2017 Victory Octane Unveiling
Beefy but not muscle-bound
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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|
|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?)|
|Dry Weight (Claimed)||528 lb. (dry)|
|Fuel Capacity||3.4 gal|