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Discussion Starter #1
I got one from some company Vic was using to gather info. It was basically a test of what features and types of bikes I liked best. Apparently, they must feel that Americans aren't capable of simply describing what they want in English, so they made a picture show to select from.

Anyway, I think they were trying to get some marketing info on their Indian as that was a model frequently shown.

What I found interesting was that the engine that the last owners went to such lengths to create with its gorgeous cylindrical heads was gone.



In its place appeared to be an X-Wedge engine with custom head covers to make it look a little like some old fin topped engine. Here's an X-Wedge with standard head covers:



The rest of the Indians shown looked pretty much the same as what was sold before the Victory acquisition.

I've read that the X-Wedge is supposed to be a nice engine, but it isn't as purdy as the last one. And why have a bike like that if not to look purdy?
 

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Polaris bought Indian to waist there money is my thinking.
Indian hasn't been a good seller for the last ten years so why in the world did they buy it.
Not for its looks I'm sure. :cool:
 

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I might be wrong but... I think they bought Indian to fight the Harley "heritage" argument. Now Polaris can say they have the newest and oldest American Motorcycle. I guess technically that may be true but for me there really isn't a tie from the post 1953 Indians to the original.
 

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It is ok I just never really liked Indiana that much. Here in Fairmount Indiana on James Dean festival The Indian was a big deal back in the 50's and the old Mercuries which they still portray every September at the end of the month. Hundreds of motorcycles from all over come to town at 1pm on Sunday to the cemetery at his grave site. Hundreds of old cruisers, Mercuries, and vintage cars are in a week long car shows..Pretty neat traffic gets bad some times.. :crzy:
 

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Well, let's not forget that Polaris bought and probably saved Victory as Vic wasn't doing all that hot and if I recall correctly was nearly bankrupt. So, who's to say that Polaris doesn't have some really cool ideas on how to make Indian into something amazing?! I have some faith in them, they did make the Victory brand stronger, and it will be interesting to see where they take the Indian brand.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, let's not forget that Polaris bought and probably saved Victory as Vic wasn't doing all that hot and if I recall correctly was nearly bankrupt. So, who's to say that Polaris doesn't have some really cool ideas on how to make Indian into something amazing?! I have some faith in them, they did make the Victory brand stronger, and it will be interesting to see where they take the Indian brand.
According to this, Victory was always a Polaris brand:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_Motorcycles
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Polaris bought Indian to waist there money is my thinking.
Indian hasn't been a good seller for the last ten years so why in the world did they buy it.
Not for its looks I'm sure. :cool:
I don't think executives take on projects to lose money, but I have to agree that I don't see a good strategy here. They already sell a top notch cruiser line, why spend the huge money to market a cutesy competing brand that will cannibalize sales of the existing brand? The fantastic brand that makes power, handles, is comfortable and reliable, that is...

Why not just develop an overpriced line of tassels for the Victories to lure in the fashionable MoCo faithful and be done with it?
 

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Well, let's not forget that Polaris bought and probably saved Victory as Vic wasn't doing all that hot and if I recall correctly was nearly bankrupt. So, who's to say that Polaris doesn't have some really cool ideas on how to make Indian into something amazing?! I have some faith in them, they did make the Victory brand stronger, and it will be interesting to see where they take the Indian brand.
Ahh, Polaris MADE victory from scratch they didn't buy it
 

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I just completed a survey from Clarity Research. They showed 17 different bikes. They showed versions that I didn't know about. Prototypes? It only took 10 mins. If you get the chance give it a try.cheers
 

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As some have pointed out, Victory has always been a Polaris-owned company. They did have some problems with engines (or was it transmissions) back in the early days (V92s) but I don't think that ever jeopardized the company.

Seems obvious that they bought Indian for the name and to have a direct competitor to the "legacy look" that seems to (artificially) prop up Harley. Polaris probably said "We could develop a Victory that looks old but that would take away the cutting-edge styling that makes a Victory well, a Victory for a 1/2 gazillion $'s or we could simply buy Indian for pennies on the dollar and utilize our experience and built-in efficiencies to bring the Indian line back into profitability."

Someone stated that the prior owners spent a lot of time & $'s on the prior engine.... and then nearly went bankrupt because the bikes ended up being priced too high for the market. The FIRST thing Polaris probably did was to set aside that particular "mistake" and move the engine to a more reliable and FAR less-costly engine to build, maintain and keep running. If they want to put some cosmetics on them that helps them retain that "legacy" look, the more power to them.

If you like modern, you won't like Indian (because it's too traditional). If you can appreciate tradition, you won't like Victory (because it's too modern). The Indian bikes are about 2 inches longer than the Victory Vision. This makes them ride even smoother that the Vision bikes. In person the '09 and newer Indian Cheif's are absolutely BEAUTIFUL motorcycles. Unfortunately, they were simply priced beyond what most people buying a traditional bike are either willing or capable of paying ($35K plus) for that privilege.

Offer a Chief without all the chrome for around $19K or $20K (Max) that can directly compete with the H-D Road King. Then offer the chrome add-on baubles to it along with a healthy markup into the $35K+ CVO pricing territory. You will have a longer bike that rides FAR smoother than ANY Harley. If the engine looks traditional but doesn't require expensive maintenance, you will have the H-D owners that detest the modern Victory styling beating a path to your door in an effort to get away from Harley.

Merchandising - Many Victory owners gripe (justifiably) about the lack of clothing. Polaris probably thought about beefing that area up but thought "if we are going to sink $'s into clothing, Indian clothing may be a more sensible brand to make that investment in.

Note: In 2 years pull this post back up and see how accurate my predictions may have become in those years. I did apply for that marketing job @ Indian but nobody ever called me about that application so that probably means that everything I outlined here is what will happen because.... great minds think alike, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I just completed a survey from Clarity Research. They showed 17 different bikes. They showed versions that I didn't know about. Prototypes? It only took 10 mins. If you get the chance give it a try.cheers
That's the one. There were no prototypes that I saw though. The only thing they had were Harleys, Goldwings, Victories, and Indians. The Indian pictured had the X-wedge engine, but otherwise nothing new. The Vics were XC and XCTs, with one Photoshopped version with a raked out front end, bicycle front tire, and apes. The Harleys were a Wide Glide and an Ultra Glide. The Wing was a Wing.

The pictures were used over and over with various pricing and options shown below them to presumably give the marketers some idea of what options/bikes were most desirable and what folks thought was a reasonable price to pay for such a machine.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Seems obvious that they bought Indian for the name and to have a direct competitor to the "legacy look" that seems to (artificially) prop up Harley.
Harleys still look fairly old-timey (at least as far back as the 70s). The Indians don't in my view. They look like a back yard builder bike to me.

Nothing wrong with that, they just don't look like the originals.

Polaris probably said "We could develop a Victory that looks old
While Vics have their own personality, if you ask anyone on a modern sportbike, I'd bet they say Vics look archaic.

but that would take away the cutting-edge styling that makes a Victory well, a Victory for a 1/2 gazillion $'s or we could simply buy Indian for pennies on the dollar and utilize our experience and built-in efficiencies to bring the Indian line back into profitability."
a) Where did you get the info that it was purchased for pennies on the dollar?

b) Where are the efficiencies if no existing parts are used and no existing production line is used?

Someone stated that the prior owners spent a lot of time & $'s on the prior engine.... and then nearly went bankrupt because the bikes ended up being priced too high for the market.
Because like the many other custom makers that went belly up when the bubble burst, they didn't have the volumes to make running the venture practical. Just because Vic is now stuck with it doesn't mean it is they will move any more of them.

We had a local dealer that had a boat load of them that never moved. They felt big, heavy, and uncomfortable in the showroom. They were way overpriced too. The dealer had a fire and they got rid of them. Probably the happiest day in that dealer's life.

The FIRST thing Polaris probably did was to set aside that particular "mistake" and move the engine to a more reliable and FAR less-costly engine to build, maintain and keep running.
True, butt uglier. People who buy those want purdy.

If you like modern, you won't like Indian (because it's too traditional).
I don't like most cruisers just because they suck at a number of important things to me as a rider. Victory is a notable exception.

The Indian bikes are about 2 inches longer than the Victory Vision. This makes them ride even smoother that the Vision bikes.
I don't know where you heard that, but it's wrong. Suspension and engine design will make a bike smoother. A longer wheel base only makes it harder to steer.

Offer a Chief without all the chrome for around $19K or $20K (Max) that can directly compete with the H-D Road King.
My XR competes nicely with the Road King. I rode them both and like the XR better and it is considerably cheaper.

If the engine looks traditional but doesn't require expensive maintenance, you will have the H-D owners that detest the modern Victory styling beating a path to your door in an effort to get away from Harley.
I'd bet not. Most of those guys like the "prestige" of being part of the Harley family. Being a loner on a low volume model won't win many of their hearts.

Merchandising - Many Victory owners gripe (justifiably) about the lack of clothing. Polaris probably thought about beefing that area up but thought "if we are going to sink $'s into clothing, Indian clothing may be a more sensible brand to make that investment in.
Maybe, but there isn't enough room at the Victory used car lots to install new boutiques.

Note: In 2 years pull this post back up and see how accurate my predictions may have become in those years.
I'm willing to take you up on an Enchilada platter now.
 

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I stand corrected. You guys are right, all sources on the net confirm that Polaris did indeed launch the Victory brand.

The reason I thought otherwise, was because a dealer at a motorcycle shop told me a pretty cool story a few years ago. He said Victory was started by a bunch of ex Harley engineers who wanted to build modern bikes and then couldn't survive on their own so Polaris took over. I now remember telling the dealer that I was cross shopping Victory with HD, so maybe he was trying to put a spin on it that would suit someone also looking at Harleys.

Would have been a cool story if it was true :(
 

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Offer a Chief without all the chrome for around $19K or $20K (Max) that can directly compete with the H-D Road King. Then offer the chrome add-on baubles to it along with a healthy markup into the $35K+ CVO pricing territory.
As I understand it, the problem they will have with this approach is that means they have to start MAKING all the parts rather than just buying them. A lot of the Indian price tag comes from the fact that, for the most part, Polaris just ASSEMBLES Indians as opposed to MANUFACTURING like they do with Victory. That means investing in a proper manufacturing plant...and how do you justify that with a brand that's not selling so well and your losing dealers.

I truly hope Polaris can do something with the Indian brand because I'd like to see the name endure. On the other hand, I want to make sure Polaris stays a viable company with a strong balance sheet. Sometimes you can only have one of those things.
 

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As I understand it, the problem they will have with this approach is that means they have to start MAKING all the parts rather than just buying them. A lot of the Indian price tag comes from the fact that, for the most part, Polaris just ASSEMBLES Indians as opposed to MANUFACTURING like they do with Victory. That means investing in a proper manufacturing plant...and how do you justify that with a brand that's not selling so well and your losing dealers.

I truly hope Polaris can do something with the Indian brand because I'd like to see the name endure. On the other hand, I want to make sure Polaris stays a viable company with a strong balance sheet. Sometimes you can only have one of those things.
Up until Polaris bought them, Indian was a small "boutique" producer with little (or no) influence that would allow them the ability to put pressure on those sub-manufacturer's. Now that they are a part of the much, much, MUCH larger Polaris organization, they can use that "heft" to FORCE those subs into being much more competitive. You have to realize that Polaris contracts a LOT of companies to build a lot of stuff. The Indian sub stuff is now just one more of those sub companies and Polaris has been VERY successful in ALL the other lines (not just Victory) so I think you are missing a HUGE component of why they can do what I have outlined.

Think of the difference of you trying to get a single custom part (old Indian & lot's of $$$'s, right) to Wal-Mart playing mfg against mfg and contracting for a gazillion of those same parts... Not really the same thing now, is it?
 

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Indian is going to be the motorcycle upscale equivalent of a Lexus or Audi for Polaris. And the upscale version has fewer sales and larger margins and typically equates to more money. The Victory brand is the Toyota/Honda. Clearly, Polaris is a very smart company.

The struggle will be to maintain the "heritage" aspect of Indian, the same which hamstrings the Harley. The comments earleir about the head style is a direct comment on Indian's heritage. As an armchair quarterback, if I were Polaris, I'd aim at BMW motorcycles with the Indian brand and transition out of the "heritage" as quickly as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Indian is going to be the motorcycle upscale equivalent of a Lexus or Audi for Polaris.
A nice thought, but clearly not a technological analogy. The Cross bikes have loads of newer technologies that allow us to bust through corners as fast as the latest sport-tourers and ride Iron Butt rides without chapping a cheek. Things like the aluminum Core frame, overhead cams, 4 valves per cylinder, oil cooling, etc. are what makes the Cross bikes so damn good. Lexus like if you will.

The Indians are big, heavy, steel framed, pushrod driven bikes that are nothing more than another "me too" cruiser. Unless Victory dumbs down their own brand, they will continue to walk all over Indian in terms of functionality.

There are folks that will may high margins for the name or styling, but I just don't see it being a good business decision. I wish they'd sell it and buy Motus.

http://motusmotorcycles.com/
 

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A nice thought, but clearly not a technological analogy. The Cross bikes have loads of newer technologies that allow us to bust through corners as fast as the latest sport-tourers and ride Iron Butt rides without chapping a cheek. Things like the aluminum Core frame, overhead cams, 4 valves per cylinder, oil cooling, etc. are what makes the Cross bikes so damn good. Lexus like if you will.

The Indians are big, heavy, steel framed, pushrod driven bikes that are nothing more than another "me too" cruiser. Unless Victory dumbs down their own brand, they will continue to walk all over Indian in terms of functionality.

There are folks that will may high margins for the name or styling, but I just don't see it being a good business decision. I wish they'd sell it and buy Motus.

http://motusmotorcycles.com/
Motus would be an interesting purchase. I really like the idea.

I agree with your Indian comment, which is why I think Polaris should ditch the Indian heritage. So, what will probably happen is that the Victory technology will transition to Indian (Victory will continue to grow/innovate) and the Indian brand will benefit while keeping its heritage (now with extra chrome and bigger fenders!). Who knows? Maybe Indian becomes more like the Harley CVO for the Victory platform. I like Polaris' move to buy Indian, it will make them money eventually, and I really like the Motus purchase idea. That would mean I would have three Polaris-based motorcycles in my garage. If they were to buy Brammo, I could have four. Good thing I own stock in Polaris...
 

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A nice thought, but clearly not a technological analogy. The Cross bikes have loads of newer technologies that allow us to bust through corners as fast as the latest sport-tourers and ride Iron Butt rides without chapping a cheek. Things like the aluminum Core frame, overhead cams, 4 valves per cylinder, oil cooling, etc. are what makes the Cross bikes so damn good. Lexus like if you will.

The Indians are big, heavy, steel framed, pushrod driven bikes that are nothing more than another "me too" cruiser. Unless Victory dumbs down their own brand, they will continue to walk all over Indian in terms of functionality.

There are folks that will may high margins for the name or styling, but I just don't see it being a good business decision. I wish they'd sell it and buy Motus.

http://motusmotorcycles.com/

Speaking of pushrods, just how does motus (with the cam in the valley) push the valves in the head?? Oh let me see, I'll bet they use as a quote from you above pushrod driven :ltr::ltr::rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Speaking of pushrods, just how does motus (with the cam in the valley) push the valves in the head?? Oh let me see, I'll bet they use as a quote from you above pushrod driven :ltr::ltr::rolleyes:
True, but the reason I would like to see Victory buy a line like the Motus is not for their engines, but to expand their lineup. They already make great cruisers...NEXT!

At one point, Polaris had a stake in KTM. Imagine if they owned both and brought the manufacturing stateside. They could have an American answer to anything manufactured in Japan. How f'n kewl would that be? Almost makes me want to go out and wave a flag!
 
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