Cycle News

Cycle News 2015 Issue 28 July 14

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Page 88 of 127

INTERVIEW POLARIS' VICE PRESIDENT OF MOTORCYCLES STEVE MENNETO P88 with something that's completely different than anything else on two wheels with a combustion engine. That's where we look at being with Victory. As I mentioned, Victory went racing in the Isle of Man TT this year, as well as at Pikes Peak with a combustion engine motorcycle. Is it your plan that it should be the Po- laris performance bike brand? Yes, and in addition to those two things, we've also gone to the NHRA drag race circuit with Victory this year, with Matt and Angie Smith as our drivers in a fully-fledged Victory race team. So we are excited about that, and it's great for our dealers to support when the racing comes to town in their area. Pikes Peak is an interesting deal. We called it Project 156, because there are 156 corners in the ride up the mountain, and it's about our ability to take a prototype engine that we've been working on, and show that Victory can be a pretty nice, ag- gressive, performance brand. When you look at our Isle of Man efforts, at our NHRA efforts, then at our Project 156 effort, I think you're seeing where Vic- tory is going as a performance motorcycle brand, and how it's starting to break away from what it used to be. By contrast, with In- dian, we've identified the Victory customer to be perhaps younger and more technology focused, so now we're addressing that in competition. How do you evaluate the re- sults of Victory's international competition debut? Do you plan to return to either venue? I evaluate the results as prom- ising. We are very excited about our results at the Isle of Man. It was Victory's first time out, and the team met the challenges of a demanding race with a lap over 110 mph [Lee Johnston finished third for Victory at 111.62 mph]. We learned a lot, and have a first-time podium to build on. Project 156 was bittersweet [rider Don Canet slid off early and later DNF'd]. We had a great bike that went fastest on the mountain, but to finish first, you first have to finish. The bike performed extremely well, and our rider was pushing hard for the win. I like aggressive riders who want to win. It's been a great first year for Victory going racing—in the Isle of Man, Pikes Peak and NHRA. We've learned a lot. We're com- mitted to going racing further with Victory, and we will be at both races and in NHRA again next year, competing once more at the highest level. Is the engine powering Many drool over the Victory Core concept bike, but will it enter production?

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