Steve Menneto, president of Polaris Industries’ motorcycle division, spoke to Reuters in a recent report revealing concrete plans to release an electric motorcycle under the Indian name. Since January, Polaris has been phasing out Victory Motorcycles — known for large, art deco inspired touring cruisers — in favor of consolidating resources into the development of the Indian brand. To target younger, budget conscious riders, Indian will also be offering smaller displacement motorcycles in the near future.
While the move has been bittersweet for followers of the Victory brand, the silver lining points to Polaris’ other beacon of Americana, Indian Motorcycle, which already boasts booming sales and is now expected to see more funding, innovation, and growth. The research, development, and advancements in EV and racing technology under the Victory name will be applied to other future products of Polaris.
Indian Motorcycle’s electric bike is expected to improve on the innovations of the extant Victory model, the Empulse (shown above). While the Empulse claims a range of 121 km on a single charge, the new electric Indian will aim for an increased range of 193-225 km.
"The characteristics of the (new) powertrain are going to be more applicable to be able to ride a bike in pleasure and twisties, and kind of how you would use pleasure bikes today,” explained Menneto.
While Polaris suffered losses due to the Victory brand, the company has seen sales of Indian’s motorcycles and accessories grow. To catalyze Indian’s expansion, Menneto also announced plans to create new bikes with smaller engine displacements for newer generations, as the baby boomer market demand for colossal touring cruisers slows.
Making more millennial-friendly bikes and further exploring electric motoring are also the part of the strategy of Indian’s longtime, large, and looming rival Harley-Davidson.