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.
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.