The rebirth of American firm Victory as a more performance-orientated company has been kick-started with the all-new Victory Octane model revealed here for the first time.
The Victory Octane features a 1179ccc, liquid-cooled V-twin which produces 104bhp, 73ft lbs of torque and a new cast-aluminium frame with Victory promising it has been built with a more sporting cruiser chassis set-up than seen from any American bike before. The UK prices start at a competitive £9799 which basically puts it out there on its own in the cruiser class with bikes available from June.
The engine is all-new and was previewed with the stunning Project 156 racing bike which was raced at the famous Pikes Peak International Hillclimb last year. While some might be disappointed in the production bike bearing little resemblance to Project 156, MCN sources suggest something more radical is still in the pipeline for the future.
The Victory Octane has been teased for the past six months and MCN was able to dig out patent and trademark line drawings which showed exactly what the bike was going to look like a few weeks ago but these are the first official images released by Victory. The teasing phase started with Porject 156, moved onto the Ignition concept at the Milan motorcycle show in November and then moved on to the Combustion concept most recently.
At the heart of the bike is the all-new motor which is the most powerful ever built by Victory with 104bhp and 73ft lbs of torque. Unusually for an American V-twin it revs pretty high to 8000rpm with the short-stroke motor developed from the prototype engine first seen in Project 156. This 60-degree V-twin revs higher and faster than most cruisers with Victory claiming it will cover the quarter mile in 12 seconds and 0 to 60mph in four seconds. The fact a cruiser manufacturer is even mentioning performance figures speaks volumes about the new intent behind this bike.
The V-twin engine is solid-mounted and is a stressed part of the chassis that connects the cast aluminium front and rear sections with a twin tubular-steel backbone for more rigidity. The front suspension are 41mm conventional forks with dual-rate springs. At the back there are twin shocks which are adjustable for preload.
Braking duty is taken care of at the front with a single 298mm disc with stainless steel brake lines and ABS as standard. The wheels are 10-spoke cast aluminium with the front 18-inch rim wrapped in a 130/70/18 tyre and the rear 17-inch wheel with a 160/60/17 tyre.
The one thing almost completely missing from the Octane is chrome and this is a deliberate move to keep as much of the bike blacked-out to complement the grey bodywork. Even the tank emblem has been finished in a grey colour rather than shiny chrome.
Victory Senior Industrial Designer Mike Song said: “We wanted to bring the American motorcycle into the 21st century.
“Victory doesn’t have any long history or legacy—we are a new brand and we can go wherever we want to go. We want to be modern, and bold, and set our own trends. Octane is for anyone who likes excitement. It handles well, offers a lot of performance, and contemporary styling to go with it. It’s meant for someone young, who wants something fresh, new and modern.”
“The basic Octane platform is so versatile, allowing us to do things we’ve never done before. We can take this design in several directions, opening the door for Victory to venture into segments outside of traditional cruisers, drawing in younger riders and new buyers.”