Polaris Industries to Wind Down Victory Motorcycles Operation

Discussion in 'Polaris Slingshot Discussions' started by Kip, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Kip

    Kip Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    Polaris posted this press release on their site today. After almost 20 years in business, Victory motorcycles will be ceasing production.

    I am worried what this could mean for Slingshot, except that the presser does mention focusing more on Slingshot.

    Profitibility and market share as reasons for discontinuing the brand. Parts and some accessories production, and warranties (whether extended or current) will be continuing for at least the next ten years.

    This news has come rather suddenly for consumers and dealers alike. If you have any questions, I can try to answer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
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  2. TGreene223

    TGreene223 Well-Known Member

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    Victory was a helluva fine bike (I rode a 2011 Cross Country), but they made some insane decisions starting around 2012 or so... First, they began releasing "customized/chopped" versions of their bikes, then the "Boardwalk" was a dismal flop, then they yanked the Kingpin and Visions, then suddenly their version of a new model release was to bring out yet another Cross Country with a different wheel, rake, or paint... Suddenly the Victory lineup consisted of a half dozen different models of the same bike, the Cross Country.

    So now they want to drop the edgy bikes that were so popular that they ALLOWED them to buy Indian, Motul, create Slingshot, etc. The only things that should have been dropped, were the designers, engineers, and VP's that have obviously made some very piss poor decisions along the way.

    Meanwhile our Slingshots continue sitting, awaiting new recall parts, again!
     
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  3. WI_Hedgehog

    WI_Hedgehog Winner of the "Most Factory Defects" award Staff Member Moderator

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    Shoot the messenger!

    :D
     
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  4. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg Well-Known Member

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    Meh, much ado about nothing.

    The key is in this statement:

    "announcing that they would immediately begin winding down operations of Victory Motorcycles due to struggles establishing market share and limited profitability"

    There is one player in that field and it's Harley. It's a limited market with a unique buyer. You don't buy a Harley because of reliability, performance or state of the art technology, you buy it for image. And once somebody is brand loyal to Harley, they do not switch.

    There are only so many yuppies out there to slurp up the Victory gravy - died in the wool Harley people would never drive anything but a Harley and most of the wannabe's that want "the lifestyle" will pony up for a Harley before a Victory or Indian.

    If Polaris gets their shit together, dumps the vehicles they don't want to be marginal and gets their Q.C. act together they could be hugely successful.

    I've said it before, I'll say it again: The floodgates are just opening on the reverse trike concept. Motorcycle registration, no emissions, and basically freedom to go bat shit crazy on performance are waiting for the manufacturers. Drooling, hungry people like us who want something way different and way fun.

    You think Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha and Suzuki aren't watching the SS, The Cross Bow, the Atom very, very carefully? You bet your ass they are. ;-)

    I just hope Polaris management has their head in a different place than '80's Detroit management did (up their ass). If I was in charge of stuff at Polaris today, I would be dumping huge dollars into R&D, spinning off a high end name plate (think Nissan/Infiniti, Honda/Acura/Toyota/Lexus) to offer a truly high-end version of the reverse trike (turbo/Brembo/Sparco/etc... from the showroom floor) and watch the numbers add up.
     
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  5. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg Well-Known Member

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    But let me ask you this: Is your SS sitting in the garage and not drive-able? Can you not fire it up right now and go for a ride?

    If you answer no to the above, you belong to the chicken little the sky is falling crowd who believes the swingarm is going to blow up and send you careening into a slow death as you approach an SUV's windshield.

    I drove my SS today. Burned rubber like is inevitable with a turbo and took a 30 MPH left hand turn at 55 MPH and not a squeak, rattle or busted swingarm as usual.

    My SS is not sitting there waiting on parts. Why is yours?

    We know there are recalls. But are any of them shelving one single SS? Not that I know of.;-)
     
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  6. TGreene223

    TGreene223 Well-Known Member

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    My angle drive is leaking on my garage floor...again!
     
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  7. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg Well-Known Member

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    Okay. You know it's a seal and pretty easy to replace seal that you can do yourself better than.... Oh. I give up.Bitch on.
     
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  8. SpeShees SS

    SpeShees SS Well-Known Member

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    Blitz, most Victory peeps are passionate about their rides. We feel betrayed by a company that once upon a time told us that we were the reason for their success. We were their best sales people. Then along came Indian and everything changed, all the while Polaris telling the victory riders not to worry, Victory platform would not suffer.

    Then they tossed us aside, that is why people are upset. Quite a few Slingshot riders are also Victory owners. It feels like a betrayal.
     
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  9. Sling ding-a-ling

    Sling ding-a-ling Well-Known Member

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    I was going I different route when I read this. "Profitability and market share as reasons for discontinuing the brand." I was thinking that maybe a company's reputation and sales staff that was primarily built on snow and off road machines probably wasn't the best way to represent a line of high end road bikes. Placing Indians next to them in the same showroom certainly didn't help either. Maybe Victory would have done better at a Triumph dealership? ;)
     
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  10. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I agree and have nothing bad to say about Victory bikes - I know nothing about them.

    I'm a died in the wool Japanese sport bike aficionado and would never switch to anything else. That being my point: When you are competing against heritage and history (as Victory was against Harley) it's an uphill battle.Others have tried to usurp Japan when it comes to state of the art performance machines and failed dismally. Example: I owned a $31K Ducati 999R. Great bike, loads of Italian panache, but it didn't handle any better than my $10K Yamaha R1.

    That's what Polaris faces with Victory. If I am going to drop $30K on a V-Twin, it's coming in a box from Milwaukee, not Indiana.

    Stick with what you know and what you are good at is my motto. Remember when AMF bought Harley as part of their conglomerate? The bikes were shit and it took years after Harley was repurchased and went back to it's roots to recoup their reputation.

    Polaris has for all intents and purposes invented a niche market with the SS. My point to them would be run with it. Make the best reverse trike money can buy and the hoards will follow. Screw up and you are done as a company.

    There is an old saying that always holds true: "Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door".

    Hopefully by getting out of Victory (and it would not surprise me if Indian were not close behind) Polaris can refocus and be the best at a few things rather than all things to all people. That doesn't work in today's competitive market.
     
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  11. sjambok

    sjambok Slingshot Supporter Slingshot Supporter

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    To Sling ding-a-ling's point...In Marietta, GA, Victory is/was sold at Mountain Motorsports...a large multi line dealer of almost anything that makes noise, smokes, goes fast on the terrain of its owners choice. Those rather expensive bikes were buried among metric bikes of every description and my experience suggests that many potential Victory customers were turned off by the atmosphere in that store and the pervasive lack of product knowledge of the sales force. Fast forward to a couple of years ago...Indian opens up about 500 meters down the street. I understand that Mountain Motorsports would not agree to the dealership standards demanded by Polaris for Indian/Slingshot. Now we have a dedicated Indian/Slingshot dealer that is very successful and AFAIK generally well received by its customers including me. I agree that these Victory/Indian/Slingshot machines are probably better served by more exclusive dealerships and this seems to be one direction that Polaris is heading.
     
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  12. WI_Hedgehog

    WI_Hedgehog Winner of the "Most Factory Defects" award Staff Member Moderator

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    I was looking at a gorgeous $40,000 custom Victory, kind of a must-have ride. After Polaris "customer service" and "warranty" relating to the Slingshot, and already declining to purchase two Razors due to quality issues, decided to read about others experiences with the brand. Pfffff. Left it in the showroom--no way I'm spending that much money on another Chinese build.

    Polaris could have sold me one or two sleds, one or two Razors, a motorcycle, and perhaps a few other things, but I'm not paying big money for their art department to slap great looking graphics on painted plastic when the mechanicals underneath aren't quality. Instead I bought other toys, and another Slingshot. Granted, I'm only one of Polaris' many customers, and it's quite possible they'd go out of business by catering to people like me, don't know. Motorcycles and personal watercraft, that's two big lines dead. That really kills the accessory sales for those lines also.

    I do love the Slingshot, no doubt, and there's currently nothing like it on the market. If they become popular enough that other manufacturers clone the idea, Polaris is going to face a drastically reduced market, because like snowmobiles, motorcycles, and ATVs, there are only so many people that will buy reverse trikes. So Polaris, if you're listening, make the best product you can at an extremely affordable price so no other manufacturer wants to enter your established market--if you don't dominate it convincingly now you'll never dominate it, and the car guys will eat this product line for lunch before you see them coming.

    Victory.jpg
     
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