Polaris Industries is shutting down the Victory Motorcycles brand after 18 years in business. Polaris says it will assist dealers in liquidating their remaining inventory and will continue to produce parts for another 10 years to support Victory owners.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision for me, my team and the Polaris Board of Directors,” says Scott Wine, Polaris Industries chairman and chief executive officer. “Over the past 18 years, we have invested not only resources, but our hearts and souls, into forging the Victory Motorcycles brand, and we are exceptionally proud of what our team has accomplished. Since inception, our teams have designed and produced nearly 60 Victory models that have been honored with 25 of the industry’s top awards. The experience, knowledge, infrastructure and capability we’ve built in those 18 years gave us the confidence to acquire and develop the Indian Motorcycle brand, so I would like to express my gratitude to everyone associated with Victory Motorcycles and celebrate your many contributions.”

010917-2016-victory-cross-country

Polaris says Victory motorcycle sales peaked in 2012 but has steadily declined since. Victory sales represented only 3% of Polaris’ total sales revenue in 2015 with dealers on average only selling about 20 motorcycles a year. The brand has only drawn a profit in two of the last five years. Victory’s decline mirrored the rise of Indian Motorcycle which Polaris purchased in 2011. While Victory sales dropped, Indian’s sales have grown. Polaris sees greater growth potential in Indian, resulting in the decision to focus the company’s resources on a single motorcycle brand. Polaris says it will dedicate more money into research and development on Indian as well as its Slingshot brand.

010917-2015-victory-touring-models

“This decision will improve the profitability of Polaris and our global motorcycle business, and will materially improve our competitive stance in the industry,” said Scott Wine. “Our focus is on profitable growth, and in an environment of finite resources, this move allows us to optimize and align our resources behind both our premium, high performing Indian Motorcycle brand and our innovative Slingshot brand, enhancing our focus on accelerating the success of those brands. Ultimately this decision will propel the industry-leading product innovation that is core to our strategy while fostering long-term growth and increased shareholder value.”

Polaris’ factory in Spirit Lake, Iowa, will continue to operate, but the focus will shift to production of Indian models instead of Victorys. There will, however, be job cuts coming.

In hindsight, Victory’s demise isn’t a surprise. One key indicator was the decision to reduce Victory’s 2017 offerings in Europe to just four models as the cost of making the entire lineup Euro 4-compliant. Polaris cited the “significant additional investments required for Victory to launch new global platforms” as one of the reasons behind today’s decision.

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  • Larry Kahn

    Wow. Not a super careful observer of the cruiser motorcycle market but did not see this coming. Now make some Indians that have some sporting blood in them!

    • HazardtoMyself

      The Judge was the one I considered myself when looking at a cruiser. I am pretty sure that they discontinued that one a couple years ago though. Didn’t have a very long life. I think it was the Gunner that took its place.

  • Old MOron

    I guess that POS Octane didn’t sell as planned.
    Still sorry to see them go. I think many of us were hoping that Indian would be the cruisers, and Victory would be the sporting bikes.

    • SteveSweetz

      I’m not sure it makes sense to keep the brand name to produce a completely different type of motorcycle.

      If they’re going to make sporty bikes, I’d sooner see them put out under the Polaris name directly.

    • Gary Latessa

      Actually Octanes sold well. I sold more Octanes than all the other cruisers combined.

      • DickRuble

        Coast to coast, you must’ve been the only one selling them.. Get ready for a deluge of orders (well, proportionally speaking) if they slash the price by 40%…

        • Gary Latessa

          Here come the vultures. And the Indian name being bad, is so far out of touch with reality. I don’t like the closing of Victory, but if they do it right Indian has the ability to go in many more directions.

          • Old MOron

            So you’re a dealer? That means you have more insight than we MOronic commentators do. From your perspective, how should Indian “do it right”? Thanks.

          • Gary Latessa

            Last year a dealer meeting of of the factory guy’s made a comment. He said at 1st they thought the Indian name would be good for the cruiser segment only . But after hearing what customers were saying, they could be much more. Racing is or at least was in the dna of Indian. The launch of the FTR750 might just be the start. My thought would be to build a race replica of that with a hotter 1000cc engine. A platform with a larger scout engine in a hybrid sport touring cruiser. A single cylinder in a adventure bike? A retro sport bike under the scout name. The hard part for me is trying to fill the part where Victory baggers were. That was the bulk of our Victory sales. I don’t think I can make it up with Chieftains. They will need 2-3 more platforms and pretty quick. We should see something soon.

          • Warren W. Weiss

            Do you think the Octane (a pretty cool bike despite some cost-compromises) will continue as an Indian?

          • Gary Latessa

            Anything they had planned for octane could be done on the Scout platform. It will obviously be styled like a scout. Including project 156. These are just my assumptiond. I had no idea they were pulling the plug. Let alone new projects.

          • Jeremiah Mckenna

            Why wouldn’t it? They are practically the same bike. I can see it now being called the Indian Octane.

      • Jeremiah Mckenna

        That’s not saying much when Victory dealers are barely paying their rent with such slow sales in the past few years. But the entire motorcycle industry is taking a hit. Too many people in America see motorcycles as a secondary form of transportation or a toy and continue to buy cars. Couple that with a flat economy and too many people out of the work force or under employed, and you can see why sales are really low.

        Maybe if they had lowered their prices they would have been able to sell more.

      • Jeremiah Mckenna

        That’s not saying much when Victory dealers are barely paying their rent with such slow sales in the past few years. But the entire motorcycle industry is taking a hit. Too many people in America see motorcycles as a secondary form of transportation or a toy and continue to buy cars. Couple that with a flat economy and too many people out of the work force or under employed, and you can see why sales are really low.

        Maybe if they had lowered their prices they would have been able to sell more.

      • Jeremiah Mckenna

        Not to mention that the dealerships near me are selling all of their bikes for $300 -$800 below dealer invoice(not MSRP) and then taking off even more with the normal incentives. Unfortunately they still aren’t selling a lot of bikes.

      • Jeremiah Mckenna

        Not to mention that the dealerships near me are selling all of their bikes for $300 -$800 below dealer invoice(not MSRP) and then taking off even more with the normal incentives. Unfortunately they still aren’t selling a lot of bikes.

    • spiff

      I didn’t see sportbikes, I thought Victory would take the power cruiser end and sit next to the Indians in the dealership. Oh wait, that is what they did.

      Bikes appeared to be good, the styling is off imo. They should have embraced the raw stripped down look, not the Ness angular stuff. Ness is cool for those who did it, just not that many dig it. Maybe they could have had a Ness accessory catalog. Some of the paint jobs were also straight from 1979.

      • Douglas

        Well, I for one certainly never liked the Vic’s styling…..that’s where H-D
        defines the genres, whether touring, cruising or the “performance cruiser”. Indians are OK, except for those goofy fenders, which, I know, is what defines the marque….nostalgia is fine to a point, but…..

  • Kirk Harrington

    Dear Polaris- please redesign the stupid cam decompression system you use on the big Indians. It truly irks the hell out of customers that push the start button and the bike won’t start because the lobes are in the wrong position when they try to fire the bike. It sure would make the life of the service writers and technicians easier.

  • DickRuble

    Victory was never a good name for a brand. All reports point to their products being superior to competitors. However, it is important to understand that those in the market for cruisers are not buying a motorcycle, they are buying into a lifestyle. If quality had mattered, the Japanese would have buried HD long ago. Indian will be another flop. It is a lousy name for a brand and the performance associated with the brand is so far back in history that it is out of the consciousness of potential buyers. In this market segment, quality matters only to a very small percentage of potential buyers.

    • czmx

      What? Are you serious? “Indian is a lousy name for a brand”? I’m continually amazed by the stuff people spew who have no idea what they’re talking about. And ‘Old MoOon’s’ absurd statement that the Octane is a POS qualifies too. I’m sure Indian will continue to prosper. I believe Victory’s demise is a result of the style of bikes they have been releasing lately. The styling of some of the newer models like the Judge, High Ball, Gunner and a few others (some with goofy side number plates, etc), was more likely the reason for flat sales figures the last few years. Although some really liked those models, there may not have been any mass-appeal in those. Plus, there seemed to be too many models in general. Or am I wrong there? And the company’s insistence on painting most models with matte and flat finishes certainly had to hurt sales. They had been dumbing down the Vegas and Hammer models for a while now (8-Ball models, etc) with their blacked out treatment. The Premium models from a few years back with their chrome swing arms, triple trees, switchgear and other accents, and with milled billet PM wheels to me were some of the best looking cruisers on the road. I think CEO Wise basically has had no passion or motivation to keep the Victory line relevant since the Indian brand was re-introduced. Like a few others who commented here, I was thinking (hoping) Victory would begin de-emphisising their cruiser models and go after a different, more performance oriented and ADV type segment of the market. Wise should be canned.

      • DickRuble

        Two weeks ago you were equally confident that Victory would continue to prosper and equally impressed by the Victory Octane. What does that tell you about your grasp of reality?

        • czmx

          Please feel free to correct the record, but I don’t recall having ever made a blanket statement that I was confident that Victory would prosper, without qualifying it. Like their need to diversify, segment-wise (like pairing back some existing models, and looking at more sports oriented bikes), among other things. And of course you can never predict the whims of an incompetent brand manager like Wise, other than to disagree with the course he had been on with Victory, which I have done. Your continued insistence that Indian is a bad brand name for a Motorcycle is perplexing. Your argument seems to be based on political correctness, rather than the heritage and value of the name. Is that the case? Are you embarrassed to call Washington’s football team the Redskins? What about the Reds, Rebels, Indians, Cowboys, Saints, Canooks, et al? I have no patience with the PC crowd. And I give the millennials more credit than you regarding their awareness of the Indian brand. Sure, some of them know nothing of it (or much else for that matter), but in my experience with the younger motorcycle crowd, I have seen a willingness and enthusiasm to embrace a company’s heritage. Lastly, thanks for your concern but I don’t currently live in a “time space warp”. (and don’t get me started about Wal-Mart!)

  • Andrew Capone

    Witnessing, in person, their elaborate electric effort at the TT, and then the Pike’s Peak assault with the 156, I felt for sure that Victory would morph into more of an American performance / sport, even adventure brand. I would have loved to see an American ‘Jeep Grand Cherokee’ equivalent ADV bike. Alas, no. Surprised by this, but it’s a tough market.

    • Jay F

      Yea a Polaris ADV bike would have been killer.

  • allworld

    I had hoped that Victory would have pushed Victory into competing with other companies like BMW, and Honda……..
    It never made sense to continue as a cruiser only brand after the purchase on Indian.

  • Joe Luttrell

    I’m sad to hear this news. I was seriously considering purchasing a Victory Cross Country Tour in the future. I think it has a beautiful “modern-retro” look and I feel that I could trust the drivetrain.
    It’s too bad I am in no position to buy now as there might be some great deals on the horizon.

  • Goose

    Not surprising but still sad. Somebody liked these bikes and many somebodies are going to be out of work.

    It would have been great if Victory could have forged an identity other than “Harley alternative” but they never seemed (or, maybe weren’t allowed) to try.

    I’ve ridden the new Indians and own both a Sportster (XR1200) and Road Glide. Both H-Ds and Indians are far better bikes then people like Rubble think but there is plenty of room for improvement, I was hoping Polaris would let Victory push the boundaries of Cruiser-dom with better chassis, less weight and maybe even more modern engines. I guess not.

    • DickRuble

      Ruble. Dick Ruble.

      • Sayyed Bashir

        I think it was intentional. And I second him on the quality of HDs and KTMs: 154,000 miles on the 2007 Softail and 17,000 on the 2015 1190 Adventure R.

  • Rick

    Victory complains that sales have declined since 2012, but they haven’t released a new model since 2010. (Octane is a rebadged Scout) Hard to get excited about tired designs with goofy paint and a fancy stereo. Lots of loyal owners were waiting for the next innovation so they could upgrade and stay in the brand. And I don’t see how this will help Indian sales either. Polaris just showed that it is not loyal to its owners, so why would anyone want to buy an Indian and then pray that Polaris decides to keep that brand around over the long term? When Indian sales drop the brand will be gone again.

    • kenneth_moore

      I think you nailed it as far as why Vic is going down the tubes. I remember when they were perceived as innovative bikes that were a smart choice over HD. Even the Vision, which I found to be BFU, had several design and engineering coups. Lately their bikes look like bad joke.

      This will help Indian though. Any rider who wants a heavyweight ‘Murican bike that’s not a Harley will have only one choice. GM showed a number of times you can kill brands and keep growing.

      • Strat

        Three years ago the owner of the bike shop I go to told me he thought they would be gone in less than five years. He gets an industry newsletter and he told me they didn’t handle customer complaints well. That they had a “Too bad, you bought it, you own it” attitude. I don’t own a Victory although I did like some of their bikes. It would be interesting to hear if any of the Victory owners on here ever ran into that situation.

        • WordOfAdvice101

          If is was under warranty that would never fly. BS. If it wasn’t under warranty, it is your problem.

    • gilbos

      Harley did the same thing to the Buell brand

      • Jay F

        Except HD bought Buell out then ran it into the ground. Victory bikes were still actually selling just not to their standards.

        • Jeremiah Mckenna

          Wait a minute. You’re blaming HD for Eric’s failures as a business man on the failures of the Buell line? HD gave them the money and told Eric that if he wanted to continue to receive money he had to up his game to the stringent rules and production plans that HD had already set in place. Buell only wanted to produce race bikes, but they weren’t selling as many as he hoped. HD said he needed to produce a street bike that people could buy and ride on a regular basis, and then hopefully transfer over to the HD line up. Buell’s weren’t selling as planned, street or race track line up, so HD cut them, like Polaris is cutting Victory. In other words, Eric Buell ran his own line up into the ground because he didn’t want to produce a better bike for the masses.

          Why do you think it has taken Eric Buell so long to find anyone that wants to fund his business? Because he may be a great engineer, but is not even a mediocre business man and many see that.

          • Jay F

            You mean HD bought it, then set a number on what they consider “success”, and then closed it.
            Ural’s don’t put out a lot of numbers, yet they are still extremely kick-ass bikes. I would consider the company a huge success. Not because of the numbers sold but because they are #1 in their niche.

          • Jeremiah Mckenna

            I mean Buell was struggling as a business, HD bought majority stock and invested money. With that money was a contract that stipulated a specific number of bikes needed to be sold not only to the track/race side, but also to the street side. Since Buell did not sell as many as they agreed to, HD pulled the plug.

            It is like GM did with Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer etc. If you are a smart business man, you cut your losses before it is too late.

            Answer me this. Why would you continue to throw money at an entity that isn’t giving anything back in return? Do you want to buy stock in SunEdison or Solyndra or Sun Power? If you bought stock in these companies 6 years ago and held on to it, then you are kicking yourself because they are losing money like crazy. Same goes for HD getting rid of Buell.

          • Jeremiah Mckenna

            As for the Urals, that is nothing more than a cheep knock off of BMW’s by the Russian’s. Pure junk.

    • Damon Catacalos

      Indian is here to stay.

      • Jeremiah Mckenna

        That has been said many, many, many times in the past about Indian. Then the brand comes out, has a run and falls out. Let’s hope this time is better.

      • WordOfAdvice101

        I like Indian. Thought about a Roadmaster recently, but it will be a couple of years or better before I trust them after this. For now, no reason to shy away from Harley.

    • Jeremiah Mckenna

      Not only have they not produced many new models, all of their bikes are the same frame with a different set of handlebars or wheels and paint with a new name. The Hammer is the only bike from their cruiser line that has an inverted fork and a cowl cover on the rear seat. Other than that, the bikes are all the same. Their Baggers and Touring models look so similar with different paint and are nice bikes in their own right, but are sort of vanilla if you think about it.

      Resale value isn’t all that great either. I talk to owners that cry when you tell them the ACV of their bikes. They hold out a few weeks and then bring them back to me for the price I offered.

  • Tim Sawatzky

    I always wondered how Polaris was going to run Victory and Indian side by side. But I guess the writing was on the wall for the last few years, ever since Indian brought out their new models, there has been nothing for Victory. The Octane it seems was too late. I think one of the main problems has always been that they never had an entry level bike like the Sportster. Beginning riders and poor riders like me needed something cheaper. I rode a Hammer one time, it was a great bike with no cornering clearance. Now I hope that Indian brings in a little more variety. Cafe Scout anyone?

    • Gary Latessa

      They had better come up with a new Indian platform, and soon. A spin the model on the Scout platform is eminent with this news. I expect a new Scout within months if not weeks.

  • Tom

    Never did care for Victory, they DO sound good just “out there” by themselves. No harley rider wants one, and the GL and Big Jap/German cliques stick to their own. They never really had a place out there IMO.

    That said, I think Polaris is making the right move with Indian. In the real world, they’re not
    actually settin the world on fire. Again, I cant see HD riders switchin over in any kind of numbers. I may try a Scout, I’d never trade in my FLHTXXX for a big inch Indian, but a 100+ HP scout might not be a bad idea of a solid bar hopper. I’m likin what I see so far anyway.

  • Auphliam

    Everybody is armchair quarterbacking this news this morning, and with some validity. I was PO’d when I saw the news. As a long time Victory owner, reading through the official press release, I can’t help but think they wasted such a huge opportunity…and I also can’t help but feel they’ve become victims of target fixation in the worst possible way…they’ve never listened to a word their customers have been telling them for years.

    As soon as they purchased Indian, people within what I’ll call the ‘Victory family’ implored them to finally step outside the bagger/cruiser genre. With the Pikes Peak and IoMTT efforts, it seemed they actually might, but alas it seems that was all for naught. In fact, one gets the sense it never crossed their minds.

    It took everything Victory had to scratch out a niche in that market while having to survive in the HD shadow. Everybody knew they couldn’t survive in the same niche under the shadow of both HD and Indian…everyone, it would seem, except Scott Wine and Victory. They just kept following the same tired bagger/cruiser playbook…straight to the grave.

    • DickRuble

      They also got heavy into fake news.. Remember the barrage of inflated press releases a few months back?…

      • ADB

        “Fake news…. ” , I like that…..

    • Jeremiah Mckenna

      Many of us thought the same thing. I thought their Octane would have looked a lot better than it did when it was released. But as we all saw, it was a watered down, plain Jane lesser version of itself. They should have focused on the styling cues of Ness the younger, and I believe they would have sold a lot more than they actually did.

  • TCG56

    Their biggest mistake was making every model a Arlen Ness design. They need to keep the Nesses’ far far away from Indian.

    • Douglas

      Amen. Ness-ism is, IMHO, waaay overrated.

      • czmx

        I don’t know… I was thinking Arlen Ness might have saved Victory from defeat years ago. Their pre-Ness bikes were really ugly in my opinion. I liked what they were doing from ’04 up until around 2010. Then they started introducing what to me were some pretty goofy looking models, many with flat paint jobs. My two cents…

      • John A. Stockman

        Douglas, you’re not the only one that holds that opinion. The pseudo-chopper “look” has been played out for decades. Custom is great for aesthetics, but I have yet to ride one that actually behaves like a single-track vehicle. Ergonomics take a back seat, so does suspension performance/travel and any semblance of lean angle and cornering clearance. It might make for what non-riders consider great. drama-oriented TV, but not something you can ride on a real road with curves. There’s a place for just about any style or type of motorcycle, and the market right now has something for almost anyone who wants ride, whether they’ve been riding their entire life, returning to motorcycling, or just getting started. I do hope that whatever Polaris is looking at regarding direction, they branch out from the cruiser/bagger/low rider class of motorcycles and embrace the ideas of models that are similar to the 156 and ones that Gary Latessa mentioned above. Like an FTR-based model, single-cylinder ADV, retro sport touring, etc. All great ideas, but we’ve all seen what can happen to great ideas in this business.

  • TrustNoGovt

    I’m selling my Dyna in the Spring, and my next bike will be an Indian. Very impressed with the Quality. Tired of everything shaking off my Harley, including my teeth.

    • DickRuble

      Just get a deeply discounted Victory… same quality.. The dealers will honor the warranty as Polaris will still be in business.

      • john burns

        wait, WHAT? Dick Ruble bought a motorcycle?? Tell me more, I will make this a News post. congrats!!

        • DickRuble

          Huh?..No..still have my old motorcycle…

          • john burns

            Oh, just get. I read just GOT. I nearly fell off my chair.

          • DickRuble

            I would never buy a cruiser.. I already have a Vespa..

    • Bro.C Bro.C

      Had my Ultra (FLHTCUI) eat the cam tensioner twice, finally metal throughout orifices and oil pump which trashed the cases. So rode my softail (FLSTN) from South Oregon Coast to Sturgis in 2015, traded in with cash for a 2015 Roadmaster Indian. Best deal ever, loving it!!! Harley took the evo and built the twin cam garbage, STUPID!

    • Rob Mitchell

      Not that you should bit a bike base on looks but they are the uglyist bikes around

      • Gruf Rude

        . . .except for the new Yamahas.

        • Rob Mitchell

          Yeah well that’s what you expect know Toyota are doing yamaha’s industrial design studio work.

      • Byron Scott

        And the wheels go ’round and ’round . History repeats itself one more time . Victory was doomed for failure from the startup , but they hung in there long enough to make a few bucks on those ugly looking things ,
        And here it comes , Yet another “new” Indian unveiling. (How many does this make now ?) They’ll be gone again once the hype wears off.
        Too bad , but that’s business in America …Make as much money as you can , as fast as you can , and when the Golden Goose stops laying eggs ,….kill it and eat it ,…Then go find another one .

        • Kevin Duke

          I believe drawing parallels between Victory and Indian will be imprecise. Victory was an attempt from nowhere to compete with Harley. Indian hugely benefits from Polaris’ 20 years of experience learning about motorcycle engineering and the cruiser market while also being able to lean on the second-most iconic American motorcycle brand. Indian already was drawing way more sales than Victory ever did; no reason to expect that to change.

          • DickRuble

            The current issues Polaris, as a whole, is facing, combined with the issues at which others where pointing, e.g. lack of small displacement in the lineup, overly focused on a narrow niche of old farts’ nostalgia for times only their grandfathers knew, and augmented by horse-blind fixation with the Slingshot are pretty much guaranteed to bury the motorcycle business if not the entire company. Like the Octane (arguably a slightly better bike), the Scout isn’t selling anywhere close to what the noise level would imply.

  • Bro.C Bro.C

    Have a 2015 RM, love the bike but heard others who have Victory’s also love them for their durability, i.e. not the HD breakdowns. Crazy article stating Europes Compliant and four models offer being the straw that broke the camels back.

    • denchung

      Wasn’t trying to convey that Euro4 was the final straw. It was more of a symptom that, looking back, should have made today’s news less surprising. Bottom line is Polaris didn’t feel Victory’s returns were worth investing into updating its lineup.

  • Loni Specter

    As an owner of a Road King, an FXLR and a Victory Judge (power cruiser naked style), I am a fan of both brands. I think given time and a better market in general, Victory could survive, maintaining a separate style than the big Indian retro bikes.
    In case you haven’t noticed, it’s tough times out there fo many and that equates to sluggish sales, plus the fact that Polaris is in the midst of a large lawsuit re; their poorly designed/speced 4-wheel line of vehicles.
    There are a lot of pissed off Victory owners out there right now.

    • DickRuble

      Tough times? Where do you live? South America? US government is telling me unemployment is at all time lows… Well below 5%..

      • Loni Specter

        Unemployment all time low? I suppose if you discount those folks who are no longer seeking employment and/or are now finding alternate forms of cash/barter exchange to survive. The gov takes those folks off their stats and if you don’t know that you are living on another planet.

        • DickRuble

          Now, now.. Are you telling me that the US government is a bunch of crooked, lying, do-no-good, slimy, self dealing hypocrites?

          • JMDonald

            If Loni isn’t saying it I will gladly do so.

          • Loni Specter

            That’s the way it has always been. Hey, but now they are draining the swamp. I just hope they they don’t forget about the quicksand. Ride safe.

          • czmx

            Good one, Dick!

        • Kenneth

          The same government standards are used, whether unemployment is described as “high” or “low.” It’s a benchmark. But don’t worry: Trump is going to bring back all those lost Pennsylvania steel manufacturing and W. Virginia coal mining jobs – and defeat those EPA do-gooders, endlessly trying to stop companies from poisoning us. We want the 1960s back (dream on)!

        • Kenneth

          Yeah, the whole system is completely corrupt, so let’s just finish the job – elect someone who’s already proven to be a compulsive lier, totally lacking in integrity and basic decency. And, when he’s finished, he will, of course, claim that he was the best, most fantastic president ever, and anyone saying otherwise is just a loser.

          • Starmag

            Well, that’s what we did the last time.

      • Junker

        ‘Cause Comrade Trump says so, princess. If it holds for a year or two and he can claim credit then your facts may matter again. Otherwise, they’re obviously false, cupcake.

      • Winston Smith

        Fake news, the labor participation rate is still 3% lower than when BHO took office, has only recovered 0.3% from the lowest, which hadn’t been seen since 1977.

      • czmx

        Government figures. The reality is different.

  • lennon2017

    The stated number of bikes sold globally by Victory tells you all you need to know. Yes, design might have been a culprit, as well as brand family confusion/duplication, but when you’re only selling tens thousands of bikes made in a high-cost environment (nothing bad about that if all other metrics are of a superior type qualitatively, but if the Octane is largely an Indian Scout with different gearing, paint, etc., it’s not premium, it’s a spin), your days are numbered. Prices also started at $10k, which, okay, for the specs, in the ballpark, but it’s been pretty well documented that even Harley has sold fewer bikes each year for the past few, and when that’s happening, when it is a bear market, people are particularly cost-conscious. The story out of most globally-minded motorcycle brands for the past few years is one of increased attention at new riders, slash riders keen on having vehicles meant more for transportation than mimicry of motoGP or the drag strip, some of whom duplicate new riders’ tastes in small(er)-displacement machines. 300/500/650/. Victory was doing nothing to satiate those desires. My guess is they didn’t want to. Pinching pennies wasn’t in the DNA. (To repeat, that’s a fine philosophy, but it has to be backed by things other than passion.) All speculations as to what-ifs are probably nulled by the fact that this decision was likely long in the making, and that Victory was effectively on get-it-together-guys-figure-something-out probation pre-Octane, but perhaps if they had used the Scout Sixty notion to compete with the Iron 883 (which, like it or not, is probably keeping Harley out of a predicament akin to that which Victory found itself in, however hard a sell the 883 is to the well-informed buyer open to better performing and cheaper to purchase/operate/maintain machines of the naked variety, which is a good reason for the Street 500/750, though, again again again we have a bike that needs some detailed mechanical attention before it comes into its own as an offering that may be more expensive than its similarly-asia-build cohort but is Harley-at-heart) they could have skirted demise.

    • Junker

      That last might be the longest sentence I’ve ever read. I don’t mean the typical no punctuation, smartphone-era thing we sometimes see. No, this was intentional. Bravo!

  • bigfish

    This sucks. I bought my Vision three years ago and love it. I will keep it and ride it but my resale value will be crap as I usually get something different every 4-5 yrs. I feel bad for all the people getting Victory into the police bike business too. They are badass police bikes. And no, I won’t get an HD or Old school looking Indian to replace my Vision. Oh, did I say this sucks?!

    • Jeremiah Mckenna

      Don’t worry, resale value has always been low for Victory.

  • John B.

    Even in our vastly over-regulated economy, Adam Smith’s invisible hand still works its magic removing non-competitive brands from the market to make way for something better.

  • Sales

    I know victory and Indian fans will object but to me it always has looked like 1 brand, the engine on the scout appears on victory bikes, the fairing on the Indian road master has the same exact lines as the fairing on victory. My wife even gets confused she will see an Indian and 90% of the time think it’s a victory. Indian needs its own identity and get rid of the designers that worked on victory bikes. All Indian and victory bikes have the same geometric lines,

    • Mark Goode

      That is absolute bullshit…A Victory and an Indian look nothing alike…Are you blind?

      • Junker

        LOL. I thought there was going to be a punchline or something

    • Douglas

      Tilt. Fenders and fringe…….

  • Starmag

    Well that didn’t take long. At least Polaris will be back to concentrating on one line of bikes now. Indian has the history, even if it’s not Polaris’ and was bought, and it still has better “branding”. I guess not that many people wanted an odd styled Harley clone. Keeping Slingshot over Victory is somewhat of a surprise though. Boomers have the majority of expendable toy money left but their bodies demand something more stable than a two wheeler? That would explain Harley’s recent trikes also.

  • JMDonald

    Go Indian!

  • Junker

    Although the Project 156 travesty had guaranteed they were not getting my money any time soon, this is still sad. The Indian gimmick will probably not even last as long as the Victory, either. There’s only one HD, apparently.

    • czmx

      Project 156 a travesty? I disagree.

      • Junker

        trav·es·ty : 1) a false, absurd, or distorted representation of something

        So you think a standard/naked/street fighter/whatever that turns out to be a 550 pound, feet-forward, 26″ high with 3″ travel, etc cruiser is not a travesty? Okay, I guess they are both motorcycles and have basically the same engine.

        • czmx

          Hey junker. Project 156 was the Pikes Peak racer, no? If not, that’s what I was referencing. Hardly a “550 pound, feet forward, 26″ high, 3″ travel, etc cruiser”. If you’re thinking the Octane, just because you and I don’t dig it, that doesn’t make it a travesty.

          • Junker

            Umm, the Octane was what they delivered after the hype and buildup of Project 156. That’s the travesty. Check out every article and comment from then. Hell, even some of these obits this week have mentioned it.

          • czmx

            That does’t explain your original reply that you think the Pike’s Peak racer was a travesty. How so? Was your English lesson explaining the meaning of the word unwarranted?

          • Junker

            Okay, last attempt here. If this doesn’t work then let’s just agree to disagree. Now, given the definition of travesty which I provided:

            The Octane was a false / absurd / distorted representation of the Project 156 bike. Or vice versa.

            You get the last word…

          • czmx

            You originally said the Project 156, the Pikes Peak racer was the travesty and claimed it was a cruiser. Never mind…

          • ADB

            Actually, I also think the Project 156 was a travesty. All of the money, press, marketing hype on a race bike (yes, we know it was a race bike), only to give the drooling, waiting, die hard regular, non Davidson motorcyclists a cruiser in the end. When it came time to actually sell us something, it looking nothing like what was raced.

            I think the whole project (just like the flat track bike) was slight of hand. They will never give us a bike with the pegs back and the seat up. They made the Pike Peak bike and the flat track bike to attract buyers. These two bikes were built to advertise and sell other bikes – production bikes. Why would I buy a production feet forward Scout (that the marketing dept. at Polaris linked to the race bikes), when the Scout seating position, rake, trail, suspension travel, etc. is no where near the hyped “racing exercise” bikes?

          • czmx

            So are all specialized factory racing machines travesties? MotoGP, drag racing, flat track, speedway, etc? By that illogic, there wouldn’t be any factory involvement in racing. Victory never claimed they would build a production bike based on Project 156. I wish they had.

          • ADB

            The implication was there from the beginning. With that being said, why would a Cruiser company build a Standard seating race bike to begin with?

          • czmx

            Because they like to race. Consider Harley in dirt track and drag racing, and Indian, also in dirt track. And Mahindra, an Indian tractor manufacture in Moto3. And Victory with their Pike’s Peak and Isle of Man efforts. There are plenty of other examples. Competition is fun!

  • Ricky Bass

    They are idiots! They will regret this! Even GM didn’t just drop a brand with Oldsmobile. They phased it out! Dumb Asses!

    • HeDidn’tWeDid

      whoa, calm down. we are not talking about acar company that made hundreds of thousands of cars a year. victory global sales were only 10000 last year.

    • Douglas

      Victory can join Bridgestone, BSA, Hodaka…..and Hudson, Nash, Packard, Willys, Henry J, Studebaker, Rambler, Kaiser, Frazer, Imperial, DeSoto, Plymouth, Olds, Pontiac, Mercury, Hillman, MG, Simca, Sunbeam, Austin, Jensen, Morgan, Pegaso, Bristol…..Edsel….as well as several aircraft mfrs, boat makers, the list goes on.

  • Buzz

    One last Thanks Obama! Snatching defeat from the jaws of Victory.

    • Corey .H

      Hard to have the confidence to spend money on a new bike when you can’t negotiate the slew of new rules and fines associated with your new $17k per year and covers nothing healthcare.

  • guymacher

    Too many Harley wannabees.

    • Douglas

      Well, there’s a reason for that…..imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Over-chromed, noisy cruiser is what a majority of ‘Muricans want (evidenced by the fact that the S-G is the top selling model on the mkt). You can’t fault their workmanship & styling but as mentioned above it’s this “lifestyle” and “street-cred” stuff that seems to be the magnet. Personally, I have no brand loyalty, but many do. It’s taken H-D a good while to get where they are, so they deserve some credit for their current success by hanging with their plan.

  • azicat

    Victory motorcycles always seemed to me like they were in some kind of market purgatory, as a brand wedged in between two markets but not satisfying either. Cruiser buyers that don’t care for brand and are seeking the most performance/features per dollar usually go metric; those that want to pay premium for a name will only go for a name (i.e. HD). Victory bikes had the premium price without the desired performance or brand equity. I suspect Polaris is aware of this and consider it less work to invest in Indian, which is already competitive in both markets via the Scout and Chief ranges respectively.

  • Ozzy Mick

    Isn’t it all about marketing? Some of you have mentioned this. Who makes up the numbers that will be sufficient for HD and Victory/Indian to not just survive but prosper?
    Just look at the world market today. Touring, sports, adventure, off road, smaller capacity engines, light weight…
    After starting off on a Yamaha cruiser tike (Virago 250), I switched to a Suzuki Marauder 850. After struggling to keep up on a few long distance rides with mates on sports tourers, I bought a Suzuki Bandit 1200 and kept that for long enough that my ageing body complained. A year ago, I decided on a change and bought a 400cc scooter, for G*d’s sake! I was tempted to buy a Made-in-India HD 500 but the perceived lack of quality put me off. It’s the biggest selling HD model in Australia.
    The largest markets in the world are in Asia where the locals do not care so much about lifestyles as livelihoods.
    I guess the bottomline is is there enough demand for large cruisers for H-D, Indian, metric cruisers, Gold Wings, BMWs, KTMs, Ducati’s, et al? Does this scenario remind anyone of the inroads made by imports in the car market where the locals insisted on building barges when people wanted smaller cars? GM and Ford have shut down their car plants this year in Oz because of this blinkered view.

    • Jumping Doc

      All HD Street bikes sold in the US are made in MO. Indian made bikes are only sold outside North America.

      • Wren1

        Street’s are assembled in Missouri, the components are imported

        • Kevin Butler

          Which components ? Engine assembly built in the Kansas city plant as well as all of the tins.

          • Wren1

            Are you sure they are not assembled-engines, built with imported parts? The “tin” or bodywork is of such poor quality I was hoping it was 3rd world sourced.

          • Kevin Butler

            They are built on the same assembly line with the V-Rod engines with parts from different countries (Global Economy). As far as the tins go they are stamped from the same steel used as the rest of Harleys bikes which is American steel .

  • CompletelyOutsane

    Sad to see Victory go.

  • John R

    What makes America great is the opportunity for businesses to compete. Competition inspires growth and promotes new ideals and designs. When Polaris bought Indian, they ended their competition and their drive to improve the victory. If Indian sales drop against Harley Davidson, will Polaris close Indian again? Where does their loyalty end? This decision to close victory shows a lack of loyalty and trustworthiness. A company like Polaris doesn’t deserve to succeed. Hopefully this will bring Polaris and Indian to a close, once and for all.

    • Auphliam

      A friend of mine made a comment yesterday that made some sense. He said Harley loves their motorcycles and they’ve built a product and culture that ensures they can make a profit doing that. Polaris loves to make a profit and they’re willing to sell motorcycles to do it. Big difference.

      • John R

        That’s why I have a Harley. I know I have service and support that I can count on. Harley doesn’t only want to make a profit, they want to make a reliable product. Harley Davidson is loyal to their customers.

        • ADB

          If they build a product the customer wants…. (of which, yes I know, they do for most of America, just not yet for me. And why should they, I’m only one lousy consumer, the only guy in the world buying a new Sport Touring bike).

        • AnttiRa

          Loyal? Just as Polaris, they would drop a brand for profits. Ask any Buell rider.

          • John A. Stockman

            Or how Erik Buell was treated, both personally and contractually. Prevented from using his own name for a period of time? For every person experiencing HD loyalty to themselves and buyers in general, I know folks that have been loyal to the motor company, yet been treated poorly by not only local dealers but the company itself; blamed for owner negligence that turned out to be manufacturing defects that were never covered under warranty during the warranty coverage.

          • Kevin Butler

            Buell never made a profit for Harley when they owned them so when the recession hit they were the logical brand to drop.

  • Staunch_Republican

    This is incredibly sad. The Polaris Victory brand has continued to improve over the years. Has Polaris tried selling their bikes in foreign markets or is this exclusive to the USA? I agree that they have not produced a new model since 2010. If Victory is now history how long before Indian is again an extinct brand?

    • Auphliam

      Foreign markets is part of the problem. None of their bikes are Euro4 compliant (required next year I believe) and it’s too costly to get existing, or develop new, products to get there.

      • Kevin Duke

        I don’t believe E4-compliance had much to do with killing the brand. They could’ve been made cleaner if there was a long-term outlook, but the emergence of Indian made Victory a losing proposition relatively speaking.

        • Auphliam

          But isn’t that little bit of which came first, the chicken or the egg? Victory was a perfectly profitable venture until their development was abandoned. The entire Indian lineup rests, figuratively and literally, on the very foundation that Victory built.

          • Kevin Duke

            I’m not sure economists would agree with your assertion that Victory was a perfectly profitable venture. I believe the equation simply boils down to there only being room for one American cruiser company being viable in the giant shadow of H-D. It doesn’t make sense for one company (Polaris) to have two.

  • Matt

    I sincerely hope that the end of VIctory doesn’t mean the demise of value and performance oriented oriented full sized cruisers in the American market.

  • Bmwclay

    Guess that’s why I saw a new 2016 Vegas for 11999.00 at a dealer yesterday.
    Wonder how much I can get a Gunner for?

  • Jim

    So, Victory goes the way of Orange County Choppers, Jesse James, Indian Larry, and the like. The custom, chrome, power-cruiser era is over. So be it. Because of its nostalgic ‘hook’, Indian is the only Polaris brand that stands a chance to grow market share. They’re good bikes, too. The Victory experiment gave Polaris what it needed to learn to compete in the segment. If it hadn’t been for the introduction of the ‘Cross’ models, Victory would’ve been dead years ago.

  • ADB
  • ADB
    • Kevin Duke

      I think it’s a fair point to say that Victory was a brand launched out of the ether, while Triumph has a century-long legacy to lean on. Similarly, that’s a huge reason why Indian is the Polaris motorcycle brand that still exists.

      • ADB

        Hi Keven, agree. However no matter how the pie is sliced, neither Indian nor H-D will ever build the bikes most of us would like to see – an ADV, a Sport Touring Bike, a Standard roadster with the seat high & footpegs down and back,a Super Sport, a “Streetfighter”, etc. etc. etc. In my garage is a Buell Thunderbolt, a Thruxton, a new Moto Guzzi Norge, and my son’s EBR. Not an Indian, a Victory, or an H-D in sight.

        Legacy or not, I hope Triumph sells every variant of the new Bonneville in record numbers this year – they deserve it for giving “the rest of us” what we want. There is a reason you folks voted the entire lineup as Motorcycle of the year.

        • Kevin Duke

          Nice garage contents! While I don’t envision a Harley or Indian streetfighter, per se, I’ll bet both companies will skew some models a little toward that direction within the next 3 years. I’m still hoping for a Sport Scout, and Indian’s also gotta do something in the 750cc range with its dirt-track motor. And I think Harley will do something roadster-ish with its Street 750 in the next couple of years. Meanwhile, both companies will be selling tens of thousands of Street Glides and Chiefs…

        • John A. Stockman

          That would be a dream line-up in my garage! Always been impressed with the Triumph line and enjoyed my rides on Tigers, a Thruxton, a Bonnie 1200 and a first-year 1200 Trophy. I also felt honored to ride a friends Griso for a day. Cruiser ergos are not for me, ever. Too much weight on my rear end and tail bone, and poor rear suspension performance, which makes me notice the lack of an adequate amount of lean angle. Just me though, but we have to ride what works for us. My joints are completely screwed up with no joint cartilage at all, so the “standard”, more upright riding position is what works for my situation.

          • ADB

            John – agree. How may times have we been told (and I’ve ridden) that H-D just can’t find one more lousy inch of rear suspension travel on their cruisers and Street Glides because it will somehow “upset the look…”. As if anyone would ever notice the rear of a Road Glide was slightly taller than it should be. Gotta be low, gotta have those feet forward, gotta be cool. With that said, H-D (and now Indian) will always sell tons of bikes – just not to us.

  • Visionary

    Although greatly disappointing, it is not a surprise – Polaris has not invested in product development on the Victory side of the house since the Indians hit the street – In fact that “shelved” the touring / bagger redesign project that was largely a done-deal two years in a row- I can tell you that the roll-out of that bike would have been an industry game changer – ALL of their R&D efforts and dollars were directed to the “New Penny” that the Indian line had become. Until the roll-out of the Polaris Indian, the Victory was running head to head with HD (not in overall units of course) as a Premium AMERICAN motorcycle. But as soon as the Indians rolled out, the Victory line was suddenly relegated to a roll of being the competition for the Metric Cruiser / Bagger market – Then let’s not spend a dime on freshening up the product line since 2011 – Sorry, Polaris quit on Victory – they had plenty of opportunity to have the #1 and #2 American motorcycles – Yes, it’s a business decision, but it was caused by three years of negligence – So much for passion !! Very disappointing to say the least – Time to start shopping (for the last time) for a new Vision!

    • Kevin Duke

      Sounds like you’re familiar with the crew that built and developed the Vics. If so, you also know their passion for motorcycles will transfer over to Indian, no?

      • Visionary

        I would like to believe that Indian would benefit (and in fact already has) from the engineering that was foundational in the dynamics of the Victorys, and was so instrumental in the initial quality and short time span from design to production – and I am sure Polaris will work to retain the “best and the brightest”, of which there are many –
        I also know that there was a conscious effort to separate the two divisions in design and engineering so the two lines didn’t lose their own identity/ individuality. That did result in a natural “possessiveness” – I am sure some internal team-building can mend the fences though!
        I hope for the sake of the American motorcyclists that Indian Motorcycle eventually is strong enough in the market to survive on its own merits and not just nostalgia, and that it builds current era bikes and the pent up Victory influence can rise again under the Indian brand – the designs are there – they just need to implement

        P

  • johnbutnotforgotten

    it was kind of obvious that competing with yourself would have issues in a market where HD reliability is improving. Hope Polaris’s commitment to Indian is stronger (the Scout is my fave cruiser, although i’m more of a sport tourer, standard fan). it will also be interesting to see what happens to the Empulse (it’s so much more complicated than my Zero, which kind of misses the point of simple zero maintenance electrics)

  • John B.

    $665 million is a lot of scratch for any company, and this Transamerican Auto Parts acquisition likely doomed Victory. http://tinyurl.com/jttpkwd

  • Sad to see Victory go, I think they were good bikes with great engineering, but oddly styled.

    The current Indian, name, brand and history has more value. It wouldn’t have made economic sense to continue in the cruiser market when competition is harder and sales are down. The current Indian lineup looks great and they have maintained the iconic styling of the past. You simply can’t burn through money holding two brands together in the same market.

    I would prefer an Indian over a Victory if I were in the market for a cruiser. If you have a Victory you still have a good bike and parts will be available for 10 years. You’d grow tired of it before that time knowing motorcycle owners are quick to trade or sell a bike for a variety of reasons.

  • ChevalierMalFet

    What’s gonna happen to the Empulse? It’s the only worthwhile thing they did, for technology’s sake if nothing else.

    • Kevin Duke

      Expect the next Empulse to have an Indian badge…

  • Scott Silvers

    Ironic that Polaris was a bit short sighted, when their main product was called the ‘Vision’…………

    • Kevin Duke

      Ironic, too, the dead brand was called Victory… 🙂

  • TheMarvelous1310

    This is such crap. I knew something was up when they didn’t release any new models besides the Octane last year.

    Here’s hoping they bring back the Judge as a Dyna-fighter. Call it the Brave, maybe. Or the Apache.

  • Jeremiah Mckenna

    I can see them taking the easy way out and simply rebadging the Victory line up with an Indian badge and name plate. The Scout/Octane will be the easiest, but the Retro style of the Indian line up with their huge fenders and handlebars and floor boards will wither away with the older crowd that is currently buying them. They will have to come up with a different style of bike in the near future.

    Unfortunately the Slingshot is over priced and under performs compared to many other models on the market. I hope they bring the price down or up their performance of they want to keep their company line afloat.

    • Kevin Duke

      Don’t expect any of Vic’s big bikes/motors to carry on. Surprised to hear you think the Slingshot is overpriced. What’s a better and cheaper three-wheeler with a steering wheel?

      • Jeremiah Mckenna

        I think that the Polaris guys are smart enough to know how to bring the Indian nameplate over to a Victory bike and make it work.

        As far as the three wheeled ‘bikes’, regardless of how they are steered, look at the SUB g1, Grinnall Scorpion III, Carver one(defunked company because of bad management, not sales), Epic EV torq. There is also the Morgan, the T-Rex, Elio, Tanom Motors Invader.

        Relatively speaking, everything in this list blows the Slingshot out of the water by price compared to performance delivered for said price.

        • Kevin Duke

          The Polaris guys are smart, sure, but, IMO, putting a Vic engine in a bike with an Indian badge isn’t going happen.

          From what I can tell of the 3-wheelers you mention, all aside from the Elio are way more expensive – twice or more – than the Slingshot and/or not available anymore. Please let me know if my quick research is incorrect, as I’d like to test any good competitor to the Slingshot.

          • Jeremiah Mckenna

            I can see them releasing a less expensive, more choice, smaller engine in their Indian bikes, look at the Scout/Scout 60, and the Octane. They have too much money wrapped up in their tooling and production not to.

            Yes, there may be a couple of those three wheelers that cost more, but you get way, way more performance as I stated before. Would you pay $30k for a car that performs like a Yugo, or $40 for one that performs like a Porsche?

            the Slingshot has been chasing the the T-Rex and Invader around the track for years, the only one it can beat on a track is the Morgan.

            Heck, I didn’t even mention the Can AM Spyder, which dollar for dollar and pound for pound is close.

          • Kevin Duke

            Indeed, count on various spinoffs from the Scout, but that’s not really a Vic.

            As for 3-wheelers, a T-Rex is more than double the price of a Slingshot, approaching $70k. How much is the Invader?

            A Spyder – with its handlebar and straddle-over seat – is a different animal than cyclecars with steering wheels and bucket seats.

          • Jeremiah Mckenna

            3 wheelers are three wheelers, regardless of how you sit/steer it. And yes, the T-Rex is more money, but I have been talking about getting what you pay for, dollar/performance. To me, the Slingshot is overpriced for the low performance you get out of it.

  • Kevin Duke

    For more on Vic’s closing and its affect on Indian, check out this interview with Polaris’ boss of two- and three-wheelers: http://www.motorcycle.com/features/mo-interview-polaris-steve-menneto.html

  • WordOfAdvice101

    I’ll stick with Harley. I was thinking about an Indian Roadmaster, but I don’t have to worry about Harley going out of business. Man for anyone trying to sell a Victory new or used…………..whew are you going to take a beating.