Victory Motorcycles Ceasing Operations

01/09/2017 @ 9:02 am, by Jensen Beeler64 COMMENTS

Polaris Industries is starting the year off with some surprising news, announcing that it will cease operation of Victory Motorcycles and other related business operations to the brand.

Scott Wine, Polaris Industries Chairman and CEO, explained the decision as coming down to basic business factors, with Victory not showing the growth and volume in order to sustain its continued existence.

Polaris in its press release also cites the changing landscape of the motorcycle landscape, and that the resources and investments required to make Victory competitive going forward were too hard to justify for the troubled brand.

Instead, Polaris will focus solely on its Indian and Slingshot brands, for the motorcycle space.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision for me, my team and the Polaris Board of Directors,” said Wine. “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.”

Polaris will assist Victory dealerships in unloading their current inventory, and of course Victory owners will still have access to the regular terms of their warranties, while parts will continue to be available for the next 10 years – as is required by law.

“This decision will improve the profitability of Polaris and our global motorcycle business, and will materially improve our competitive stance in the industry,” added 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.”

Source: Polaris

  • Mike Johnson

    Wow, this is astonishing news especially as the powertrain was superior in every way. I respect their decision though. The smaller Indian engine is even more superior.

  • Sam Miller

    The stock started dropping at 4pm on Friday. Nice that they waited until Monday to tell their dealers.

  • Sam Miller

    Wonder if they’ll sell off the Brammo line or kill it.

  • Doug

    That sucks. I saw Victory as our only real hope to see an American built superbike in the somewhat near future.

  • MrDefo

    There has to be more to the story than this. Why buy Brammo and then so quickly drop the entire marque? Complete surprise.

  • Neil__S

    Just when I started to like an American moto brand (thanks to their Pikes Peak effort)…

  • GhostRider25

    The Victory community has been speculating about this for over a year now. The comments made by that idiot Whine are complete B.S. He let Victory just die on the vine and brought NO resources to the brand whatsoever while lavishing the Indian line with all the resources they could stand. And they chose to do this at a time when Victory sales were up and guys were just starting to feel a little better about the future. It’s a sad day for sure.

  • Doug

    One more thought, I bet the writing is on the wall for Indian as well. I give them one more year and then we see them announce the same fait for Indian. We have a dealer less than 10 miles away and I have never seen an Indian on the road. I own a HD and I’m in the demographic. I visited the dealer and NOTHING appealed to me. Overpriced and gaudy.

  • RL

    Let this be a cautionary tale of displaying exciting concept bikes (project 156 super naked, ignition roadster concept, Brammo empulse RR sportbike) and never having any of them make it to production in a recognizable form. Even a production “flat tracker” would have generated some buzz for the brand. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9e0b5b42fa6229e39446b3db72aedb9dcbd785fba7c107dff93b1b14053b6557.jpg

  • Nicko55

    About time, Victory has been a ridiculous loss for the company the entire time. The bikes went from fairly awful early on, to very good over the years, but the brand identity went from non-existant to laughably non-existant.

  • Doug

    Brammo appeals to the emerging market. I would thing it’s safe.

  • GhostRider25

    Exactly, Doug. Indian is a niche brand with a limited following and next to no growth potential because they are bound to this heritage concept. They will not survive. HD should be very happy with this news! Polaris just did them a huge favor. Idiots…

  • Nicko55

    I’ve been around their design department several times, the ideas and talent within those walls is excellent, but the company calling the shots? Completely clueless.

  • Sam Miller

    Well they just announced a $10,000 rebate on the Empulse TT this morning. Really, $10,000.

  • Doug

    HD has to adapt to the changing demographic to thrive though. I think they will….they are trying…slowly.

  • Fidel Cash-Flow

    Indian takes a larger piece of the cruiser pie from Harley every year… I was at Daytona bike week this year and you’d be surprised at the amount of Polaris products that showed up

  • durandal1

    Every brand that holds on too tight to the past will meet the same fate. Even HD, despite not really selling motorcycles on their own merits, but as a piece of a lifestyle. Triumph should be worried as well.

  • GhostRider25

    That means they are basically giving them away then. They were already in deep discount mode because they failed to properly market them, being too obsessed with Indian and all of their failing offroad vehicles. In truth, the Empulse is not too bad of a machine, just needed a little more development. I guess that isn’t happening now.

  • Michael Howard

    So much for the hope that Victory would pursue the other-than-cruiser market while Indian competed against Harley-Davidson. Sad that “Victory” has apparently succumbed to failure.

  • Joonil Park

    Yeah, totally a missed opportunity in general, but especially last year with the Octane coming off heels of the Project 156 racebike. Evening pivoting the “Victory” brand into competition sport bikes would’ve worked…

  • Gary

    Didn’t see that coming. Too bad, I thought they made nice motorcycles. I’m not a cruiser fan, but I demo’ed one and was very impressed. Their engineering skills were well apparent.

  • Gary

    Also…I can’t image the Slingshot has an especially rosy future after the novelty crowd has been fully satiated.

  • GhostRider25

    I still maintain that Victory did not FAIL… These morons simply decided to kill it. It’s a bad business decision in my opinion, one that I HOPE they regret. But we’ll see.

  • Jason

    I expect we will see some of the market niches filled by the Victory motorcycles transition to the Indian brand. There was a huge amount of market overlap between the Victory and Indian brands and the Indian brand is stronger despite being dead for decades.

  • Jason

    Even with a $10K discount a Empulse still costs $10K.

  • imprezive

    That’s my suspicion as well. Having two cruiser brands was always a questionable business decision. That’s why I thought they would transition Victory to be more standard/super naked focused but I guess killing it is an other option.

  • LeChatNoir d’Tobac

    Really…no surprise, however the Victory powertrains are stonking fun and the spectrum of Indian bikes to be built can use the 106 for good measure and some chassis.
    i mean think of all the Indians they can build even a sports line can happen easy, this is consolidation not death. the Victory Cross Country has life, although the Roadmaster is better at what they both set out to do. They have so many name plates and new ones to create, this could be good for one big manufacturer to go toe-to-toe with the other US manufacturer. they can move the Victory ‘Scout’ can use that engine in future Indian Scouts, and a tracker can be built and loved by a new generation, if they want. to be a fly on the wall at that boardroom.

  • Jason

    They can still make performance bikes under the Indian name. Indian has racing tradition, especially with flat track.

  • Singletrack

    I just saw huge Victory (insert ironic joke here) displays at a motorcycle show yesterday. That is shocking news.
    I feel partially vindicated though. I said from the start that the ‘Victory’ brand name was a mistake, particularly when the Polaris brand already had significant equity in the market. Why were they so embarrassed about the parent company name? It’s perfect for motorcycles. They created their own ‘headwinds’.
    That said, I could see Polaris leaving cruisers to Indian and relaunching Polaris motorcycles aimed at the ‘everything but cruiser’ markets.

  • Superlight

    Victory never intended to produce a real superbike. The Octane certainly wasn’t it.

  • On the one hand this is pretty shocking given that Victory had the backing of Polaris. On the other, I rarely (and I mean RARELY) see a Victory motorcycle on the road. Same applies to Indian. They never gave Harley any competition. Too bad for the employees.

  • Rcannon409

    I think this will be true for all of the cruiser companies. At some point, this large variety twin nonsense has to stop. Either build something modern, like Ducats, or do what Victory did and go away.

  • Rcannon409

    Mike, superior in what way? I’m not trying to argue, but at some point they need more than a big v twin. These companies compete against each other with modern 1970 Chevy impalas.

  • The big twin format makes for a great cruiser or touring platform. In addition to my Ducati, I own a Dynaglide and think it’s great. Problem is that Victory never gave enough potential purchasers a good enough reason to switch from Harley. What’s more, as noted elsewhere, when they acquired Indian, they cannabolized their own market. Lastly, Victory never seemed to get beyond their initial introduction of pretty clunky bikes and questionable styling choices.

  • Mike Johnson

    This is a fair question and your point on V twins is well taken but this is partly a demand sourced decision (use of V-twin). But if we compare the Vic engine to the HD engine we get a forged one piece crankshaft, extensive oil cooling system, very rigid and integrated crankcase and transmission. Right side transmission output and very compact primary clutch assembly compared to HD as well as SOHC. As a work of engineering it is very good.
    I agree 100% than an across the frame inline engine is much better for force dynamics underway. For VERY advanced see the Honda 750 NC bikes with dual clutch for powertrain analysis. Also excellent are BMW 1000cc 4s and 1600 cc 6. If you just had to have power the Adventure version of the BMW 1000.
    Think about your legal position, medical insurance, DMV vulnerabilities tho ;)

  • proudAmerican702

    @ durandal1—Triumph is a brand that “holds on too tight to the past?”

    Speed Triple, Street Triple, Daytona, Trophy, Tiger Explorer 1200, Tiger 800…

    Am I missing something here?

  • Agreed.

  • Andrew Horton

    If building yet another “me two” engine was a demand based decision the fact that Victory are closing down illustrates how flawed that thinking was.

  • imprezive

    They definitely could. The question is will they? It made sense when they had two brands to pivot one. Now it’s going to be awful tempting to rest on their cruiser laurels.

  • paulus

    Got to give the exec’s and insiders time to unload.. it’s common elite courtesy ;-)
    What happens to the existing dealers? Transfer to Indian, or simply lose their livelihood?

  • paulus

    On a global perspective, Indian is the better known brand. To roll the best of Victory into Indian and market a single, consolidated global effort makes business sense.
    I wonder if my ‘Victory’ thermo-colour coffee mugs are now collectors items…?

  • Sam Miller

    “We will actively work to establish a long-term, servicing dealer network to support Victory customers.” Or so they say.

  • JT Klein

    Very right but in the end, the buyer in that market segment does not want superior anything; that buyer wants a Harley Davidson.

  • paulus

    Saw that… but the comment is ‘exec-babble’ for “Calm down, we will do something but we don’t know what it is, or don’t want to tell you yet”. Imagine being a dealer who has put time and money into retail and service space, training, stock and local marketing… it sucks. Hopefully Polaris takes care of them.

  • Sam Miller

    I am one of those dealers…

  • paulus

    Damn, best wishes of success for a good outcome for you.
    sincerely….

  • paulus

    Triumph are going from strength to strength. Increased sales and new models year on year….

  • paulus

    There is a constant supply of people getting older, by the day… AND new rappers constantly emerging!

  • durandal1

    Thought the bulk of their sales was made up of their retro models? Need to go look again, I might remember it wrong.

  • durandal1

    I should add that I’m a former Daytona 675R owner, absolutely amazing bike. Not completely ignorant ;)

  • GhostRider25

    I have heard prices as low as $6,000. Still need to confirm this, but this is what I have heard.

  • Jason

    The Empulse MSRP is $19,999. The Victory factory rebate is $10,000 in customer cash. That is what the factor will do.
    Then you have what individual dealers will do to move a bike and the possibility of state and local EV rebates. I could see someone getting a Empulse for $6K.

  • I saw one at a dealer. It felt and looked cheap in certain areas that made me 2nd guess forking over that kind of cash.
    This is the part that doesn’t jive with their “…changing motorcycle landscape” stance. You are the ONLY major OEM with a bike poised to be at the forefront of that new landscape. And, what did you do with it besides race it at the Isle? Not much.

    You then race the Pike’s Peak bike and promptly debut it as yet another f’in cruiser. Where exactly does another cruiser fit into that changing landscape besides adding the 60th cruiser model to your catalog? 60!!

  • i had real hope with that super stout standard, but when they debuted it as a production cruiser, I was done. What the fck is wrong with their management?

  • especially since they have brand equity in performance snow sleds

  • Trenchanting

    Motus builts what you could arguably call an American built superbike.

  • Brett Lewis

    And the EBR 1190 RX, often forgotten…

  • merlot2k1

    Wow, surprising! I was at the MC show in NYC last month and kept coming back to the Octane. I thought it was really nice. Oh well.

  • proudAmerican702

    I don’t see Triumph’s Bonneville line (classic standards) as being in the same category as Victory’s offerings (cruisers, and cruiser/tourers.)

  • Joe Deloreto

    If you rarely see a Victory on the road then you are looking in the wrong place. I see them all over up here in the Northeast.

  • Joe Deloreto

    Questionable styling choices? Should all bikes look like a harley (insert name here) Glide? Victory designed beautiful well manufactured bomb proof bikes. They cut themselves off a the knees when they bought Indian, which has a limited market in my opinion. Once all the old timers get their fill there will be no one to take their place.

  • Victory

    The Indian engine is larger than the 106 Freedom motor from Victory. It’s a 111.

  • Mike Johnson

    Meaning the new engine as in the Project 156 and the Octane line – The *big engine* you refer to is another retro antiquated metal hulk See Project 156 for a modern V-twin

  • Mark Anderson

    Sam, what are the discounts currently available for all the Victory line?