Is Victory becoming a sports bike firm?

Do race bikes point to new direction?

THE successful relaunch of Indian under the ownership of parent firm Polaris looks like it might be pushing its sister company Victory towards a new part of the market – and the latest moves all point towards a much sportier position.

In the last week the firm has revealed two new projects, both involved with putting the Victory name on race bikes.

First we’ve had teasers of a new Victory being custom-made by Roland Sands to take on this year’s Pikes Peak hillclimb. Looking at the teaser videos, its clear that the bike he’s building is fitted with a plastic, 3d-printed model of a new water-cooled V-twin engine, with double overhead cams, that’s derived from the one used in the Indian Scout.

The new motor is largely hidden in the videos, but the peeks that we get show new cylinder heads at the very least.

While the Roland Sands bike is a one-off, it’s a proper racer, with slicks and a massive aluminium swingarm, monoshock rear suspension and serious forks, brakes and wheels. The straight bars are there to suit the weird Pikes Peak rules, which strangely ban clip-ons from the main motorcycle classes.

Victory is paying for the project and clearly looking for publicity, so surely it must have a model in mind that it’s hoping will gain sales from this Pikes Peak effort? A new water cooled bike, using this engine, is virtually certain, but it looks like maybe it will actually be something other than a straightforward cruiser.

The firm has also announced its intentions to race at this year’s TT Zero with a bike based on the Brammo Empulse RR. Polaris recently bought Brammo and wants to use its electric bike know how in future models, probably under the Victory banner. Is the firm planning to sneak into the electric bike market before Harley-Davidson gets its Livewire ready for production? Don’t bet against it.

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