Victory Octane is unveiled

The new Victory Octane was unveiled Friday, showing the company’s next step in their drive to build a better cruiser.

For about a year now, we’ve known Victory is planning to move their lineup in a sportier direction, just as fellow Polaris subsidiary Indian takes over the classic cruiser market, with heavy valanced fenders and tasseled handlebars taking away market share from Harley-Davidson.

The Octane is a culmination of months of development, with knowledge gained from their Pikes Peak challenge (Project 156) and other work. It’s powered by a liquid-cooled 1200 cc motor, the first liquid-cooled motor ever in Victory’s lineup. It makes 104 hp, which is the most powerful bike Victory has ever made since their first machine broke cover in 1997.

We've seen that motor before, or something similar, at least.
We’ve seen that motor before, or something similar, at least.

The motor, which seems to be a development of the short-stroke V-twin that originally powered the Indian Scout, has a DOHC, four-valve setup, and puts out 76 ft-lb of torque. Victory says the developments to the engine’s top end allow a redline over 8,000 rpm. It can do a 12-second quarter mile, and 0-60 mph in under four seconds. The motor has a six-speed transmission and belt drive, and of course, uses EFI.

The chassis has cast aluminum front and rear sections and uses the engine as a stressed member. A dual-rail steel backbone ties everything together. This design allows them to keep the weight down to 240 kg. The front forks are standard 41 mm telescopic units, the rear suspension uses dual shocks with three inches of travel, the front brakes use 298-mm discs with an ABS system and dual-piston caliper, the front wheel is an 18-incher (cast aluminum 10-spoke rim), and the rear wheel is a 17-inch unit.

Victory talks big about their new bike's power, but it's still a cruiser; the company isn't ready to break out of that market yet.
Victory talks big about their new bike’s power, but it’s still a cruiser; the company isn’t ready to break out of that market yet.

Wheelbase is 1578 mm, and seat height is 658 mm. Victory says the bike can reach a 32-degree lean angle. For now, it’s only available in grey.

Although the Octane is Victory’s most powerful machine, much of the bike is very basic, meaning the price is fairly low when compared to the rest of their lineup, at $12,499 CAD (it seems to be very similar to the Indian Scout, when you look at it closely, which occupies a similar spot in their lineup).

It’s interesting to speculate that a more high-performance version with upscale shocks and brakes might come to market, but Victory hasn’t indicated as much. If nothing else, the Octane is proof that while Victory says they are building a sportier bike, they’re not about to abandon the cruiser genre yet; Project 156 hinted at a future built around tracker-style bikes, the only sporting design that’s truly American in origin. However, for now, we’ve got another machine with a low seat and forward controls.


Check out all the pics that go with this story! Click on the main sized pic to transition to the next or just press play to show in a slideshow.


  1. I think I’d just as soon buy the Indian Scout Sixty. I like the look of that bike a bit better and it’s a tad cheaper.

  2. I’m a Victory Cross series owner since 2011. While the bike is bulky but very dependable, the brand doesn’t have enough appeal to customers. In the last couple of years, 2 different Polaris-Victory dealers (in St-Jerome and Louiseville QC) closed store and the multibrand one in Montreal scalled down and stopped selling Victory. With the closest dealer left in Terrebonne QC we had (me and a friend of mine) less than honest experiences, so I bought a new battery over the border, in Plattsburgh USA.

  3. Polaris has a good business with sleds and atv. How much have they paid to create two brands in a literally dying market? The future doesn’t look bright when bikes must be redesigned as three wheelers because the buyers are too feeble to hold a bike upright.

    • Well, if the people who buy a company’s products age….through no fault of their own….maybe a bike manufacturer coming out with a three wheeler is a *good* idea. But I’m missing what the relevant connection between the new Victory Octane, and the Polaris Slingshot three wheeler might be. Besides, hasn’t Bombardier been making three wheelers (the Can-Am Spyder) for a few decades?? Does this mean Canadians have the jump on Americans…..when it comes to aging?? 🙂 🙂

  4. Wel it will at least get u to your destination without road service for half the price. Harley has done what Chevy pickups have done. Out priced themselves for a sub par product with poor performance.

  5. Looks nice and I do like Victory designs, but they shouldn’t venture into posting performance numbers; they are just not that great for a 1200 cc engine in 2016. Unless it’s just to poach potential H-D buyers. On that score, I’ll keep my 32 year old air cooled Yamaha, that seats two.

  6. Meh! I will keep my XR1200. I think Moto Guzzi has just pushed to the top of the list. Just another Scout really. Lot-o-hype for nothing just like the Judge.Did anyone ever buy one . Sad really.

    • But HD doesn’t make the XR1200 any more, and shows no signs of creating anything to fill the niche ?
      Harley desperately needs to come up with a real replacement for the Sportster powerplant, its perilously long in the tooth..
      I agree, the Octane doesn’t go far enough towards the ‘sport’ side of the equation, but at least its a start ?

      • Scott, I think the Street 500 and 750 are intended to replace the Sportster. My prediction is that within 10 years, an upscale version of that platform will bear the Sportster name; the old air-cooled machines will all die off eventually, thanks to emissions rules. I think it’s too bad, as the Evo Sporty is generally held to be the most reliable motor the MoCo has ever made, from what I read and hear.

        • Yes Zac, a 1000cc Street makes good sense and can’t come a moment too soon.
          The Indian Scout decimates the Sportster in horsepower, the Indian putting out 84.88 hp @ 7900 rpm while the lower revving 2015 Harley tested out at 60.78 hp (real wheel).
          Let’s hope.

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