On January 9th, 2017 Polaris Industries Chairman and CEO Scott Wine announced they would be shutting down Victory Motorcycles. While they will continue to honor warranties and produce parts for Victory for the next 10 years, their focus is turning to their iconic Indian Motorcycles brand.
For most of us, this decision came out of the blue. A little digging finds that perhaps it shouldn’t have been such a surprise. What I have heard on social media is that Victory production peaked in 2012 and has failed to make a profit each year since. Even my own local Indian/Victory dealer states they sold five to seven Indian motorcycles for every Victory motorcycle.
While riding my own Victory Cross Country Tour in Sturgis, SD in 2015, if I had been observant, I would probably have noticed the writing on the wall. The Indian brand was everywhere. Polaris was obviously pumping a lot of money into the Sturgis event to advertise and be competitive with Harley-Davidson on their home turf. The Victory brand was nowhere to be seen.
While many Victory riders are understandably upset, I’m trying to focus on the fact that my Victory motorcycle runs just fine, and it’s still just as fun to ride as it ever was before January 9th. Jon Petrich of Witchdoctor’s Billet Specialties has announced he’s not going anywhere and will continue to stay in business and support his Victory customers. Many other Victory focused company owners have advised the same intent to keep supporting their Victory customers.
I am keeping my Victory, and I’m planning to ride it for a long time to come. I hope that some of the innovation on the Victory motorcycles will find it’s way into new products in the Indian line. It will be interesting to see what develops with Indian Motorcycles now that it is the sole focus of Polaris’ energies and investments. Regardless, I’ll be riding my Victory for many years to come.
As always, I hope to see you out riding the road.