A stripped-down cruiser with lots of power.
So, you want to buy a Victory motorcycle while you still can (remember, they’re not making them anymore!). What should you buy? The ultra-opulent Vision? The High-Ball bobber? Sean from SRK Cycles has another suggestion: He thinks the short-lived Victory Octane is the best motorcycle the company made.
The Octane was one of the last bikes Victory released, before Polaris closed the company down in early 2017 to focus on its other motorcycle subsidiary, Indian. When the Octane debuted in 2016, response was mixed; many people were expecting more from Victory, and the Octane wasn’t that different from the Indian Scout model. No surprise there—the Scout was almost certainly built from designs developed by Victory. Although the Octane was released later than the Scout, it was probably originally intended to hit the market earlier.
The Octane is a stripped-down cruiser, similar to a Harley-Davidson Sportster but with a much more modern engine. Despite the beefy styling, it’s not quite a muscle bike. The 1200cc, liquid-cooled, 60-degree V-twin makes about 103 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed transmission. It’s still one of Victory’s fastest bikes, though; because it’s lightweight, compared to the bigger tourers and baggers (549 pounds, at the curb) it pulls well. At its debut, Victory hired a stunt rider to do a 2.23-mile burnout on the bike at Daytona, showing its tire-shredding power and setting a new world record.
The Octane was more bike than the competing Sportster when it first came out, but it also had an edge over the Indian Scout. The Octane had more power than the Scout, and less weight thanks to blacked-out, no-chrome styling. It wasn’t as aggressive as, say, Indian’s FTR1200, but it did show Victory was moving in a more performance-oriented direction. Until Polaris closed it down a few months later, that is.
If you want an Octane, they’re harder to find than other Victory models thanks to a short two-season production run. They’re fun machines, though, and thanks to mechanical similarities to the Indian Scout, you should be able to get necessary parts for a long time to come.