POLARIS SHUTTING DOWN VICTORY MOTORCYCLE BRAND
According to multiple media reports on Jan. 9, Polaris Industries announced it is shutting down its unprofitable Victory Motorcycle brand. The Victory Motorcycle brand was founded in 1997.
Victory's motorcycles were designed to compete directly with Harley-Davidson and similar American-style motorcycle brands with V-twin engines. Polaris is based in Minneapolis Minn., and the Victory motorcycles were produced at the company’s Spirit Lake, Iowa, and Spearfish, S.D., plants.
Polaris closing its Victory Motorcycle brand does concern drag racing because Matt Smith, Cory Reed and Angelle Sampey are slated to run Victory Motorcycles in the 2017 NHRA season.
Matt Smith, the 2007 and 2013 NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion, and his wife Angie, joined Victory Motorcycles in 2015 and both competed on the motorcycles the past two seasons on the NHRA circuit.
Back on Nov. 18, a press release was sent out stating Victory Motorcycles was partnering again with Matt Smith for the 2017 NHRA season, whether that’s still the case is unclear. Phone calls to Smith by CompetitionPlus.com Tuesday morning were not returned.
The newly-formed Pro Stock Motorcycle team – Team Liberty Racing with Reed and Sampey, a three-time NHRA world champ (2000-2002), announced late last season that they will run Victory-manufactured motorcycles in 2017.
And that will not change, according to Sampey, Team Liberty’s team manager.
“It doesn’t affect us at all,” Sampey said in an interview with CompetitionPlus.com Tuesday afternoon about the Polaris announcement. “We were already in the works for building Victory Motorcycles for the season and we already have one engine and another engine will be getting to us soon. It’s unfortunate for the sport that they are not going to continue production of Victory Motorcycles because we would love the factory backing for the sport. But, from our team in particular, we didn’t have any backing by Victory. It didn’t affect us financially and the good thing is that it didn’t stop us from being able to run the Victory because that’s definitely what we want to do.”