Can we say “Made in America”? The V92C TC 2002 spent it’s whole life as a “Shaker” bike. These are the type of bikes the R&D Departments use to put their products through every scenario they will face on the road. It already had about 180,000 miles on it when it went to the deep freeze.
Harley now has a rival stepping up to the plate, days could be numbered when Harley starts to lose some market share to Polaris. Polaris is making some good business moves in the market, especially buying up the Indian brand, time will tell if that was a good move or not. Harley does have a few things going for it, the company has a very big following of customers that are die hard loyal, it built this base with fantastic and targeted marketing. This is something that Polaris has yet to achieve or understand, in order to win over the Harley market, they have to keep putting out a quality product, but also have to attach a legacy to their product someone wants to be a part of.
Polaris has some time to achieve a good market, it took Harley over 100 years to build its brand, Polaris is the new kid on the block and will need to learn hard lessons over time. One lesson that Polaris failed to do right off the bat with the Indian Brand, they didn’t establish a good nationwide dealership network, secondly, they overpriced the Indian. Most of the Indian models you can just go buy a Harley equivalent and have the piece of mind knowing a dealership is right down the road if helps needed.The Indian Brand has been through many hands in the past, it’s a historic scooter, just no one knew how to match Harleys message. Right now Polaris is the best chance the Indian brand has, it’s now backed up by a company with the money to do something with it. Many Indian fans are hoping for just that, make the Indian great again.
Meanwhile, Polaris launched the Victory model in 99. It was something ugly at first and I would never give it a second look back then. When Arlen Ness came aboard with Victory the Jackpot was introduced, now that was an American Ride. Now in 2016 Victory went back to its roots and started making space ships, well that’s what they look like anyway. No one wants to be seen on something as ugly as the Cross Country, come on really? Polaris is only beginning it’s business and repeating mistakes it made right out of the gate, people want a great looking ride, something that will get them some tail, not something they will get them beat up.
The engineering is there, Polaris has a great name in Off Road, they need to stick the money into the Victory Brand redesigning it to compete for market share with Harley. Without seriously investing in the brand it will eventually fade out, that’s something that could happen in only a few riding seasons.
Kudos for the Ice Project, that surely shows what American Workmanship can accomplish. But to make it in the USA market and especially take on a giant like Harley-Davidson, you have to step up to the plate wanting to hit a home run with the customer base, not and single or double. That’s a half-ass attempt that will always fail.
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