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Victory Motorcycle History and a Quiz Too

By Walter F. Kern

Learn about Victory Motorcycle History and Take a Victory Quiz Too

Special Announcement from Polaris Industries Inc: On January 9, 2017, Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII), announced it will immediately begin winding down its Victory Motorcycles brand and related operations. Polaris will assist dealers in liquidating existing inventories while continuing to supply parts for a period of 10 years, along with providing service and warranty coverage to Victory dealers and owners. This announcement does not affect any other Polaris business units.

This article gives a history lesson and quiz about Victory motorcycles. It is part of a series of motorcycle history lessons and quizzes.

Some may think they already know a lot about Victory, its history and its machines. Perhaps you would like to take a quiz on Victory history and skip the rest of this article. That's OK. You may want to come back later for more information.

Here's your chance to take the Victory Motorcycle History Quiz now. (Currently, the quiz does not work on mobile devices.) However, I hope you will first want to read more about Victory motorcycle history before you take the Victory quiz.

The following is a short potpourri of the history of Victory motorcycles.

Use it to satisfy yourself that you know Victory history now or as a stepping stone to learning more Victory motorcycle history later on. Be sure to consult the various resources outlined in the sidebar for more information. There will be a quiz at the end.

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.

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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.

In 2005, Victory had seven models. Their Hammer model had a Freedom 100/6 V-Twin which means 100 ci and 6 speeds, including overdrive. It also had a super fat rear tire measuring 250 mm, the largest tire ever attached to a production bike. Their 8-Ball model was a Vegas in basic black.

On January 9, 2017, Polaris Industries Inc. announced it will immediately begin winding down its Victory Motorcycles brand and related operations. (Polaris had 12 2017 models in its lineup prior to this announcement.) Polaris will assist dealers in liquidating existing inventories while continuing to supply parts for a period of 10 years, along with providing service and warranty coverage to Victory dealers and owners. This announcement does not affect any other Polaris business units.

So, do you know the difference between a Polaris snowmobile and a Victory Vegas? Take the short 10-question trivia quiz on Victory motorcycles. This should be as easy as finding your Victory Vegas parked at the next Trike Riders International Rally.

Take the Victory Motorcycle Quiz (Currently, the quiz does not work on mobile devices.)

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