Used cruiser

Vic­tory Oc­tane could be good use of your cash

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Jon Urry MCN GUEST TESTER

What we said then

“The trouble is, in­stead of be­ing the all­new ‘Mod­ern Amer­i­can Mus­cle’ Vic­tory hyped the Oc­tane up to be it’s ac­tu­ally a re­badged In­dian Scout with a (very) slight per­for­mance tweak. As it stands, the Oc­tane is a cheaper, (very) slightly punchier Scout with a Vic­tory badge when it could and per­haps should have been so much more…” MCN launch re­port, April 2016

But what is it like now?

Vic­tory have al­ways cut their own niche, cre­at­ing high-qual­ity, Us-made cruis­ers with a dis­tinc­tive mod­ern style, and the Oc­tane is no dif­fer­ent. Based on the same en­gine and chassis plat­form as the In­dian Scout (a brand also owned by par­ent com­pany Po­laris) the Oc­tane se­ri­ously rocks the party with its matt grey paint, sculpted tank and slash­cut twin-stacked pipes. And the ride doesn’t dis­ap­point, ei­ther.

Rather than a tra­di­tional laid­back cruiser stance, the Oc­tane’s riding po­si­tion is slightly more stretched for­ward, for an ag­gres­sive mus­cle bike at­ti­tude. Be­cause of this, the Oc­tane feels suit­ably dif­fer­ent from the Scout and it re­sponds bet­ter as well.

You can’t deny the wa­ter-cooled V-twin en­gine is a bit of a beauty and the sub­tle al­ter­ations that Vic­tory have given it to suit the Oc­tane’s billing as a mus­cle bike only add to its ap­peal. It’s a won­der­ful mo­tor that is quick revving for a cruiser and has a se­ri­ous turn of pace thanks to its ex­tra ca­pac­ity over the Scout (1179cc com­pared to 1133cc). If I was be­ing crit­i­cal, I would moan about the fact it whines rather than thumps when you rev it.

But the Oc­tane isn’t a tra­di­tional cruiser, it’s a mod­ern one and that is re­flected in its han­dling. I was re­ally sur­prised at just how ag­ile the Oc­tane was, far bet­ter than I re­mem­bered it to be. With a 17in rear wheel and 18in front, the Vic­tory is light to turn and nippy through the bends. It doesn’t feel its 242kg weight and the low cen­tre of grav­ity and seat height of just 658mm would make it a cool city cruiser which can also cut it on a spir­ited week­end blast. It’s cer­tainly im­pres­sive – so why didn’t it sell?

Sadly for the Oc­tane, its sales fail­ure is a re­flec­tion of bad tim­ing rather than the bike it­self. The Oc­tane ar­rived at a point when Po­laris were un­sure which di­rec­tion to take with Vic­tory and when they de­cided on clos­ing its doors, this made con­sumers lose all faith in the brand and ef­fec­tively killed sales stone dead. Bad news for the Oc­tane, but great news for buy­ers look­ing for a bar­gain used or new mus­cle bike.

Any ob­vi­ous faults?

As the Oc­tane was only re­leased in 2016 and the bike we bor­rowed is an ex-demo, you wouldn’t ex­pect there to be any faults. The ma­chine is still cov­ered by Vic­tory’s im­pres­sive fiveyear war­ranty (still hon­oured by Po­laris) and as such is a safe used buy in terms of ma­jor me­chan­i­cal faults. The fin­ish is still fac­tory fresh and seems to be hold­ing up bet­ter than older Vic­tory mod­els, which suf­fer from poor qual­ity plat­ing on ex­posed metal parts.

Or worth­while ex­tras?

This bike is to­tally stan­dard, which is pretty nor­mal for an Oc­tane as the num­ber of ac­ces­sories avail­able is pretty lim­ited. If you can find one with a few ex­tras al­ready fit­ted, espe­cially a per­for­mance ex­haust, it is worth buy­ing.

Ver­dict

The Oc­tane de­served to live longer than it did. How­ever its pre­ma­ture death has cre­ated un­cer­tainty in both the new and used mar­ket, lead­ing to bikes be­ing dis­counted. If you want a cool look­ing, and well-priced, Amer­i­can mus­cle bike, the Oc­tane is well worth a sec­ond look and bikes with £1000 off RRP or ex­tras such as loud pipes in­cluded in the deal are easy to lo­cate.

Thanks to Krazy Horse for the loan of this Oc­tane. They have a se­lec­tion of new and used Oc­tane mod­els cur­rently for sale in their Bury St Ed­munds shop. Call them on 01284 749645 or go to www.krazy­horse.co.uk

Urry takes a break dur­ing a 23-point turn in a back lane

En­gine Vic­tory took the Scout’s wa­ter-cooled V-twin as a base and in­creased its ca­pac­ity through a 2mm big­ger bore, which upped the power to a claimed 104bhp.

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