Australians were the first in the world to see the new Victory Motorcycles Octane muscle cruiser in the metal when it was unveiled on February 20, 2016, at the Sydney showroom.
The first Victory to feature a water-cooled engine will arrive in Australia in April/May at $18,995 ride away, but pre-orders are being taken now.
Four pre-production models have arrived in the country and they are being transported around Australia for public viewing with one in Melbourne on Tuesday night (Feb 23), another in Brisbane on Thursday (Feb 25) and similar events at independent dealerships over the next month. The bikes haven’t even been seen in public in their native US yet.
The Octane muscle cruiser will compete against the Harley-Davidson V-Rod ($27,995 Night Rod Special and $27,495 Muscle) and the new Ducati XDiavel ($27,490 and $32,490 for the S model) with forward controls and belt drive.
It boasts 103 horsepower (77kW) and 103Nm of torque compared with the Harley, which doesn’t reveal power figures but has 111Nm of torque and the XDiavel with 114.7kW of power and 128.9Nm.
The Octane is very similar in engine and chassis architecture to the Indian Scout, but has more power and aggression.
It also sits midway in price between the 983cc Indian Scout Sixty (58kW/88.8Nm) at $17,995 and the 1133cc Scout (74.7/97.7Nm) at $19,995.
Not only is the Octane the first water-cooled Victory, but also the cheapest, lightest (242kg) and most powerful with the biggest lean angle (32 degrees).
At its heart is a 1200cc, liquid-cooled V-twin with dual overhead cams and four-valve heads to rev beyond 8000rpm.
Victory claims that at 12 seconds, it is also their quickest down the quarter-mile and the fastest from 0-100km/h in less than four seconds.
Apart from straight-line speed, it should also handle the curves well with its 32-degree lean angle, rigid frame and dual-rate springs at both ends.
Accessories include a slip-on stage one muffler, adjustable piggy back shocks, tachometer with shift light and drag bars.
Octane only comes in one colour; a monochrome paintjob, frame and engine, right down to the traditional Victory badge in all-grey instead of red.
Victory and Indian Motorcycles Australia country manager Peter Harvey says the Octane is “all about differentiating Victory and giving it some breathing space” from Indian.
“I think it will hit on the younger market with its style.”
In a nod to the importance of the Australian market to Victory, four pre-production bikes were shipped to Australia for the unveiling just hours after the world debut in the US.
The event is similar to the simultaneous unveiling of the first Indian Chief models in 2013 at the Sturgis Rally and in Sydney.
Both events required a high level of secrecy so that photos of the bikes were not released prior to the worldwide unveiling.
The Octane began life as the Project 156 concept built by Roland Sands Design to tackle the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb in June 2015. It was powered by a 1300cc water-cooled engine, which indicates the 1200cc production engine can take some performance modifications.
Victory also unveiled two more concepts powered by the same engine; the Ignition Concept muscle cruiser, built by European drag-racing champion Urs Erbacher, and the Zach Ness Combustion Concept which has a muscle-cruiser/scrambler theme.