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Baross
Other explanations of the Polaris motorcycle sales graph are both possible and plausible. The dip in 2008 coincides with the Global Financial Crisis and resultant global recession. The USA economy (the principal market for Polaris bikes) suffered severely, affecting many aspects of economic activity including sales of consumer goods such as motorcycles. Notably sales had returned to close to pre GFC levels by 2013 even though the economy was still recovering. The graph doesn't discriminate between Indian and Victory sales post 2013. Even though Victory sales may have declined this may not have been unexpected following the release of the new Indians. I would imagine that the board and executive of the company had contingency plans in place: release of the new Indians was a gamble but they had a plan B (Victory) if it failed. Given the success of Indian it's no surprise that they shut down Victory. Why maintain two separate product lines when the new one is exhibiting strong growth etc.? The assertion that a motorcycle company was 'bankrupted' is incorrect - no company was bankrupted. Instead a product line was shut down. Polaris remains profitable and Indian sales continue to grow in the USA and here.  The new 1200 at least should keep that trend going. Contrary to what has been expressed in this thread, all big companies must strive to balance the happiness of existing owners/buyers with chasing new market share. If sales don't grow then the company will not survive. The guff from the boss of Audi is simply that - corporate spin. They have their tail between their legs because of the diesel emissions scandal. They will be chasing new customers just as vigorously as any of their competitors. That is capitalism.

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Dags14
Well V-Twin , at the present time with the release of new models for 2019 i would hope that Indian indeed learned from the market trend and past endeavors concerning Victory . I guess my point was that the Indian brand has to prove its self all over again . Build a solid reputation and most importantly pay attention to the consumer . I think with the Victory brand they went to hard to fast . Keep in mind that the problems experienced with the first new Indian models released by Polaris are the same teething problems that any motorcycle manufacturer faces when they release new models and like any of the manufacturers they refuse to admit a problem. Indian motorcycles have addressed some of these issues already for e.g. with the scout front suspension.  Is it as good as it can be ? No . Is it as bad as it was ? No . Penny pinching? Yes maybe but Keeping the Brand profitable for investors and maintaining a certain level of attraction for consumers keeps the brand alive . I have owned 10 or so different bikes in 30yrs and have never had 1 that i didn't upgrade parts on . Its part and parcel of personalizing your ride and my Scout Bobber is no different.  With any brand motorcycle you will never get a $30000 bike for $20000 but if you can get a $20000 $ motorcycle for $20000 thats a win in my book . Indian motorcycles are made in a first world country so it attracts a first world price . 
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Dags14
Well said Baross , you are obviously better at this than i am . 
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V-Twin
Hey Baross,

I appreciate you chipping in to this conversation.  Opposing views do make the discussion more interesting. 😀

Your point about the GFC and the dip in sales is a fair point.  However, Victory never recovered from that, while many other motorcycle companies posted profit since the GFC.  As I recall, Victory turned a profit only like 20% of the years in the past 10 years or so - rest of the time, they were loosing money.  If not for the wealthy parent company, Polaris, Victory would have gone into bankruptcy.  But I take your point, they didn’t technically go bankrupt.

Baross wrote:
Given the success of Indian it's no surprise that they shut down Victory. Why maintain two separate product lines when the new one is exhibiting strong growth etc.? The assertion that a motorcycle company was 'bankrupted' is incorrect - no company was bankrupted. Instead a product line was shut down.
Since we are talking about Audi, there must be a reason why VW kept Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ducati and a few others.  Why maintain all these brands?  Would they target the different market?  I think many Indian riders would agree that they would not be attracted to the Victory range.  Reverse applies as well.  Victory owners riding a ‘spaceship’ will most likely not be attracted to the retro range of bikes like our Indians.  So, I’d say they appealed to two different demographics.  If Victory was profitable, I think Polaris would have kept the brand going.  So, why did Victory failed to turn a profit for so many years?  I don’t know the answer to that.  But I hope the Polaris management figured it out.
Let's be kind to one another.
Melbourne, Victoria
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V-Twin
Dags14 wrote:
I guess my point was that the Indian brand has to prove its self all over again . Build a solid reputation and most importantly pay attention to the consumer .
Totally agree with you Dags.

Dags14 wrote:
Keeping the Brand profitable for investors and maintaining a certain level of attraction for consumers keeps the brand alive . I have owned 10 or so different bikes in 30yrs and have never had 1 that i didn't upgrade parts on . Its part and parcel of personalizing your ride and my Scout Bobber is no different.
I think we are talking about two different things here.  Replacing tyres with sticky tyres OR purchasing a new handlebar to suit the height of the rider OR etc., are customing and that is up to the individuals.  Including dangerously soft suspension on Scouts... after all, the demo bike would have been the same.

As is mentioned at the start of in this thread, when the build quality takes a dive OR components that were part of the exact same motorcycle 2 or 3 years running starts disappearing, while the bike prices go up, I’m not sure if that is anything short of penny pinching.  Which brings me to your point about getting a $20k bike for $20k... just between the 2018 Springfield Dark Horse and 2019 Springfield Dark Horse, the engine guard, rear guard and windshield were removed (approximately $2,500 in value to buy).  While the bike price went up as well.  Did we get $20k bike for $20k?  I personally don’t think so.

Being with Indian brand for 3.5 years now... I have seen more than a few owners upgrading their Indians (myself included).  Say from 2015 Roadmaster to 2017 Roadmaster.  Not much had changed on these bikes - just a little things like the GPS and new paint colours, etc.,.  But folks paid to upgrade never the less.  Would 2017 Springfield DH owner consider upgrading to 2019 Springfield DH now?  ...knowing they have to pay another $2.5k?  It just doesn’t leave a good taste in your month when you deal with that sort of business.  I don’t think I am alone in thinking this way.  

As I said somewhere else, car companies add more accessories to their aging models.  Be it better stereo or leather seats or sunroof or whatever.  Rarely, have I seen a car company remove bits that were on earlier model year cars.  Added accessories are designed to encourage and motivate sales.  Opposite will happen when buyers realise they are getting less.
Let's be kind to one another.
Melbourne, Victoria
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Baross
Thanks V twin. You raise some interesting points. It would be good to look at Vicory sales in isolation and also other motorcycle brands pre and post GFC. I don't know enough about why Victory was closed but the challenge posed by Victory was taken seriously by HD. They had to lift their game with the Rushmore models etc.. Irrespective of sales, I imagine Polaris learned a lot with the Victory experiment in how to make large cruiser style bikes. They cashed in on that experience with Indian: there is a lot of Victory engineering in our bikes, especially the chassis and running gear, which is superior to the main competition. For all we know there may never have been any long term plan to keep Victory going once they got their hands on the Indian name. They certainly hit the bulls eye with the Indian range, so we have to give the suits some credit for there planning and knowledge of the market.

I imagine the the difference between the multiple product lines of the VW group and something like Polaris is the size and diversity of the car vs motorcycle market. The former is huge and the latter is tiny in comparison. Thus it may be difficult to keep multiple product lines going in a very small market, especially when they are both occupying the same tiny niche at the premium end of the market. 
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Croc
This keeps going, still.  Victory bikes were and still are a better alternative to harleys.  Better build, engine, running gear and customised styling straight off the bat.  Yet what happened?  A lot of people still bought harleys.  It can't have been the bang for buck, it can only be the name.  It is a pity, the Victory is a very nice bike.  Along came Indian, people (like me) went "wow! an Indian I can afford & also upgraded to this century".  I can understand polaris ceasing Victory sales but I really thought that they would incorporate some of the engine types & styling and bring out different versions of the Indian bike line-up to compete with brands that have more than (let's face it) two sizes of engines.  Must be a good economic reason that they didn't.
As for Indian now?  Hm, it looks like polaris have reasoned that they have a good name brand and have attracted some of the market and are now resting on their laurels (such as they are) or, more to the point, the laurels of the good name of the Indian brand/bike from history.
More power to them, if they bugger it up all I hope is that there will still be parts available in the future to keep mine roadworthy.  
I'm Not Completely Useless . .
I Can Be Used As A Bad Example!

Kwinana W.A.

Ulysses   #48275
IMRG      #100932
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BigTone
Baross wrote:
The guff from the boss of Audi is simply that - corporate spin. They have their tail between their legs because of the diesel emissions scandal. They will be chasing new customers just as vigorously as any of their competitors. That is capitalism.

whether it is corporate spin or genuine dedication to the market it doesn't matter, as long as companies use customer feedback for future progress. It doesn't mean ef all about the size of the company...just the mission..
Cheers,
Tony
St. Kilda  Victoria
IMRG: 20380071
Current Ride: 2020 Dark Horse Challenger 
Previous Ride: 2015 Roadmaster
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V-Twin
Baross wrote:
...the challenge posed by Victory was taken seriously by HD. They had to lift their game with the Rushmore models etc..
I’m just splitting hair here but I believe the Harley-Davidson Rushmore project was announced at the end of 2013 and came out in 2014.  I think the Rushmore project was in response to Indian brand resurrection.  In the last decade or so, Victory really didn’t threaten Harley bike sales... not like the Indians anyway.

I think the competition between Indian and Harley is great for all American motorcycle lovers.  

Harley was running 103ci engines when Indian was resurrected.  Their CVO was running 110ci.  So what did Indian do, launch the Thunder Stroke 111ci. 😆  MoCo took notice of the 2014 Indian Chieftain with features like the superior mono-shock frame and the adjustable windshield.  Chieftain offered remote lockable handbags and tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) - these features are only available on HD’s $50K CVO models.  This is why I believe Harley launched the Rushmore bikes, which was a whole lot of small refinements but collectively was a big leap - one touch unlocking saddlebags so the rider can pop stuff in while stopped at the lights... now who else offers that sort of handbags??? (You can tell Harley didn’t have a real competition for several decades).

Harley wasn’t going to cop it sweet.  They worked hard and launched the 107 Milwaukee Eight engines in the model year (MY) 2017 (Milwaukee Eight 114ci was for the CVO range only).  By design, it is a superior engine to our Thunder Stroke 111.  The funny part about this is that, Polaris had the know-how to build a more sophisticated engines like the quad valve engines (ie. Victory Freedom engines) but the Indians were ‘dumb down’ to gain acceptance amongst the Harley crowd who were use to Twin Cam engines (remember how Hoggies thought the water cooled engines were ‘not a real Harley’?). 😆 

For the MY 2018, Harley launched a brand new mono-shock frames on their Softail range. 👍😀 At the same time, they overhauled the bike's styling.  LED lights were added, all around from the factory.  Harley started fitting the 114ci engines to their regular models and introduced the 117ci for the CVO.  Harley dealers were ordering 90% 114ci engines and 10% 107ci engines in their Softail orders (so the 107ci engines were more-or-less superseded in 1 year).  Why did CVO increased the capacity only a year after the launch?  Indian announced the 116ci big bore kit in late 2017.  Harley is famous for launching big bore kits and a few years later, turn them into the factory engine.  So it was a clear message for Harley that Indian will one day ride the 116ci across the board. 👍😎

For the MY 2019, Harley upgraded the GPS and offered 114ci in their touring bikes.  In response, Indian launched the redesigned, mid-model face lifted, Street Glide-like Chieftain.

The ‘fight’ is on!  Many are speculating that Harley will update their touring line of motorcycles (Street Glide, Road Glide and the Road King) with a new mono-shock frame like their Softail range.  No point fitting the existing (old) fairings on a new frame.  So, that would be a perfect time to update the design of the aging fairings.  So, Harley is expected to release brand new touring bikes.  Only the engines and gearboxes will be carried over.

IF Harley is listening to their customers, they will fit the adjustment windshield on their new touring bikes (like most of the touring bikes on the market).  If they persist with fixed windshield, they are not listening and continue to lose sales to Indian, Honda and BMW.  We should know by August 2019.  If the new Harley Glides are announced, I think Indian will respond with the factory 116ci engines, possibly the following year.

I am loving the competition!!  😎
Let's be kind to one another.
Melbourne, Victoria
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V-Twin
Croc wrote:
Victory bikes were and still are a better alternative to harleys.  Better build, engine, running gear and customised styling straight off the bat.
I personally don’t think Victory is a better alternative to Harleys.  I had the opportunity to ride a Victory Cross Country and it was terrible.  The engine was rough and the gear box was really clunky.  The design is subjective so I will leave that one alone.  I did like the longer Victory having more legroom than Indians, but I would not own it after riding one.  By comparison, I hired the 2017 Street Glide in the States for 3 weeks touring and it was a lovely machine.  I particularly liked that quiet top end of the M8 engine - sounded exactly the same every day.  Whereas my Indian engine sounds (top-end rattle like sound) different from one day to the next. ☹️

We have choices and that should be celebrated!!  🎉🎉🎉
Let's be kind to one another.
Melbourne, Victoria
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crash
V-Twin wrote:
I personally don’t think Victory is a better alternative to Harleys.  I had the opportunity to ride a Victory Cross Country and it was terrible.  The engine was rough and the gear box was really clunky.  The design is subjective so I will leave that one alone.  I did like the longer Victory having more legroom than Indians, but I would not own it after riding one.  By comparison, I hired the 2017 Street Glide in the States for 3 weeks touring and it was a lovely machine.  I particularly liked that quiet top end of the M8 engine - sounded exactly the same every day.  Whereas my Indian engine sounds (top-end rattle like sound) different from one day to the next. ☹️

We have choices and that should be celebrated!!  ðŸŽ‰ðŸŽ‰ðŸŽ‰


Personally, I have ridden a victory cross country and I had a list of gripes but I would not say that it was terrible.  On the other hand I rode a Ultra Limited and could not get off it quick enough.  There were more things that I did not like about the HD so for my vote, I would think that Victory was a better alternative than HD - this may get re-evaluated when it is time to trade in (another 20,000 kms).
I am not sure that Victory were presenting a significant threat to HD but Polaris on the other hand were - they were already into ATV's, snowmobiles etc so if they decided to go after a particular market they were able to - (relatively) deep pockets to get something off the ground.  The Victory showed HD and Polaris that is was feasible (yes, even considering the eventual demise of Victory) - it just needed a different strategy - enter the Indian that had all of the history that HD had (and more), was an underdog - this now became a valid alternative to the HD.  But for HD to have brought out the newer model, it had to have been on the drawing board long before it was released which would suggest that they were looking at the changes before Indian became public knowledge (I would have thought) - it may not have been in direct competition to either the Victory or the Indian but both in the market certainly rattled a few cages to say "Polaris is not going to go away" and to this end they had to step up to the plate.
Ulysses #30673
IMRG #AU100394
Current: RoadMaster (ebony and ivory)
Highett Victoria Australia
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Bluey2
V-Twin wrote:
I personally don’t think Victory is a better alternative to Harleys.  I had the opportunity to ride a Victory Cross Country and it was terrible.  The engine was rough and the gear box was really clunky.  The design is subjective so I will leave that one alone.  I did like the longer Victory having more legroom than Indians, but I would not own it after riding one.  By comparison, I hired the 2017 Street Glide in the States for 3 weeks touring and it was a lovely machine.  I particularly liked that quiet top end of the M8 engine - sounded exactly the same every day.  Whereas my Indian engine sounds (top-end rattle like sound) different from one day to the next. ☹️

We have choices and that should be celebrated!!  ðŸŽ‰ðŸŽ‰ðŸŽ‰


I have a HD CVO Ultra with Ricor front suspension valving that is a decent ugrade, I also have Fornale shocks on the rear that are also a considerable improvement. But even with these upgrades the HD  is in no way anywhere near as comfortable or handle as good as the Victory XC. This is due to the 130mm inverted front suspension and 120mm rear mono shock canter-lever rear unit. The Victory XC bikes were in my opinion the best designed Vtwin touring motorcycles to come out of the USA but they lacked refinement and were underdeveloped before being released on the public. I could point out quite a few things that could have been improved on with the Vic but that would take too long.
The HD's touring bikes have been around in the same design for decades with a tweek here and there but the design is a dinosaur and cannot compete with a modern design like the Vic XC. The Vic has more than twice the rear suspension of the street glide, Road glide etc. 53mm. Vic has an alloy spar mono frame so it does not suffer from flex or bagger wobble like the rubber mounted HD's. Over the decades HD have refined their machines to a very smooth refined state and made great improvements.
I live in Nth Qld and we have rough shitty roads. If you live where the roads are perfect you will love your HD experience. I appreciate the Vic mostly for the ride and handling.
I'm not a brand blind person, i'm a motorcycle rider that has got too old to ride the sport touring machines. I refuse to buy the lifestyle BS that mainly HD but other brands promote.
About three years ago at 62 I travelled 1200kls. on my own in a day on the Victory and  got off fresh as i got on. I travelled 1050kl. one day on the HD Ultra a couple of years before got off not quite as fresh but fine. 2012 and 2013 I rode to Phillip island and back, 2600kls in 3 days on my 08 Softail and still managed to walk away pretty good, 4 times in total on the softail. In 2013 after the second trip to the island and back i Purchased the CVO much better bike for long distance. I picked up the Victory in 2015 after a 7500kl. trip on the Ultra towing my Elite camper with the wife on the back. It did the job but the heat nearly toasted my wifes leg. She wont get on the Harleys since I have had the Victory. The Victory is way more roomy and comfortable, I hope the Challenger is nearly as good as the Victory.
I am waiting for my new Indian Challenger to arrive, I expect it to be a very good bike. I believe the new Challenger power plant to be the Victory Freedom second generation engine that Victory were developing to get around EPA regulations. Victory had problems with emissions regulations hence the 70% throttle restrictor on the touring models. Once the restrictor is removed the Victory performance improves greatly. My Victory is quicker than the 110" CVO and so it should be with 4 valves per cylinder, twin large throttle bodies, overhead cams and half the mechanical drag items as in the Harley. I only have 36,000kls on the Victory but have a couple of friends that have 70000kls. plus on their VXC with no mechanical issues at all. In 100,000kls my CVO Ultra has had loads of large and small problems apart from the engine that is, and the problems i have had are very common to the Harleys. I'm not bashing Harleys I own two of them, I appreciate how well they work with the old design, they also have top electronics and refignments that make them go way better than they should.
Sorry about the long post but i think a little experienced opinion can broaden the thinking of some single focused people, but i could be wrong about that!
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V-Twin

Bluey2 wrote:
The HD's touring bikes have been around in the same design for decades with a tweek here and there but the design is a dinosaur and cannot compete with a modern design like the Vic XC. The Vic has more than twice the rear suspension of the street glide, Road glide etc. 53mm. Vic has an alloy spar mono frame so it does not suffer from flex or bagger wobble like the rubber mounted HD's. Over the decades HD have refined their machines to a very smooth refined state and made great improvements.
Agreed Bluey.  Harley-Davidson's short suspension travel on their touring bikes have been a limitation.  Also, not having switched to a mono-shock suspension like their Softail range back in 2018, is holding back HD.  The market has been expecting a brand new line-up of touring models from MoCo, but they seem to be focusing on LiveWire and adventure bikes (expending the range) at the moment.

Bluey2 wrote:
I'm not a brand blind person,
I think you will find many of us on this forum owns or have owned several brands of motorcycles.  So you are amongst friends. 😉


Bluey2 wrote:
She wont get on the Harleys since I have had the Victory. The Victory is way more roomy and comfortable...[/QUOTEI have heard that from several other riders/pillions.  On our 3 week tour of USA, it was the stock passenger seat that was more of an issue.  

I would also like my Vintage to have more legroom like Victory as well.


Victory had problems with emissions regulations hence the 70% throttle restrictor on the touring models. Once the restrictor is removed, the Victory performance improves greatly.
Is that why their demo bikes rode the way they did. 🤔


Bluey2 wrote:
I am waiting for my new Indian Challenger to arrive, I expect it to be a very good bike. I believe the new Challenger power plant to be the Victory Freedom second generation engine that Victory were developing to get around EPA regulations.
This is exciting news!  Congratulations! I'm looking forward to seeing one in person when they land.  Looking past the appearance (which is subjective), between the Road Glide and Challenger, there is no comparison in terms of features and comfort level.  Enjoy and do let us know what you liked and what you didn't.

Let's be kind to one another.
Melbourne, Victoria
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