With the recent acquisition of Indian, Polaris Industries, a company best known for its off-road vehicles, snowmobiles and watercraft, has deepened its commitment to the cruiser market, still the largest segment of U.S. motorcycle buyers. But Victory Motorcycles, an in-house cruiser brand that has steadily grown in model diversity, engine displacement and overall quality since being launched in 1998, is Polaris’ bread and butter. For 2012, Victory is introducing three new models—two tourers and a blacked-out bobber—and bringing back a garageful of touring bikes, cruisers and Ness Signature factory customs.
Victory is broadening its touring portfolio with the new Cross Country Tour, which, like all 2012 models, is powered by the 106-inch Freedom V-twin with six-speed transmission (touring models are good for a claimed 109 lb-ft of torque, cruisers for 113 lb-ft). ABS is standard on all touring models for 2012, too. The Tour introduces the Victory Comfort Control System to adjust airflow into the cockpit. Upper vents are mounted to the base of the fairing and lower vents are integrated into new hard lowers, both of which can be easily adjusted with gloves on. The highway-bar-mounted lowers add two gallons of lockable storage and include an iPod connector and 12V outlet. Add in the easily detachable, 17.7-gallon Lock and Ride trunk and the 21-gallon-total saddlebags and you’re looking at 40.7 gallons of storage, said to be the highest capacity of any production motorcycle. The Tour also gets a tall windscreen that’s tops the previous tall one, ABS, heated grips and seat, adjustable-height passenger floorboards, HID lighting, saddlebag tip-over guards and cruise control. The Cross Country Tour is available in Black, Imperial Blue or Sunset Red over Silver. The same color choices are also available for the base-model Cross Country, which foregoes the trunk, hard lowers and Comfort Control System.
For fans of soft saddlebags, there is the new Cross Roads Classic LE, a numbered, limited-edition model that gets special black and white paint with black and red pinstriping, special stitching on the seat and saddlebags, wire wheels, windscreen, light bar, fender bumpers and saddlebag rails. For the base-model Cross Roads, Victory is continuing its Core Custom Program, which allows buyers to choose bike color (Sunset Red or Black), saddlebag style (soft or hard), highway bar style (forged or tubular) and whether to add a mid-height windscreen.
The third new model is the Victory High-Ball, introduced in January and based on the Vegas. With dark, old-school-cool styling, an ape hanger handlebar that’s two-position adjustable (upright or laid back, legal in all 50 states and Canada) and an ultra-low solo seat, this bobber rolls on 16-inch gloss black wheels with stainless steel spokes shod with a pair of beefy 130/150 Dunlop whitewall tires.
Returning for 2012 is the Vision, Victory’s flagship tourer with one-of-a-kind styling, and six cruisers: Vegas, Vegas Jackpot, Vegas 8-Ball, Kingpin, Hammer S and Hammer 8-Ball. Since the first Arlen Ness Signature Vegas debuted in 2004, Victory’s relationship with the Ness family has grown to include three generations. If you are to factory customs what Peter Griffin is to beer, you now have three Ness models to choose from: the Arlen Ness Vision, the Cory Ness Cross Country or the Zach Ness Vegas 8-Ball. For all models, Victory offers an ever-expanding array of factory accessories, from Kicker speakers and heated seats to apes and dongles.