[dropcap]W[/dropcap]here better to fire a shot across the V-twin industry’s bow than at the 75th Daytona Bike Week bash? After unveiling the Octane and Stealth Victory motorcycles to dealers and the media, Bike Week will see a substantial public push on the reinvigorated brand, along with the Hooligan Indian Scout Sixty dirt trackers rolling into the beachside biker’s mecca, and it is clear that Polaris planned to crash what had basically been a private Harley party for decades. Throw in the announcement of an AMA Pro Flat Track racing legal 750cc powerplant and it looks like the Indian vs. Harley rivalry is back!
“Bike Week kicks off the riding season and serves as the perfect place to showcase our modern American muscle with the all-new Victory Octane – the lightest, most powerful and quickest Victory Motorcycle ever produced,” says Steve Menneto, president of motorcycles for Polaris Industries. “Victory’s goal this year is to highlight the outstanding performance of all of our models, and Victory’s activities and displays in Daytona are the perfect place to see how we’re pushing the performance envelope.”
Built around Victory’s fist liquid-cooled powerplant, the performance envelope Menneto mentions is pushed by a 1200cc dual overhead cam/four-valve that revs out past 8,000 rpm. With 104 hp on tap and weighing just 528 pounds, Victory says the Octane has the quickest quarter-mile time and is the fastest from 0-60 mph of any motorcycle they have made. The price is right, too – just $10,499.
Providing the tunes for Victory’s Daytona party is the loudest Bagger in the business. Despite the stealth gray paint, the Magnum X-1 makes a real impression courtesy of its 200-watt 10-speaker audio system, 21” billet front wheel, LED lights and a new lower price (MSRP of $23,499). According to Victory, “This may be the only motorcycle on the market that attracts custom fans and concert groupies. Riders will have a chance to enjoy the Magnum X-1 at the first big party of the season during Daytona Beach Bike Week, where it will be one of the featured demo models in the company display.”
Coinciding with Polaris’ Victory party is the Indian Motorcycle uprising. America’s first motorcycle company invited race fans to witness the Roland Sands Design SuperHooligan Indian Scout Sixty dirt trackers in action during the 75th Anniversary of Daytona Bike Week. Following on the heels of IV League Flat Track races in California, the RSD SuperHooligan Indian Scout Sixty race bikes went on tour leading up toDaytona, with races at The One Show and Mama Tried (in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, no less… sending a message to the V-twin competition?).
But wait, there’s more! In a development long anticipated by insiders, AMA Pro Flat Track Racing issued Competition Bulletin #2016-03 approving Indian’s race-only 750cc twin for competition use.
“This is an all-new engine which we suspect was designed by Polaris’ Swissauto division, not a result of combining existing Indian Scout crankcases with added race-suitable components such as crankshaft, pistons, heads, etc. as provided under the new rules,” says no less an authority than Cycle World tech guru Kevin Cameron. “This is an exciting development because not since Honda’s RS750 of the early 1980s has an all-new, designed-for-racing engine been approved for U.S. flat track competition.”
Looks like the old Indian vs. Harley battles will be raging again at the AMA Flat Track races this season. Based on the kick-off party in Daytona, it looks like Polaris is playing to win with Indian and Victory this year!