Two Wheels

Electric Indian: Famed motorcycle brand to get an E-bike

With the loss of Victory Motorcycles, Polaris will use Indian as electric bike platform

So, Victory motorcycles will be no more. But after nailing the lid shut on the Victory brand, Polaris Industries will be using its famed Indian motorcycle division to introduce an electric bike.

Out of the two marques, it was Victory that built electric bikes, and it was also Victory that caused losses of more than $100 million in two decades. Indian has been doing a lot better over the past two years under the Polaris umbrella, so it might be fitting that Polaris would want to use that brand to usher in another electric bike.

And as electric vehicle development has taken leaps in the past two years, it might be a good moment for this. According to Reuters, the new bike would have a range of 120 to 140 miles, a vast improvement over the 75-mile range of the Empulse bike (shown above) that Victory used to build. And it's not reached by nannying the bike, as the 120- to 140-mile claim is said to be attainable when "ridden aggressively."

"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," says Steve Menneto of Polaris' motorcycle division.

In addition to electric bikes, Menneto says Polaris will seek growth from adding motorcycles with smaller engines to its product portfolio. Menneto expects the motorcycle division to increase revenue from 2016's $708.5 million and is shooting for $1 billion. The electric bike would be introduced in the next four or five years; this is comparable to Harley Davidson's electric bike plans.

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