Victory Leapfrogs Harley

May 13, 2015

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Victory Leapfrogs Harley

Victory Motorcycles, which is now, arguably, the premiere manufacturer of V-Twin motorcycles in the United States, will enter two prototype electric racing motorcycles in the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy next month. The course for the June 10 event covers 37.73 miles and the two Victory bikes will race against other electric motorcycles.

The Victory prototypes will use motors built by Parker-Hannifin Corporation, a company with 57,500 employees in 50 countries and $13 billion in annual sales, that specializes in motion and control technologies. Parker Hannifin is ranked 217 in the Fortune 500. In a press announcement released yesterday, a company executive named Ben Furnish said, “Parker is thrilled to be involved with Victory Motorcycles in this historic event with these talented riders. We look forward to working with Victory to develop high performance power trains for electric motorcycles.”

Robert Pandya, who does public relations for Victory wrote, “The Victory Racing prototype electric race bike features a dedicated electric racing motor and power cells as well as highly sophisticated electric controls to maximize peak power, power delivery, and durability under racing conditions. Victory engineers have further refined the electronics and chassis for the upcoming race with private test sessions in North America.”

The bikes will be ridden by two well known and experienced racers named William Dunlop and Lee John.

Meanwhile In Harleyville

The unexpected announcement of the Victory racing bikes and the alliance with Parker-Hannifin stands in stark contrast to the announcement of Harley-Davidson’s Project LiveWire publicity campaign last year. Harley has been sinking for years and has obviously decided to make a life raft of rhetoric. Last year, the company with the name many men have tattooed on their arms, trotted out a couple of executives named John Olin and Matt Levatich to spout nonsense like:

“I want to reiterate that the Project LiveWire motorcycles are not in production. At this time we do not have plans or a timetable to bring this bike to market.”

“We have more to learn about customer desires in the electric motorcycle space.”

“We believe an electric motorcycle might be of greatest interest to outreach groups in the U.S. and to international customers.”

“Efforts like Project LiveWire and our Street motorcycles reflect our commitment to provide products that meet the lifestyle and riding needs of the growing generation of urban young adults.”

Be About It

Harley’s money line was, “Like all Harley-Davidson motorcycles, LiveWire is an expression of individuality and iconic style. It just happens to be electric. We’ve been saying Project LiveWire is more like an electric guitar, not an electric car.”

In yesterday’s release, Victory was more cogent and succinct. Rod Krois, who is Victory’s General Manager said, “The entire Victory team is excited to make history with this effort. We know that William Dunlop’s experience and the continued Victory Motorcycles development of this electric race bike through work with Parker will propel us into a strong future with electric motorcycles.”

Obviously, Victory is the American motorcycle company that wants to be about it, not just talk about it.

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55 Responses to “Victory Leapfrogs Harley”

  1. Tooj Says:

    Well, other than an ECU and injection, a Victory Freedom motor is essentially still a V-Twin. And yes, you can work on it in your garage. The jugs still come off, etc.

  2. Strange Says:

    Disclaimer: I’m REALLY new to riding, with a Japanese starter bike for now.
    I got eyes and ears on the LiveWire when the IMS rolled thru Dallas some months back. Even before I could see what it was I was instantly put off by the ridiculous whining sound. When I finally saw the bike, and that it was a HD, my first thought was that someone lost a bet. It was horrid.
    I was able to sit on a ton of bikes that day, and can honestly say that my next bike will be basic, and American. The Indian Scout fit me like a glove, without a ton of flashy crap, and at least per spec, plenty of muscle. I don’t quite ken the tan seat on a black bike thing, but otherwise it was right on target. Once I get more road time I plan to hit a demo and give it a spin. Of course, that Dark Horse looks properly evil as well…


  3. Tommy Says:

    I dont know, I have a 2012 heritage and love it. Ive rode victory and indian and I think Im sticking to harley. Victories and indians to me look like alien spaceships. I cant stand how they use filler panels to cover up engine guts.

  4. Tooj Says:

    This bike placed third at IoMTT. Lap time a little over 11 mph. Not a bad showing for first year entry.

    Served with no return from Harley.

  5. Smitty1961 Says:

    Don’t curse me for bumping this thread, but I bought a Victory High Ball when it was taking too long to get my HD repaired after getting rear ended. I need to put some different pipes on it, but it handles and runs as well as I could hope. It won’t replace my HD for distance rides since it’s pretty basic, but it’s great for riding shorter distances.

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