Victory today announced that it is entering the Isle of Man TT with what looks like a rebadged Brammo Empulse RR electric sportsbike. While it’s not surprising to see Polaris, the owner of Victory Motorcycles who bought Brammo earlier this year make quick use of their new toys, it certainly is surprising to see a Victory badged electric sportsbike make an appearance.
It was heavily rumored that Victory would be the beneficiary of Brammo’s electric technology after Polaris’ purchase of the firm. Most speculation however pointed to an electric powered Victory cruiser that would be designed to steal Harley-Davidson’s thunder away from their Project Livewire concept. Victory trademarked the name Victory Charger earlier this year, too.
That may still happen but it seems that it will be an electric sportsbike, rather than an electric cruiser that first wears the Victory badge in showrooms. But there’s now also a strong possibility that an electric sportsbike will be joined by a traditional internal combustion engine powered machine, too.
Late last week, Victory announced a collaboration with Roland Sands Designs called Project 156 which will see them build a racebike to compete in this years Pikes Peak Hillclimb. There seems almost no value in Victory engaging in such a publicity campaign when all they sell is cruisers, unless something is coming out soon.
And what engine will this bike use? Victory doesn’t want anyone to know at this stage and in the first video released for Project 156, all shots of the engine were blurred out to hide what it is. That would point to an all new engine and there’s no motorcycle company on Earth that would spend money building a brand new power plant for a one off ‘show bike’.
Victory was established in 1998 by Polaris Industries who saw an opportunity to compete with Harley-Davidson. While to date Victory has not ventured from this (its range consists of V-twin engined cruisers and tourers), there’s no reason why they couldn’t branch out into sportsbikes.
It makes even more sense as Polaris has Indian Motorcycles in its portfolio – a brand with real history that resonates with many motorcycle enthusiasts wanting something other than a Harley-Davidson. By pivoting Victory towards sporstbikes, it fills a gaping hole in Polaris’ product offering. While we don’t expect Victory to cease building cruisers and the like anytime soon, there seems little doubt that Victory is going to start the next phase of its journey this year.