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Polaris Announces They Will Wind Down Victory Motorcycles

Rider Magazine StaffJanuary 09, 2017
A few bikes from Victory Motorcycles' 2017 lineup, which includes cruisers, baggers, tourers and an electric bike.

A few bikes from Victory Motorcycles’ 2017 lineup, which includes cruisers, baggers, tourers and an electric bike.

In a surprise announcement this morning, Polaris Industries is going to discontinue the Victory Motorcycles brand effective immediately. According to the press release, “Polaris will assist dealers in liquidating existing inventories while continuing to supply parts for a period of 10 years, along with providing service and warranty coverage to Victory dealers and owners. Today’s announcement does not affect any other Polaris business units.”

While the announcement may come as a shock to many outside the industry, and even some of those within it, given the success of the Indian Motorcycle brand and the struggles the Victory brand has experienced in trying to gain a foothold in the market, the decision to discontinue Victory makes sense from a business point of view, as painful as that is.

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

11 comments

  1. This is sad news (actually, I’m shocked but I haven’t been paying attention to their sales figures or market share), both for the employees it will affect and for motorcycling. More brands = more better (excuse the bad grammar). It improves the breed and gives the consumer more options. I had the opportunity to ride a lot of the Victory motorcycles in the late ’90s and they were excellent machines with unique styling (Victory Vision, anybody?) and very enthusiastic employees at all levels of the company (i.e. within Polaris). Just from a pure-performance standpoint, they were better on the road than many of their H-D contemporaries (ride quality, handling, and power). I think this is a real shame and I can’t even fathom how they weren’t a sales success or why actual cruiser buyer’s didn’t find them more appealing.

    • I think that there will be very few, if any layoffs. The same employees built Victory and Indian motorcycles in the same facilities. I think what is likely is that there will be more Indian motorcycles built or Polaris will come up with something else.

      • I hope you’re right. But if you’ve ever been in even the “very few,” that’s not comforting.

        • I am sorry to report that I have read something that would seem to confirm that there are indeed going to be some layoffs. Yes, it was a long time ago, but I was one of those people who got let go. It eventually worked out for me but I know that’s not always the case.

  2. As a Victory owner this doesn’t come as a shock as Polaris put all of their eggs in the Indian “basket” and did nothing to promote the Victory brand. No new engine, models were variations on a recurring theme and the only new model to speak of was (I don’t care how much Polaris states the parts overlap was minimal) the Octane. I have a 2014 XC tuned by Lloydz Motorworks and with 120 foot pounds of torque and about the same in horsepower to the rear wheel, I’ll be riding mine and grinning for awhile. There is no cruiser that can compete with the power, acceleration and handling of this bike.

  3. Thank Goodness for Victory & Indian. I have been a Harley rider since 1973. I still am but Polaris has pushed Harley to do product development they might not have done. I.E. Rushmore, Milwaukee 8.I wish Indian/Polaris continued success. At bike rallies I am seeing lot’s of Indians but few Victory’s.

  4. I bought a Victory after watching/riding a buddies while he was overseas. I love the bike, but the support has left something to be desired. I had a clutch cable break right as I was starting a long trip. The clutch cable was about $150, but the overnight shipping charge from Polaris was $200. I had some troubles on the road, but the Victory dealer I contacted told me it would be a week before he could even look at the bike. Luckily, an independent dealer stepped in to save the day – along with great support from Lloydz over the phone. Polaris would be smart to require all the Indian dealers to continue to service Victory’s. If not, who will risk a long trip? My plan is to ride my bike until she wears out. I imagine the resale value on all the Victory’s are going to be zero anyway.

  5. Sad to see this, but good luck to Polaris. They build great products – have looked at them several times. I do think this is a hard, but smart choice. The Indian name and the concept is strong and the current product looks better to a guy like me who has ridden Harleys for many years. The swept fenders and classic looks are working on me.

  6. As a 25 year BMW rider I’ve enjoyed riding all the Victory models when I worked sales at a local dealer. Hell of a great bike, sad to see that Polaris could not continue the brand. Harley is not the only choice in the heavy cruiser market.

  7. TRULY A SHAME ! Like Victory a lot and brothers I know that own them LOVE them . The biggest shame though is to the market . Being what it is (share holders concerns and short sighted bottom line mentality) I’m afraid 4 – 8 years from now (after Indian hits any tough patch) Polaris will pull the plug on Indian and we’ll be left with just H-D again (and if you don’t think H-D is right now discussing that strategy I got shares of Excelsior-Henderson to sell you) .

    Please rethink your long term market goals and keep a well made American motorcycle viable .

  8. I love my 2008 Victory CCT and had planned on getting another Victory on down the line. This is very sad news. I’ve test ridden the Indian and though it’s a good looking bike and has that name, it still doesn’t compare to the Victory line. What a loss!!!

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