Who makes Victory motorcycles? To this day, seasoned motorcyclists still look back at Victory V-twin Cruiser Motorcycles with fondness; the brand used to garner a dedicated worldwide fanbase with its sleek and performance-driven designs.
Although it has no longer dominated the American motorcycle industry, Victory still deserves some tributes for its memorable contribution to the motorcycle industry.
Who Makes Victory Motorcycles?
Polaris, a then-famous American producer of ATVs & snowmobiles, created the Victory line in 1998 to mirror Harley-Davidson’s raving success. All models are made in America (Minosetta and Iowa/Spirit Lake) to ensure they are 100% American-styled.
The very first Victory model (V92C) was introduced in 1997 before going on sale in 1998. With innovative sport-touring configurations and custom V-twin cruisers, its success was to be expected. Motivated, the brand continued to produce new models, such as the extreme custom Vegas (2003) and Hammer S (2005).
Things seemed to go extremely well for Victory by the 2010s despite certain financial difficulties. Even in 2016 – one of the toughest moments of the company – there were no serious struggle signs at all. Hence, everyone firmly believed the brand would stay in reign for a few more decades; unfortunately, this expectation fell short.
Victory was struck in its last year due to a severe lack of rational assets, few model upgrades compared to last years (aside from paint/coating), and insensible investments into 3-wheeled and electric motorcycles.
Is Victory Motorcycles Still In Business?
No. In 2017, Polaris (the company that owned Victory) released official announcements via the press that it would start winding down Victory’s operations. Victory failed to establish significant market shares and achieve sustainable profitability back then.
Hence, Polaris saw no reason for Victory to continue its production. Such a bitter ending saddened the hearts of millions of Victory fans – though frankly, they should have seen it coming.
We admit that Victory productions of touring bikes, baggers, and road vehicles are high-quality and expertly crafted; nevertheless, the brand could not live up to its original goal (beating Harley Davidson) and, thus, ended up being cast out of the competition.
To make up for Victory’s discontinuation, Polaris purchased Indian Motorcycles (which, despite its name, is an American brand) in 2010-2011. This acquisition is part of the reason why Victory had to be shut down, as Polaris wishes to pool more funds and resources on expanding/nurturing Indian Motorcycles instead.
Still, those who have already purchased Victory bikes do not have to freak out; Polaris confirms all replacement parts and repair packages would be available for at least another 10 years to assist existing Victory motorcycle owners. Warranty coverages and extra services for the V-twin engines will also remain on dealer offerings.
Are Victory Motorcycles Good?
Yes, they are. For over two decades, Victory has snatched the hearts of millions of cyclists due to extreme horsepower, performance, comfort, and much smoother rides than other giant twins.
Plus, with efficient balance and low-center gravity, its handling is almost unmatched. The high-build steel frames are a lovely cherry on top, ensuring maximum longevity of 300,000 miles!
Not to mention, aesthetic-wise, Victory motorbikes are to die for. The brand’s creative design team sought inspiration from most 1930s to 1940s motorcycling scenes, mixing numerous classic fender elements to manifest a distinct aesthetic never seen on other bikes of the same era. It looks incredible under the glowing sunset red of Pikes Peak or Denali.
Some readers might wonder: if the Victory design is THAT good, why were these bikes discontinued? As mentioned, Polaris (Victory’s parent company) did not have enough financial stability to sustain Victory’s expensive production capacity costs; hence, it decided to channel facilities, organizations, and expertise to Indian Motorcycle instead.
But the disappearance of Victory from the American motorcycle market does not kill the dedication and pride of dedicated Victory enthusiasts; in fact, their loyalty to the brand only strengthens – another crystal-clear proof of how exceptional these bikes’ performances have been in a series of road trips.
100+ Victory motorcycle club are still active in America and at least 5 other countries; the brand is truly a road king!
Some Great Victory Motorcycles To Consider
There is a wide range of options – after all, Victory has been around the corner for several decades – but V92C, Vegas, Kingpin, and Gunner are still the best choices for cross roads, especially for average to advanced riders during a cross country tour.
- Victory V92C: As the brand’s first successful model, V92C impresses with a customizable seat height (for single seats), 1,510-cc engine, 92 cubic inches, six-speed constant mesh, and additional power of 83 HP (horsepower).
- Victory Vegas Jackpot: Those who wish for a stylish, power sports bike would fall in love with Vegas; the powder-coated chrome and sweeping lines make it a sight to behold on common streets.
The wide range of luxury electronic drift brakes, impressive torque compensator (106 ft of torque), and great compression ratio only make things better.
- Victory Kingpin: The bike features distinct tank designs and blank slates for 100% extensive custom styling. And who doesn’t have their minds blown by the premium brake components, multi – plate hydraulic lifters, and cozy passenger backrest?
- Victory Gunner: This bobber-style bike arrives with a 1731cc cam engine head, low chassis design, two-in-one exhaust, and a super aggressive Hammer 8-ball charcoal/custom paint scheme.
Whatever Happened to… Victory Motorcycles?
Back in 1997, an American leisure vehicle manufacturer called Polaris Industries announced its first entry into the motorcycle market.
The company started out making snowmobiles in 1956 but was also well known for its ATVs and jet skis. They wanted to expand into motorcycles and went head to head with Harley-Davidson, America’s iconic motorbike brand, by developing a V-twin cruiser. Polaris’ brand was called Victory Motorcycles and the first model, the V92C, went on sale in 1998.
Assembled entirely in the United States from mainly American parts, the Victory enjoyed much more modern engineering than the Harleys of the time. The 50-degree V-twin was a massive 1510cc (or 92 cubic inches, as the model name suggested) and in many ways it was a faster, smoother and more superior bike to anything coming out of Milwaukee at the time.
With a single model at launch, the V92C lacked some of Harley-Davidson’s character, even if it rode very well. The following year saw the first derivative, the V92SC SportCruiser, and in 2002 the V92TC ‘Touring Cruiser’ made a range of three.
Despite being good motorcycles, Victory had difficulty breaking into a market so dominated by Harley-Davidson, complete with its culture, events and wide range of parts and accessories.
Victory’s next bike gave a flavour of what was to come. The Vegas featured an all-new frame, with a kicked out front end and plenty of attitude, while models like the Kingpin and High Ball had often outrageous styling and lairy paint schemes.
Victory also brought in the ‘8-Ball’ sub model which, like Ducati’s Dark, was an entry level model with simpler paint jobs – aimed at owners who wanted a ‘blank canvas’ upon which to customise and modify.
By 2006, most Victorys were running 100ci (1600cc) versions of the 50-degree V-twin – which now also had a six-speed transmission to the belt final drive. The Vision range of tourers also expanded the line-up and gave Victory a credible competitor to Harley’s big touring bikes. Victorys were big and bold motorcycles.
Victory managed reasonable sales but in 2011 the parent company purchased the rights to the Indian Motorcycle name. Unlike Victory, which was a completely new name, Indian was one of the oldest motorcycle brands in the world. It marked a turning point in Polaris’ strategy.
Indian, along with Harley-Davidson, was one of the two great American motorcycle brands. The company was founded in 1901, two years before H-D, and survived the depression before finally going to the wall in 1953.
Despite various attempts to revive the brand, all had proved unsuccessful, but Polaris realised that the legendary Indian name held more emotional appeal than Victory to the American cruiser buyer. In 2013, the first Polaris Indians left the showrooms, powered by an all-new V-twin engine, and marked the beginning of the end for the Victory brand.
Are Victory motorcycles American made?
With Victory, Polaris objectively created high quality, American-made cruisers, baggers and touring bikes. However, subjectively, Victory could not capture the legacy and emotion Harley-Davidson enjoys from its owners.
Are Victory motorcycles still manufactured?
No more Victory-badged bikes were made at the Iowa factory and dealers sold off existing stock. Ultimately though, Victory Motorcycles never really died. Polaris realised that the evocative Indian brand was more popular and they focused their design, development and manufacturing resources on that instead.
Are Victory bikes good?
It is a unique machine that you won’t see parked up at many bike meets. Reliability isn’t an issue and aside from a few bits of corrosion, generally they aren’t to be feared in the used market. It’s a shame the price tag remains quite high but there again, you are buying a lot of metal!
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