We’re now mid-way through September which means we’re well into the time of year that manufacturers announce their new models. By this point, America’s two heavyweight cruiser brands Harley-Davidson and Indian have already announced their 2018 lineups, but for the first time in nearly two decades, there were no Victory model announcements.
With Polaris shuttering its Victory Motorcycles brand to focus on Indian and Slingshot, we won’t get to see a 2018 Cross Country or a 2018 Octane. We’ll also never see a 2018 Victory Vision, which at least won’t disappoint those who never liked its art-deco aesthetic. We also won’t see a new Victory Empulse TT, though we hold out hope that Polaris will bring Brammo’s electric powertrain to Indian.
But what about any potential new motorcycles that were in the works? Seeing as how we weren’t invited to Victory’s product planning meetings, we’re left to search for clues from other sources, such as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Looking through Polaris’ trademark filings from the last few years, two names stand out as being potential new motorcycles that we never got to see: “Fatty” and “Rogue.” Applications for both trademarks were filed on Aug. 23, 2013, and abandoned March 27, 2017 and Dec. 19, 2016, respectively, after Polaris declined to file an extension on reserving their names.
Before we go into the names, let’s address two obvious questions: how do we know these are motorcycle names? And how do we know they were for Victory and not Indian?
The answer to the first question is easy: both trademarks were explicitly labeled as being intended or use on “motorcycles and structural parts therefor.”
As for the second question, there are a couple of reasons. Chiefly (pun intended), Indian trademarks are registered to Indian Motorcycle International whereas both Fatty and Rogue were registered to Polaris Industries Inc. (as were all other Victory model names). The names themselves also sound like better fits beside model names like Octane, Judge and Vegas than they do next to a Chieftain. The name “Indian Chief” already carries some racial connotations and calling a bike an “Indian Fatty” sounds like a bad idea.
What the trademarks don’t tell us, is what the Fatty and Rogue would have looked like. The name Fatty suggests it may have been a potential Fat Boy or Fat Bob rival, or perhaps it could have referred to a wider rear tire. The Rogue sounds like a cruiser name, with its rebellious meaning, possibly with a blacked out engine and pipes. Or, as some have long hoped, could the Rogue have been the high-performance sporty Victory we were forever waiting for?
There’s also a third name that we’ve previously written about: “Victory Charger.” We first wrote about the “Victory Charger” trademark when it was initially filed in early 2015 for use with “electric motorcycles and structural parts therefor.” The name never got very far through the trademarking process, however, as the USPTO raised concerns about potential confusion with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles‘ (i.e. Dodge) trademark for Charger. Polaris tried to argue its case but by April 18, 2016, abandoned the application. By that point, Polaris had already released the Victory Empulse, keeping the name it acquired from Brammo.
With Victory’s demise, we may never know what the Fatty or Rogue would have been. Perhaps we’ll see some traces of these models that never were in a future Indian motorcycle.