Interesting choice- Victory is a pretty rare brand even here in the US. I'm guessing with only 8 Victory dealerships in the entire country, your chances of parking next to another red Judge are slim LOL! Enjoy the new ride- it is a good one. And thank you for buying American.
You MUST obey the pug dog!
Did you know the second oldest Harley dealership in the world is in Australia? Ah we are too good to you guys...
Last edited by AfterDarker; 07-03-2013 at 04:26 AM.
LOL! We appreciate your dollars in our trade balance, even if they are Australia dollars worth 91 cents American LOL!
Victory is a very minor player in the US, with less than a 2% market share. This places them not only well behind Harley (which outsells Victory over 25 to 1) but also well behind Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and even BMW & Triumph, about tied with Ducati. Victory had some very real problems with quality and dealership support for the first few years, and their first generation bikes were openly modeled after the Honda Shadow, so US buyers have not fallen in love with them the same way they did with Harley. Victory now sells excellent bikes, very well designed and very well built. But to the US, Victory is an upscale metric brand equal to the best from Japan, and Harley is something entirely different, still the only uniquely American brand. When it comes to heavyweight cruisers Harley sells 5 times as many as all other brands combined. Harley has the highest percentage of repeat buyers of any major brand, and the Harley logo is the number one tattoo in the US. No other motorcycle company can even come close to the brand loyalty, sales success, and outright obsession that Harley has in the US.
Last edited by DrBob; 07-04-2013 at 03:03 PM.
You MUST obey the pug dog!
Yeah. We'll take your funny money. Lol
Reminds me of monopoly...you have any pink 50s?
I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure...
I'm so surprised that Victory is considered some upscale metric brand when they're manufactured in Iowa and also when the controlling company Polaris is just about to re-release the new Indian, which looks rather old school awesome, man, you can't get much more American than that, can you?
Here is some of our funny money to keep you guys amused. Actually the US greenback is quite a technologically backward currency, it is all the same colour and size and its paper based. Notes haven't been upgraded for, what, 50 years?
Not polymer based, long lasting, colourful and easily dintinguishable between denominations, like ours.
Last edited by AfterDarker; 07-06-2013 at 08:19 AM.
Victory uses metric fasteners, is owned by a company synonymous with snowmobiles and atvs (that are made in Mexico and powered by Japanese engines), and designed their first model after buying a Honda Shadow Sabre to take apart, so the bikes have a distinct 'Japanese" feel to them. They are just not seen as a true alternative to Harley. This lack of identity as an American brand is exactly why Polaris bought the rights to the widely-known Indian brand name, the only other American brand that was ever was seen as an actual alternative to a Harley. 'Street cred" "name recognition" and "Americanism" were the goal; only time will tell if these qualities can be purchased instead of earned.
You have to remember, the original Indian went bankrupt for a reason: from the 1930s on they sold obsolete, poorly designed and poorly built motorcycles. The next incarnation of Indian sold re-badged imported small-displacement junk until they went bankrupt. Next came a guy who developed a new Indian but when things went bad financially he skipped the country with investor's money before building any production bikes. Next came the Gilroy California incarnation of Indian Motorcycles, which also went bankrupt from poor quality and poorly designed bikes. Then came the Indian motorcycles from North Carolina, which managed to sell about 100 bikes in 4 years before bankruptcy forced them to close and sell out to Polaris. That's five generations of failure, making "Indian Motorcycles" a questionable brand name at best, nearly synonymous with failure, poor quality, and bankruptcy. So only time will tell if Polaris can restore respectability to the Indian brand, let alone have that respectability rub off onto the Victory brand. At least Polaris got the brand dirt cheap, and "Indian" does have instant recognition inside and outside of the industry.
As for the money, the US bills are not paper, they are a blend of white, blue, and red cotton and linen cloth, and it is harder to duplicate the feel of this cloth than it is with any paper or plastic based currency. After not making any real changes since the 1920s, all the bills were redesigned about 10 years ago, and are updated every few years now- a new $100 bill comes out this fall, for example.
The bills made within the last ten years have micro printing, color-shifting ink at certain spots on the bill (green when you look right at it, black when you look from an angle), embedded security strips with micro printing that glow different colors under UV light depending on the denomination (the $10 bill, for example, as a security strip inside the cloth next to the portrait that glows orange with the words "Unites States" and a small flag), layered and double-sided watermarks that can only be seen by shining a light through the bill, and special lines in the background printing that show up as blotches if you photo copy the bill. We LIKE the fact that they are all the same size- makes them stack in our wallets nicely, so the US public has resisted all attempts to make the different notes different sizes. Not that telling the difference between the denominations is hard: after all the designs are different, and the denomination appears in several large and conspicuous places on the bill both as a number and a word, so unless you are completely blind they are hard to mix up.
Last edited by DrBob; 07-06-2013 at 10:05 AM.
You MUST obey the pug dog!
Yeah, Polaris certainly is spending the money to bring back Indian. They sort of need to if they really want to reach Harley's segmentt: market research shows that almost no one buys a Victory instead of a Harley; they buy them instead of a Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, or Suzuki.
Of course Indian sold only about a dozen bikes in each of the last two years they wre around, and Victory only sold 500 their first year, so they are a long way from being any kind of serious threat to Harley and its nearly 300,000 bikes a year. I expect Indian to sell 500 or so bike year one, climbing to 5000 after 5-6 years.
A Victory/ Triumph/ Can-AM dealership owner I spoke to recently said it was all kind of unnerving to him: Polaris was pushing Indian like it was the greatest thing since sliced bread, the birth of an alternative to Harley: an American motorcycle brand building high quality, large displacement motorcycles to compete with the motor company, a choice for the American motorcycle lover that they have not had in 70 years.
But that is what Victory was supposed to be, and now he feels like Polaris is going all in on Indian and Victory might well end up as the 'cheap' brand from Polaris, suddenly being second fiddle. So he sort of feels like as a Victory dealer he is no longer Polaris's favorite son anymore.
After a dozen plus years Victory is still only selling about 10,000 bikes a year total (they got to 12,000 at one point but the market crash caused layoffs and a huge drop in sales they are only now recovering from), and has only turned a profit 4 or 5 out of those years, so he is afraid he will end up with the red headed stepchild brand while Indian becomes the flagship brand getting all the attention and love. As he is not allowed to offer Indians through his Victory dealership, and Victory sales have not taken off like he expected, and the Victory bikes are so unlike the ATVs his mechanics work on most of the time, he is seriously considering dropping the Victory line and just selling the Polaris ATVs and side by sides.
I think there is room for both brands, as long as they do not compete with each other. Indian can be the expensive brand, built in small numbers, priced to compete with the CVO Harley models for those looking for something special. Victory can be the brand competing with the best from Japan, giving buyers a 'high quality made in the USA' alternative to the large displacement Japanese cruisers and touring bikes.
Last edited by DrBob; 07-06-2013 at 11:28 AM.
You MUST obey the pug dog!
Australia went metric in 1966. I really don't know why the US doesn't do the same, the benefits are obvious to almost every other nation. One set of spanners and socket wrenches would do me, but I don't think it will ever happen soon.
I personally think "so what?" that Polaris makes snowmobiles. Suzuki makes cars, Yamaha makes musical instruments, Peugeot makes pepper shakers. Most large companies are diversified. It may be argued that Harley has a pure cruiser motorcycling vision, but of course the Harley pedigree is not so pure, as any owner of a Harley two stroke can attest.
But two criticisms of US printed currency remain: same size, same colour. Just plain hard to distinguish notes from each other without a special machine. The bills are easy to mix up, especially for the visually impaired, and especially for foreigners.... foreigners like me in dimly lit bars with crinkled notes trying to figure out whether we are holding 10 bucks or 100 bucks. Probably an evil US conspiracy to defraud tourists.
I am certain there are many dimly lit venues that have defrauded me... Or at least it felt usually that way the next morning ... Yep, must certainly be the fault of the currency!
The problem isn't necessarily that Polaris makes snowmobiles, it's that "Polaris" and "snowmobiles" are synonymous. It's the same problem Suzuki had/ has with their cruisers. When Americans hear "Suzuki" they assume "crotch rocket", which is why Suzuki started the whole "Boulevard" thing, with mixed results. So snowmobiles are the first and only thing most people think of when they hear the word "Polaris" and they sort of assume that the motorcycles must be a novelty only, or some small displacement dirt bike. Lets face it, McDonnalds sells salads and fresh fruit, but when you hear someone going to lunch there you assume "fast food" and they are going to have a cheap, greasy hamburger and fries.
When you tell people you ride a Victory, the almost universal answer is a puzzled look and the question, "Who makes that, Harley?" When you say "No, Polaris" people give an even more puzzled look and say, "The snowmobile people?" So the rep Victory bikes have is that they have price of a Harley but the same lack of respect as a Japanese bike- the "I guess you couldn't afford a Harley and had to settle for that Jap crap" you get a lot on a Japanese cruiser. Add in the rather troublesome first and second generation Victory models, and the crappy dealership network, and Victory is having a very hard time convincing Americans that they are a top shelf product, despite the fact that the third generation Victory models are fantastic bikes. Unfortunately, image is everything, and Victory started off on the wrong foot and had never quite recovered.
But when you say "Harley" Americans think bad ass large displacement cruisers, as 80% of the cruisers in the USA are Harleys. Most are surprised to find out that Harley actually owns a finance company and makes the XR1200 sportbike also, and used to put the Harley name on those crappy Italian two-strokes, plus used to make snowmobiles, golf carts, dirt bikes, and other products. But that was a long time ago, before Harley was able to buy itself away from AMF in 1981, so as far as most Americans are concerned it is ancient history. Harley did an effective job errasing their crappy AMF era history by deciding over 30 years ago that the ONLY thing to have the Harley name on it from now on would be a cruiser or touring bike.
So Polaris is attempting to change their image with the purchase of Indian. Indian is a brand name Americans associate with large, expensive motorcycles (conveniently forgetting the crappy made in India two-strokes from the 60s and 70s). So Polaris is hoping that Victory will be known as the motorcycle brand from 'the company tht makes Indian', rather than the motorcycle brand from 'the snowmobile people.'
I hope it works. With Big Dog, CMC, and the short-lived Excelsior-Henderson gone, the choices for the American cruiser rider have been Harley or Japanese. It would be nice to have Victory succeed and push the Japanese brands out of the 2-6 place in the market, and let the good old US dominate the motorcycle world like we did back in the good old days before the Japanese invasion. But that is a long way away, with Victory still falling behind tiny brands like BMW, Triumph, and even Ducati in US sales, and would need to more than triple their market share to put pressure on Suzuki and Kawasaki, the two smallest Japanese brands. But my fingers are crossed for both Victory and Indian.
Last edited by DrBob; 07-07-2013 at 11:35 AM.
You MUST obey the pug dog!
There are about 290 Victory dealerships in the US, a far cry from the over 1200 Honda Motorcycle dealerships, but certainly respectable, and more than BMW or Triumph. However he lives in Australia where there are only 8 Victory dealerships in the whole country, with Yamaha having over 300 and even Harley having over 40. By way of comparison, Moto Guzzi has over a 100 dealerships in the USA, and Ural has 68, so I imagine a Victory is as rare in Australia as one of those brands is in the US.
Victory certainly is catching on- the other motorcycle brands that started about the same time, Big Dog, Indian, CMC, and Excelsior-Henderson, have all gone bust. Big Dog has the most success, but they barely topped the 5000 bike a year mark before going under, where as Victory is doing twice that. To go from the drawing board to a top ten brand in the US market in a decade is quite a feet. I hope Victory can boot the Japanese back across the Pacific LOL!
You MUST obey the pug dog!