So long, Victory! It’s been good to know you.

victory-logoNews that Polaris Industries is shutting down the manufacture of its Victory motorcycles is roiling the small but loyal group of Victory owners across the U.S. Yet, in a way, it comes as no surprise. It’s hard to find a Victory dealer when you’re out on the road. Polaris never really made owning a Victory a cult thing.

I have spent many hours in motorcycle dealerships, selling and signing my books. What impressed me most was the way Harley-Davidson not only enforces its brand, but encourages it. Walk into a Victory dealer, and you may encounter a jacket or two, some motor oil and some T-shirts. The motorcycles may share space with ATVs, snowmobiles or other motorcycle brands. Walk into a Harley dealer, and it’s all Harley. H-D clothing, motor oil, bar stools, drinkware — that Harley-Davidson shield is on everything! If there is a competing bike brand on the showroom floor, it’s probably been traded in for a Harley.

Two summers ago, we attended the national rally of the Victory Motorcycle Club in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Our Victory, a 2002 Deluxe Touring Cruiser, was easily the oldest of the thousands of bikes parked at the hotel. There was a distinct “underdog” camaraderie among the riders. We all knew Victory motorcycles were good. But, like car-rental firm Avis used to say in its advertising,  there was also a feeling of “We Try Harder.” We all wondered what Polaris’ acquisition of the Indian brand would  mean.

And now we know. Indian will once again go head-to-head with Polaris, and Victory will be no more.  Indian will still have long way to go to take market share from H-D. Even if the Victory dealerships are replaced with Indian dealerships, they will still be too few and far between. Which is why we traded our Victory last summer for a Harley Road King. Harley dealers are much easier to find when you’re a long way from home.

About cindysowden

Cynthia Sowden is a freelance writer and editor. She puts her 30-plus years of corporate communications experience to work for businesses of all sizes. These are her thoughts on the business of writing.

Posted on January 11, 2017, in Harley Davidson, Motorcycles, Polaris, Victory motorcycle and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Captain Motorcycle

    Sadly I have to agree with your post. Once I have riden my Victory till the wheels fall off, I will join the culture of Harley. I do not want to have tis feeling again of abandonment. #PolarisCutMeDeep

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