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smaller victory

7442 Views 131 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  dsjr70
when the dealer meetings come around i always have this conversation with my dealer.i ask him if he thinks victory will come out with a smaller bike.his answer is always the same.no,it wouldnt be cost effective.so how about some input from everyone here on whyvictory should or shouldnt consider doing this.
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I guess for me I keep it simple big , H-D or VIC under 1000 cc or over 1500 I just need 2 wheels anda mortor. One note I ride a vision tour and the bike I had before that a while ago was 750 magna. MY vision handles better hands down
 

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Nett said:
poptop said:
Well im looking for stars anyway so I'll put my pesos in as well.
My wife has been riding on her own for just over 2 years now and is looking for an upgrade from her 04 750 aero Honda . Its still a great (rice burner and she truly likes it but she is just about ready to move on to something else. Now she is a small person and the Honda is just about all the bike she wants wieght wise but she wants a bit more juice!Now all the arguments both ways make sense but there are alot of folks that are not 6 foot tall and 200 pounds , alot! So why does it not make sense to build a half decent Vic for those riders! Those riders and the ones wanting a decent north american unit!I would love to see her on some fleet footed 900 0r 1000 cc low with the handling and agility of the lighter lower bikes . Would that be all that bad , do you think? I have to say on a few of the vics change the fenders and you have a different bike . Thats not all that original . Perhaps its time to shake it up.

poptop
Get your wife to just try the Vegas or Vegas Low depending on her height. I'm 5'2" and I can hardly stand the butterflies in my belly every time I look at my ride or am heading out. After a long ride today, my husband came back out looking for me in the garage, found me just sitting on my bike, and asked me what I was doing. "Nuthn, just look'n." The extra weight doesn't seem to matter because the Victory's seem so well balanced. Thirteen years ago I started out on a Honda 250, then a Savage 600, then an 800. Sold my 2000 Suzuki 800 Intruder today for $2300. Sad to see it go, but we still have the 1400, which is still a fun ride. From a female's perspective, hopping on my Vegas is like wearing a new dress that makes ya feel like a million. Sorry guys, this is just from a goils point of view - no slam intended toward guy Vegas owners. I think you all look really, really great. We just need more female Victory riders out there, cuz there are so few of us. And besides, my husband, friends, and relatives all drive HD's. I like marching to my own drumbeat - don't you!
Just to follow up I believe everything you said . There is a but in there and that is comfort zone , as long as the comfort zone is in place alls well.

poptop
 

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poptop said:
Nett said:
poptop said:
Well im looking for stars anyway so I'll put my pesos in as well.
My wife has been riding on her own for just over 2 years now and is looking for an upgrade from her 04 750 aero Honda . Its still a great (rice burner and she truly likes it but she is just about ready to move on to something else. Now she is a small person and the Honda is just about all the bike she wants wieght wise but she wants a bit more juice!Now all the arguments both ways make sense but there are alot of folks that are not 6 foot tall and 200 pounds , alot! So why does it not make sense to build a half decent Vic for those riders! Those riders and the ones wanting a decent north american unit!I would love to see her on some fleet footed 900 0r 1000 cc low with the handling and agility of the lighter lower bikes . Would that be all that bad , do you think? I have to say on a few of the vics change the fenders and you have a different bike . Thats not all that original . Perhaps its time to shake it up.
poptop
Get your wife to just try the Vegas or Vegas Low depending on her height. I'm 5'2" and I can hardly stand the butterflies in my belly every time I look at my ride or am heading out. After a long ride today, my husband came back out looking for me in the garage, found me just sitting on my bike, and asked me what I was doing. "Nuthn, just look'n." The extra weight doesn't seem to matter because the Victory's seem so well balanced. Thirteen years ago I started out on a Honda 250, then a Savage 600, then an 800. Sold my 2000 Suzuki 800 Intruder today for $2300. Sad to see it go, but we still have the 1400, which is still a fun ride. From a female's perspective, hopping on my Vegas is like wearing a new dress that makes ya feel like a million. Sorry guys, this is just from a goils point of view - no slam intended toward guy Vegas owners. I think you all look really, really great. We just need more female Victory riders out there, cuz there are so few of us. And besides, my husband, friends, and relatives all drive HD's. I like marching to my own drumbeat - don't you!
Just to follow up I believe everything you said . There is a but in there and that is comfort zone , as long as the comfort zone is in place alls well.
poptop
I agree with you. I would not have been comfortable in the beginning on the Vegas. I worked my way up, which is why I could argue this "smaller victory" thread either way. I love the commercial idea of the teens who can't wait to get "old/experienced enough" to own a Victory (makes me feel special - like I've done my time). On the other hand, a smaller-engined bike does appeal to others. The guy who purchased my 800 yesterday had the opportunity to buy the 1400 instead - same price, more accessories, easier to ride - but he chose the 800. Comfort zone is important, I wished the Low was an inch lower for more comfort for my height.

Have a great riding week.
 

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Half_Crazy said:
Nett said:
I can hardly stand the butterflies in my belly every time I look at my ride or am heading out. After a long ride today, my husband came back out looking for me in the garage, found me just sitting on my bike, and asked me what I was doing. "Nuthn, just look'n."............... snip....... I like marching to my own drumbeat - don't you!
I hear ya! Well said (for a girl I mean, LOL). I swear I still giggle like a schoolgirl every time I get on this Kingpin. I know there are a lot of riders out there who don't "get it", but I can see that YOU DO! Just because you are female or smaller stature doesn't mean you have to ride a 'starter bike'. You should be able to enjoy a big twin like the rest of us do.
Thanks for the great post.
You're welcome (looking to fill out my first star)!
 

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"Sporties are for people who want to be part of "the club." Sad thing is, they do not even know they are NOT part of "the club.""

While I agree with Half_Crazy that most guys on a Sporty want to be on a bigger Bike, it has it's Place, and the President of one of our local clubs and his son who inhertited a snortster from his charter member Grandfather, may not completely agree.

Oddly at 26yo, broke, hanging in a Biker Bar in NE, none of the guys that couldn't come close to catching me in town had a problem riding with me while I was on my '86 1200 evo XLH. Did I get teased, sure, but when something kicked-off I was always 'part of'.

On the other hand, back then, some guy my current age and weight doing wheelies half as good as my Sporty would do, would have cracked me up as bad as you laughed at the Tough guy wearing chaps.

$4k for a used Sporty was a nice way for me to play with the new Evo engine and see if I wanted to come back to HD after they Bought their souls back from AMF.

I chuckle a bit at some rides, but any ride is better than NOT riding, plus 20 something girls loved the way that loud rattling piece of crap vibrated.

Just my 2 cets
 

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satxron said:
Half_Crazy said:
Victory owners/riders don't want or need a 'starter bike'. Victory is a bike you upgrade to after you outgrow that starter bike. A machine people aspire to own.
Wow! nobody could say it better than that.

What a great idea for a commercial huh. Some older teens hanging out and a Vegas lumbers by. They look up in admiration and one of the young ones points and says "One day I will have one of them".
I like the idea of having a larger portion of Vic riders being experienced & the younger riders aspiring to "one day owning a Victory" whether it is saving enough cash, letting a few insurance points drop off, or old enough to be able to fit in an affordable insurance bracket.
I've been on a few rides with mixed brands and mixed ages you always have the speedster racing ahead of the group the showoff popping wheelies at cruising speed etc. ( I did plenty of this in my youth & could have never afforded the OTD price & insurance cost of a big V-twin at that time )
Having a more mature and experienced Victory rider next to me heading crisply into the next turn is never a concern & the ride rewarding and fun. As Nett said "I like marching to my own drumbeat"
 

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I feel it would be a very good choice for victory to have a smaller bike, maybe around a 900cc I am sure they could make it with alot of power but easier for the beginner. Who may in turn keep that bike for many years because it would be a bike that kept up with the big ones but still build your confidence. Had they had one when I was looking for a starting bike I would not have hesitated buying it and it would still be around for my friends to learn on and my kids when they are old enough. They now use my Vulcan 800cc Classic. which is a great looking bike and keeps up with the big boys. That bike was used by 10 of my friends to learn on and I even took it to the AVR because a friend of mine asked if she couldn't handle her 99 victory for that long of a ride, if I would bring that so she could ride it. I did for her because I wanted to make sure she also had a good time and I did ride the 99 for her on the way home. I would have much rather it was an 800 or 900 Victory!!!! In my situation a smaller victory would be with use for many years to come. Make it similar to the Kingpin or a Vulcan classic. Don't make it anything like the Sportster it is a sissy looking bike and they all call it a girls bike!!!! All for a smaller Victory:)
 

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randysfishing said:
They dont need a small bike end of story. Its not what they are about or what they do. Starter bikes are over rated you buy one and 4 weeks later you go why did I buy this I want something bigger.
Yes, exactly, and for one other reason. That "starter bike" market is saturated. Yamaha has their new Stryker 1300cc version of the Raider... Honda has like 5 versions of the VTX 1300. There are a bazillionstarter bikes from 600cc to 1300cc available and if Victory got into that market, how big a slice of that market would they get? Would it be worth the cost of R&D to make a new model and the tool-up to produce it? I seriously doubt it.
The goal at Victory has been to haveeverything modular on the production line. Now, all bikes have the same driveline (except they put different cams in the tourers). Very few chassis necessary for the whole line-up. Most parts interchange on each 'class' they manufacture.
Look at a 20118-ball....
106/6powertrain with an MSRP of $12,499. Here's one available for a lot less...
Brand new 2011 8-Ball (106"/6 speed) for $11,499:
http://www.cycletrader.com/find/listing/2011-Victory-2011-Vegas-8-Ball-97279360
I don't think you could touch that, comparing feature for feature, with any other manufacturer. Deal of the freakin' day! An American big twin for just a few dollars more than a Japanese 1300cc bike.
 

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Does anyone here think about the dealers and what they need and want? Sure they probably dont want a starter bike, in these ****ty times it's one more thing to inventory but with the average dealer selling 15-25 bikes a year they need something less expensive to sell and they need it quickly. We have dealers dropping quicker then Victory is picking them up and due to contractual obligations few multi line dealers will be picking Victory up and very few stand alone shops make it. We are no longer in 2006 when eveything sells and these shops that remain need help.
Facts are facts... The partnership with KTM (sorry Nessie) brought in a smaller bike. The partnership with Swiss Auto is going to do something also. Victory is trying to expand globally, they cant do that with a big cruiser. The big cruiser market has taken the biggest hit in sales.
You may want to say the market is saturated with starter bikes, well I can say the same thing about big cruisers. Who doesnt make one? I can say with confindence there is only 1 American made starter bike and it is made by a company I wouldnt consider stupid.
When I got into cruisers I looked around, I really didnt know what I wanted to ride or if I wanted to ride anymore and I didnt want to spend a boat load of money on a cruiser that I wasnt sure if I would like (the riding style). So my first stop was my Suzuki dealer because I had bought all my sport bikes from him. I found a C-50 new for just under 6k, I kept looking... The only other bikes new in that price range were Jap bikes and the Sportster. I really didnt like the size of the Sportster and the C50 was about the same size as a Fatboy (actually a tad longer). The Fatboy was about 8k more with a similar power to weight ratio. To me this was a no brainer. Yes I could have bought a used HD but I just wont ride a used bike. So I got the C50, eventually a C50T then an M109R, then a C90, then another C50T, then a C90T... Point is brand loyalty sells bikes and if you dont have a bike to sell people wont buy it. 11k for an 8-Ball is a great price! It is still not a starter bike and it still is not in the 8k range. I know you can buy a used one but for an under 25 yo kid financing is allot easier on a new bike under 10k then it is a used bike at any price. There is allot more involved when you want to be a major manufacturer then when you want to be a specialty manufacturer. Chevy couldnt build a good Corvette if it wasnt for the sales of the Impala, Nissan couldnt build a GTR without the Altima...blah blah blah...
I know this fell on deaf ears but it is a very simple business model.... The more arses on seats the stronger your company gets and the more dealers that will be willing to take you on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #92 ·

When i started this thread i called itsmaller victory,the thought of a beginner bikenever entered my mind.
Twelve years ago hd's 1200 sportster was only 140 cc's smaller than there electra glide.Was it a beginner bike then?kawasaki has 2000cc's,triumph has 2297 cc's,so does that makethe vision or cc a beginner bike?Everybodys to hung up on engine size and look at cc's as stepping stones.I think their are plenty of people who just want that small cruiser for around town and victory should consider making one.
The bottom line is that people need to get a bike that they will feel comfortable with,not a bike that others think they should own.
 

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I understand what you mean.

A 500 lb. bike would be really good for smaller or weaker folks. It also would be good for those that really don't need a tank to lumber around town on.

If I don't need my bags for anything I always take my Triumph. Much lighter with a very pleasant clutch pull, easy to flick around and will still break 100 MPH with 800 CCs. The KP is much heavier with luggage and much more power. 2 different things all together.

Bigger is better is a strange perception. If its not a huge air cooled V-twin is just ain't cool. I think we have just about hit the limit on V-twin performance.

The liquid V-4 has for 27 years now produced much more power with much less effort in a far smaller package.
 

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satxron said:
I understand what you mean.

A 500 lb. bike would be really good for smaller or weaker folks. It also would be good for those that really don't need a tank to lumber around town on.

If I don't need my bags for anything I always take my Triumph. Much lighter with a very pleasant clutch pull, easy to flick around and will still break 100 MPH with 800 CCs. The KP is much heavier with luggage and much more power. 2 different things all together.

Bigger is better is a strange perception. If its not a huge air cooled V-twin is just ain't cool. I think we have just about hit the limit on V-twin performance.

The liquid V-4 has for 27 years now produced much more power with much less effort in a far smaller package.
+1 I had just as much fun on my C50 as I do my Vic. I was pondering buying another but the new Honda with a dual clutch automatic is getting my attention... I have to see one in person first... Hopefully Honda will have a good display at Biketoberfest.
 

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dsjr70 said:
You may want to say the market is saturated with starter bikes, well I can say the same thing about big cruisers.Who doesnt make one?I can say with confidence there is only 1 American made starter bike and it is made by a company I wouldnt consider stupid.
And there are only two American big twin manufacturers. One makes a line of smaller models, but in comparison to the Japanese andEuropean competition they are basically crap.Put ANY Sportster in a head to head comparison with even a Suzuki SV 650 and my point becomes obvious.
I don't honestly think that the people who buy Sportsters are going to abandon them and buy the smaller Victory even if it's a better bike.They buy Sportsters BECAUSE they are a Harley they can afford and for pretty much no other reason.It's not like the bikes sell because they are such a great andsuperior motorcycle.
In what way is it cost effective for Polaris/Victory to spend the money in development of a smaller bike? What market will they get a slice of and how much of a slice? Theyalready have left-over bikes they produced and didn't sell... The 2011 models are out and I can easily buy a 2008 NEW IN THE CRATE... Do they really need to produce more models that will be sold later as left-overs and at a huge discount? Maybe we should run that by the shareholders first.
 

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Half_Crazy said:
dsjr70 said:
You may want to say the market is saturated with starter bikes, well I can say the same thing about big cruisers.Who doesnt make one?I can say with confidence there is only 1 American made starter bike and it is made by a company I wouldnt consider stupid.
And there are only two American big twin manufacturers. One makes a line of smaller models, but in comparison to the Japanese andEuropean competition they are basically crap.Put ANY Sportster in a head to head comparison with even a Suzuki SV 650 and my point becomes obvious.
I don't honestly think that the people who buy Sportsters are going to abandon them and buy the smaller Victory even if it's a better bike.They buy Sportsters BECAUSE they are a Harley they can afford and for pretty much no other reason.It's not like the bikes sell because they are such a great andsuperior motorcycle.
In what way is it cost effective for Polaris/Victory to spend the money in development of a smaller bike? What market will they get a slice of and how much of a slice? Theyalready have left-over bikes they produced and didn't sell... The 2011 models are out and I can easily buy a 2008 NEW IN THE CRATE... Do they really need to produce more models that will be sold later as left-overs and at a huge discount? Maybe we should run that by the shareholders first.
The ONLY reason that is true is because EXCEPT for the Vision and the Cross bikes Victory's are hugely over priced. I looked at them off and on since '99 and there was nothing compelling about them at their price point. The Vision almost got my money in '09 but the demo bike was beat to hell and it scared me off. The XC came in with performance, looks and a price that made it compelling so I bought it.

The "New" pricing on the Vegas and 8-balls is where they should have been all along, anything over $15K for what is basically a naked cruiser is a tough sell, ask any dealer......

Everyone here who says they don't need a sub $10K bike has never been to business school or owned a powersports dealership. How many people out there with less than $10K looking at a Suzuki or Honda would rather buy American but realize the Sportster is too small or too expensive for what it is? Being under $10K does not mean the bike has to be small or a starter bike, it just means it needs to fill a price gap in the product lineup.
 

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scottb said:
Twelve years ago hd's 1200 sportster was only 140 cc's smaller than there electra glide.Was it a beginner bike then?kawasaki has 2000cc's,triumph has 2297 cc's,so does that makethe vision or cc a beginner bike?Everybodys to hung up on engine size and look at cc's as stepping stones.
Yeah, I remember the days when a 750 wasconsidered a BIG bike and the beginner bike was the 350 Honda.That was a long time ago. I also remember AM radio and 8-track players... sometimes progress is not so bad.
 

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mjw930 said:
How many people out there with less than $10K looking at a Suzuki or Honda would rather buy American but realize the Sportster is too small or too expensive for what it is?
These people are the perfect customer for those leftover newor used Victory bikes... In fact, I paid 10K for my Kingpin in 2007 (used w/1500 miles).
 

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Half_Crazy said:
dsjr70 said:
You may want to say the market is saturated with starter bikes, well I can say the same thing about big cruisers.Who doesnt make one?I can say with confidence there is only 1 American made starter bike and it is made by a company I wouldnt consider stupid.
And there are only two American big twin manufacturers. One makes a line of smaller models, but in comparison to the Japanese andEuropean competition they are basically crap.Put ANY Sportster in a head to head comparison with even a Suzuki SV 650 and my point becomes obvious.
I don't honestly think that the people who buy Sportsters are going to abandon them and buy the smaller Victory even if it's a better bike.They buy Sportsters BECAUSE they are a Harley they can afford and for pretty much no other reason.It's not like the bikes sell because they are such a great andsuperior motorcycle.
In what way is it cost effective for Polaris/Victory to spend the money in development of a smaller bike? What market will they get a slice of and how much of a slice? Theyalready have left-over bikes they produced and didn't sell... The 2011 models are out and I can easily buy a 2008 NEW IN THE CRATE... Do they really need to produce more models that will be sold later as left-overs and at a huge discount? Maybe we should run that by the shareholders first.
To answer your question R&D has already been done on smaller bikes so you would have minimal cost there. They have several factories capable of handling bike assembly without screwing up the Spirit Lake plant.
While I was running something by the shareholders (which I am one of) I would clue them in that the big V-Twin cruiser market is down 75% and we need a low cost high volumn bike to keep on track. I would let them know what you stated, we have 2008's still in the crates heck I have seen new 07's so evidently our business model may not be working. I would let them know that we have lost close to 15% of our dealer network.
Not to be sarcastic but you look at this from your ego side not a business stand point. Heck, I ride a Vic because of my ego. It is not enough that they have scalable production. Scalable production means you dont lose money, but it is not helping them make money. Polaris is a major manufacturer and started Victory to be a major competitor in the big cruiser market not to be a 6500 unit company. The major stock holders will look at the P&L statements and eventual figure out that Victory all though profitable is not profitable enough to justify the yearly expenditure. Victory is trying to expand all over the world and really pushing in Europe. Europeans think the American V-Twin is a novelty item and if you want to sell in Europe you need to give them something they want.
We can all sit here and say we love Victory and we dont want to see them sell 30,000 bikes a year because our bikes stand out but you have to understand this is not Big Dog, OCC or any other semi-custom manufacturer. This is Polaris and Polaris does answer to its stockholders. For the investment 50,000 bikes in 11 years is a failure for a company the size of Polaris, but it is especially a failure for its dealer network. How do you expand your dealer network when the average dealer sells 14 bikes a year? It is not profitable for a new dealer to pick up a Victory only dealership. You have to give the dealer something to sell...
Any dealers want to jump in and tell me I'm wrong.
Don
 

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A shorter, lighter, litre bike really could be a big seller. One would think that if they built 100 of them to test the waters they wouldn't lose much. But:

Those buts will always get you. They would have to make a motor. A new motor cost millions to make. Even if all they did was clone the 92 and shrink it down it would cost millions to start a sustainable production. Frames, and metal parts would be no problem but that motor and transmission would not be cheap.

There is a reason everything is going 106. Production cost for two motors is being cut. I would submit to you they are strapped now for cash and Polaris is tired of not making a good profit on them.

Kinda like OCC with the frames and S&S motors. Polaris has a few frames and one motor now. The rest is cake decoration just hanging whatever bits on the frame per model and put it in a crate.

Buell is no longer because he was too afraid later and too broke early in to make his own motor. That is why he was a dependent child of Harley and no longer.

Big Dog, Iron Horse, BMC, OCC, don't make motors or transmissions. They buy them with some specific specs from a 3rd party. Then they decorate the cake.

I think it would take a pretty serious money commitment from Polaris to do it.

Don't misunderstand, I want them to do it. I don't think they will.
 
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