Victory Motorcycles was an American motorcycle manufacturer with its final assembly facility in Spirit Lake, Dickinson County, northwestern Iowa, United States. It began production of its vehicles in 1998, and began winding down operations in January 2017.
Its parent company, Polaris Industries, created Victory following the modern success of Harley-Davidson. Victory’s motorcycles were designed to compete directly with Harley-Davidson and similar American-style motorcycle brands, with V-twin engines and touring, sport-touring, and cruiser configurations. The first Victory, the V92C, was announced in 1997 and began selling in 1998. Victory was profitable for a number of years (beginning in 2002) but failed to turn a profit three of its last five years.
Polaris, a Medina, Minnesota company with annual sales in 2015 of $4.7 billion, is one of the earliest manufacturers of snowmobiles. Polaris also manufactures ATVs, side-by-side off-road vehicles, electric vehicles and, until 2004, personal watercraft. Seeking to diversify its product line, and observing the sales enjoyed by Harley-Davidson and similar manufacturers, the company decided to produce a large motorcycle built entirely in the United States.
Victory vehicles follow the traditional American style of a heavier motorcycle that increasingly became associated with the Harley-Davidson brand in economically advanced nations after the Second World War, rather than more modern racing-inspired designs.
Polaris began its research and development of manufacturing a motorcycle in early 1990’s. They completed extensive research that included testing numerous different makes and models of motorcycles. This research provided them with guidance ranging from comfort to braking ability, which became the framework to design a motorcycle that combined the best of each research criteria. Polaris was on a mission to create an American-made, cruiser-style motorcycle. This new creation was branded with the name Victory.
Victory’s debut cruiser model, V92C, had a 92 cubic-inch (1,507 cc) counterbalanced, fuel-injected V-twin motor. In its debut in 1998, the V92C became the largest displacement engine offered in the cruiser market. The new Victory motorcycle was unique in its appearance. The fenders and tank profile mimicked the retro-look of sweeping lines from 1930’s-era cars.
In 2010, Polaris engaged in a major expansion of production and marketing of the motorcycle. In 2011 Polaris bought the Indian Motorcycle brand.