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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.

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
I think the USA and Great Britain are the only two countries in the world that have held onto the imperial measuring systems.
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.

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.
I guess that you always prefer the colour of your own money.

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!
 

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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.
 

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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.
I don't know how many dealers in the country, but we have 3 in Montana. The Victory is catching on around the west part of the country. I have a lot of friends with Victory's. They are nice bikes. I saw a red Judge in the Helena dealership. I was glad to see a shiny color. I don't care much for the mat finish.
 

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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!
 

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LOL! Yeah, I live in BFE Georgia and there are 2 dealerships within 20 miles of me, plus 3 authorized service centers and at least 10 independent Harley shops.


Sure would like to see Victory grab about a 10-12% share of the cruiser market. With Harley holding firm to 80%, and Triumph growing their small share, that would seriously squeeze the Japanese into either upping their game, dropping their prices, or sticking to sportbikes.

Have you seen the "New" C50 model line up? They blacked out the chrome on the BOSS model (like Harley has been doing since the 1990s), called it a new model, and charge $8,900 bucks for a 800cc mostly plastic motorcycle with a 1980s shaft drive and looks basically unchanged except for the plastic air cleaner & fenders for the last ten years. The freaking T model C50 is $9,600 now! Even the base C50, available only in black, is $8,400. Insane.
 

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We have 3 H-D dealers in the Portland/Vancouver metro area not more than about 20 miles apart. :cool:

This kind of puts it in perspective.

Speaking as I do from the land of eight (victory) dealers, you sure seem to have and like a lot of dealers in the USA. But why? Here in Australia if we do ride cross country and break down we know we are going to wait a few days for parts if we can't fix something at the local bike shop. I had a mate that broke a driveshaft on his BMW GS1200 while in north west West Australia and he had to wait 2 weeks for a replacement.
If like me you are riding Sydney metro area and bike breaks down well it is a service truck pick up to the dealer, insurance cost for this is $100 per year, so it is not an issue.

Why have you got to have dealers everywhere you look, like mcDonalds franchises? Especially HD riders, big tough self reliant individuals except when it comes for the overarching need to ride within range of a dealer??

Time for US Harley riders to look at the Australian Victory example and man up!
 

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Speaking as I do from the land of eight (victory) dealers, you sure seem to have and like a lot of dealers in the USA. But why? Here in Australia if we do ride cross country and break down we know we are going to wait a few days for parts if we can't fix something at the local bike shop. I had a mate that broke a driveshaft on his BMW GS1200 while in north west West Australia and he had to wait 2 weeks for a replacement.
If like me you are riding Sydney metro area and bike breaks down well it is a service truck pick up to the dealer, insurance cost for this is $100 per year, so it is not an issue.

Why have you got to have dealers everywhere you look, like mcDonalds franchises? Especially HD riders, big tough self reliant individuals except when it comes for the overarching need to ride within range of a dealer??

Time for US Harley riders to look at the Australian Victory example and man up!
Well I for one don't want to spend my limited vacation time waiting for a part and if I need a tire or oil change on the road it's nice to know there's a dealer nearby.
It's also nice piece of mind if you have a newer bike with a warranty to know you're never too far from a warranty covered repair in the event that your do have a breakdown.
Waiting two weeks for something is not an option for most folks here even if they know how to wrench on their machine.
 

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Yeah, waiting for parts sucks and is totally unacceptable. I broke the primary drive on my 1979 Harley FLH-80 is the tiny little town of Palistine Texas, and was back on the road good as new in 24 hours. Had I been riding something made within the last 10 years, I would have been back on the road in 2 hours.
Not to mention that with 8 Harley dealership within 50 miles of me, they all have to offer good customer service, fast service, and low prices or it is really easy to simply go to another dealership. Competition improved the breed.
The lack of dealerships is one of the big limitations for Victory, Triumph, BMW, and other small brands in the USA. No one will buy a motorcycle unless they have easy access to a dealership for parts, service, and warranty claims, so the potential market is really limited for brands without a dealership in every metro area. There is one BMW dealership 20 miles from me, but until recently the closest Triumph dealership was almost 200 miles away, so even though I love the Speedmaster I would never have bought one. Now that there is a dealership only 25 miles away, a Triumpph is back on the table for me, but the new dealership already has a bad reputation for customer service, high prices, and a slow service department; after all, their customers have no other choice but to go there, so the lack of competition is not a good thing. On the other hand the Victory dealership in town had a terrible reputation, but now that there are 4 Victory dealerships in the Atlanta area fighting for his business he is suddenly a very nice place to deal with. Competition good.
 

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What's the phrase you use in the US about "drinking the Kool Aid"? Meaning if you all drink the same juice, you all start thinking the same.

Reading the above, I cant help thinking there is a lot of Kool Aid going down here. But also it is a good reflection on the high service expectations and competitive benefits inherent in the US economy. I notice the average American goes without a creature comfort or a spare part for more than a little while, they start to get very agitated. Maybe Aussies are more laconic, or tolerant of poor service.

Anyway I dare to be different riding around on my new Victory and mate, bugger the dealerships, I am just enjoying the ride.
 

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What's the phrase you use in the US about "drinking the Kool Aid"? Meaning if you all drink the same juice, you all start thinking the same.

Reading the above, I cant help thinking there is a lot of Kool Aid going down here. But also it is a good reflection on the high service expectations and competitive benefits inherent in the US economy. I notice the average American goes without a creature comfort or a spare part for more than a little while, they start to get very agitated. Maybe Aussies are more laconic, or tolerant of poor service.

Anyway I dare to be different riding around on my new Victory and mate, bugger the dealerships, I am just enjoying the ride.
Haha. Yes, we are spoiled. Poor service is a common thing here. Maybe you Aussies are just more tolerant.

I really am glad you got a new victory. I know it suits you well, and gives you that little smile when you throw a leg over, regardless of dealer availability. That's all that matters,and I think you will get many hassle free miles out of your new judge.
 
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