Hardcover Book About The Complete History Of Victory Motorcycles 1998-2017.

One year ago I announced the demise of Victory, an American brand of stylish heavyweight cruiser, bagger and tourer motorcycles. The number of loyal buyers was quite high for a new brand, but after a 20-year ride, not high enough for Victory to survive. So, parent company Polaris decided to pull the plug and to focus on its other brand, Indian Motorcycle.

One year after shutting Victory’s operations, Polaris is celebrating Victory with a 192-page Hardcover Book, telling the complete history of the brand from the first original prototype showcased back in 1997 and first model in 1998, the Victory V92C.

Not only this book includes never seen before sketches of prototypes by Senior Industrial Designer Mike Song, displays superb photography of all released models (even the Empulse TT electric bike concept), but also contains unheard information about the company.

The co-authors, Michael Dapper and Lee Klancher, have a connection with the American motorcycle manufacturer. Michael Dapper was a Polaris employee since the beginning of idealizing the company entering into the motorcycle business. He was present at the time when a pre-production model was showcased to the world. Lee Klancher is a writer of more than 20 books, a dozen of large-format calendars, and hundreds of feature magazine articles. Pre-order this book on Amazon by going to  Victory Motorcycles 1998-2017. The Complete History Of An American Original.

31 Responses to “Hardcover Book About The Complete History Of Victory Motorcycles 1998-2017.”

  1. 1 Mike Feb 9th, 2018 at 9:30 am

    As a small token and apology for wrecking a promising brand, Polaris should buy every Victory owner (like me) one of these expensive books. They should also include a box of tissues so we can wipe away our tears while reading the book, and then also a box of band aids so we can patch ourselves up after punching a wall.

  2. 2 Dragon Bob Feb 9th, 2018 at 11:02 am

    I totally agree a tube of KY jelly for the way they raked it to us when they said they would continue to make parts for another 10 years and the next day doubled the price of those same parts.

  3. 3 Phill_MoGraves Feb 9th, 2018 at 11:47 am

    Ya’ll cryin like millennials looking for a handout

  4. 4 Phil Feb 9th, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    Bloody love my Vic but it’s all very well saying they will keep spares going for ten years, this is not good will, it’s a manufacture’s duty to due so.

    I agree with Mike, after kicking owners in the bollocks, they then want to sell us the history, how about giving us something for our loyalty ?

    On a positive note, I will keep riding my Kingpin, enjoying every trip.

    Phil, UK

  5. 5 Dee Feb 9th, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    I don’t what the talk about parts is about. I had to have a new wiring harness installed under warranty and got the part in a week. I just bought a fuel filter, seal, and a new belt for my 30k service and got them in a week for the same price they’ve always been.

  6. 6 Joe Feb 9th, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Polaris lied to our faces and to the faces of dealers for three years after they launched Indian saying how the brand wasn’t going anywhere. I’ll never buy anything from them again.

  7. 7 nomadmax Feb 9th, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Wow, pimping the very owners they abandoned. If I had a Victory I wouldn’t send Polaris a photocopy of a dollar.

  8. 8 hoyt Feb 9th, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    The sub title of that book is a stretch. Victory followed HDs every move so stating “…An American Original” is absolute bullish!t

    I get it…cruisers were cash cows when Victory came into the scene to the tune of Billions of net profit.
    However, Year after year after cruiser model after cruiser, Victory did nothing else! Why? Then, they acquired Brammo and did nothing with it.

    Victory’s ignorance towards other model sales opportunities is worse than HDs treatment of Buell and lack of model diversity. Victory didn’t have HDs self-inflicted nostalgic marketing baggage to contend with, they didn’t have the ‘faithful’ baggage, & the dealership attitude baggage endured by Buell & his customers that doomed anything but HD cruisers. All of that makes Victory’s lack of model diversity that much worse (lazy & symbolic of being a poser).

    The above is from someone that wanted an American motorcycle company to compete with bikes that are so much fun to ride, cruisers included. I wanted Victory to succeed, so no disrespect to the owners. I wanted a smaller range of cruisers to sell well in order to fuel American diversity on 2 wheels. They missed the opportunity time after time.

    Victory? – more like a Loss

  9. 9 todd cook Feb 9th, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    Owner of a XCT now for about four years. As for the bike; couldn’t be happier with what it has provided me near trouble free mile after mile. 44k on it and we have no reservations about jumping on it and taking a 500 day trip.

    Praises aside I agree with much of what’s been stated. The real downfall of the brand is it’s lack of originality. You kept making the same bike over and over and over…only changing the bodywork and colors. If Polaris had put in some effort to expand into an alternative model; light, small entry level machine; or maybe the adventure bike market it would have been much harder to “kill” the brand. My guess is they knew before the purchase of the Indian brand this dual-brand gig was not going to work.

    It’s all no surprise really. Same as Ford killing off Mercury. How many different names can you have on the same bike? Ok..not the same fully but the same market. And yes there are ample shared parts despite the hype. With some mods by the Chinese suppliers to visually alter them in some cases. I get it. It was never going to work. I’d have probably done the same thing.

    Looking at the Indian it’s still just a dressed up Vic and a bump in the price point. The overall quality is not better as I’d have hoped; same plastics, fake chrome covers etc. So be it but for the added money you’d hope they could have really stepped up the build quality. Lets talk about the heat. I live in AZ so let’s not. I don’t see myself buying “up” in the future so that angle has failed Polaris.

    Me; I’ll ride this one til it’s done. I’m good for another 15yrs and I suspect it is also. Spent all I will with Polaris.

  10. 10 Kevin Feb 9th, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Totally agree Todd, the spew a bunch of marketing gibberish but thats all the Indian is, a dressed up Victory thats more expensive for no reason. What they did to their loyal customers is embarrassing, but not surprising.

  11. 11 Woody's Feb 9th, 2018 at 4:28 pm

    “What Happened” by Hillary Polaris 😁

  12. 12 BD Feb 10th, 2018 at 8:56 am

    Polaris seems like a totally classless organization. Well deserving of that piece of shet they call an indian

  13. 13 Michael Dapper Feb 10th, 2018 at 9:12 am

    A clarification: The book is not a licensed Polaris project. It is being published independently by Octane Press. Thank you.

  14. 14 Don Feb 10th, 2018 at 9:55 am

    Woody’s…….that was Hillarious!!!
    As a very very happy Vic owner (have 2), there is very little Vic in Indians, starting with the engines. Vics had overhead cams; Indians have pushrods.
    One exception is the Scout, same thing as the Octane.

  15. 15 Boomer Feb 10th, 2018 at 11:47 am

    Michael Dapper: Thank you for that clarification. Can you tell us if the story behind the scenes of why they shut Victory down is the same as their public story which doesn’t make a lot of sense. Victory was just starting to get its stride when they shut it down after years of success with the Cross Bikes. Is this explained in the book?

  16. 16 Spaz Feb 10th, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    hoyt you are so wrong. Everything you said is absolutely devoid of facts.

  17. 17 Hughes Feb 10th, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    Hoyt, you are a bad story teller. You have everything wrong. The real reason of the shut down of Victory is the one given by Cyril. Not profitable versus the potential and interest for Indian. The majority of Victory bagger buyers were not coming from Harley as originally expected. The high majority of Indian buyers are stolen from Harley, easily, more than ever.

  18. 18 BobS Feb 10th, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    Victory was an American original, it’s the only American bike that created its own style instead of copying what was done 40-60 years ago. If you dig retro that’s cool, this isn’t an insult. But making something new look just like, or even mostly like what has already been created is not original. Victory was original, at least from the 2003 Vegas on.
    The only reason Victory was shuttered is because the guys running Polaris are not the ones who created the American original, but they are the ones who made the decision to purchase Indian. From that moment Indian got new tech while Victory got new paint. The Scout and the Octane are basically the same bike mechanically, but the Scout got a two year head start on sales. After tipping the scales like that in favor of Indian Polaris execs, the ones that need their Indian purchase to look good to the BOD, determined that future models will sell more with an Indian badge, “going forward we decided Indian is the better horse to ride”. So they took an American original, a modern day success story, and ran it into the ground with their own incompetence. If you think they won’t do the same to Indian just look at Indian’s big new releases, “all new models” that consist of different paint or wheels. Incompetent management doesn’t change with the badge on the tank.

  19. 19 Francesco Feb 10th, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Dommage!!!c’etait quand meme une belle moto, qui roulait parfaitement et équilibrée .

  20. 20 Black Vision Feb 10th, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    Pimpin ain’t easy. I Agree with most of you. Bobs has a good point. Polaris is following a familiar pattern as they did with Victory. No real change since the introduction of the bike. Same engine, new paint, and who would have guessed? A bigger front wheel. Lipstick on a pig. Shocking. I bet they come out with a high performance model next. No change to the engine just a better air cleaner or something. They had the future of motorcycling in their hands and threw it away.

  21. 21 highrpm Feb 10th, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    if the business model won’t support new models every year, it’s ultimately fuk’ed.

  22. 22 Boomer Feb 11th, 2018 at 12:33 am

    No bike manufacturer can come out with a completely new model every year; it just isn’t financially feasible. What they can do and what we expect is an improved model of what they do keep in the line up and I don’t mean a different paint job. Real improvements. Victory did that to some extent throughout their existence. BobS made a good point about the people who invent/created Victory and those who made the decision to go with Indian. Different people. They put all their eggs in the Indian basket so they threw away the baby with the bathwater. Stupid is as stupid does and boy was that a stupid move. America already has a nostalgic brand in HD; the Victory was the newer edgier brand to bring younger people into the fold. Polaris will pay dearly for this very poor choice and poor management. They already have paid in the ill will it caused. BTW; Victory came out with an entirely new model in 99, 03, 08, and 10. That’s actually not too bad all things considered.

  23. 23 Mike Feb 11th, 2018 at 11:45 am

    With Victory, Polaris had every opportunity to advance the brand with more performance oriented bikes while keeping Indian for the “heritage” crowd. For example, Victory could have developed a Ducati Monster styled naked bike, or maybe a Triumph Thruxton styled standard. All in addition to tweaking the Vegas framed and Cross framed bikes. Polaris even bought an electric bike brand (Brammo I think?) and I thought for sure that would become a Victory eventually.

    These moves would have been somewhat bold and risky, but likely would have paid off for Polaris is executed (and marketed) properly. Instead, they chose to do nothing and just shutter Victory, and in effect pinning all hope on Indian (a mistake).

    Victory had great vision in the beginning and early 2000’s but then the brand suffered from one of the worst marketing departments in modern history as well as lazy/inept management of the brand. They should have fired the paint/design people in 2008 and that would have been a start. Better marketing would have done a wonder as well.

    Oh well, I guess they still have the snowmobile business to fall back on, so Polaris can get away with all of it.

  24. 24 Michael Dapper Feb 11th, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    Boomer, the book is not a deep dive into the business side of the Victory story, but includes some acquired production/sales numbers. Unfortunately, they tell the story of a brand that was long unprofitable, was kept afloat by the mother ship, and was understandably shuttered. As I wrote in the book, it’s a love story, but with a sad ending. I loved Victory and had the experience of my life working with the brand, but it was not a business success. Great bikes, even better people.

  25. 25 kent Feb 11th, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    I bet the Victory owners want buy this book like they didn’t buy new bikes and now they blame Polaris for the demise of Victory motorcycles. Just saying!!

  26. 26 BobS Feb 11th, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    I bought two Vic’s Kent, how many did you buy?

  27. 27 fuji Feb 12th, 2018 at 12:07 am

    Kent, Some just like to kick the can down the road to make a noise. Wonder what they will do when they get older and they can no longer buy their favorite wheel chair.

  28. 28 Highrider Feb 13th, 2018 at 1:49 am

    Victory, did have a management problem, they failed , plain and simple. Housing Victorys with Hondas and other makes made sure the type of buyer who would have bought (or considered a Victory) never came into the store. I still have my Jackpot and would like to pick up a Magnum X if the price becomes realistic, but Indian has some nice bikes too.

  29. 29 Dan Feb 13th, 2018 at 11:42 am

    Wow, a lot of butt hurt people here, and also those completely devoid of facts in terms of comparing Victory to Indian.

    Here is a simple fact. Pretty much out of the gate, Indians were outselling Vics 10:1

    For a bunch of what I assume are pro-capitalists, many of you seem to think it was Polaris’s duty to keep Victory limping along for no ones benefit except your feelings.

  30. 30 X H-D Rider Feb 13th, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    You left out one chapter in the book. Douchebag that sold us out

  31. 31 Money May 14th, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    At this moment I am going away to do my breakfast, once having my breakfast coming yet again to read additional news.

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