Victory No More: My Thoughts Concerning the Polaris Decision


The photo you see above was taken on May 4, 2013, the day I left home with my 2007 Honda ST1300 sport touring rig and returned with my slightly used 2012 Victory Vision Tour. This was indeed a pivotal moment in my life. This was my first motorcycle that wasn’t a Honda, my first American motorcycle, and my first Victory. Since that fateful day, Miss Scarlett and I have logged roughly forty thousand relatively trouble-free miles

But this post isn’t about my love affair of the past four riding seasons with this motorcycle. Rather, this is about the recent announcement by Polaris Industries to wind down production of the Victory over the next eighteen months. I promise to be brief.


Was I happy to hear the news? No. While no motorcycle is perfect for every rider’s needs, I have been so pleased with the performance and comfort of my Vision Tour, I was already fairly certain that when the time came for Miss Scarlett and me to part ways, my next motorcycle would be another Victory. Over the past four riding seasons, we have run nearly 40,000 miles, 4,800 of which involved an epic journey from Chicago, Illinois to Portland, Oregon and back—a journey so great, it left me wanting to take another.


But with Victory Motorcycles now being phased out, my next bike will likely not be a Victory. So now what? Well, I am pleased to report that despite the Polaris announcement, Miss Scarlett did not burst into flames or disappear from sight. In addition, Randy Weaver, owner of Randy’s Cycle, the best Victory dealership in all of northern Illinois and beyond, almost immediately went online and assured his customers (me among them) that his shop would continue to service the Victory marque for years to come. Comforting words indeed! (See Randy’s video here.)

Bottom line, I still have a damned good motorcycle sitting in my garage, just waiting for the next decent riding day. Polaris’ decision to cease production of Victory Motorcycles will not immediately affect my decision to continue riding Miss Scarlett for some time to come.

Surely the day will come for me to pick another motorcycle to ride.  But you’ll have to take my word for it, this isn’t that day. In the meantime, I’m chomping at the bit to take Miss Scarlett out again, just as soon as the weather turns in our favor. And when that happens, I’ll be here to share more ride stories with you, hopefully with my beloved pillion Ann to continue sharing her awesome photos and videos.

Until then, peace and ride on. Thank you for hanging with me.

Epic Journey — Post-Trip Service and Safety Check

One might think that after taking a road trip of nearly 5,000 miles, I would be reluctant to get on my bike again. One would be wrong. This morning I rode Miss Scarlett 57 miles out to Randy’s Cycle in Marengo, known to be the best Victory dealer in all of Northern Illinois if not beyond, to have my slightly overdue 40K service done and also get my girl checked out from end to end, in preparation for my next trip, now less than two weeks away, to the Midwest Motorcycle Rally in La Crosse, Wisconsin. 

Randy’s is not the closest Victory dealership to my home, nor is his the fanciest. There are higher-end-looking boutique shops in the area, none of which has the word-of-mouth credentials of Randy’s Cycle. This is where I acquired Miss Scarlett, my 2012 Vision Tour, and this is where I have come for service and upgrades, ever since. Randy Weaver and company have earned my loyalty. If I ever go elsewhere for scheduled maintenance, it will be for reasons of practicality, not personal preference. 

This video doesn’t exist

After nearly 5,000 miles of riding, much of it at 70–80 mph and a chunk of it on twisty mountain roads, I was ready to hear bad news about my tires, brakes, clutch, or any other wear part, but everything checked out okay. She was good at least until the 45,000 mile mark.

To all of you who have been following my epic road trip via my blog site, thank you for having come along. Please feel free to stick around. There are more journeys and stories to come.