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2017 Victory Octane – First Look Review

Greg DrevenstedtFebruary 19, 2016
Victory embraces liquid cooling with its new Octane cruiser.

Victory embraces liquid cooling with its new Octane cruiser.

Victory’s new tagline is “Modern American Muscle,” and it’s flexing its biceps with the early-release 2017 Octane, a mid-sized cruiser powered by a liquid-cooled, 60-degree, 1,179cc V-twin with DOHC and four valves per cylinder that makes a claimed 104 horsepower and 76 lb-ft of torque. Victory says it weighs just 528 pounds (dry), does the quarter-mile in 12 seconds and hits 0-60 in 3.6 seconds. And it costs just $10,499.

Although Victory identifies its Project 156 Pikes Peak race bike and Combustion and Ignition concepts as progenitors of the Octane, it also shares much in common with the Indian Scout—perhaps not surprising since they’re both made by Polaris Industries. Both have the same engine design and they share a 73.6mm stroke, but the Octane gets a 2mm-larger bore (101mm), giving it an additional 46cc of displacement and higher claimed output.

The 2017 Victory Octane is dark, long and low, with seating for one.

The 2017 Victory Octane is dark, long and low, with seating for one.

Other similarities include an aluminum frame with sculpted front spars that help conceal the radiator, a 6-speed transmission with cable-actuated clutch, a pitifully small gas tank (3.4 gallons on the Octane, 3.3 on the Scout), a non-adjustable fork with 4.7 inches of travel, preload-adjustable dual shocks with 3 inches of travel and single 298mm disc brakes front and rear.

Victory isn’t beholden to the past like Indian, which gives its designers more flexibility. But they didn’t stray far from the tried-and-true formula. This is still a feet-forward, low-seat, belt-driven cruiser because that’s the type of motorcycle Americans buy more than anything else. The Octane has hot rod styling with matte gray paint, blacked-out components, mag-style wheels (18-inch front, 17-inch rear) and a bullet cowl with a dark tint screen. And the accessories list includes Stage 1 slip-on mufflers, adjustable piggyback shocks, a tachometer with shift light and a drag-style handlebar.

We’ll get a chance to ride the 2017 Victory Octane at Daytona Bike Week in early March. Stay tuned for our report.

7 comments

  1. We don’t need another forward control cruiser. I was hoping when they were hyping this bike it would at least have standard controls. When you go to the Victory web site they show videos of the project 156 bike with sport bike controls, and the Zach Ness build with standard controls. This bike needs standard controls. They tried standard before with the first year Judge and that bike was very popular. Then they moved the controls forward and that killed it because they already had the cheaper Hammer. If I were to buy this bike the first thing I’d do would be to put standard or tucked back controls on it. But Kudos to Victory for making a nice lower priced entry bike.

  2. Essentially a Victory badged Indian Scout. Doesn’t make it a bad bike, just not very innovative. So far the Victory and Indian lines have been distinctive until this. Kind of reminds me of the big auto cos. that make one model and sell it as 3 different brands.

  3. Yes, same as above. My wife has been looking for an alternative to the sportster. This could have been it, but she is to short for forward mount controls. The price seems reasonable, but if she can’t feel comfortable riding it, that is a mute point.

  4. Why cant ANY American company simply make a standard bike?? Not full on cruiser, not full on sportbike. Something like a cafe racer or just a feet-under-your-ass riding position.

  5. After all the hype I am disappointed with the Octane. I thought this would be something unique to Victory, not just a rebadged Indian. Ideally I was hoping to see a platform that would eventually lead to a v-twin sport-tourer or the like. This is just same old stuff. Sigh.

  6. I like the Octane. I want to see what the performance is like. I like the forward pegs. I’m 62 and have taken my Vulcan 800 on longer rides than it’s meant to go on. From Tupelo, Miss. to Jax, Fla. in one day. The Octane looks like a good replacement.

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