Why did Polaris stick with Indian motor and not Victory? | Victory Motorcycles: Motorcycle Forums

Why did Polaris stick with Indian motor and not Victory?

Discussion in 'Victory General Discussion' started by LouisArena, Oct 8, 2021.

  1. LouisArena

    LouisArena Member

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    I am sure this has been discussed to death, but I am new to my Victory. However, I have watched videos of Harley Engine vs Victory and very impressed with Victory engines. So why did Polaris stick with Indian engine? And are there videos discussing these differences?
     
  2. James__

    James__ Active Member

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    Polaris didn't scrap everything that they learned from victory when they gave up on the brand and doubled down on the Indian brand. The motor they used in the Scout was developed for the Victory Octane and my understanding is that the new power plus engine platform began development under Victory. Indian had a developed engine platform when Victory was shut down that has lasted a few years and the new technology from what was in development is hitting the streets now.
     
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  3. wvrider1

    wvrider1 Well-Known Member

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    Because they couldn't give a Victory away, but they are lining up for a "Indian" like they buying a real piece of history.
     
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  4. md2420

    md2420 Well-Known Member

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    Polaris developed the Indian in general to appeal to HD riders and grab the “nostalgia”. So therefore created the pushrod motor too.

    also, I think early on the plan was to have both brands. Old Guard and New Guard as it were.

    presuming the “Harley vs Victory” videos you are referring to is the 5 part series from Mike at Tucson Victory?
    Some folks have mixed feelings about those vids as they are quite “sales-y”
     
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  5. normthenomad

    normthenomad Well-Known Member

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    Marketing, or lack of same. Always mystified me why Victory would take an absolutely bullet proof single overhead cam motor and scrap it in favor of a pushrod motor. The liquid cooled motors are a whole 'nother game.
    By the way, if I hadn't mentioned it yet, welcome to the VOG. You have one of the best year Victorys made, I owned an '06 KP, an '06 Hammer and an '07 Hammer. 2 of the 3 were rescued orphans, did some maintenance on them and rode them very hard. They seemed to be faster than the 106's. Spanked more than one 106.
    I now own a 2012 CR, not a bad bike but wish I had my '06 KP back.
    Just made a run to KY and back on my CR. had made the run 3 years ago on my KP except for the storage I preferred the KP.
     
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  6. LouisArena

    LouisArena Member

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    Yes those videos. I would hate to be the guy who is being talked to like a child and just shakes his head.
     
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  7. Chattanooga_Mark

    Chattanooga_Mark Well-Known Member

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    There was no "Indian" motor to Polaris to stick with. The first iteration of 'Indian' from CA wasn't 'Indian' at all except for the name on the tank. The entire motorcycle was simply assembled parts you could have purchased from J&P Cycles and assembled in your garage

    The second iteration of 'Indian' out of NC was another H-D clone Evo motor with rounded cylinders and a ton of chrome. Build quality was vastly improved but no one at that version of Indian had a clue about the market. They were mostly venture capitalists and everyone knew the brand was soon to die again.

    When Polaris bought the rights to the Indian name, they started with, more or less, a blank sheet. But bear in mind they had many years of designing and building Victory Motorcycles to rely upon. Many of those same Polaris designers were simply used for the Polaris Indian line. The Polaris designers that had so many unique ideas and direction for Victory, apparently had nothing left for Polaris Indian. They simply copied many decades old design cues from actual Indian motorcycles. Then incorporated (copied) the work of other designers into their version of an Indian motorcycle. Again, Polaris didn't actually add much of their own touches to Indian and they still haven't. The first Polaris Indian motor had to be an air cooled twin, downdraft exhaust, lots of chrome etc etc etc. It had to had big fat valanced fenders etc etc etc. Again, these were all decades old design cues that Polaris incorporated. There was nothing 'new' to the bikes.

    IMHO, the first series Polaris Indians were modern versions of decades old actual Indian designs. The second series mostly copied the aesthetics from H-D. The third series of Indian's most successful bikes, The Scout and the Challenger, came directly from the Polaris Victory Motorcycles team years before.

    The Indian Scout was 100% designed and built as a Victory. It was shown to the Victory dealers as their long awaited entry level bike. Only to be taken back by Polaris and slightly redesigned and then released as the Indian Scout. In the redesign to make the Octane the Scout, Polaris mostly just changed the rear suspension angle (hurting, not helping it), changed the gearing in the transmission (less performance) and changed to aesthetics to say Indian. Nothing, absolutely nothing on the Scout said 'Indian' but the name on the tank. But it sure looked like it belonged in the Victory line up.

    The Indian Challenger was also 100% designed and built by Polaris Victory to be the new version of the Vision/Cross Country. The engine and drivetrain along with design drawings were also shown to Victory dealers so they could see what to expect soon. Again, Polaris pulled the design from Victory, killed the Victory brand and then released the Challenger as a new Indian that again borrows heavily from H-D design aesthetics.

    I honestly don't know what happened to the design teams in the motorcycle division at Polaris. They just don't seem to have anything unique left in the tank for Polaris Indian. Sure they incorporated better bluetooth and Ride By Wire. But aside from that, there really isn't anything new and exciting. As has been said, the Indian name seems to dictate they keep decades old design cues. Very similar to H-D. The older Indian owners seem to prefer the aesthetics of 'older' looking bikes to the aesthetics of the Challenger type.

    Of course the Challenger is a powerhouse, it was designed for the muscle brand at Polaris, not the nostalgia brand.
     
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  8. BrotherWind

    BrotherWind Well-Known Member

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    Amen to that brother, you forgot the Amen. Nicely stated.
     
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  9. 1stVictory

    1stVictory Well-Known Member

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    There isn't a whole lot of anything more to incorporate into a motorcycle when you think of it. OK, Harley has the Livewire. Victory had the Empulse years earlier. Both are /were over priced toys, not much better than the 15 cent a minute rented Lime and Bird street scooters. Harley has the Tri-Glide. Indian may come up with a 3 wheeler if they can somehow get a bead on the desire from the public for one. But $50K is a ridiculous price for a ridiculous item. Much like the Tesla vehicles. The only thing left really is fancy paint and safety chrome pieces. Just a few thoughts from a grizzled old guy!
     
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  10. don07tncav

    don07tncav Active Member

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    Answering the thread title question: Because Polarass upper management are idiots.
    They missed a great opportunity to have both the high end Indian line and a more affordable Victory line.
     
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  11. NY mike

    NY mike Well-Known Member

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    I will say this. They are getting some insane miles on these pushrod air-cooled indian motors. With very minimal issues. And I’m happy it’s a one oil service for everything like my Vic vs 3 oils in 3 places like my Harleys. But there is a guy I know lake city larry who recently cracked 400,000 on his 2015 Indian. And never been in the motor. But as mentioned above I also agree with reasoning of going back to a pushrod motor. For the draw of the old school Harley boys who can’t see beyond that.
     
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  12. slickvic

    slickvic Well-Known Member

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    Welcome. ……. Yeah Mike usually drove his point home like a hammer hitting an anvil. He was a good spokes person for victory. Polarass made a business decision wether we like it or not. The worst part was how they Axxed their own dealers, vendors and new owners of the brand. Like a thief in the night …… the attitude was sorry but hey when you go to trade in your Victory for the “ better horse to ride” we will give you an additional $1000 or something like that. Yeah uh no !
     
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  13. slickvic

    slickvic Well-Known Member

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    Oh and here’s my contribution to the Polarass Indian. When our local wigwam had all those beautiful Indians for sale and yes they tried me and tried me ( cause one of the mechanics wanted my bike ) I just said no thanks and good luck. Keep up the good work. Then I got the attitude whenever I visited so one day I saw a 2016 MagnumX1 Stealth on the lot. Just freshly traded in. Marched right in and bought that fuk’r for my wife. Lol. You shoulda seen the looks on their faces. Stole that ride too ! Adios bitches!!!
     
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  14. Blowndodge

    Blowndodge Well-Known Member

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    Yea I remember getting the "letter" from Polaris informing me they'd give me up to 3k dollars credit on a new Indian if I traded my XCT in on one. I remember thinking they can't be serious?? Well over 4 years later people still think my 13 Vic is brand new. I detail the piss out of it. Therapy for us old guys.

    It has 65k miles and still makes that new whirling sound a tight engine makes and no valve train clatter ehen I start it. Now if Polaris had kept the line and shoehorned that new challenger engine in it with upgraded electronics they would have had a repeat customer.

    I'm willing to bet most of us who owned an earlier XCT or Vision might have be looking to that as a replacement for our dependable bikes someday. But no, Polaris let us down.

    If I do get another bike it will most likely be the DCT Gold Wing.
     
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  15. Flyboy

    Flyboy Well-Known Member

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    I still have it....
     
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