The muscle car formula is simple -- stick a big motor in a lightweight chassis and delete creature comforts and unnecessary accessories. What started as a homemade craze in America eventually made its way into factory production.
In the motorcycle world, the parallel rise of bobber motorcycles had riders "bobbing" or removing excess weight from their bikes. Further customization, particularly to the frame and performance, led to choppers. The 2017 Victory Octane is now being hailed by its designers as a modern "musclebike" and it seems to have what it takes to live up to its moniker.
A 1,200cc liquid-cooled V-twin (Victory Motorcycles' first liquid cooled engine) uses dual overhead cams and four-valve heads to rev beyond 8,000 rpm and deliver 104 horsepower and 76 pound-feet of torque. This makes it Victory's most powerful production motorcycle. At 524 pounds, it's also the company's lightest. No surprise that this is the quickest Victory bike down the quarter mile at 12 seconds and the fastest from 0-60 mph at less than 4 seconds.
The 60-degree V-twin was developed from the Project 156 prototype, which was tested at the grueling Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The short-stroke engine geometry was carried over from the 156 racer to allow higher rpm and horsepower. Its quick-revving nature responds more like a sport bike than a traditional American V-twin.
The stiff cast-aluminum frame allows more power to be put down on the pavement. The Octane's solid-mounted powertrain is itself a stressed member that connects the front and read frame sections, with reinforcements coming by way of twin tubular-steel backbones. The front 41mm fork is equipped with dual-rate springs for improved front-end feedback. Out back, laydown shocks are equipped with preload-adjustable dual-rate springs. A 62-inch wheelbase and 32 degrees of available lean means this bike is designed to out-handle other bikes in its class. The muscular styling and bullet cowl improve airflow over the rider at the triple-digit speeds the Octane was built to achieve.
Oversized disc brakes with stainless-steel lines at both ends give this ride the stopping power it needs. Cast-aluminum wheels measure 18 inches up front and 17 inches at the rear. A low-slung solo saddle sits just 25.9 inches above the ground. A low pullback handlebar and semi-forward set foot controls create an aggressive, forward-riding position that reflects the bike's intentions.
The aggression carries over to the looks department to be seen in the Octane's hard lines, sharp creases, and a pronounced center spine. You'd have to look hard to find shiny bits, as the bulk of the Octane's chassis, running gear, and powertrain are blacked out. The body is painted Matte Super Steel Gray, and even the tank badge has been cast in gray rather than the traditional Victory red.
The Octane starts at $10,500 and can be customized with performance factory parts. For more information, visit the official site.
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