Published on February 21st, 2016 | by Boris
HI, OCTANE – MEET VICTORY’S NEW MUSCLE
Last night I was privileged to attend the world unveiling of Victory’s new Octane. Yep, a world-unveiling in Ashfield, Sydney, Australia.
Quite a PR coup for the Aussie Victory blokes to pull off, I would think, but the Australian market is clearly important to Polaris.
Images and vids of the new Octane have been around for a while, but few people have seen one in the flesh. Of course, the bastards at Cycle World in the States have actually ridden one. Staffer Dan Canet actually banged a modified one up Pike’s Peak and then shoved it under a guard-rail, but it is no less that what I would do, so I do not look down upon him.
No-one here has ridden a stocker, and press rides are promised in April, so I shall know more then. But this is what I know now…
Yes, the Octane shares Scout DNA and about 35 per cent of its parts – mostly the ones you can’t see, like the axles. The rest of it is brand new, and if the Scout is a slap to the face in terms of middleweight cruiser bang, the Octane is a straight jab to the mouth.
The Octane’s bore is 2mm bigger than the Scout’s (1179cc versus 1133ccs) uses different camshafts and cylinder heads, and the casings look a bit more evil. The redline is now at 8300 and peak torque is 103Nm, up from 97Nm. It’s dry weight of 240-odd kgs makes it maybe 10kg lighter as well.
Its seat is still low to the ground and the footpegs, while still cruiser positioned, are set further back than the Scout’s. There’s a bit of difference in the wheels and tryes, which is what you’re going to be pleased about the minute you launch it into a corner (no, it’s not a Gixxer, so build a bridge). The Scout runs on 16-inch wheels with a 150/80 on the back and a 130/90 up front. The Octane is 18-inches up front with a 130/70 tyre, and a 17-inch rear with a 160/70 hoop. In cruiser terms, this means much better handling.
Of course, I am just telling you stuff you could look up for yourself. I cannot tell you what it’s like to ride (yet), but I will share with you the same observations I shared with the Victory people.
“What do you reckon?” I was asked, which is a question I am often asked, presumably because a) My opinion might matter, which I doubt; or b) The asker is just being polite, which is usually the case.
“Well, since you asked,” I replied. “I reckon it looks beaut. Simple and basic and satiny grey, which in this light, is even grimmer and thus more appealing than matte black. Matte black is so 2015. I don’t even care what other colours it comes in, or even if it does. I know you guys see this as a blank canvas, which is how I see most bikes. Welcome to my world. No, don’t walk away. I’m just getting started. See there? It’s just begging me to throw those pipes in the bin. A two-into one with a fat racing can is the go. Then I’d whack me some progressive springs in the front (or maybe some fully hectic USD forks off some Italian bike if money was no object), and I’d replace those rear shocks with something from Northern Europe, where they know about these things.
Someone also told me there’s 150 horses that can be milked from that engine, so that’s also a must because I am a man, and for men, as you know, it’s all about having large man-parts, so that other men with smaller man-parts can be made to feel inadequate. Sure, I’ll have another beer. You should have one too and we can maybe talk about why there’s only one disc on the front.”
HOW MUCH: $18,995 ride away
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CHECK OUT DON CANET ESSAYING PIKE’S PEAK