A couple of days ago we reported on the somewhat gloomy news from Harley-Davidson about its year-end financial statement, in which it announced a downturn in sales and the upcoming closure of its Kansas City, MO, factory.

Meanwhile, Polaris (parent company of Indian Motorcycles and Slingshots) is painting a rosier picture with its financial statement released this week. Overall sales revenue in 2017 was up from $4.516 billion to $5.428 billion. Motorcycle sales made up 11% of Polaris’ sales income, and they were up 7% for the year (excluding Victory).

Year over year, in terms of retail sales, Indian is up in the mid-teens, percentage-wise, while Slingshot numbers have nearly doubled. Polaris notes 900cc-plus motorbike sales are down in the high single-digits, but its motorcycles (including Slingshot) are up around 30%. Another bright spot is international motorcycle sales, which are up 14%.

Polaris’ motorcycle segment sales in Q4, including PG&A, totaled $103 million, a decrease of 2% compared to the fourth quarter of 2016, but 2016 included $25 million of Victory Motorcycle wholegood, accessory and apparel sales. Indian Motorcycles wholegood sales increased in the high-single-digit percent range in the fourth quarter, while Slingshot sales more than doubled.

When Q4 results are adjusted for the Victory Motorcycles wind-down costs of $3 million, motorcycle gross profit was $8 million, up from the fourth quarter last year due to higher sales volume for both Indian Motorcycles and Slingshot, as well as lower warranty costs.

For 2018, Polaris expects its motorcycle sales to be up in the high single-digits, percentage-wise, from $574 million.

“I am proud of the Polaris team and excited to see their dedication and hard work pay off as we returned the company to sustainable profitable growth in 2017,” commented Scott Wine, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Polaris Industries. “Indian Motorcycles massively outperformed the motorcycle industry, building on its existing momentum with a flood of product news and a very successful year on the race track.”

Regarding Victory in particular, which was axed in January 2017, Polaris says the closure “is expected to improve the long-term profitability of Polaris and its global motorcycle business, while materially improving the Company’s competitive position in the industry. The Company will record costs, anticipated to be in the range of $80 million to $90 million through 2018, associated with supporting Victory dealers in selling their remaining inventory, the disposal of factory inventory, tooling, and other physical assets, and the cancellation of various supplier arrangements.”

Free Insurance Quote

Enter your ZIP code below to get a free insurance quote.

Indian Dealer Price Quote

Get price quotes for Indian from local motorcycle dealers.

Victory Communities

  • TheMarvelous1310

    They should start Victory back, but with only three models-Octane with RSD Hooligan kit, Judge, and the Vision with a facelift.

    • Martin

      Hey, hold your horses. I have ’14 Cross Country. I was waiting for Vision to be redone with proper storage, but it never came. I am keeping my CC which is now better than before. It is vintage! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9a055642451e39042222c8978bf23c0b322d420e2edf14248295b4d00ed9c6bc.jpg

      • Sayyed Bashir

        Soon it will be a collectible.

      • TheMarvelous1310

        Fair enough, you can have your Cross Country. We need a Street Glide competitor anyway.

        • Fast2win

          Who’s we. Indian has the Chieftain which is better in terms of fit and finish, which is no small feat. The indIan kills a street glide in the ride Dept. You can’t even put a passenger in a street glide. It bottoms out horribly solo. Chrome forks,1.25′ chrome bars internally wired power locks electric windshield. More low end tq.

          • TheMarvelous1310

            It’s also a mile long, makes the Harley-Davidson feel light, and burns both your calves with serious heat. Another option couldn’t hurt!

    • Max Wellian

      Screw that. Bring back my Cross Roads!

      • TheMarvelous1310

        Really? Just take the fairing off the XC!

        • Max Wellian

          My garbage can ain’t that big.

      • Martin

        Sadly, CR is better. Fairing on XC is crap. Buffering in original version past 55 mph is horrible. I had to change wind screen, add these clear wind deflectors at the bottom of the fairing, and add hard lowers. All that made ride tolerable up to 75 mph. I like radio, but fairing sounds like a bucket full of rocks when I hit a bump. Plus, it makes the bike so top heavy.

        • Max Wellian

          I use earbuds. I think the fidelity of MC radios sucks when riding at interstate speeds. Much better to have it pumped in directly. The ear buds double as ear plugs, blocking out the wind noise.
          In addition to the tonnage it adds to the forks, the fairings also dam the air very effectively. Probably great to ride at 5 below zero. Riding in 80+ degree weather, they make me feel like I was being baked for Thanksgiving dinner.
          My CR ran cool as a cucumber. It handled great and even better just by removing the 10 lb windscreen. For highway rides, the cruiser positioning made the windscreen a necessity though. I had to go with a bigger one too, as the stock size caused me double vision buffeting too.
          I rode my CR 250 miles to ride one of the new Indian Chiefs when they came out. In the 10 minute ride on the Chief, my inner thigh was on fire, my butt was getting sore, and I hit the rev limiter about 5 times. That was enough Indian for me. I was happy to get back on my CR and ride the 250 miles back home.

          • Martin

            I tried earplugs but stopped using them. They push too much on my ears. My exhaust is stock, so noise level is tolerable. I had Vance and Hines 4 ½“ high output slip-ons put on, but they came off really fast. Sound level was unbearable even with earplugs. I do have Lloyd’s high flow air cleaner in. That may have increased the sound level. I was about to try tri-ovals, but now it is too late. I am keeping Lloyd’s air cleaner it makes my bike livelier. Fairing and lowers are OK for cold days. My coldest was 38F. Heat gear is what really saves the day. Before lowers rear cylinder was never hot. With hard lowers it runs hotter. I took plastic swivel parts out from lowers and it made little better. Lowers are nice to keep some wind and road debris off your legs. I avoid highways as much as possible, but country roads of 55 mph are where I ride. There music from my Kicker speakers is clear and enjoyable. I also rode Indian, we have a dealer in town. Both times was a cooler spring day. Chief and Chieftain ran ok, but Roadmaster’s rear cylinder was noticeable hotter. Next week I rode 2017 HD Ultra Limited and Road Glide Ultra. I always liked Road Glide fairing’s looks, but it is very front heavy. When you break you get a see-saw effect. That was a big disappointment for me. Ultra Limited was a joy to ride. Since heads are liquid cooled, heat issue is never present. One part of a ride was 2 miles in slow 10-30 mph traffic. Never noticed any heat and the day was 80F. I am not HD fan, but Ultra Limited is the best touring cruiser from US. You can gun it, flip it (keeping bikes purpose in mind) or just cruise, it does it all and does it very well. If I was to buy a new touring bike today, Ultra Limited would be my pick. I like my XC, but I wish I had a rear trunk to place and lock my helmet. Post your bike picture.

  • DickRuble

    MO June 2017 “Polaris Slingshot Recalled To Fix Problem Caused By Fix To Previous Recall”

    2016 – Motorcycle sales (which combines Victory, Indian and Slingshot as well as related parts, gear and accessories) generated $708.5 million in sales revenue in 2016, up a single percent from the $698.3 million brought in the previous year.

    2017- Overall sales revenue in 2017 was up from $4.516 billion to $5.428 billion. Motorcycle sales made up 11% of Polaris’ sales income,

    11% of $5.428 billion = $597.08 Million

    From $708 million to $597 Million.. How’s that for Motorcycle sales growth?

    • Sayyed Bashir

      This article is just a reworded Polaris press release. Good old Fine Wine spin: “Indian Motorcycles massively outperformed the motorcycle industry, building on its existing momentum with a flood of product news and a very successful year on the race track”. So it outperformed the motorcycle industry with a “flood of product news” (more like a “flood of product recalls”) and winning flat track races with a bike made by Swiss Auto of Switzerland? How many bikes did they actually sell compared to Harley Davidson, KTM, BMW, Triumph, Ducati, Honda, etc? Nobody knows and Polaris isn’t telling.

      • mikstr

        “Harley-Davisdon is my God; I submit myself completely to the great poser God and will forever discredit anything that threatens its poser supremacy”

        Still having issues with Indian growing while Hardley withers away? lol Better get used to it…

        • Max Wellian

          “Polaris notes 900cc-plus motorbike sales are down in the high single-digits, but its motorcycles (including Slingshot) are up around 30%.”
          I wouldn’t call that growth.

      • Auphliam

        FYI, Swiss Auto is wholly owned by Polaris…as is Indian. So yeah, they get to claim those race successes without question or asterisk, IMO.

        • Sayyed Bashir

          I know that. Yet the fact remains the technology came from Switzerland, not from Springfield. It wasn’t in Polaris or Indian to fight Harley Davidson in flat track on their own.

          • Fast2win

            Dude Harley doesn’t even manage their race team. They farmed it out to Vance and Hines. Quit trying to illagitamise Indians race success .They earned it fully

          • Steve McLaughlin

            True, in a recent motorcycle magazine article, there is not one single Harley part in the factory Harley Drag racer. It uses an S&S specialty engine with a Suzuki transmission and a custom frame.

          • mikstr

            Just as Hardley’s V-Rod technology came from Porsche…

      • Fast2win

        It’s Polaris Swiss auto .They own it. Unlike Porsche which Harley went to for vrod . Indian is approaching 1/2 of what Ducati made for 17. Id say that’s damn good for a new motorcycle company . And Polaris Swiss auto does not make the bike.

        • DickRuble

          Harely didn’t go to Porsche. Buell did. Harley then decided there may benefits to that and decided their engineering group should take over the development of the new engine. The result was an overweight plant that no longer fit the needs of Buell.

          • Fast2win

            Not quite. Harley indeed went to Porsche with the idea of making a version of the VR1000 That would be suitable for their new liquid cooled twin. They told Buell that it would be shared. When it became too heavy Buell turned to Rotax .HD absolutely went to Porsche that is undisputed.

          • DickRuble

            Undisputed? Well I’ll dispute it then.

            “The second time we had taken a run at a water cooled superbike it was actually going to be using the Revolution engine, it was in the mid ‘90s we started that project, which wound up being the V-Rod engine and what happened that time was the specifications we needed and the specifications Harley needed just couldn’t gel well enough and the Harley one took precedence but the specifications of what we needed were just too different.” — Erik Buell

            https://thekneeslider.com/erik-buell-interview/

          • Fast2win

            It was always Harley’s motor. The vr1000 was always Harley’s. Buell certaintly was in on the development but Harley needed the vrod. Not a Buell motor .when the project got fat Buell bailed.
            http://autoweek.com/article/car-news/v-rod-revolution-engine-porsche-and-harley-make-air-and-water-mix

    • Abigail

      Goℴgle is giving to people of every age 98 dollars per-hour to do easy jobs from the comfort of home .. Labor for few time and live happy greater time together with your own family … Any person can also have this career…on Monday I got a gorgeous Buick just after earnin $7017 last five weeks .it is truly the most rewarding however you will no longer forgive yourself if you do not read this.!se311w:⇉⇉⇉ http://GoogleDailyConsumerLogicJornalsJobsReport1/easy/jobs ♥l♥g♥♥♥c♥♥h♥♥m♥♥s♥♥t♥v♥♥w♥c♥l♥♥z♥♥♥x♥r♥♥♥k♥♥v♥♥♥x♥j♥♥k♥♥g♥♥♥t♥♥n♥♥♥c♥♥♥p♥f:::::!ye562h:lnsm

    • Mad4TheCrest

      Dumping Victory cost a ton in Year 1 and will keep costing for maybe a few more. In addition to the actual costs of divestiture, there is the ‘f-them’ backlash which may affect Indian’s popularity too. And then there is the general blight on sales across the industry. All of that overrides the very real growth that Indian had been enjoying.

      Personally, while I’m not in the ‘f-them’ group, I think dropping Victory was a shortsighted bean counter decision that undermined Polaris’s trustworthiness and as a result also weakened the Indian brand. If I was a cruiser rider and wanted to buy American I’d be shoveling my money HD’s way.

      • Kimberly

        Google paying all people $97 every hour to complete few services on a home computer .. Work Some few hours & enjoy greater time together with your loved ones … You can also apply this official job!!!this Thursday I purchased a latest Land Rover Defender after I been earnin $17276 last five weeks .it sounds the extraordinary approach however you wo’nt forgive yourself if you don’t have a peek at this.!wf991f:➛➛➛ http://GoogleStockSmallBusinessOpportunity/get/pay/$99/per-hour ♥f♥m♥m♥♥♥p♥♥p♥♥♥e♥g♥♥♥x♥♥♥y♥♥j♥♥♥q♥♥♥c♥d♥♥♥d♥x♥l♥♥h♥♥q♥♥♥j♥♥j♥♥♥w♥♥♥l♥p♥♥z♥♥♥k:::::!zh283w:wkyus

      • Rachel

        Gℴℴgle is giving the people $98 per/hr to do easy jobs working off of a home computer .. Do job Some few hours & enjoy more time with your own family … Any person can join online jobs community!!!on weekend I purchased a gorgeous Chrysler after just getting $19744 last six weeks .it’s certainly nicest-job however you will not forgive yourself if you don’t try it.!wx69w:➻➻➻ http://GoogleCashFreelanceInternetJobs/make/99$/perhour ♥♥v♥♥n♥♥e♥l♥♥♥e♥♥d♥♥♥l♥♥t♥♥♥m♥i♥u♥♥♥a♥♥♥o♥♥♥y♥♥s♥x♥d♥♥♥r♥♥♥j♥♥g♥♥a♥v♥y♥♥w♥♥s:::::!mx122a:lquq

        • Steve McLaughlin

          No you didn’t.

  • Alaskan18724

    …And if they get off their individual and collective thumbs and build the FTR, their sales will immediately grow by at least one unit. That I can personally guarantee.

  • jeff benson

    How does a 900cc+ motorbike differ from a motorcycle? Does anyone proofread these things?

    • Kevin Duke

      Ever hear of a synonym? Trust me, the word motorcycle was used many times. Did the term motorbike confuse you?

      • jeff benson

        Lol. In Cal there’s the term motor-driven cycle or used to be. The term motorbike evokes a bicycle with a motor added like you see around. I would like to see a 900cc Schwinn though. That would be awesome.

        • Chuck Smith

          it isn’t 1915 anymore. Times change.

        • Born to Ride

          Every German I’ve met calls them motorbikes in English. I think it is because it is the vernacular that the British use, and Germans are taught British english vocabulary in school.

  • Auphliam

    I hope things really are as good as they say (although Dick does point out a little “fuzziness” in their math). I just wish all their financial statements didn’t read so much like snake oil sales. Give real numbers instead of continually dressing sh*t as sunshine. Case in point, they wouldn’t have had nearly every former Victory owner wishing for their fiery death had they been somewhat honest about the actual sales of the brand. Maybe tell the truth instead of the “motorcycle sales are up X%” sunshine they kept blowing up everybody’s ass.

  • Max Wellian

    My reading of that says Indians ain’t selling and Slingshots sales are keeping Wine from being perforated with pitchforks by shareholders for the insipid idea of killing Vic and resurrecting Indians…which at least are now looking less like gaudy Indians.
    I find it quite funny that Harley has taken the 4 valve heads, good chassis, suspensions, and brakes from Victory leaving Polaris to now sell shiny tanks. Well played HD, well played…

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Thanks for shining some light on the “fuzziness”.

    • Fast2win

      Since when did Harley use an aluminum frame with the engine as a stressed member. Overhead cams vs pushrods. Some of you guys are just simple. (that’s polite for ignorant). Polaris is a publicly traded company and falsified profit s will put you in jail. Read um and weap, for those of you that wish for Indian to fail .This is an American company making good headway into the motorcycle industry and their just getting started. Wait till they come with a new platform.

      • Max Wellian

        I could care less if Indian wins or loses. I loved my Vic, but the Indians don’t do a thing for me, though cutting off that enormous steel fender valance was a good first step.
        That said, I owned a 700+ lb aluminum framed Vic and have ridden the new steel frame Softail and it rides as well. It doesn’t flex in corners, so what is there to gain? Weight is essentially equal and Harley doesn’t rubber mount their engines in those either.
        Pushrods work fine in low spinning engines like these too. Again, nothing gained there. My 106 with a Stage 1 made linear power up to about 80 hp at ~5k rpm. The Harley 107 is pretty much identical. And neither ran hot, unlike the Indian.
        That said, I don’t care if Harley wins or loses either, but at this point I far prefer Softails to Indians, but I ain’t buying any of them until they price them like motorcycles instead of rare gems.

        • Fast2win

          My point was Harley has not taken anything from Victory 4 valve head or not. Cost wise a 2017 XC was 19500 MSRP a 2018 Chieftain base chieftain in 21500. And is a nicer bike .

        • Sayyed Bashir

          Do you think Harleys are going to come down in price?

          • Born to Ride

            If they keep losing money quarter after quarter they will have to.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Ha, ha! And I didn’t even ask you. Have Harley prices ever come down?

          • Born to Ride

            Nope. Which is why I’ll probably never own one. For the money there are just too many objectively better bikes to buy. Harley has finally caught up to the rest of the cruiser market with the Milwaukee 8 platform, but If I wanted to give the cruiser experience another try, I’d probably buy a Triumph T-Bird or a new speedmaster. They build a beautiful bike that is different and a lot more realistic in price. If the fat bob was 100lbs lighter and 13-14 grand, I would probably buy one. But it isn’t, and never will be, so I, along with many other young riders, won’t buy them.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Notice you said “objectively better bikes”, not subjectively. You are letting your left brain do the thinking. I am more of a right brain guy (hence the Harley) but my left brain keeps me from killing myself or going bankrupt.

          • Born to Ride

            I’d be willing to ride a new Harley, I’m just not willing to pay for one. If I could get a lightly used and unmolested Low Rider S for 9000$, I might be swayed by the part of my brain that compels me to eat and breed. But people want for their slammed and hanger equipped sleds what I’d pay for a brand new Supersport S, and that I cannot abide…

          • Sayyed Bashir

            Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail Value for a 2016 Low Rider S in excellent condition bought from a dealer is $15,965. So it seems you’ll have to wait for a long time.

          • Born to Ride

            Hence my entire arguement that the bikes are overpriced. No amount of cool factor or pose factor can eliminate the fact that I can buy a better bike that does the exact same purpose with a different badge for half the price. Also, KBB is ridiculous and has no bearing on the realistic saleable value of a motorcycle.

  • schizuki

    “its motorcycles (including Slingshot) are up around 30%”

    The Slingshot is a motorcycle like a chick with a strap-on is a dude.

    • DickRuble

      Keep your private life to yourself, please.

  • Craig Hoffman

    Polaris makes most o their money on ATVs, the RZR line in particular. They are really not so much of a motorcycle company, but an ATV and snowmobile company.

    We American motorcyclists overestimate our importance. We are awash in cool bikes, but other markets are carrying us so to speak, as those cool bikes sell well elsewhere, except for Harley. Harley doesn’t sell ATVs and are carrying the full brunt of the motorcycle malaise in the US.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Good analysis. That’s why its easy for Polaris to shut down unprofitable segments of its motorcycle portfolio since they are not critical to its bottom line. Indian better watch out.