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.