Muscle bikes are as American as, well, the V-Twin engine. Both are elemental designs stripped down to their bare essentials. Victory Motorcycles has chosen to combine the two in the new Octane to create its vision of the future of American Muscle. Going against the image that muscle bikes need to have huge engines, the Octane steps onto the scene with a mere 1179cc displacement.

Victory Motorcycles Releases Octane Teaser Video And Unveiling Date

MO has been covering the development of the Octane with much interest since the first sightings of the Victory-updated Indian Scout engine in the Project 156 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb racer. In fact, from our first ride of the Scout we hoped that Victory (and Indian’s) parent company Polaris would uncork the potential hidden within the powerplant. From the claimed performance numbers Victory has released about the Octane, we think it may have gone a long way towards delivering on our desires. How does a claimed 104 hp and 76 lb-ft from 1179cc strike you?

Victory Octane detail

Not your typical air-cooled, American V-Twin. The Octane’s engine is a streetable version of the engine developed from the Indian Scout for Victory’s Pikes Peak racing effort.

The Octane’s liquid-cooled, 60° V-Twin engine features a bore and stroke of 101.0 x 73.6mm breathing through four DOHC-activated valves per cylinder head. Fuel metering is handled by a single 60mm throttle body and electronic fuel injection. Exhaust duties are performed by matched volume dual slash-cut mufflers which are finished in an aggressive semi-matte black. The wet, multi-plate clutch delivers the power to the rear wheel via a 6-speed transmission and a belt final drive.

Victory says the Octane is “geared for quick acceleration,” making it run from 0–60 mph in 3.6 seconds. The same press materials note the Octane can run a 12-second quarter-mile. Given the lineage of the engine, we expect it to make good power in the bottom end and mid-range, but to access the real power, revving the mill out to high rpm, sportbike style, will be required.

EICMA 2015: Victory Unveils Project 156-Based Production Engine In Concept Bike

The engine bolts solidly to cast aluminum front and rear frame sections and utilizes twin tubular-steel backbones for increased rigidity. To this stout frame, a 41mm traditional fork with dual-rate springs handles front suspension duties over its 4.7 in. of travel, while a pair of preload-adjustable shocks – also fit with dual-rate springs – control the rear wheel over a 3.0 in. range. Victory offers accessory nitrogen-charged piggyback-reservoir shocks with 16 levels of compression-damping adjustment for tunable performance. Victory notes a 32° lean angle before the pegs touch down for street-reasonable cornering clearance.

Victory Octane action

The $10,499 ($10,799 California) Octane is designed for troublemakers.

Surprisingly, braking is handled by a 298mm single front disc squeezed by a two-piston, single-action caliper. However, braided steel brake lines do power the calipers. The rear disc is also a 298mm unit and is mated to a single-piston caliper. The 18-inch cast, 10-spoke front wheel and the 17-inch rear give the Octane a dynamic stance that is augmented by the 130/70–18 front and 160/70–17 rear tires which look meaty without potentially adding the handling issues experienced by some muscle bikes with fat rear tires.

The Octane’s styling could best be described as minimalist-aggressive. The front fender wraps closely around the tire while the rear fender ends just below the LED taillight. The chiseled radiator shroud is cast into the front frame section, and the lines of the tank give a more angular variation on Victory’s familiar tank shape. The solo saddle curves up to meet the rear fender and gives the rider some rear support from accelerative forces. A slightly pulled-back bar is tucked behind a bullet cowl. Naturally, a drag bar is a factory option. The instrumentation features a circular speedometer with a built-in LCD display. An analog tachometer, so often omitted from cruisers, nestles next to the speedo. For the full-racer effect, riders can pop for the accessory tachometer with an integral shift light.

Victory Octane detail

The instrumentation may be analog with round dials, but it does include the increasingly rare tachometer as a sign of the Octane’s performance roots.

The release of the Octane strengthens Victory’s push to be seen as Polaris’ performance motorcycle brand. “We wanted to bring the American motorcycle into the 21st century.” said Mike Song, Victory Senior Industrial Designer. “Victory doesn’t have any long history or legacy – we are a new brand and we can go wherever we want to go. We want to be modern, and bold, and set our own trends.”

While we’ve known about the Octane’s development for a while, the reveal complete with photos has reinvigorated our desire to ride it – something we will get to do during Daytona Bike Week next month. Then we’ll be able to tell report on how well the Octane lives up to its performance image.

Victory Octane wheelie

2016 Victory Octane Specifications
Engine Type Liquid-cooled 60-degree V-Twin; 4V/cyl, DOHC
Engine Capacity 1179 cc
Bore x Stroke 101.0 x 73.6mm
Horsepower 104hp @ 8000 rpm (claimed)
Torque 76 lb-ft @ 6000 rpm
Compression ratio 10.8 : 1
Fuel System EFI, 60mm throttle-body
Clutch Wet, multi-plate
Transmission 6-speed constant-mesh
Final Drive Belt
Front Suspension 41mm damper-tube forks with dual-rate springs; 4.7-in. travel
Rear Suspension Twin shocks with dual-rate springs, adjustable for preload; 3.0-in. travel
Front Brake 298mm disc; 2-piston single-action caliper
Rear Brake 298mm disc, single-piston caliper
Front Tire 130/70-18 63H
Rear Tire 160/70-17 76H
Seat Height 25.9 in.(Laden. Really, Victory?)
Rake/Trail 29.0°/5.1 in.
Wheelbase 62.1 in.
Dry Weight (Claimed) 528 lb. (dry)
Fuel Capacity 3.4 gal
Colors Black
MSRP $10,499.00

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  • Auphliam

    I don’t know if its genius or crazy, but Polaris appears to be employing a strategy of competing against itself.
    Personally, I’m disappointed they went this route.

  • Chris R

    I think they had the ability to do something great and totally missed the mark. Forward controls have no place on anything sporty like this and there is nothing muscle about that ugly exhaust. If they went with mid controls, dual disks up front and a 2-1 exhaust this thing would have been sick. I really wanted to give them my money too.

    • DickRuble

      If you want your ass to ride 20″ off the ground, there are precious little inches left to rest your feet and fold your legs. Forward and backward become the only options..

      • FreelancerMG

        That’s because most people who comment about a lot of the “misses” of a new v-twin cruiser have never ridden one or really looked at how one is setup. They don’t realize that to put the feet mid-ship, you end up with almost no ground clearance due to having to put the foot pegs/boards very low to get under the front exhaust. A lot of the older cruisers with mid foot pegs/boards have horrible ground clearance and require the rider to really take turns slow and they don’t have really any lean angle and scrape everywhere.

        This leaves with trying to bring them forward or backwards to get a little more lean angle clearance. You can’t really go back either as you wont be able to get the foot controls up very high and it tends to create a much more compact rider triangle. If I wanted that kind of angle and compact rider triangle I could just stick with my super sport which has more power and truly designed for the task of being a sport bike. This really only leaves forward controls. It gives you a much more opened up and relaxed rider triangle while allowing the engineers to raise the controls up higher to get more clearance without compressing the rider up like origami.

        Most of the other stuff is mostly subjective tastes. Being that this is a cruiser and all, and doesn’t go 150+mph, it really doesn’t need two huge rotors with giant calipers to slow down and stop itself in a super short amount of time. That single rotor along with a lot more rear weight bias will probably stop that bike as fast as can probably be stopped. It’s still under 680 lbs just itself so it doesn’t have the mass where dual rotors start becoming more required to stop. A good quality front rotor with good calipers will stop this bike just fine.

        • 12er

          The hype and racing bs made it seem like it wasnt going to be “Just another cruiser” Or a cruiser at all.

          • FreelancerMG

            I wasn’t expecting anything more than a sportier cruiser from their promo stuff and I don’t think anyone else with realistic expectations were expecting as such either. I never got the sport bike vibe from the failed project 156 nor from their other promo materials. I got the impression that they were going to pushing a cruiser different from what the other cruiser manufacturers have been leaning towards. Bigger, heavier cruisers with bigger engines and plastic boxes everywhere at automobile prices.

            Instead we got a relatively light bike with good relative power at a super competitive price point. Companies generally don’t just jump directly into sport bikes either. Every other company has evolved their line to develop their sport bikes into what it is today. Then you have the whole part with EBR falling on its face trying to produce an American sport bike and you can’t really blame Polaris for not wanting to play with that kind of fire.

          • sgray44444

            Yeah… light bike with good power, but why? It has to be aimed at the “hold my beer and watch this burnout” bike night and bar crowd, and even they are going to sneer at it because it is a high-revving performance motor that is *only* 1200cc. The bike is an answer to a question that was never asked. It’s bound to be a failure after the initial few buy them. You will see a bunch of them for sale in a couple years at deep discount. It doesn’t have to be a full-on sport bike to be a performance motorcycle. A sport-standard with classic styling with this engine would find a target market. It doesn’t have to be angular and modern to have a standard riding position. There are many competent standards that, in the hands of a good rider, will give just about anything a run for the money on any public road. There just aren’t any affordable American made standards like that. They totally blew the opportunity to do something unique and went Milwaukee on it.

  • 12er

    All that jazz for a blacked out scout with a fly screen, ugh…

  • Kenneth

    I would imagine Victory personnel are seeing very few positive comments right now at all of the motorcycle-oriented websites (except, maybe, Motorcycle Cruiser). And here is another statement of disappointment toward Victory Motorcycles: What a letdown.

    • c w


  • c w

    Perhaps I missed it…but this is a less sedate version of the engine in the Scout, no?

    The handle bar is right.

    The foot controls aren’t really right, but look as though it is completely possible to make them right.

    Wheels look right enough….a provision for a second disc up front seems like a possible upgrade. Reward them with sales and see if it happens next year.

    A single exhaust seems like it would make more sense, but I get it. Marketing department.

    Am I going to buy one? No.

    Am I going to complain about what it isn’t? Nope.

    It looks like exactly what we expected it to be: a hotter Scout.

    Yeah, it’s a cruiser – but you damn sure won’t mistake it for a Sportster. Maybe they’ll actually manage to sell a few of them.

    All in all, not bad to my eye.

    • Old MOron

      “It looks like exactly what we expected it to be: a hotter Scout.”

      C W, you’re a genius. Unlike myself, you were not duped by all of the Project 156 sport bike hype. Good on you.

    • Jeff LaLone

      Yeah, I really like this. I’m not sure what all the hate is about.

      • ELGuapo

        Some people are born to beech.

  • Mark Vizcarra

    Ah… after seeing this, Harley has nothing to worry about.

  • Old MOron

    “We are a new brand and we can go wherever we want to go. We want to be modern, and bold, and set our own trends.”

    So you made yet another clam shell cruiser?!

    After some initial suspicion, I supported MO’s choice of the Scout as MOTY. The MOronic implication was that the Scout really did signal a new trend, one that was headed in a sporty direction.

    I hereby withdraw and fully recant my support for the Scout as 2015 MOTY. It, like this “Project 156 inspired” Octane, turned out to be an empty promise. Victory sucks.

  • Chris R

    I just don’t understand why manufacturers don’t understand that forward controls should not be used on a sporty type of cruiser. Harley ruined the vrod with forward controls too. These bikes should come stock with mids and offer forwards as an option. When are they going to learn?

    • Randy Pancetalk

      it really works on the fat bob, though – arguably harley’s best handling bike (yeah, even better than the vrods)

      But I’m with you – mids would be better.

      • QuestionMark

        The phrase “Best handling Harley” is known as an “oxymoron” as handling and Haley are contradictory terms.

    • QuestionMark

      Ducati is about to screw my favorite cruiser, the Diavel, up with forward controls. I bet they do not sell well.

      • Derek Jones

        The Diavel is still around what you are describing is the XDiavel which is a sweet are motorcycle

    • ELGuapo

      Harley must have done its ciphering, looks like they done learnt this
      lesson with their new Roadster. Mid controls.

  • Chris Cope

    My heart aches with disappointment.

  • DickRuble

    Doesn’t matter what you guys think of this bike. Polaris is going to buy advertising with some magazines (online and paper) and their editors will claim this is the bike that redefines motorcycling. There is going to be an onslaught of “behind the curtain” discussions with the engineers (or what passes for one at Polaris), designers, product managers, and VP’s to “educate” you on what this bike is and what it is not. There’s going to be (or already is) an Octane owners forum populated by Polaris shills. Look for this bike to win a few Bike Of The Year accolades.

    • Old MOron
      • DickRuble

        Yes, good reading .. but what a boatload of bad decisions, first and second time around. Kudos for the racing; I don’t think I would be up for racing all night long..

    • sgray44444

      Your cynical outlook and pessimism has found an appropriate and well-deserved target! There is nothing here I can defend. I think you nailed it.

    • Auphliam

      You know, the shameful thing is that Polaris as a company employs some of the best engineers in the industry. Look at the suspension systems they’ve designed for the offroad and snowmobile divisions. Apparently, they just don’t have “Motorcycle Design Facility” building access on their swipe cards.

  • SRMark

    This bike isn’t that hard to fix. Just shed the forward mounted crap, raise up the seat, shorten up the wheel base a bit and put on a lighter rear fender. Well maybe that is quite a lot… but I’d at least look at it then. Maybe if the design staff were to have someone kick them hard in an upward direction at the base of their spines the idea might get through.

  • Douglas

    I’m so glad I’m no longer in the mkt for a new bike… don’t worry about what’s “new”, or “the next big thing”. And this sitting low… silly is that? Funny how these image fads take hold….

  • schizuki

    Forward Footpeg Fail.

    • Buzz

      Ahh the triple F.

  • SteveSweetz

    That riding position looks hilarious – not in a good way.

  • TalonMech

    Oh yippee! Yet another feet forward, bloated American cruiser. No bike without full touring luggage and a rider on board should weigh that much. How is it KTM can make their giant adventure bikes weigh less than this so called “sport cruiser”?
    Another disappointment for anyone wishing for something….anything, besides another damned cruiser.

  • Born to Ride

    Collective Motorcycle Community – “We want victory to build an American standard bike with the scout engine, maybe a Sport tourer too”

    Polaris – “Project 156 and the Victory Octane will be the answer to all your prayers and cure cancer!”

    Collective Motorcycle Community – “Really!? That’s gonna be so friggin cool!!”

    Polaris – “Haha NO, what’re you retarded? Its just a blacked out scout with a horrendous riding position.

    Collective Motorcycle Community – *Sorrowful Sigh*

    • Randy Darino

      couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • DickRuble

      Looks indeed like the exact same bike with some very minor tuning.. same compression, same weight, ..4% increase in power and different paint job.. that’s about it.

      • Born to Ride

        The funny thing is, I think this is probably my new favorite cruiser minus the seating position. It looks really clean, aggressive lines, and that raised portion on the back fender lines up with the tank is really awesome. I would buy this bike over the Indian any day (especially given that it is cheaper), but cmon, this is a bike that nobody asked for.

        • Brett Lewis

          Well, if this bike had been the Scout, I might be riding one today. The Scout was just a little too entry level for me, this bike has a slightly stronger motor and is 10 lbs lighter, that may have been just enough to sway me. I do wish they’d put more brake up front, but I have yet to ride one myself.

        • Nery Mont

          with all spects compared to 1200 Sportster it’s @ 2 Grand lower

    • sgray44444

      I wish I could like your post twice.

    • QuestionMark

      Triumph made what you want, the new T120 Bonneville that’s arriving in showrooms this month.

      • Born to Ride

        I actually really like the new thrux and T120. I probably won’t buy one brand new, but it is a bike I see myself owning eventually. I just hope the 270 degree 1200 motor isn’t neutered beyond repair. There is no reason a liquid cooled 1200cc motor should make less than 85 hp.

  • Randy Darino


  • Craig Hoffman

    Loving this engine. It is a good thing to get good power without gargantuan displacement. This makes for a nimbler sportier bike.

    Even the V-Rod was issued with a limited edition mid mount control variant. Perhaps Victory will do the same. I like the overall look of this bike and the price is fair. Gimme inverted forks, dual discs, mid mount pegs and a higher seat, or gimme death! Oh, and a sport tourer too, perhaps with a bigger displacement version of this engine, One can dream.

  • Alexander Pityuk

    That’s a disappointment. Just another cruiser. But it has liquid cooling! So what, do we have to say thx for that in XXI century?

  • TheMarvelous1310 .

    I’ll take it! Cheapish, well made Scout-based muscle bike with club styling and serious power? It’s better than the Low Rider S I was eyeballing.

    But man, this should’ve been unveiled BEFORE the xDiavel! 40 degrees of lean and all that power kinda makes everything look bad in comparison.

  • edbob

    Great! – right up until I saw only 3 inches of travel with the rear. This means that when you sit on it you’ve only 1.5-2 inches to go before BLAMMO and the seat goes through your ass. Even with the high spec shocks, this isn’t enough travel. You’ve pissed me off, Victory, because this is a very tempting motorcycle otherwise.

  • kenneth_moore

    Maybe the fine people over at will build a “Project 157” kit for this.

    I am looking forward to riding it at Daytona. I never got around to riding a Scout, so I’ll kill two birds with one stone.

    • Kenneth

      A “kit” to make this bike anything but a cruiser would have to start with completely different frame geometry.

  • HeDidn’tWeDid

    For what the Octane costs, you could buy 1/2 of a Harley Slim-S…take your pick on what half you want to by with your $10k. Joking aside, there really is a market for the Octane. The price point is not bad at all and the bike has potential for further upgrades that go beyond phallic chrome pipes that bark more than they bite (looking at your Harley boyz). If there was a way I could afford an Indian Dark Horse though…….(I really like ’em. I’m NOT a cruiser guy, but I saw one up close the other day and have to admit I’d not be ashamed to ride one)

  • Randy Pancetalk

    maybe it’s just the photograph, but that looks like a really weird riding position.

  • Auphliam

    Oh well, at least that new 890 Duke looks intriguing.

    • QuestionMark

      Check out the 939 Hypermotard from Ducati in that class it seems much better deal

  • DickRuble

    Next cruiser comparo: Indian scout vs Victory Octane. Comes to mind, I have not seen too many comparisons for the Indian against other cruisers… Wonder why…

  • Mike Rosenberg

    Not sure what I expected but this bike ends up being just ok. The motor sounds pretty good but 3 inches of rear travel? What was the point of Project 156 if all they were going to do is build another tired looking cruser.

  • Ron

    Lesson for Victory … Don’t promote the 156 with ergos not seen since Buell with a Vtwin…then give us a rebadged Scout. Seriously…whose bright idea of marketing genius was that? I’ve seen the same responses from 100’s of others on countless pages where the Octane has been revealed. It’s “almost like a bait and switch scam”. Guess mother Polaris pulls all the puppet strings….with Ness family on the wrong end.

  • lotsanerv

    I see a lot of people crying, but I think it looks nice and fun. Short rear travel? It shouldn’t have touring comfort. It’s meant to be a sport cruiser fusion for goodness’ sake. I could care less if it has the same lines as a scout. I own a Vic Cross Country as my main, but I ride a 3rd gen Magna with controls in a similar position, seat height and weight are roughly the same. It’s a fun ride, and I bet this one will be a blast too because it’s got better horseys and torque. I’m excited to see one modded and tuned, and I’d like Corbin to create Gunfighter seat for it. Gunfighters are slick on muscle bikes. I’ll have one eventually as a solo, around town ride. Cheers Vic. It’s a good first production.

  • Brett Lewis

    Before I got into motorcycling, I was looking at the Bonnevilles, the Sportsters, even the Blast. This bike would have got me on 2 wheels years sooner than I actually did. This bike is going to cut into the Sportster/Scout market big time, apparently there is room, with the recent addition of the Star Bolt as an example.

    • QuestionMark

      Check out the Street Twin of the new Bonneville line up, that’s the new 900, smaller by just a bit than the T100 of before with much mire power and better fit & finish

      • Brett Lewis

        Thanks, I have been following the Street Twin online since day one, the local dealer doesn’t have them yet. It’s been about 8 years since I got (back) into motorcycling (hadn’t ridden in about 30 years), so at this point what interests me is the soon to be released T120. Currently ride a Tiger 800 and a Thunderbird 1600. The Street Twin would have been a great bike for me, indeed.

      • ELGuapo

        I like the look of those.
        too bad they are made in Thailand.
        I cant in good conscience purchase a Triumph made in Thailand.
        I know I am in the minority.

  • Michael Mccormick

    Looks like the tank and bikini fairing was stolen off my 1978 Kawasaki Z1-R. Too bad they didn’t take the dual front brakes too