A chrome cruiser alternative
Victory has arrived, pitching a premium bike to a niche market, writes CRAIG DUFF
WHEN a new motorcycle brand was preparing to launch, it wasn’t a case of where, but where in Elizabeth St. Melbourne’s motorcycle precinct is one of the first stops for bike shoppers, and Victory Motorcycles’ managing director Peter Alexander knew he had to be among them.
That was in September. Victory has since expanded to Brisbane, Mackay, Newcastle, Darwin and Auckland, but Alexander is careful to vet site and staff before hanging out the Victory shingle.
‘‘It’s all about positioning and doing justice to the brand,’’ Alexander says. ‘‘That extends from where we site our stores to how they are fitted out.
‘‘The bikes speak for themselves — they’re a premium product and our research shows people are looking for a premium bike with an individual style.’’
Alexander commissioned exhaustive market research before launching the brand here, and he’s intent on cementing Victory as a premium cruiser option.
‘‘We’re not taking aim directly at Harley-Davidson, though that’s the obvious comparison,’’ Alexander says.
‘‘We’re after riders who want quality, something that’s relatively unique, and know what they want from their bikes.’’
If what you want is paintwork to sink in, enough chrome to double as a solar furnace, and you can afford $20,000 to $40,000, you’re on the path to Victory.
The company sold 28 bikes in the first three months of this year, which Alexander says is realistic.
‘‘We’re meeting our sales projections now and we couldn’t have chosen a worse time to launch a premium product, so I’m encouraged that we’ve read the market correctly.’’
Models range from the lowriding Vegas, Hammer muscle bike and Kingpin cruisers to the futuristic Vision tourers. Arlen and Cory Ness have lent a hand with the design work — you can even buy Ness Signature bikes. Power is provided by a 1634cc V-twin with 63kW and 144Nm, or a stroked 1730cc version good for 71kW and 148Nm.
National sales manager Peter Harvey says personalising the bike is a big part of the experience, be it a chromed set of handgrips, new exhaust pipes or a touring seat and saddle panniers.
‘‘We’re dealing with a market that is happy to invest in making their bike their own,’’ he says.
And the US parent celebrates its 11th anniversary tomorrow — July 4 — proving the bikes are reliable. Victory is part of the global Polaris Industries ATV and snowmobile empire.
New kid on the block: Victory’s Elizabeth St store and (below) its Arlen Ness Signature model.