photo hints at a possible custom project that Victory could unveil at the highly recognized event. I’ve been staring at that silhouette for a couple of hours now and I still can’t make out exactly what model the company’s planning to show.

Considering that Victory is mostly known for its all-world cruisers, the fact that a sports bike is being shown in the image speaks volumes on how clueless I am about this mysterious machine. Then again, that’s probably what Victory was going for when it decided to release the photo.

It wants to get us all excited to see what this Project 156 is all about. On that note, I have to give Victory a lot of credit. Job well done on the teaser image, fellas.

I can’t, for the life of me, figure out what it is.

Continue reading to read more about Victory Motorcycle’s mysterious Project 156 teaser.

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Consumer Reports Poll Says Yamaha Most Reliable Brand, Victory Owners The Happiest

Consumer Reports Poll Says Yamaha Most Reliable Brand, Victory Owners The Happiest

Consumer Reports has released the results of a poll it took from motorcycle owners as part of the publication’s assessment on the value of different motorcycle brands as far as how their customers felt about the bikes they owned.

Japanese motorcycle brands took in top honors in reliability, something that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Of all the brands named in the survey, Japan’s four top brands - Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, and Kawasaki - were all head and shoulders above the rest of the field, beating out the likes of Victory and Harley-Davidson. On the bottom end of the reliability list are brands like Triumph, Ducati, BMW, and Can-Am.

Can-Am, in particular, finished dead last on the list, and I’m guessing that it’s recent issues may have played a big part in seeing their spot on this list.

Victory Motorcycles may have ended up in the middle of the pack in the reliability survey, but as far as making customers happy with their bikes, the American brand stood victorious with 80 percent of Victory owners saying that they wouldn’t mind buying a Victory model again. Turns out, having a fairly reliable motorcycle and having positive dealer interactions and good customer service are important elements in gaining the trust of your customers. Who knew!

Coming up second on that list was Harley-Davidson, which received a 72-percent approval rating, followed by Honda at 70 percent. Interestingly enough, these three brands were the only ones to get approval ratings north of 70 percent.

Consumer Reports also discovered that motorcycle riders preferred “comfort” of all the things they look for in a bike. Not surprisingly, Victory scored the highest rating in this category while Ducati, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Triumph taking up the rear in this particular category.

Other satisfaction categories, including styling, fun, acceleration, and handling saw across-the-board ratings, signifying that a customer’s taste in these areas vary depending on what their requirements for a bike are. The only manufacturer that fell flat on its face in the handling category is Can-Am, adding more fuel to the growing assumption that its three-wheelers aren’t worth the money you spend to buy them.

Continue reading to read more about the results of Consumer Reports’ motorcycle poll.

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Victory Teases Magnum X-1 Ahead of Daytona Bike Week Launch

Victory Teases Magnum X-1 Ahead of Daytona Bike Week Launch

Victory Motorcycles is preparing a new model that it’s touting as a game-changer in the cruiser market. I’ve seen this kind of song and dance number before, but this bike looks like it’s the real deal. Real enough, at least, to deserve it’s own unveiling at the Daytona Bike Week on March 2015.

The model has been christened with the name Magnum X-1, an all-new trim of the Magnum bagger that was only introduced last July 2014. You would think that Victory would want to let its newest cruiser simmer for a little bit before jumping in with a new trim to the family, but it looks like the company is putting all its chips on the table with an X-1 model that will be loaded with accessories.

The unveiling is still a few weeks away, but from what I’ve heard, Victory is going all-out on the Magnum X-1 with a bevy of new goodies included into the bike, including a custom paint finish and a revamped audio system that will likely turn it into its own version of a mobile music turnstile on two wheels.

I’m not going to divulge the details until after the jump, but rest assured, Victory appears to be puling out all the stops to bring us the Magnum X-1. Judging by photos that have been released, the British motorcycle company just might be on to something here.

Click "Continue Reading" to learn more about Victory Motorcycle’s new Magnum X-1 bike.

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Polaris Trademarks Victory Charger, Could Be Sign of Electric Cruiser

Polaris Trademarks Victory Charger, Could Be Sign of Electric Cruiser

Polaris Industries’ recent acquisition of Brammo’s EV technology business could have some dividends sooner than we expected, at least if these recent trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office is any indication. According to the filing submitted to the USPTO, Polaris has registered the name “Victory Charger” that it is apparently planning to use with “electric motorcycles and structural parts therefor.”

Could it be that Polaris is in the process of developing an electric cruiser for its Victory brand? It’s not out of the question when you take into account recent developments surrounding Polaris’ acquisition of Brammo’s EV technology.

Put one and one together and what do you get?

Polaris didn’t explicitly say that it’s “Victory Charger” trademark application was made for the specific purpose of building a new electric motorcycle. But it does come with splashes of coincidence, doesn’t it?

The fact is that electric cruisers have a place in today’s world. Harley-Davidson is proving as much when it received a lot of attention for Project Livewire, it’s electric motorcycle program. It wouldn’t be surprising if Polaris is preparing to jump on board that bandwagon, too.

The acquisition of Brammo’s EV tech was the first towards that goal. This trademark filing could be the second step.

Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if we do see an electric cruiser from Victory in the near future.

Click past the jump to read more about Polaris’ trademark of "Victory Charger"

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Victory Set To Enter NHRA Drag Racing

Victory Set To Enter NHRA Drag Racing

Victory Motorcycles is jumping into waters unknown after signing up to be part of the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Drag Racing series. If that’s not enough indication of Victory’s plans to be included in the NHRA, the motorcycle company has also formed Victory Factory Racing, which the team plans to stock up to become a force in the world of the NHRA.

Anchoring Victory Factory Racing’s pursuit of drag racing glory will be the husband-and-wife team of Matt and Angie Smith. Matt Smith, in particular, is a well-known commodity in the NHRA scene, having won two world titles during his illustrious career. Likewise, Angie Smith is no lightweight on the drag racing scene, either. She’s been known to throw down with the best of ‘em, and with together with her husband, the two are expected to become a formidable team that can turn some heads for the newly created Victory Factory Racing.

Despite having been around only since 1998, Victory Motorcycles has grown to become a prominent American bike maker in the world, which makes this entry into the world of the NHRA a stroke of good timing. Having the Smiths serving as riders and ambassadors for the brand will not only give Victory Factory Racing the cache it needs to be taken seriously in the series, but it also has two very capable drivers who can actually score some wins for the new outfit.

That much we can all look forward to when the new NHRA Pro Stock season opens on March 13, 2015 at the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida. Keep a close eye on Victory Factory Racing during the season-opening race. The team and its drivers might give us an unexpected show.

Click past the jump to read more about Victory Motorcyles’ entry to the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Drag Racing.

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Victory launches two brand new models

Victory launches two brand new models

Victory Motorcycles has recently launched two brand new models, Cross Country and Cross Roads, which are built to compete with the Harley-Davidson Road King.

Both motorcycles are adequate for long journeys and are built on the same two piece aluminum frame and make use of a 50-degree V-twin motor. The air-cooled and fuel-injected unit displaces 1.731cc and develops 92 hp and 148 Nm.

The engine is coupled to a six-speed transmission, while the final drive is a maintenance free belt drive. Both the Cross Country and Cross Roads models are claimed to have the lowest seats and dry weights in the high displacement cruiser class they’ve just rolled into.

The braking system is composed from two 300mm discs and four-piston calipers up front, while at the back there’s a single 300mm disc on which acts a two-piston caliper. Both models have the same 43mm upside-down fork and a central, adjustable air monoshock.

Also considering the fact that the Victory Cross Country starts at $17.999 and the Cross Roads comes with a $15.999 MSRP, it seems that Harley’s piece of the pie just got slightly smaller.

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