New Victory: Octane fuelled for take off

Styling drawings reveal new hardcore 1200cc Victory before official launch

1 of 8

Victory will reveal full details of their new Octane performance cruiser on February 19, but MCN has uncovered patent drawings that show how the new bike will look.

The firm have made little secret of the fact they’re set to follow sister brand Indian in using a DOHC, four-valve-per-cylinder, 1200cc V-twin in a future model. The idea was initially previewed in custom guru Roland Sands’ Project 156 race bike which ran at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, and more recently we got a clearer look at what was planned when Victory revealed the Ignition concept, styled by custom builder Urs Erbacher.

These drawings show the same cast aluminium frame that appeared on the Ignition concept, as well as the 1200cc V-twin, but the styling is the work of Victory design chief Greg Brew, leaving little doubt this is the final look.

While the engine, at 1200cc, is the smallest ever to appear in a Victory, it’s also promised to be the most powerful. In fact, Victory expect it to be the most powerful machine in its class, although given that Ducati’s 160bhp XDiavel is now entering the cruiser arena, that could be a tall order for the American firm.

The bottom end is straight from the Indian Scout’s 1133cc V-twin, but in Victory form the engine gets new cylinders and heads. Capacity is up to 1200cc and power is expected to be significantly higher than the Scout’s 100bhp. How much higher isn’t known, but the presence of a single front brake in these drawings suggests the performance won’t be at XDiavel levels.

To create Ignition, Erbacher is believed to have been given a pre-production example of the new bike, and the same is true of the Zach Ness Combustion concept revealed last December. While Erbacher threw away most of the bodywork, these images show that he retained the frame, engine and swingarm, keeping the rear suspension mounting points unaltered, since they’re likely to be cast into the frame itself. He also appears to have kept the fuel tank, as the one in these drawings is exactly the same shape as the Ignition concept’s. What’s different is the overall style. Ignition used an inverted Marchesini fork and a twin Brembo radial brake set-up at the front, with flat bars and a relatively high seat mounted on a stubby tail. The Victory designs show more pulled-back bars and a much lower saddle that’s less integrated with the bodywork. At the back there’s a very conventional cruiser-style mudguard and LED tail light. Combustion, meanwhile, has a more conventional fork, single brake set-up and more closely resembles the drawings. Ness clearly cut down the front and rear mudguards, added a headlamp cowl, swapped cast wheels for laced rims, repositioned the footpegs, and went with some meaty straight-through pipes, but seems to have changed little else.

The result is a bike that’s much more closely aligned with the Indian Scout in terms of the market it’s entering. While the Scout also uses a cast aluminium frame with similar geometry – this bike has the same 29° rake as the Scout – the Victory’s frame is made up of different castings, helping to distinguish it from its stablemate. The real difference is likely to be in the performance, thanks to the new engine.

There’s more evidence of Victory’s performance aspirations in a teaser video realeased online which included a lingering burnout. Other small details are also visible: the line of the tank is very clear, and a brief glimpse of the clocks reveals a large single binnacle, which appears identical in shape and form to that on the Indian Scout, with a large analogue speedo, and integrated LCD section housing all the trips and other information – it even appears to have the same number styling on the facia as the Indian. Also shown clearly is the rear mudguard and taillight, which is a multi-LED strip unit.

This is a very important new bike for Victory, and is certain to be the first in a new family of performance street cruisers, as the firm continue to push down the hardcore street sled route, while Indian trades on its heritage to satisfy the retro segment of the cruiser market.

Be sure to visit the Motorcycle News page again on February 19 when full details of the new bike are due to be officially released.

Ben Purvis

By Ben Purvis