Mark Blackwell Speaks…
From the Long Beach International Motorcycle Show on December 4th… "This morning we would like to take a few minutes to share with you a couple of customized motorcycles that our Industrial Design Team recently completed to as part of our efforts to say "thank you" and show our support of the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. But first, I’d like to give just a little background on Polaris Industries involvement with the military."
"As many of you know, Polaris Industries is a $1.9 B U.S. manufacturer of snowmobiles, ATV and Side-By-Side Vehicles, Victory Motorcycles and related Parts, Garments & Accessories. We produce more than 150,000 ATVs and Side-By-vehicles annually and are currently the No. 1 player globally."
"As part of Polaris’ diversification efforts, we began supplying vehicles, parts and training to the U.S. Armed Forces in 2002 and in 2005, established Polaris Defense to dedicate resources and focus on the unique needs of the military. Polaris Defense now supplies a wide range of vehicles to numerous branches including the Army, Army Special Forces, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Army National Guard.
Some of the vehicles are heavily modified to meet the demanding needs of some of the specific branches. Let me give you just one example: the Polaris MV 700 is highly modified for one branch with stronger suspension and a steel "exoskeleton", run flat tires, auxiliary fuel tank, military racks, a back-up pull start, keyless ignition, Blackout drive. Also, it is uniquely droppable from an air transporter. And I’m sorry to say, unless you are Uncle Sam, you can’t buy one."
"Polaris Defense is a strong growth area for Polaris Industries, and it also is exciting for our company to be able to provide our troops with the tools and technologies they need to effectively protect the freedom we all enjoy."
"In terms of Victory Motorcycles, while we are not currently supplying motorcycles to our Armed Forces, we know from the many letters and communications we receive that a pretty significant number of our Victory owners are current or former military personnel. Because of that, we proudly announced in October a program that offered our support and allowed us to say "Thank You" to the men and women of the US Armed Forces."
"The program "Full Throttle Salute" offers enlisted and former military men and women the opportunity to purchase a new Victory motorcycle at a reduced cost. As part of the effort, our Industrial Design Team customized two motorcycles to reflect the past and the future of the US Army. This Kingpin 8-Ball (Reveal) was painted in the traditional olive drab and features markings reminiscent of the types used for many decades. This Hammer S (reveal) features a scheme that reflects the modern military. These motorcycles were originally designed to promote the program as they toured military bases around the country."
"In response to the tragic events at Fort Hood shortly following the announcement of the program, the Victory team immediately decided to auction off these motorcycles and donate the proceeds – 100% – to benefit the soldiers and families directly affected by the events of that horrible day. Details of the auction program are available in the press kits, and the motorcycles will be offered through an Ebay charity auction that will culminate on – appropriately – Memorial Day. Opening bids will be set at $10,000. Further details on the Victory Full Throttle Salute program can be found at www.victorysalute.com."
"We sincerely thank the members of the media for helping us spread awareness of this auction."
"We certainly appreciate the freedom to ride though this wonderful country, and that freedom comes with a price. We at Victory Motorcycles and Polaris Industries are proud to support the military with all the respect we can muster. We are proud to build American motorcycles that represent the freedom, quality and style that represents this country. Thank you for attending this morning."