Victory Motorcycles launched in 1997 as a division of Polaris Industries Inc. Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, Victory Motorcycles, personal watercraft and the Polaris RANGER for recreational and utility use.
Full-scale production of Victory Motorcycles began in July of 1998.The first model produced by Victory was the V92C, which was named Best Cruiser by Cycle World magazine before it was even available to the consumer. Al Unser, Jr. rode the first V92C into Planet Hollywood at the Mall of America to debut the new Motorcycle line.
Victory is the Official Motorcycle of the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America. As a major sponsor for the past five years, Victory has helped raise more than $2 million for childrens hospitals and the Victory Junction Gang Camps.
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The following is a short potpourri of information about Victory Motorcycles.
New riders of Motorcycles are familiar with the current models but may not be aware of the history of a given Motorcycle manufacturer. Polaris Industries, Inc. was founded in 1954. Initially they were a simple rural farm equipment shop located in Roseau, MN but an informal project carried out by mechanics while the boss was out of town, produced the first Polaris snowmobile in 1955. The boss thought they were wasting time but soon the utility of the snowmobile in northern Minnesota caught on and that led to an expanding snowmobile business and then to a series of products including ATVs in 1985 and personal watercraft in 1992.
The first Polaris designed Motorcycle was sold in 1998. It was called the Victory and the first model was the V92C. The Motorcycle division of Polaris, the Victory Motorcycle Company, was launched in 1997 when Al Unser, Jr. rode the first V92C into the Planet Hollywood restaurant at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN.
Victory next brought out the V92SC and then the Touring Cruiser. Later models included the Vegas and the Kingpin. For 2005, Victory introduced four new models: Vegas 8-Ball, Hammer, Ness Signature Vegas, and Ness Signature Kingpin.
Polaris used the advertising tagline, "The Way Out" to entice its customers to step out into the world of off-road, water, and on-road machines, including the Victory Motorcycle.
Victory started out selling a little more than 1000 Motorcycles in 1998. That represented about one percent of all Polaris sales for that year. By 2003, Victory had four percent of all Polaris sales and continued to grow.
In 2002, Victory introduced its Custom Order Program that allowed its customers to go online and define custom features for their new Victory Motorcycle and then have the factory build the custom version just for them. This was an industry first.
Victory is also exploring a partnership with Lehman Trikes, a leading converter of Motorcycles into trikes.
The creation of the first Victory V92C Motorcycle is described in a book, "The Victory Motorcycle: The Making of a New American Motorcycle," by Michael Dapper and Lee Klancher.
Many groups of loyal Victory customers have developed over the years. The Internet has an active group, the Victory Motorcycle Club.
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For 2005, Victory has seven models. Their new Hammer model has a Freedom 100/6 V-Twin which means 100 ci and 6 speeds, including overdrive. It also has a super fat rear tire measuring 250 mm, the largest tire ever attached to a production bike. Their new 8-Ball model is a Vegas in basic black.
The 2006 Victory Motorcycle lineup simply breaks all the traditions of the typical cruiser. Styled to look radioactive, not retroactive. Engineered to be revolutionary, not evolutionary.
In June 2005 Polaris opened its new 126,000-square-foot Product Development Center located in Wyoming, Minn. Research, development and testing at the facility will include prototype fabrication and assembly, laboratories for structural testing, electrical development, materials engineering and Powertrain assembly and dynamometer testing. Future enhancements will include a noise and vibration laboratory and test tracks for Motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. The $35.5 million facility is essential for Polaris to continue its long tradition of product innovation, which is critical to the company's competitive future. "This is the single largest investment Polaris has made in product development, and it demonstrates our commitment to creating top-of-the-line, high-quality vehicles for people who love to ride their Polaris or Victory product," said Polaris CEO Tom Tiller.
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In 2003 and 2004, Victory re-vamped the line-up and added the Victory Vegas and Victory Kingpin. The Vegas was named 2003s best cruiser Motorcycle by four leading Motorcycle enthusiast magazines; while the 2004 Kingpin received top honors from V-Twin Magazine.
- Best Cruiser 2003, Cycle World
- 2003 Cruiser of the Year, Cruising Rider
- Best New V-Twin Motorcycle, V-Twin Magazine
- Best Cruiser, Motorcyclist Magazine
- 2004 Best V-Twin Motorcycle, V-Twin Magazine
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