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SPIRIT LAKE, IOWA -- Polaris Industries' motorcycle plant is revving up, with a new brand of bikes set to come roaring into its sprawling complex next year.

The factory already cranks out multiple models of Victory bikes. Heavyweight cruisers and touring models stream through 20 workstations on a horseshoe-shaped assembly line, while forklifts zip in to feed the stations with parts. Read On:


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Sticking to the winning formula that brought us one of Victory’s top sellers, the blacked-out, Vegas-based High Ball, Victory’s newest Hard-Ball model is a blacked-out Cross Roads with height-adjustable ape hangers. Except for minimalist red pinstriping, the entire bike is slathered in flat black paint. Like all models in Victory’s 2012 lineup, the Hard-Ball is powered by the 106-cubic-inch, 50-degree, air/oil-cooled Freedom V-twin, which is fuel-injected and belt-driven with a six-speed transmission. Read On:

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Tracking down pursuit motorcycles to cover the Ironman Triathlon on Hawaii’s “Big Island” was challenging in the past, so this year Victory stepped up by providing Cross Roads and Cross Country motorcycles to help cameramen shoot the prestigious triathlon. The bikes had to meet certain criteria, from being maneuverable at both low and high speeds to being able to support two riders plus a ton of heavy equipment, including cameras, lenses, and battery packs. Read On:

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Victory Motorcycles likes to go against the grain. It’s never dull when model-launch season rolls around. This past August, the motorcycling press was flown to Park City, Utah, for more or less a “rolling” release of Victory’s 2012 motorcycles en route to Sturgis, South Dakota, for the 71st Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. What better way to get up close and personal with something than to spend four consecutive days traversing the twisties of Utah and Colorado, and then ending up carving through the Black Hills of South Dakota?

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As promised, Victory Motorcycles added another Touring model to its 2012 lineup over the weekend with the new Hard-Ball. The bike plays on the popularity of both baggers and ape-hangers and adds some edginess to the more conservative Touring lineup.

Although it looks, at first glance, like the High-Ball, it’s actually a very different model. The High-Ball uses the tube-steel chassis of Victory’s cruiser models, although it does share the same Freedom 50-degree, 106 cubic-inch V-Twin as theCross-Roads based Hard-Ball. That means the Hard-Ball is significantly heavier—and more expensive—than the 660-pound High-Ball, but it also benefits from a rigid aluminum monocoque chassis, 5.8-gallon gas tank, standard ABS brakes, 600 pounds of carrying capacity and cartridge-fork front suspension. Read On: