WORDS: Ben Purvis
Victory Motorcycles have been out of the limelight lately—outshined by parent company Polaris’ intense focus reviving its sister brand, Indian—but now Victory is set to come back with a vengeance by launching a new range of high-performance, liquid-cooled cruisers.
We’ve uncovered drawings of no fewer than four top-secret designs for new Victory models, all with water-cooled V-twin engines. With Indian assuming the role of classic American cruiser to compete with Harley-Davidson, Victory is now free to carve out a new niche as a maker of modern, high-performance V-twins—think of something to compete with Ducati’s Diavel, rather than Harley’s Road King. In an interview appearing in the October 2013 issue, Polaris VP of Motorcycles, Steve Menneto, told us that Victory would be retooled “to focus on performance and innovation as core brand values.” These drawings are clear evidence that this change is underway.
The most complete of the four new designs is a composite by Polaris Design Chief Greg Brew, along with fellow designers Richard Christoph and Ray Frigard (colorized by MC Art Director Kathleen Conner). This is the most traditional of the four bikes shown, a classic solo-seat bobber with conventional fenders and tank, and a short subframe that doubles as a mounting point for the twin rear shocks. At the center sits what appears to be a large-displacement, liquid-cooled, DOHC V-twin engine. Unlike the other three designs, this bike has its drive belt on the left hand side and unique wheels and suspension.
The remaining trio features what appears to be a quite different engine, still a water-cooled, DOHC V-twin but with a more stylized external appearance and a transmission with the drive belt located on the right-hand side. These also share the same wheels and swingarm, all of which appear to be taken straight from the existing Victory Judge model. The implication here is that these concepts are part of an internal design contest, all using the Judge chassis as a template for the appearance of the new water-cooled engine. Likely one of these will be selected to progress towards production
Any speculation regarding engine capacity or performance potential would be little more than guesswork at the moment, but expect Polaris to answers those questions for us sooner than later. Menneto told us last year, “It’s about time the Victory had a new powertrain.”