New Book Chronicles The Rise And Fall Of Victory Motorcycles


Victory Motorcycles put up a strong effort in the quest to topple Harley-Davidson, but ultimately, Victory will be relegated to an interesting side note in motorcycle history books. Books like the one below, in which the co-authors give the readers a look inside the company few have ever seen before. 

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Victory Motorcycles 1998–2017 is a complete history of the underdog cruiser motorcycle brand that challenged the dominance of Harley-Davidson by producing exceptional cruiser motorcycles—bikes that were more innovative, reliable, and powerful—but ultimately could not compete with the Milwaukee brand’s status as a global cultural icon. This book features an insider’s view of how Victory developed its first model, the V92C, along with detailed descriptions and photos of every subsequent Victory model.

Co-authors Dapper and Klancher were involved with Victory from the day the first prototype debuted in June 1997 to the wintry morning in January 2017 when parent company Polaris announced it was “winding down” the Victory business. This new book covers the brand long billed as “The New American Motorcycle” from its original pre-production models to the final Victory ever built in January 2017.

Victory Motorcycles 1998–2017 tells how in 1997, Polaris, a global motorsports industry leader with multi-billion-dollar annual sales revenue, introduced Victory Motorcycles as its first on-road vehicle division. While Polaris was successful, its Victory brand was a true underdog that continually struggled uphill to take market share from the giant in the room, Harley-Davidson.

For almost two decades, Victory produced outstanding V-twin-powered heavyweight cruiser motorcycles. Victory motorcycles were superior to the better-selling Harley models in terms of technology, performance, and modern style, but Victory couldn’t match the legendary brand appeal enjoyed by Harley worldwide. The story of each Victory cruiser, bagger, and touring model is covered in Victory Motorcycles 1998–2017, along with the brand’s concept vehicles, and the world records set on Victory models.

This new book includes previously unpublished photos, styling renderings of Senior Industrial Designer Mike Song, production numbers not previously revealed, behind-the-scenes stories, a complete list of paint colors for every model, and a recap of the brand’s business success and eventual demise.

In the mid-1990s, co-authors Michael Dapper and Lee Klancher were granted unprecedented access to Victory engineering and testing. In 1998 they published The Victory Motorcycle, chronicling the birth of the brand and development of the first Victory model, the V92C. That highly collectible book is reproduced in full in Victory Motorcycles 1998–2017, along with complete coverage of every other Victory model, including the groundbreaking Vegas, the best-selling Cross Country, and the polarizing Victory Vision.

Available from Octane Press or anywhere books are sold. Go to victorymotorcyclebook.com for details.

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