The Victory Ignition Concept is the most exciting thing to happen in the cruiser space, well, since the Indian Scout. The two come from the same company Polaris, who are likely on the cusp of renaissance in the cruiser realm. As a guy who doesn’t really get cruiser, I’m insanely excited.
Indian, another Polaris brand, released the Indian Scout last year and proved that not all cruisers have to suck. It featured a beautiful motor, lovely fueling, and brakes and suspension that actually worked. While it didn’t look anything like the sportbikes or supermotos or nakeds that I’m normally drawn to, even I had to admit it was a gorgeous bike.
They also built a brand new, water-cooled 1,200 cc motor for a special bike called Project 156, which was built by Roland Sands for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb race - a 12.42 mile race up 4,720 feet of mountain in Colorado.
Rider and CycleWorld editor Don Canet didn’t quite make it to the top, but the bike performed well until his off and got many of us excited about Victory taking this whole cruiser thing seriously and trying to actually make bikes better instead of just more cruisery.
The claimed that they purpose of the bike and race was to design a new motor for their production bikes, and this Ignition Concept is one step closer to a realization of that. Victory is claiming that the 1,200 cc motor created for this bike will “deliver the strongest power and performance in its class.”
Victory are keeping the lid on most of the details, but do say that the concept’s motor share the same crank case, 60 degree V angle, rotating bottom end, transmission, and clutch set up as the Project 156 bike.
The Ignition Concept is simply stunning thanks to the design work of Swiss designer Urs Erbacher, a well known and respected European designer and drag bike racing champion. Aesthetically, the bike is part cruiser, part drag bike, with hints of MV Agusta (at least to me) and American muscle at the same time.
This thing has Brembos, inverted forks, a cast frame (not a one off some fabricator would have built), and a radiator housing unlike any other Victory - but a lot like the one on the Scout. All things that are more production bike than concept bike. We’ve all seen great concepts turn into shit bikes, but here’s to hoping Victory pull this one off. This is a cruiser I definitely want to ride.
They say the bike will be released some time in 2016, which makes me think they’re probably aiming for Daytona Bike Week in March, but we’ll have to wait and see.
See the rest of the bikes released this week with our EICMA 2015 coverage here.