Polaris Motorcycle Division to Exhibit & Showcase 2018 Models at 2017 AIMExpo

Indian Motorcycle & Polaris Slingshot to Showcase its Model Year 2018 Lineup at American International Motorcycle Expo in Columbus, Ohio

The Polaris Motorcycle Division announced it will make its American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) debut in September at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. The appearance of both Indian Motorcycle, America’s first motorcycle company, and Polaris Slingshot, the bold three-wheeled roadster, will allow the motorcycle industry and consumers alike to be one of the first to view each brand’s full 2018 model year lineup.

2017 Indian Chieftain Elite and 2017 Indian Chieftain Limited

Produced by the Motorcycle Industry Council, AIMExpo is the single most important event of its type in the North American market and has international impact within the motorcycle and powersports industry. Polaris Motorcycle Division’s support of AIMExpo further demonstrates the company’s continued support to grow and expand the motorcycle industry. In addition, the AIMExpo provides an ideal platform to reach consumers and entertain dealers.

“The AIMExpo provides both Indian and Slingshot the ideal platform to reach and engage the North American market and to showcase each brand’s new model year lineups,” said Steve Menneto, President, Polaris Motorcycle Division. “Additionally, the city of Columbus is strategically situated within the sweet spot of our consumer base, as well as our dealer network, making it an ideal location to showcase our products to key constituencies.”

Polaris Motorcycle Division to Exhibit & Showcase New Model Lineup at 2017 AIMExpo

The AIMExpo’s purpose is to serve as the catalyst to bring together industry, press, dealers and consumers in a single arena that creates a grand stage for motorcycling and powersports in the U.S. and North America. AIMExpo delivers an efficient and energetic market-timed expo platform for B2B and B2C in the powersports industry.

“We’re excited to welcome Indian Motorcycle and Polaris Slingshot to the AIMExpo for the first time,” said Larry Little, Vice President & General Manager, MIC Events. “Both brands bring a unique story unlike any other brand – with Indian’s historic place in motorcycling and Slingshot’s category-creating design. We fully expect both brands to be well received from attending industry professionals and consumers, and believe Indian and Slingshot will help contribute to make this the best show yet.”

American Iron News: Polaris To Drop Victory Motorcycles

Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE:PII) today announced it will immediately begin winding down its Victory Motorcycles brand and related operations. Polaris will assist dealers in liquidating existing inventories while continuing to supply parts for a period of 10 years, along with providing service and warranty coverage to Victory dealers and owners.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision for me, my team and the Polaris Board of Directors,” said Polaris Industries Chairman and CEO Scott Wine. “Over the past 18 years, we have invested not only resources, but our hearts and souls, into forging the Victory Motorcycles brand, and we are exceptionally proud of what our team has accomplished. Since inception, our teams have designed and produced nearly 60 Victory models that have been honored with 25 of the industry’s top awards. The experience, knowledge, infrastructure and capability we’ve built in those 18 years gave us the confidence to acquire and develop the Indian Motorcycle brand, so I would like to express my gratitude to everyone associated with Victory Motorcycles and celebrate your many contributions.”

Several factors influenced today’s announcement. Victory has struggled to establish the market share needed to succeed and be profitable. The competitive pressures of a challenging motorcycle market have increased the headwinds for the brand.

“This decision will improve the profitability of Polaris and our global motorcycle business, and will materially improve our competitive stance in the industry,” said Scott Wine. “Our focus is on profitable growth, and in an environment of finite resources, this move allows us to optimize and align our resources behind both our premium, high performing Indian Motorcycle brand and our innovative Slingshot brand. Ultimately this decision will propel the industry-leading product innovation that is core to our strategy while fostering long-term growth and increased shareholder value.”

Polaris will reduce the appropriate operating cost based on this decision, while continuing to support the future growth of the ongoing motorcycle business. Polaris remains committed to maintaining its presence in the Spirit Lake, Iowa community with Indian Motorcycle production and in the Huntsville, Alabama community with its Slingshot production.

New Model Preview – 2016 Victory Magnum X-1

322-22-2_12016 Victory Magnum X-1

Ingredients for a sound performance

text by Dain Gingerelli
photograph courtesy of Victory Motorcycles

With all the noise that came from Polaris Industries’ Indian camp this past year or so, it was only a matter of time before the other motorcycle company from Minnesota broke its silence. And when Victory Motor­cycles decided it was time to be heard, the ruckus came in a big way: a new Magnum-based bagger that pipes 200 watts of audio amped into 10 speakers. Let’s hear it for the Magnum X-1!

“This bike is built to shatter the sound barrier,” says Brandon Kraemer, Victory’s product manager, during the X-1’s special sneak preview at an audio-video studio in Simi Valley, California, last January. Kramer was speaking in figurative terms, of course. His words were aimed at those 10 speakers — six of which reside in the fairing dash, the remainder in the bag lids — that are poised and ready to broadcast whatever tunes you deem worthy of playing through the onboard audio system. For the most part, the sound system’s controls are the same as those on the standard Magnum because the X-1 is essentially a reissue of that model, but with bolder acoustics and a wilder display of paint graphics (Victory describes the red pinstripes as Electric Red), and contrast-machined components that include an all-new 21″ black billet front wheel design. There’s also a sun-bright, smoke-tinted LED headlight that can practically melt your retinas to light the way.

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Kraemer’s reference to the sound barrier explains the Magnum’s X-1 moniker, too. The first man to break the sound barrier was US Air Force test pilot Chuck Yeager, and he did so back in 1947 piloting the experimental rocket-powered aircraft Bell X-1. Victory’s new Magnum X-1 won’t necessarily take you near Mach 1, but people at Victory are hedging their bets that the 200-watt audio system is loud enough to break another sound barrier, of sorts. You want loud tunes while you ride? The X-1 will deliver, claimed by Victory to be four times louder than a standard Cross Country. And, to drive home that fact, the folks from Victory parked one of the new bikes in the acoustically rich sound studio where they cranked up the volume. Simon and Garfunkel’s classic “Sounds of Silence” most certainly was not on the play list. Indeed, the Magnum X-1 might be the vanguard of future models from the Minnesota-based motorcycle company because Polaris is poised to ramp up Victory’s role in how it markets motorcycles. Victory Brand General Manager Rod Krois explained that the motorcycle community should expect even more diversity between Indian and Victory models in the future, with America’s oldest brand (Indian) taking the lead in producing designs heavy on heritage while Victory will develop and produce what Polaris calls “performance and muscle” — cruisers and baggers such as the X-1.

322-22-4“We are investing in motorcycles,” Krois explains to motorcycling’s gathered fourth estate, and any doubt about that was left on the table when that same day Victory announced that it was going NHRA Pro-Stock racing. With ambitions to crack into the hotly contested quarter-mile drag racing arena, Victory is teaming up with S&S Cycle to develop an engine and dragster for two-time NHRA champion Matt Smith and his wife/co-rider Angie to compete in the Pro-Stock class this year.

“We’re going to take on Harley,” one Victory spokesperson confides. And his words will be verified by the time this issue of American Iron Magazine hits the newsstands because the NHRA season will already have begun with the first race at the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

322-22-5No doubt the American V-twin landscape is becoming more and more interesting as time goes by. On one front, we’ve now got more than one American-made brand battling at NHRA race tracks, and we’ll have American baggers vying on the chorus line to see which bike is the loudest. So far the Magnum X-1 has top honors from Victory’s camp. And you can be a part of the magic, too, by underwriting the X-1’s MSRP to the tune of $24,499. AIM

This article originally appeared in American Iron Magazine issue # 322, published June 2015. To order a back issue of this or any other issue of American Iron Magazine, visit Greaserag.com.
 
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Polaris Adds Brammo Electric Motorcycle to Victory & Indian Brands

Polaris Industries Inc. today announced it has acquired the electric motorcycle business of Brammo Inc. In addition, Polaris is acting as a leading investor in a recapitalization of Brammo that enables the company to focus exclusively on the design, development and integration of electric vehicle powertrains.

Going forward, the two companies will leverage Polaris’ leading position in the global powersports industry to market a variety of electric vehicles utilizing Brammo’s award winning lithium-ion electric drivetrain technology, while freeing Brammo to continue developing its innovative electric vehicle powertrains. Brammo supplies these products, including the Brammo Power™ battery pack and Brammo Power™ vehicle management systems, globally to a wide range of OEMs. As part of this transaction, Polaris will utilize the assets acquired to begin manufacturing electric motorcycles in the second half of 2015 at its Spirit Lake, IA facility.

“We have enjoyed our involvement with Brammo Motorcycles over the past three years, and our excitement about their industry-leading lithium-ion electric drivetrain technology has increased commensurate with their improvements in cost and performance. Polaris and Brammo share a goal of adding the most advanced and highest capability electric solutions to Polaris’ portfolio of leading powersports products,” said Scott Wine, Polaris Chairman and CEO. The agreement allows both companies to be more agile during the development cycle with clear accountability toward selling products that exemplify Polaris’ standard for delivering world class vehicles.

Polaris has been a strategic investor and partner with Brammo since 2011. During that time, the companies have collaborated on a number of projects in motorcycles, off-road and on-road vehicles. “Today’s announcement strengthens not only Polaris’ commitment to bringing our consumers lithium-ion electric solutions, but also this partnership’s ability to continue innovating and developing leading electric drivetrain technology,” said Wine. “We anticipate a return on these investments and believe the new alignment brings us that much closer to delivering world-class electric solutions across our products.”

Brammo has designed and developed numerous electric vehicles, including the award-winning Enertia and Empulse motorcycles. Testifying to its capabilities and technology, Brammo motorcycles have won a number of awards including:  2013 Playboy “Motorcycle of Year” and “Best Electric” (Empulse R), 2012 GQ “Best Stuff of the Year” (Empulse), 2011 Popular Science “Best of What’s New” (Empulse), 2011 Motorcycle.com “Best of 2011” and a 2010 Silver Edison Award. In addition, Brammo’s motorcycles have won numerous racing championships including the 2013 FIM eRR North American World Cup Champion and 2012 TTXGP World Championship.

Progressive International Motorcycle Show: NYC Wrap-Up

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By Jon Langston

The Progressive International Motorcycle Shows revved up New York City this past weekend, and tens of thousands motorcycle fanatics from across the spectrum of enthusiasts, from teenagers in racing suits to fat guys in Santa suits, rolled into the Jacob Javits Convention Center on the West Side of Manhattan. The TAM Communications family of magazines – American Iron Magazine, Motorcycle Bagger, and Motorcycle Rides & Culture – were all on hand to check out the new bikes, products, and gear, and revel in the two-wheeled camaraderie only real riders can provide.

While there was little in the way of motorcycle premieres, most of the major manufacturers displayed some sort of a neo-retro theme in their booths. Ducati pulled the in-person wraps off its fun new Scrambler, which is a modern-day throwback to its 60s/70s forebear of the same name – and at around $9K should easily compete with Triumph’s Bonneville line for retro/standard dominance. And in addition to unveiling its tasty new S1000XR (available next spring, it’s essentially the same bike as the ballyhooed 199hp S1000RR superbike, with a more standard structure and GS-like upright riding position), BMW showed off a gorgeous vintage Boxer-powered chopper that was so clean and minimalistic it had even American Iron Editor Chris Maida agape.

A host of Gold Wings through the ages at the Honda booth displayed Big Red’s seminal interstate mile-eater from its inaugural 1975 model year through the 300 millionth Honda ever produced, a Gold Wing that rolled off the assembly line just a couple of months ago. Yamaha, meanwhile, tried to direct attention toward its new Star Bolt C-Spec, but its SR400 retro-thumper got just as many admiring looks as Yamaha’s shameless (but admittedly superior, performance-wise) Sportster facsimile.

Triumph pointed out some nice new versions and customs from its Bonneville line, while KTM put the onus on its new entry-level 390 Duke and two-stroke dirtbikes. Its 390 race-only and streetbike was also on display.

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Indian had its fine new Scout front and center, along with the stars-and-stripes custom Wall of Death version – the same one ridden in the “thrill arena” that was set up in the Indian’s Lazelle Street booth in Sturgis last summer. Indian also brought out Dirty Bird Concepts and land speed record holder Karlee Cobb from Klock Werks to pull the wraps off of a couple of nicely customized Scouts. Indian’s new Tourmaster dresser was also on full display. Meanwhile, Victory Motorcycles, Indian’s stable mate at Polaris, highlighted its excellent charitable work by showing off the custom Cross Country bagger Laura Klock and the Klock Werks crew donated to Helping with Horsepower, a group of fabricating kids from South Dakota’s Pine Bush High school. Members of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, another Victory charity, posed with the kids and the bike, which set a land speed record at Bonneville in September.

Across the aisle, Polaris also showed off its new 173-horsepower Slingshot, a three-wheeled contraption with 5-speed manual transmission and impressively manageable MSRP. While most states will register the Slingshot as a motorcycle (so use of a helmet is required, while seat belts are only recommended), it’s advisable to check with your local DMV before plunking down your $20K. Whether you consider it ridden or driven, the Slingshot looks like a real kick to pilot.

IMS-photos-sl-14In addition to the guest speakers such as legendary travel/moto-journalist Peter Starr and racers Josh Hayes and Ricky Gadson, stunt shows, and myriad other attractions, one of the more intriguing displays at the New York IMS was Motus Motorcycles’ racing MSTR, the fastest production pushrod motorcycle in the world as evidenced by its record setting runs at the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials in August. Motus also displayed its 2015 MST series of American-made sportbikes, powered by the Baby Block V-4. We cannot wait to get one under us.

The Progressive International Motorcycle Shows continues its tour after a break for the holidays with stops in Washington, DC January 9-11; Miami, January 16-18; Dallas, Jan 23-25, Cleveland, January 30-February 1, Minneapolis, February 6-8, and Chicago, February 13-15.

Victory Motorcycles to Contribute to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

victory-logo-7-1-14MEDINA, Minn. (June 30, 2014) Victory Motorcycles is celebrating the Fourth of July, a special date in brand history, and honoring the men and women of the armed forces by making a donation to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) for every new Victory motorcycle sold.

Victory will contribute $50 for each new Victory sold during that period to the IAVA, which is dedicated to empowering and assisting the military veterans who have served in recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“It’s an honor to celebrate our nation’s birthday by supporting the men and women who protect our freedom.” said Steve Menneto, VP Motorcycles for Polaris. “We admire their contributions and sacrifices, and appreciate the work done on their behalf by the IAVA.”

Victory is also making a donation to the IAVA based on Victory owner participation in the V2V Relay, a relay ride in which riders trace the old Victory Highway from coast to coast. This year’s V2V Relay is running from San Francisco to the Maryland Shore, and it will follow tradition by ending on the Fourth of July, Victory’s birthday. Victory is making a donation to the IAVA based on Victory owner participation in, and their social media tracking of, the 15th annual relay.

As part of its support for military personnel, veterans and first responders, Victory currently offers these individuals $1,000.00 off the cost of a new Victory motorcycle. Offers vary and exclusions apply. Complete details are available at www.VictoryMotorcycles.com.

The Fourth of July is a special day in Victory history. On that date in 1998, the first Victory motorcycle rolled off the assembly line in Spirit Lake, Iowa. Every Victory motorcycle in the brand’s 16-year history has been built at the Spirit Lake final assembly plant where a dedicated crew of employees built that first production model on our nation’s birthday.

The 2014 Victory motorcycle lineup features premium cruisers, baggers, and touring models that provide riders with industry-leading performance, comfort, style, cargo space, and reliability. Also available is the new 2015 Victory Gunner, an uncompromising cruiser with bobber style.

About Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
Founded in 2004 by an Iraq veteran, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) is the first and largest organization for the more than 2.8 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and their families. From the group’s website: “IAVA strives to build an empowered generation of veterans who provide sustainable leadership for our country and their local communities.” For details about IAVA programs and how you can support IAVA or get involved, visit iava.org.

About Victory Motorcycles
Victory Motorcycles designs, engineers, manufactures and markets a full line of cruisers, baggers and touring motorcycles. Every Victory model delivers industry-leading performance, comfort, style, storage and reliability. The first Victory was produced on the Fourth of July, 1998, in Spirit Lake, Iowa, where every Victory motorcycle continues to be produced today. Information about Victory motorcycles, apparel and accessories is available at www.VictoryMotorcycles.com.

NEWS FLASH Polaris Buys Indian Motorcycle Company

Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) today announced the acquisition of Indian Motorcycles. The business was acquired from Indian Motorcycle Limited (“IML”), a company advised by Stellican Limited and Novator Partners LLP, U.K. Private Equity firms. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are excited to be part of the revitalization of a quintessentially American brand,” said Scott Wine, CEO of Polaris Industries Inc. “Indian built America’s first motorcycle. With our technology and vision, we are confident we will deliver the classic Indian motorcycle, enhanced by the quality and performance for which Polaris and Victory are known.”

With this acquisition, Polaris adds one of motorcycling’s legendary brands to its strong stable of Victory cruiser and touring bikes. Indian will operate as an autonomous business unit, building upon the potent combination of Polaris’ engineering acumen and innovative technology with Indian’s premium brand, iconic design and rich American heritage.

“We are delighted to have reached an agreement with Polaris. Polaris will utilize its well-known strengths in engineering, manufacturing, and distribution to complete the mission we undertook upon re-launching the brand in 2006: harness the enormous potential of the Indian brand,” said Stephen Julius, chairman of Indian and managing director of Stellican. “Polaris is the most logical owner of Indian Motorcycle. Indian’s heritage brand will allow Polaris to aggressively compete across an expanded spectrum of the motorcycle market.”

Novator Partners LLP is a London based alternative investment firm founded and led by the investor Mr. Thor Bjorgolfsson. An avid motorcycle enthusiast, Mr. Bjorgolfsson said “After a troubled past, our goal was to bring the legendary Indian bikes back on the roads. The initial phase of that project is done and now our great partners at Polaris will carry on the work to realize the full potential of this classic American brand.”