Victory Motorcycle issued its first motorcycle in the US market in 1998, 19 years later they announce they’re closing down and stop the rat race against direct competitor Harley Davidson.
The Clash of the Titans
Victory Motorcycles was Polaris Group attemp to get on the cruiser market, which is an enormous market niche in US. Other brands tried to get on Harley, especially from Japan, but nobody was able to challenge Harley Davidson’s heritage.
Victories are great bikes, the all american power cruiser which cannot be blamed of japanese steel or of fabricating outside the States. So Polaris copied the look, improved the power and the handling, and started open war.
They have done incredibly well, and they knew how to play their role in motorcycle events everywhere in the world. Customizers like Roland Sands worked on these bikes and showed a great presence to the world.
But the cruiser world is unforgiving, and heritage is a must for an old school bike, and the 1903 Milwaukee brand represents a gigantic monster for new companies. Polaris is not a small company, it is a giant selling vehicles worldwide, but the cruiser market seemed to have resisted a bit.
The Return of the Chief
But Polaris knew heritage matters, and therefore they got hold of the only brand older than Harley Davidson and which is also an all-american motorcycle. Indian.
Polaris has renewed the Indian lineup with new models and they have used, guess what?, Victory engines, of course. It seems they have used Victory as a launching plattform in order to get the Ace of Spades out of their sleeves now.
It’s a pity for Victory owners, because they will not get to see new models coming out. However; they claim they will continue to produce parts for another 10 years, and I guess many of those needed parts would hopefully be available under the Indian brand as bikes share frames and mechanical parts in many cases.
When a passion is mixed with a business, we can get capital system casualties. It happens to music bands, it happened to Buell Motorcycles and there can be many more to come. Victory Motorcycles is another victim.
Do you own one? well, lucky you, you just got yourself an exclusive ride which won’t be available in the future.
See you on the road!
Published by Paco Naranjo