Victory Motorcycles are gone, Their parent company, Polaris, who also manufactures the Indian brand of motorcycles, just pulled the plug and shut Victory down. Victory made a serious run at Harley Davidson with many attractive models and a notably powerful 106 cubic inch engine. To be sure, the engine looked a little odd for an American V-Twin since it had an overhead cam and no pushrods along the sides of the cylinders, but I am told it was one powerful mother. One could speculate about the whys, but one thing we can be sure of, after a multi-
year run, Polaris must not have been making much of a profit with the line. One of the things Victory could not compete with was the giant dealer network that Harley has which sells and maintains their motorcycles and markets huge lines of parts and apparel. At the time it seemed odd that Polaris acquired the oft failing Indian brand when they already had such a strong presence in the American V-Twin cruiser market with Victory. I guess they were looking to see if a bigger brand name would do better for them than the one they created. Indian has that old time, Americana mystique since the bikes have been around for almost as long as Harley and that brand apparently won the contest. Polaris also came up with a totally new motor for the Indian: the 111 cubic inch Thurderstroke engine and this time they kept the pushrods. This engine is a majorly powerful mother too. Unlike Victory, Indian has been able to pull a little of Harley’s market away from The Motor Company. Indian’s success and Victory’s inability to catch on, even with many different models, most of which were knock-offs of Harley, sealed their fate. It’s a shame. Victory had established a presence at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in recent years and I will greatly miss seeing those Victory girls at their display on Lasalle street.