After twenty-one years of production, Victory Motorcycles has ceased production. Here are the best models they built.
No More New Victory Motorcycles, But Here Are 7 Great Models They Built
After twenty-one years of production, Victory Motorcycles has ceased production. It’s too bad because a Victory bike has the appeal for cruiser aficionados without some of the, shall we say ‘nefarious’, associations of a Harley Davidson. Checking out some of the Victory models, you can’t help but come back to one overused term to describe them: sexy.
Nevertheless, a company has to turn a profit to stay in business, and Victory couldn’t keep their books in the black. So, after barely more than two decades, we bid adieu to the manufacturer. Yet, we continue to ogle some of the artwork produced over the years, like these seven following models.
The first bikes to roll off the Victory assembly line were the V92C. They took direct aim at the notorious HD biker brand with a 92 cubic inch, 1507cc overhead cam engine. While the original engine was 55 horsepower, that number could be jacked up to 83hp. Easily enough for a pretty powerful cruiser.
The Victory V92C looked great. Classic styling, a swooping teardrop tank, a fat rear fender, and dual cannons on the right side. The real success was with the ride. Many riders report continuous treks of more than 600 miles in a day, barely feeling the effects after settling the V92C onto its kickstand.
Injecting some bling into your bike is easy Las Vegas-style. The Victory Vegas has serious eyeball with flashy wheels, bright color schemes, and a couple of variants. If you like chrome, the Victory Vegas was your choice. If you want something off the beaten path, you look at the Victory Vegas 8-Ball with black powder-coated parts instead.
Built on an all-new chassis in 2003, the Victory Vegas offered options like the Vegas Low. Throwing a bone to shorter riders with a 1-inch lower seat and a 2-inch shorter reach for the handlebars. In 2006, the engine upgraded from a 92 ci V-twin to a 100ci V-twin, spinning up 85hp for the belt-driven rear wheel.
The custom cruiser bike in the Victory Motorcycles lineup might be the Kingpin. It’s a big bike, there’s no doubt, but it looks rather unassuming. You get your typical chrome V-twin upgraded from 92ci to 100ci in 2006, a pair of chrome pipes, traditionally-styled front forks and handlebars, and so on. The most visible difference is the tank design with the Victory flair and texture set into the sides of the tank.
It’s a custom cruiser, and that means it’s a bit of a blank slate. Do what you will with your Kingpin – add saddlebags, tack on a windshield, adjust the suspension damping rate, add a fatty rear tire…you get the idea. The Kingpin model also has a variant, the Kingpin 8-Ball, that’s more than your average blank slate. A black paint scheme and black powder-coated metal components make it even more popular for customizers.
From 2015 to 2017 Victory Motorcycles offered a bike in the bobber category, the Victory Gunner. This is where performance found a home. Carrying a 1731cc V-Twin slung low in the chassis, the Gunner has a top speed rating of 135 miles per hour. But since most Victory riders don’t actually test the top speed, it’s just meant to be a selling feature on paper and an intimidation factor on the street.
The bobber styling includes a trimmed away front fender, a very clean rear tub, fat tires, less steering rake, and the black and charcoal paint scheme. Pipes, motor, and plastic are all painted black for a sinister appearance. A mere 25-inch seat height makes the ride comfy but also places the center of gravity lower, adding stability with its awesome performance. This bike – you gotta love it.
It’s a muscle cruiser. The name isn’t very subtle, and it doesn’t need to be with as much attitude as the Victory Hammer exudes. There’s one seriously fat tire in the rear, a sleek and low design with curves in all the right places, a sexy naked styling along the sides, and the throaty rumble that makes those little hairs on the back of your neck quiver with delight.
97 horsepower and 113 lb.-ft. of torque breaks the rear wheel loose at pretty much any speed, even with that fatty 250-series tire on there. The slightly less powerful and more basic Hammer was made available as well, the Hammer 8-Ball, with a lower seat and just 85 hp to toss you around the open road.
That modern retro look comes out in the Victory Octane with the café racer styling eking out from the tank, seat, and rear fender. It’s squarish, which isn’t the norm for a modern bike. But the retro look melds with advanced engineering once you see – and experience – the engine and its performance.
The Octane is one of the most aggressive Victory motorcycles ever sold from the showroom. The 1200cc engine spits out 104 horsepower and can scream through a quarter mile in 12 seconds, bone stock. It’s built lighter with a cast aluminum frame and competed in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, which says something on its own.
The Victory Octane, only available as a 2017 model, shares 35 percent of its parts with the Indian Scout. Coincidentally, both Victory and Indian are owned by the same parent company, Polaris. Funny how that happens…
Inspired by muscle car design, the Victory Judge arrived on the scene in 2013. It’s a sport cruiser with Victory’s 106 cubic inch V-Twin nestled tightly into the chassis. The riding position is quite comfortable with mid-mounted controls and an easy foot position, lending the Judge to a surprisingly carefree ride for long stretches.
Notice the race-inspired stripes on the tank, the racy red paint scheme and the ‘106’ emblazoned on the side panel. The Victory Judge has no qualms about showing off its muscle car inspiration. And it has the performance to back it up.
It’s too bad Victory motorcycles like the Judge are no longer in production, but you’ll continue to see great designs and performance in a different brand owned by Polaris. Under the Indian brand.