Open Letter From The Founders Of Motus About The Demise Of Victory Motorcycles

The Victory and Pontiac Effect.

“This Motus rides like a dream, but will they be around in 5 years? We hear that a lot. And, it’s a fair question. Customers buying a Victory in 2016 or a Pontiac in 2007 probably didn’t consider their purchase risky from those brands. But, why not?

As entrepreneurs, patriots, motorcycle nuts, we are saddened by the demise of Victory Motorcycles, but not surprised. Polaris is an incredible American company making the best business decisions for shareholders, as they should. Maybe similar to decisions General Motors made with Pontiac.

Conceived in Polaris’ boardrooms to grab some of the (then growing) v-twin market, Victory remained target fixated as demand for heavy cruisers shrank by half. At the same time, the European brands grew like wildfire by offering appealing bikes in other segments, and there was no American competition. While Victory marketing showed intriguing sportbike concepts under the fuzzy brand promise of an “inextinguishable passion for American performance”, Victory dealers only offered 800 pound/90hp cruisers.

So, what does this have to do with Motus? The Motus customer seeks a comfortable American sportbike and values attention to detail, premium quality, and character. For riders with a Motus already in their garage, the test ride sealed the deal. As long Motus remains laser focused on providing an incredible customer experience, we will continue to grow and launch additional models in segments that complement our brand promise.

With Victory gone, some great motorcycle dealers are starting to look for alternative lines to represent. We hope that Motus – with our V4-powered, comfortable American sportbikes – will be a good fit for them and their customers.

Motorcyclists gladly accept more risk than “regular” people as we pursue the magic that is only experienced on two wheels. Every week, riders join the growing Motus family and we are deeply grateful they share our vision.”

Lee Conn, President and Brian Case, VP Of Design 

45 Responses to “Open Letter From The Founders Of Motus About The Demise Of Victory Motorcycles”


  1. 1 highrpm Jan 17th, 2017 at 9:46 am

    demise cloaked in business school baloney. how about a little marxism first? equitable pay between owners/management and proletariat? privatisation sucks because the profiteers at the top suck their outrageous multiples of pay differences. come on owners of polaris stock, too chicken to ride the ship over more rough seas, so instead you push the lowly hourly laborers off deck? and press release the standard wall street line? board room wimps are fooling anybody. we wish you the worst.

  2. 2 Stephen Jan 17th, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Am I the only one who finds the “open letter” from Motus somewhat offensive?

    In any case if the market for US made sport bikes is what Motus believe Eric Buell would not have gone broke several times. Where will Motus be in five years is a very good question indeed.

  3. 3 Chief Waldo Jan 17th, 2017 at 10:12 am

    “Conceived in Polaris’ boardrooms to grab some of the (then growing) v-twin market, Victory remained target fixated as demand for heavy cruisers shrank by half. At the same time, the European brands grew like wildfire by offering appealing bikes in other segments, and there was no American competition. While Victory marketing showed intriguing sportbike concepts under the fuzzy brand promise of an “inextinguishable passion for American performance”, Victory dealers only offered 800 pound/90hp cruisers.”

    Bingo!

    I owned a Victory Vision. It was an excellent touring bike, but I sold it last year. I now own a Motus.

  4. 4 RE:HighRPM Jan 17th, 2017 at 11:24 am

    HighRPM, seriously? how is life in your parent’s basement? Businesses require profits. Governments require businesses to profit to tax to fund their budgets. I’m guessing you’ve never taken a risk and known when to pull your chips off the table and call it day.

  5. 5 BobS Jan 17th, 2017 at 11:31 am

    With Victory gone a less expensive Motus or a more powerful Roadglide would be my choices in a next bike.

  6. 6 x-HD Rider Jan 17th, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    Polaris has poor management. Why did they never upgrade the Vic’s why did they try to produce so many different models. They put Indian in front of Vic and let it die.
    Now you wait they will let Indian die off in five years

  7. 7 Mdkuder Jan 17th, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    x-HD Rider
    Jan 17th, 2017 at 1:07 pm
    “Polaris has poor management. Why did they never upgrade the Vic’s why did they try to produce so many different models. They put Indian in front of Vic and let it die.
    Now you wait they will let Indian die off in five years”

    The Victory sharp edge styling was part of their demise IMO. They need to tweak the Indian bikes here and there but I don’t see them going away, I like seeing HD sweat!

  8. 8 1550tc Jan 17th, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    x-HD Rider…… not going to happen

    Indian is a brand with way way more clout than victory in the market place

    When they came out with the infotainment shit on the Indians and none on the Victories….RED FLAG

    Come on guys the writing was on the wall ……..NO???

    or go back to the ART of War

    If your enemy is superior, evade him. If angry, irritate him. If equally matched, fight, and if not split and reevaluate.

    Which they did and Boys they did and Its Indian

  9. 9 Count Alfavatori Jan 17th, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    What a pant load of marketing/promotional bs . Sorry Mr Conn and Mr Case , I’m 150% behind your bikes as well as hoping for your success , but the whole ” Polaris is and incredible American (?) Company ” ? Seriously ? You ever looked at where some 80% of Polaris’s content is ‘ manufactured ? Suffice it to say it aint here in the good ole Us of A , and this ‘ open letter ‘ is sounding more like a con(n) job than any attempt to address the realities of Victory shutting its doors . Next thing you know Conn & Co will be snuggling up to the 350 lb orangutan in the room in order to gain favor .

  10. 10 TheDevilYouSay Jan 17th, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    An open reply to Motus ;

    In all honesty this sounds more like an ill thought out marketing /promotion scheme / scam rather than any attempt at addressing the realities of Victory closing its doors and the effect that will have on their employees etc

    In as far as Polaris being an ” incredible American company ” Suffice it to say there’s very little American in the content of Polaris’s products not to mention Polaris has more problems from top to bottom than GM , Ford and FCA combined

    Which is to say : despite my support for Motus and their bikes hoping all the success in the world for you this ‘ open letter ” I can neither condone nor countenance . e.g Shame on both of you for this veiled con(n) job

  11. 11 TheDevilYouSay Jan 17th, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    PS ; A shout out to x-HD Rider . Amen ! And nice to know somebody else around here ‘ gets it ‘

  12. 12 BobS Jan 17th, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    1550tc it will happen but probably not in 5. My guess is 5-10 years and you’ll see Polaris bail on Indian. The “prestige” of the nameplate is irrelevant. These guys are after Harley’s market share and they have no idea how to get it. More power, comfort, and handling didn’t do it so they bailed. Now they’re trying the “Hey look at us, we’re America’s oldest motorcycle company since 1901!” The bikes are decent so they have some appeal beyond what Victory got, but that schpeel will not convert the Harley faithful. Closing Victory will just embolden the faithful that Polaris isn’t in this for the long haul and Harley is the only real heritage brand. In 5-10 years Indian will have <15% market share and Polaris will decide that Jeep aftermarket parts is a "better horse to ride". Indian's days are numbered, again.

  13. 13 highrpm Jan 17th, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Governments require businesses to profit to tax to fund their budgets.
    let’s see? apple [and others] with their near trillion off shore profit stashes. examples of good upright tax-paying corporates. gotta luv capitalism merika-style. and yes, nice and cool in the basement. and dank and dark too. helps clear thinking.

  14. 14 seymour Jan 17th, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Pretty sure that letter is targeting prospective dealers. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

  15. 15 SYF Jan 17th, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    I’m surprised there are no Motus dealers between San Diego and San Francisco, California. Missing one of the biggest year round riding markets and some of the best riding in the world. I haven’t seen a Motus yet and I work in the industry.

  16. 16 Nowhereman Jan 17th, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Motus,
    You want to succeed and become an American motorcycle legend?
    Drop your price on your bikes by 7K minimum and you will get all the sales you can handle.

  17. 17 Zenaldo Jan 17th, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    Any bets some of the Victory product lines come back online as Indian models ? They already own all the manufacturing lines and have all the suppliers set up…wouldn’t take much to rebadge a couple models… just a thought..wouldn’t be a totally dumb move…it would get all the heavy cruiser bikes into their dedicated Indian motorcycle dealers…which are all focused on just motorcycle sales…no snowmobiles, no boats, no ATVs…just big bikes…with dealers who could actually customize a bike unlike most of the former Victory dealers…

  18. 18 pete yuckly Jan 18th, 2017 at 6:58 am

    Indian will not die in 5 years. There is too much consumer demand- selling 3 to 1 over Vic. There is more nostalgia and heritage in the Indian name and the mystique… too much history. If Polaris kept Victory alive for 18 years, selling one bike a month per dealership -100, 000 bikes on the road in 18 model years – then Indian will be fine for many, many years.

    The letter is not offensive… it is true. I’ve been to the Motus facility and toured it with Lee Conn. They are passionate about the bikes. I wish them continued success and wish I could afford one.

    I love my 2015 Vision and I am going to keep it and ride it for a long time. I really have no choice! haha! It is the best bike for me and I tried A LOT of them before making my final decision.

  19. 19 D. Franklin Jan 18th, 2017 at 7:35 am

    Yesterday (1/17/2017) I stopped by my local dealership that serviced my 2011 Victory Vegas Jackpot for the last 5+ years. The service, parts and sales department confirmed what I had read: Polaris will stand behind the Victory brand in parts and service for the next 10 years. This was reassuring as my O.E.M. stock Jackpot has performed like a boss over the last 47,000 miles and I’m looking forward to many more miles. I’ve demo ridden several other brands and models over the last few years including the new Milwaukee Eight 107 and 114 and following these rides, I’m always happy to throw a leg over my Vic for the ride home. Nothing compares to the ride and performance of my Vic. At the dealership yesterday, I also heard that Polaris may integrate the Victory 106 driveline into their Indian line up for perhaps a mid size cruiser, somewhere between the Chief lineup and the Scout. I also took note of the $7,000+ discounts on the brand new Victory baggers on the showroom floor. Bad news for someone that bought one and financed it over a month ago (I think I’d file a small claims court action if it were me) but good news for someone to buy one of these superb baggers at an amazing discount with the resale value downside already factored it.

  20. 20 PaddyMac Jan 18th, 2017 at 7:37 am

    @Zenaldo… why would Polaris incorporate “Victory product lines” into Indian when they could just make Victorys? Different engines and tech would negate the consolidation of parts and assembly lines.

  21. 21 Hillbilly Jim Jan 18th, 2017 at 8:09 am

    Dear Motus, I desperately want one of your touring bikes but realistically I will never be able to afford a new one. I have never seen a used one for sale so it looks pretty doubtful that I or any of my riding buddies in the same economic bracket will ever be customers unless you figure out a way to make your motorcycles more affordable while keeping the quality and performance. Best of luck to you in the next five years gentlemen.

  22. 22 coma Jan 18th, 2017 at 8:20 am

    “laser focused on providing an incredible customer experience”

    Now that wins today’s trophy for blatant over promise. They must be really desperate. Or can the fact that a bike starts up when prompted by pushing the relevant button be termed “incredible Customer experience? 🙂 What’s so incredible about working brakes, a better than average chassis (I hope it has a better than average chassis), and a seating position that doesn’t kill you after 200 miles in one go? Or have they got the notion that it shakes, rattles and rolls slightly different than other bikes because of its longitudinally mounted (and no shaft drive) V4 engine? Incredible indeed.

    Bad timing too: why would anyone want to alert the “comfortable American sport bike” buying public to the fact that Motus, unlike Victory is a niche brand, not very likely to avoid going down the very same road Victory went.

  23. 23 Jim Tom Stimpson Jan 18th, 2017 at 8:24 am

    I ride a Victory Vision currently. I have ridden Victory since 2003. The Vision is the best two up touring bike for me and the wife. We simply didn’t like the Indian , or HD M8 as much for our needs and taste. I will ride my Victorys to the end of the line. I have never cared about trade in value and virtually never cared for dealer support. However , I am disappointed there will be no new Victorys going forward. Good luck to Indian but , I don’t want one at this point. I won’t say never.

    I hope to buy a Motus in 2-3 years. Lee Conn and Brian Case are awesome guys! They are really motorcycle enthusiast and they offer a great motorcycle. I’ve met with and talked to Lee at length. He is passionate and he is a friend.

  24. 24 Clyde The Glide Jan 18th, 2017 at 9:47 am

    The problem with victory is that the majority of their dealers carried multiple lines most of them manufactured in Japan As a result victory never had the attention they needed to succeed. Look for The victory custom and touring models to resurface with a new brand name called Indian supplied by one manufacturer called Polaris

  25. 25 Kevin Munsey Jan 18th, 2017 at 10:14 am

    BobS. “more powerful Roadglide”? That’s hilarious! Whatever you’re smoking, I want some. 😂

  26. 26 MAGNET MAN Jan 18th, 2017 at 11:00 am

    My congratulations to Motus.

    Motus is the only motorcycle manufacturer to equip their engine and transmissions with an American made”DIMPLE” super magnetic oil drain plugs! Custom made size for their application.

    They told me they wanted their Motus motorcycle owners to have every advantage for longevity and ease of maintenance.

  27. 27 Jerrman Jan 18th, 2017 at 11:41 am

    To Pete Yuckly: “Indian will not die in 5 years. There is too much consumer demand- selling 3 to 1 over Vic. There is more nostalgia and heritage in the Indian name and the mystique… too much history. If Polaris kept Victory alive for 18 years, selling one bike a month per dealership -100, 000 bikes on the road in 18 model years – then Indian will be fine for many, many years.”

    I think you’re right about that comparison but, to put a fine point on it, Indian actually sold 11 (!!) times what Victory sold and that after only 6 years, not 18. Their heritage, the quality of the bikes, their unique and beautiful designs may carry them for a long long time. But, if they really want to grow, it needs to be beyond the heavyweight and mid-size cruiser market into the real growth markets that have emerged in the last few years. A road version of the FTR750 for example. In the final analysis, if the worst happens, then what one or more of the enthusiast magazines said when the Scout was introduced might or should happen. HD should have bought the trademark.

  28. 28 Tom Ryan Jan 18th, 2017 at 11:47 am

    When is Motus going to be releasing some new models? Their MSTR Custom Hot Rod bike with the supercharger and 230 HP is really wicked. Even with the HP dialed down somewhat, that would make for a wild street bike. Some factory options could also include custom exhaust styles, gas tanks and café racer seat styles. If you haven’t heard the sound of the Motus yet, go to their main site and check out ‘Hear The Engine.’ Might be the best sounding bike out there!

  29. 29 Gym Jan 18th, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Ask yourself which model would Jesus ride and just leave it at that. The first company to run a commercial of the son of god jumping off the cross and riding off to the Sea of Galilee gets my hard earned dollar.

  30. 30 SIGFREED Jan 18th, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    One’s demise is another’s rise.

    This is the first law of evolution and as such the reason we all exist. So its time to MOVE on…

  31. 31 1550tc Jan 18th, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    BOB S i will tell you this from being around Polaris products for decades they are like a lil RAT nibbling away at a BIG piece cheese………. and one day who knows??

    Problem is and me included its all our opinions on here and what do we really know???

    Does any know or seen actual sales number for HD and INDIAN ?? all bikes in for 2015 2016 or what they shipped to dealers??

  32. 32 1550tc Jan 18th, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Right now and for 2017-18 they need to get 2-3 dyna type price ranged bikes on the market.

  33. 33 Sam Jan 18th, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    I had to re-read the letter. At first it seemed a little off-key. Though I knew of Motus, it’s not exactly mainstream. It’s worth really looking at for a number of reasons in my thinking. It’s made in the U.S.
    The various components are top shelf. The total design from concept to production is excellent. Fast, comfortable, highly adjustable, good old American torque, tough and reliable. Excellent power to weight allowing a rider to dial a ride from cruising to thrashing. I’ve gone from eehh to very impressed.
    The price for all this does put me off, but in reality I was not making a fair comparison. Though more expensive than even high end European sport touring bikes, we all know that made in America carries a high price tag. Though this is a production bike it is not mass produced. It is a small company. So it’s performance compares in high end sport and sport touring bikes, it’s price would be more fairly compared to Big Bear’s Titanium, Brass Ball’s Brawler, or the Arch KRGT as far as being a low production high performance motorcycle with our American type of riding in mind. This is my new perspective..for the time being.

  34. 34 Racewriter Jan 18th, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    I’m not sure why this letter was written. It’s sure to alienate a lot of those “V-twin cruiser” riders, and it ignores one unescapable fact – Motus’ real competition is not Victory. It’s sport tourers from Japan and Germany, and it’s priced anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 more than those bikes. I suppose I can see a few ex-Victory dealers taking on a Motus, but I don’t see it substantially moving the needle. I actually like their drivetrain and I like their concept, but a sport touring bike is physically uncomfortable for me on any ride longer than across town.

  35. 35 Jerrman Jan 18th, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    Great design, technology and an American heritage makes for a good combination. Nothing wrong with trying to increase their dealer network and maybe pick up a few disgruntled and PO’d Victory dealers, but, at that price point, Motus will always be a niche brand. Their competition is certainly not ex-Victory owners (or any cruiser, for that matter). but the likes of BMW, Ducati, etc. Tough pond to play in when you’re $10-15K more in price.

  36. 36 Eric Miller Jan 19th, 2017 at 6:56 am

    I guess Motus doesn’t realize that we “heavy cruiser” owners don’t care about what they any more than we consider twenty-two year old sport-riding “snowflakes” to be “bikers”…

  37. 37 Jim Tom Jan 19th, 2017 at 10:17 am

    Sam , not only is Motus a small company, they are hand-built . They build them an hour from my house. Power is unbelievable , top shelf bike and all components. Seat is made by Sargent, The heli bars have infinite adjustment, pipes are titanium akrapovic, I think the luggage is sourced by Givi, it comes stock with the side bags . It comes with a tool kit made in California that you can perform most any maint. needed to the Motus.

    They wanted a bike that the customer didn’t have to spend $1,000’s tossing and replacing the seat , pipes, bars, etc . Lee says that’s ridiculous and a scam. A lot of thought and engineering went into the Motus. It is simple to maintain, you can get the oil filter at any outo parts store, by the way, they thoutfully and purposely put the oil filter so accessable. You can kneel down on one knee and change the filter. It is a riders bike. One where you still get to use your riding skills. No ride modes, It’s custom out of the box which is somewhat of an oxymoron.

    I like riding something well made that you don’t see yourself coming and going all day. You can’t sling a dead cat around here without hitting someone on a streetglide or Goldwing. The Victory fit my criteria for being solid and different, so does the Motus although the passenger hasn’t approved it yet.

    As some have said, They are not what your typical Victory rider would be interested in though I am a Victory rider and I am interested. The base Motus is around $30K , guess what? So is the 2017 Indian Roadmaster (bonestock) , if you take advantage of the “build your bike” function on the Indian website, price goes way up!

  38. 38 Sam Jan 19th, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Jim Tom – I’m with you pard..

  39. 39 estoma Jan 20th, 2017 at 1:55 am

    Motus, like Victory*, only has one engine – two states-of-tune, I appreciate, but still only one engine. And like Victory, of yonder, Motus are shaping all their baskets for this one egg. Watch this space.

    Most people who buy V-twin Cruisers/Baggers/Tourers are not interested in high-powered high-revving Adventure (looking) Bikes. And those who are into more horses will mod theirs to their exact preference – part of the bonding experience and of the subsequent personal glory. My DOHC-4-Valve VMX17 will rip this ‘baby-block’ push-rod-2-valver a new 4rsehole any day of the week, looks better, sounds better and has a drive-shaft too. And even the VMX17 is being discontinued, despite the iconic 1200’s legacy. I do not even see the Ducati Diavel or more recent X-Diavel make a ripple in this filled-to-the-brim bucket – for the same reason.

    Indian’s success lays in following the lead set by the Motor Company. Lifestyle. Motus, missing both the V-twin and Adventure boats, will be beaten to a pulp by BMW, KTM and possibly even the new Ducati Multi.

    * The Octane does not count since it was a cross-dressed Scout.

  40. 40 beentheredonethat Jan 20th, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Oh yea I like It
    i going to run down to my local Motus dealer and throw a leg over one-yea right
    It will be almost as hard to find it as my local Triumph, Victory, Ducati, Moto Guzzi etc. etc etc dealer.
    The reason Honda did so well in the 60’s was that they made sure there was a dealer
    in almost every town. They also spent on advertising and billboards and music.
    Dont need a big Bloomingdales store like Harley has, just open a ton
    of mom and pops but scatter them everywhere.

    This is the key to the solution.

    Why they don’ get it is beyond me?
    Getting da word out is da main ting mon

  41. 41 Chris Jan 23rd, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Folks who spend there time pretending to be the arbiters of who a “biker” is while hammering away on a keyboard always make me giggle.

    Snowflakes don’t care to be a part of clique that demands one ride one brand of bike while wearing the formal uniform (black boots, preferably with a buckle; jeans, black t-shirt, vest, lots of pins and patches proving you were at this rally or that, scowl on face, cigar that smells like a turd between lips).

    Boomers will all be dead soon (me too) while Snowflakes will be rising up their respective income scales. I care what they want and will gladly sell it to them while those who refuse to accept the future sit in empty shops wondering where all the “bikers” went.

  42. 42 hacksaws garage Jan 24th, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    i like the motus motor as it has some possibility to power CHOPPER OR CUSTOM. BUT THE STYLING REEKS 0F 1990’S JAPAN. no way it can endure.

  43. 43 Andy Fat Boy Jan 27th, 2017 at 12:01 am

    Not quite the subliminal message that they need retail distribution.

  44. 44 Axel Jan 31st, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Motus??? Sorry, never heard of it. Looks like just another crotch rocket to me.

  45. 45 Jan Eggenfellner Apr 28th, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    I fell for the promise of a “smooth” V4 engine and sent a bunch of money to Motus. I received one of the crate engines they marketed. The vibration level is extremely high. Learning that the 90 degree V4 is an “odd” fire engine was new to me after having worked on Honda engines for so long. I could have done more research but just trusted what I was told. Namely it being a smooth running engine.
    Take a look at this engine run on YouTube and you will see that the engine has no way of staying together for any length of time. Might be cool to watch but not so cool to get an engine with a starter that was not new and put together from leftover parts, an engine drive pressure plate filled with cracks around the springs after only Motus own short dyno test / pre delivery run and replies to comments about the block being filled with internal coolant passage corrosion as being normal.

    I never told anyone about this, feeling I should have stayed away. The pulses from this engine are so brutal it will brake anything it is trying to drive. I sold the engine on E-Bay to recover 10% and it is now in a motorcycle museum somewhere

    Wish I had my $15,000. Live and learn.

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