The 2017 Victory Octane is a ‘musclebike’ for the masses

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.

Movies & TV

Netflix confirms Haunting of Hill House season 2 with new cast and locale

Netflix has not only confirmed that horror hit The Haunting of Hill House will get a second season, but also that the next season of the supernatural drama will feature a new cast, new location, and new source material.

Waymo rules and Apple trails in California self-driving car benchmarks

California's DMV releases annual reports of self-driving car disengagements on public roads. In the most recent reports. Waymo had the best performance, GM Cruise came in second, and Apple's self-driving program was in last place.

Need speed? Qualcomm unveils the Snapdragon X55, the world’s fastest 5G modem

Qualcomm is preparing for an even faster future: The silicon giant just unveiled a second generation 5G modem for smartphones, promising blistering download speeds as high as 7Gbps.
Smart Home

Ready for his close-up: Another man was caught licking a Ring video doorbell

A man in Lake Worth, Florida was caught on film licking a family's video doorbell. This makes the second incident like this in just over a month, after another doorbell licker was caught in California.

Mamma mia! Alfa Romeo will unveil a new model at the Geneva Auto Show

Alfa Romeo told Digital Trends it will unveil a new model at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show. It stopped short of revealing what it has in store, but rumors claim it will be a crossover positioned below the Stelvio.

Citroën says you could drive its tiny Ami One electric car without a license

Citroën's Ami One concept car is an electric vehicle that's as cute as it is compact. The miniature motor only has a top speed of 28 mph, so the French automaker imagines it as a shareable runaround for short drives.

Arizona city slammed with $10M lawsuit over fatal Uber autonomous car accident

The family of Elaine Herzberg, the woman struck and killed by one of Uber's self-driving prototypes, has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the city of Tempe, Arizona. They claim Herzberg jaywalked because she was confused by a brick…

Mercedes lets the sun shine in one last time with SLC Final Edition convertible

The Mercedes-Benz SLC convertible sports car is going out of production. Launched in 1996 as the SLK, the model has been a fixture in the Mercedes-Benz lineup across three generations.

Aston Martin’s next hypercar, due in 2021, will pack a hybrid powertrain punch

Aston Martin will follow up the Valkyrie and Valkyrie AMR Pro with a new hypercar, code-named Project 003. The car will debut in 2021, with production limited to 500 units worldwide.

Apple opens up about its self-driving car program in letter to NHTSA

Apple has traditionally kept details about its self-driving car technology under wraps, but it has revealed details about the program in a rare instance of openness. The company takes safety seriously.

Tesla will release fully self-driving cars in 2019 — with a big asterisk

Tesla reaffirmed its goal of releasing a fully self-driving car by the end of 2019, but it warned the system won't work perfectly 100 percent of the time. Convincing regulators that it's safe to use will require some effort, too.

Consumer Reports bumps the Tesla Model 3 off of its list of recommended models

The Tesla Model 3 is one of the six new cars that have lost their coveted Recommended rating from Consumer Reports over reliability concerns. In 2018, Model 3 owners reported body trim falling off and problems with the car's glass.

Lyft’s Shared Saver service offers cheaper rides, but you’ll have to walk a little

Lyft has launched a new ride option called Shared Saver that offers cheaper rides if you're willing to walk a little. Shared Saver designates a nearby pick-up point and drops you off a short distance from your final destination.

Has Apple rebooted its self-driving car program to develop autonomous vans?

The on-again, off-again Apple car is back on track, but it's not a sedan or a hatchback. It will arrive as an electric, autonomous passenger-carrying van, according to a recent report.