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  • August 10, 2010
  • Gabe Ets-Hokin
  • Brian J. Nelson
  • 47 Comments

2011 Victory Motorcycles: MD First Ride

The Big 106/6 for Everyone

We all have impossible dreams. I’d love a vintage cafe racer that has modern power, brakes and suspension that I can ride all day without needing prescription back pills. Editor-in-Chief Edge would like a self-running website. And Polaris motorcycles would like to sell as many on-road motorcycles as it sells off-road vehicles.

Polaris started as a farm-machinery company during World War II and started building snowmobiles during the ’50s, but its story doesn’t really start until the 1980s. That’s when  president Hall Wendel, Jr. and a group of investors bought Polaris from its larger parent company (sound familiar?). Wendel had a vision of diversifying Polaris’  product lineup beyond farm equipment and snowmobiles to ATVs, personal watercraft, and—the reason I’m writing this—a new line of American designed and built motorcycles. Dubbed “the new American motorcycle,” at 1507cc (92 cubic inches) the 1998 V92C was the biggest V-Twin on the market, came equipped with all the top equipment names—Fox, Brembo, Marzocchi—and had fit, finish and build quality equal to anything else in the industry. Victory’s original focus was to sell to Polaris customers (30 percent of whom rode motorcycles in 1998), not to take market share from the giants of the industry. 12 years along, how many Victory cruisers and tourers are on the road?

Kingpin 8-Ball

“Around 60 or 70 thousand,” V.P. of Victory Motorcycles Mark Blackwell told me. Considering this is  more than a decade of sales, Victory might be disappointed. Harley sells more than 3 times this number each year. Yet Victory is committed to the idea of providing a second American motorcycle brand, spending millions on research and development, developing sophisticated marketing strategies, and fully supporting its customers and dealers.

What is Victory doing wrong? Not much, it turns out. I spent three days in beautiful southwestern Colorado riding the full 2011 lineup through some amazing scenery, and it doesn’t look like there’s anything amiss with the bikes themselves or how they are marketed and sold. It doesn’t surprise me at all that Victory consistently scores high marks when it comes to customer satisfaction and loyalty.

If you follow Victory, you’ll know there are two basic model lines, with the Touring models at one end and the Hammer, Kingpin and Vegas cruisers on the other. Each model gets a stripped-down, blacked-out version called the “8-Ball” as well, and there’s also the premium Vegas Jackpot, a tricked-out version of the regular Vegas.

There are no new models for 2011, but there are some significant changes, as well as a few new Arlen Ness limited-editions. All the bikes now get the 106/6 motor, the 106 cubic-inch (1731cc), six-speed unit found in the 2010 Touring models. The transmission received a total redesign for less gear noise and smoother shifting action, and in turn the reduced engine noise allows a slightly louder exhaust for more of that requisite cruiser rumble. The smoother-running transmission is easier on the oil, allowing for 5000 miles between oil changes. There are also brighter headlamps and easier-to-read gauges in the cruiser lineup.

Accessorized Cross Country

But the most significant feature of the Victory line may be the competitive pricing. Even with the addition of the 106/6 motor, the Vegas and Kingpin keep their 2010 MSRPs ($14,499 and $14,999 respectively). Also, the  the Cross Roads is now sold through the Core Custom Program. Priced at $14,999, it’s delivered without bags, windscreen or crash protection, but at delivery the customer can get it equipped as he or she wants in one of 48 possible configurations in minutes, choosing between two colors, two different luggage options and three different tip-over bars. This allows dealers to stock less inventory—important when sales are down and credit is tough—and the customers get exactly as much bike as they want.

Also on the accessory front is a new trunk for the Cross Roads and Cross Country. It’s designed to retrofit to the 2010 models—installation is as simple as snapping it in place and locking it, and the older bikes are even pre-wired for the speakers and internal lighting—and it can hold two full-face helmets or 17.65 gallons of liquid helmets. It even includes built-in LED taillights and a 12v outlet; a lot of thought has gone into this accessory, as touring riders place a lot of importance on their trunks. It’s pricey at $1745, but it adds a tremendous amount of functionality, giving the Cross Country (or a hard bag-equipped Cross Roads) more storage than the luxury-oriented Vision.

The Big Vision

The winding roads of western Colorado were our testing grounds, and the Victory folks made sure we got enough riding in. Instead of the 100-odd miles I expect to ride at a press event like this, I rode almost 400 miles over three days. The weather was (almost; I spent an afternoon drenched by thunderstorms) great and the pavement way better than what the state of California calls “roads.” It would have been ideal testing grounds for these very rider-oriented machines, except the high altitude seemed to sap some power from the 106 motor.

Still, the addition of that motor to the cruisers made them much more entertaining to ride. But the extra power highlighted how much better the touring chassis is than the cruiser’s. In high speed sweepers, the cruisers can feel a bit rubbery, and the lack of cornering clearance is easily and noisily apparent. Still, the high-quality brakes and suspension, along with a dry weight less than competing brands made the Vegas, Kingpin and Hammer plenty of fun.

I finally got a chance to spend some time on the Vision, and it kept its promise of being a fast, comfortable, good-handling and stylish luxury tourer. The seat is very comfortable, with good support for the ass and lower back, and the ergonomics are humane. Wind protection is excellent, with great coverage (I’m five-six, so your results may vary) and little buffeting with the screen in the highest position. Storage in the big trunk (optional on the $17,999 Vision 8-Ball) is good, although many of us at the event were scratching our heads looking at the toaster-oven-sized side compartments. Handling is also very nice and neutral, the anti-lock brakes (standard on the $23,199 Vision Tour) work seamlessly, and the air-adjustable suspension lets the rider quickly set up the bike for load and riding conditions. Finally, fuel economy and range are very acceptable—with a six-gallon tank, 200 miles in the saddle is easily achieved.

But the star of the show is the Cross Country. For $17,999, you get a bike with almost as much wind protection as a Vision, with more storage (if you spring for the trunk), a very good sound system, cruise control and over 500 pounds of load capacity (and only .2 of a gallon less fuel capacity). It also handles better than the Vision, as it’s 100 pounds lighter and feels less top-heavy. All the bikes have gear indicators now, and it’s a useful feature, as the Cross Roads runs so smoothly (somehow smoother than the Vision) that the big “5” on the indicator is a handy reminder that it’s time to shift. There is also an mpg readout along with range to empty.

Jackpot

If you want an extra dose of style, there are three generations of Nesses to help you out. Arlen, along with son Cory and grandson Zack, have created three limited-edition rides this year. The $27,999 Arlen Ness Vision gets lavish pin-striping, custom grips and pegs, a cut-down windscreen and other unique touches. The $24,999 Cory Ness Cross Country looks good with suede seat, custom mirrors and lavish two-tone paint. Zack’s $18,999 Vegas has a stitched leather seat, special chrome exhausts and blacked-out frame and paint. All three bikes receive billet wheels, diamond-cut cooling fins and loads of other Arlen Ness billet parts. Yes, billet grips are as uncomfortable as they sound. Photos of all three Ness models can be found in our preview article.

I also got to experience the new transmission. The cruisers benefit from having the sixth-speed overdrive, gear noise is indeed reduced, and there’s a neutral-finding feature that makes finding neutral under five mph very easy. But the shift quality is still not quite up to modern standards—it’s still clunky and requires a lot of effort—and there’s no heel-toe shifter, although an accessory part is easily fitted to all the models.

Cross Roads

Okay, I think I’ve made a case for Victory making a very good motorcycle, with performance, pricing and features that can give any brand—foreign or domestic—the sweats. So why are there only a few thousand happy new Victory customers a year? Victory’s been a premium-priced American product, with a small dealer network (and most are single-line or in Polaris dealerships). That means the most likely customer for a Victory probably doesn’t know about it—or doesn’t want to know about it, in the case of savagely brand-loyal Harley-Davidson customers. “When I ride a Harley, it just feels right,” a Harley-Davidson-owning motojournalist told me. For such rabid fans, a Victory, no matter how good or value-priced, just isn’t an option. Dreams of capturing a significant share of the Harley market—if they ever existed—have probably faded from any Polaris executive’s head.

But with the new pricing and a satisfying product mix, your average metric cruiser buyer may start to sniff around the Victory showrooms. These buyers, who tend to be very price and value conscious, would be well-served by the solid build, engineering and performance these bikes offer. They just need to find out about Victory, and to that end Victory has expanded heavily into overseas markets, doubled the number of demo-ride rigs, tripled the number of demo rides, focused its marketing more on motorcycle enthusiasts, and is reaching out to military veterans (many of whom may have used Polaris products during their service).

Cross Country

Will it be enough to grow the brand in a murky economy and shrinking heavyweight cruiser market? With typical American enthusiasm and resolve, it doesn’t seem to matter to Polaris; the company has committed to selling American motorcycles. Thanks to Wendel’s idea of diversification, that commitment is supported by lucrative defense contracts and booming sales of other products, so we’re likely to see Victorys on the roads—in whatever numbers—for many years to come.

47 Comments

  1. BigD says:

    What’s the flap about Victory marketing H-D knockoffs? When I look at a Victory I don’t see anything resembling an H-D. They have their own styling and seem to be missing pushrod tubes on their 4-valve, overhead-cam engines. If I was in a dark parking lot, I figure the Victory logo on the tank would most likely be my bike, and not someone elses Softail. This is a silly as comments I have heard about shaft-drive/water-cooled Hondas and Suzukis, being H-D knockoffs. H-D doesn’t own all the rights to V-twin motorcycles.
    As far as why there aren’t other Victory bikes outside the big V-twin line, there are: Polaris markets them as Can-Am. Victory and Can-Am are not in business to compete against each other.

  2. Skipper says:

    Victory makes a great motorcycle and I feel they are far superior to the Harley’s but why do they have to make only cruisers? Why don’t these companies get serious and build an adventure bike or a sport touring bike. Harley had a good thing going with the Buell line up and just when they dumped the stupid boat anchor Harley motor for a decent Rotax motor they dump the line up. Harley could have sold the Buell line to Eric Buell or another company but out of pure stupidity they chose not too. Maybe we should all e-mail Victory and at least ask them to consider another type of bike to there line-up. I am sick of the Harley morons riding around town without a muffler on there bikes just showing off.

  3. scorpio says:

    Styling is subjective; I think Ness is the best thing to happen to Victory, because the V92C was “aesthetically challenged” in my eyes – and apparently most of the rest of the market’s too. I applaud Victory for their choice of direction and wish them the best…but will never seriously consider one. Unless they put that motor into something like a Confederate Hellcat 8-ball that is.

  4. Chris says:

    Yeah I agree, Polaris needs to build its own motorcycle corporate identity, not make knock offs of Harleys, there’s already too many of those and they’re all pale imitations of the real thing.

    There is a real opportunity for Polaris to establish themselves as volume players in the American market with unique innovative products. The big four are weak- they continue to recycle the same designs; they have become stagnant.

    We don’t need any more cruisers or super sports. Figure out what type of bike their loyal snowmobile and ATV customers would buy from them and build it. I’d love to go canyon carving on a light, non pimpy looking American made standard.

  5. Curtis says:

    For the love of God, please build something besides cruisers! It’s no longer a matter of having to choose between making cruisers or sportbikes. There’s no reason the couldn’t compete in the adventure touring/dual sport arena.

  6. Sapper says:

    I looked VERY hard at the Victory Cross Country but ended up getting a Road Glide as my first bagger. I was coming from Sportbikes and Adventure bikes, due to an injury I could no longer ride that style. I test road the Cross Country / Street Glide / Road Glide and went with the Road Glide. The RG was the best handling of the 3 in my opinion with the fairing/dask/batwing weight off the handlebars and better in crosswinds for the same reason. Im 6’4 so the Street Glide felt cramped to me. The Cross Roads was in the middle and the RG the most stretched out. The final nail in the coffin for the Victory was the bags, yes they arebigger, but they seemed cheap and thin to me, didn’t think they would hold up. I liked the mix of traditional style the Cross Roads had and really wanted to get one. The bigger motor and the features it offered stock almost had me. A test ride on a Road Glide won me over though. I hope Victory continues to be sucessful, it will only improve the offerings from both HD and Victory for us, the riders.

  7. rays says:

    I have owned many bikes in my thirty five years of riding. My last two were HD Heritage SC and a Road King. I started looking a Victory in 06 kind of sort of liked the styling then. Every once in a while I would go back to look at them they started to grow on me a little. In 08 one of my riding buddies bought a Kingpin. I rode it 2 different times because I could not believe it road that much better than my HD, but the kingpin was not my style. In 09 Victory came out with the cross roads. When I test road one I traded my road Road King that day and never looked back. The power, handling and the lack of needed maintenance. HD will always have a place in my heart but I was tired of the same old thing every year. Both bikes have their good and bad point. Victory is a 21st century American motorcycle and HD is still stuck in the 20th.

  8. Dookie says:

    Nice try, but that “Jackpot” is a Vegas…

  9. John S says:

    I like the way victory is doing things, I was one of the first to get a cross country when they were released back in November and I love this bike. Having had many Harleys over the years, I just got tired of the same old thing every year, little changes here and there but still a whole lot of things that aggravate me. Just look at the aftermarket companies that are making a fortune on Harley’s shortcomings. Even Harley themselves does things to treat a symptom of bad design rather than curing the problem.. Example: plastic wings under the seat to keep the heat off of the rider? A fancy throttle that when twisted the opposite way kills the rear cylinder to help disipate heat? Cmon Harley wake up. Keep up the great job Victory.

  10. RT says:

    My 2008 Victory Vision Tour Premium just rolled past 18,000 miles today. It is a fine motorcycle to ride daily on the commute to work and perfect to take a ride in country on weekends.

    I group ride to lunch with coworkers often. One coworker rides a beautiful 2009 Blue Ultra Classic from Harley-Davidson. Once he was asked by the driver of the car in the next lane “What is that fantastic looking motorcycle. Wow!” while they were pointing at my Vision. I felt bad for him. Here he was on a great looking bike and this person just looked right past it.

    When we ride on weekends my Harley riding friends just roll their eyes when people walk past their rides just to look at and ask questions about my Vision. I have to add fifteen minutes to gas stops just to make time for the questions.

    If you have not tried a Victory and other manufactures you are selling yourself short.

    In the end, every rider should ride a bike that is the best fit for them.

    Ride Safe
    http://Vision-Riders.com

  11. Seymour says:

    Victory just needs to kick things in the ass, that’s all. Something like – sponsor a film that appeals to their target market, and have a Victory mc featured prominently.

  12. Henry O says:

    Before I invested in my 09 Victory Vision Premium model last Sept. I spent 3 years testing different bikes, Harley Ultra Classic, Honda Goldwing, Kawasaki Voyaguer. It all came down to comfort, handling,reliabilty, and bang for my buck. I am very happy with the Vision so far, I have put on 15,000 km since my purchase, I love every minute in the saddle. I can’t say enough great things about the product, I am glad I never gave into the pressure of owning a HD, I have alot of riding friends who own HD’s, so I decided to be different. I live in a small community of about 7000 people, I know of one other rider in town who owns a Victory Vegas Jackpot, the majority of the other riders own a HD. The dealership I take my bike in for servicing always treats me well, they even let me ride other Victory bikes while my bike is in for servicing, I really can say that is SERVICE when they do that for me! I wish I knew more Victory owners near by to share a ride with now and then, I am sure I will see more Victory riders soon…..:)

  13. Justin says:

    Seems like Victory is taking a very slow, careful approach to growth.

    It’s hard to imagine a company that makes so many snowmobiles and ATVs is not interested in moving into different market segments; I’m sure that they are.

    But in a tight economy it’s better to go with a sure thing. They cater to the disgruntled cruiser-rider and thanks to a certain motor company there’s a fair number of those around.

    I wish they would be more adventurous. I imagine, if they really wanted to, they could. On the other hand, if they don’t survive, then so what? We’re right back where we started.

    So…me? Disappointed, but not discouraged.

  14. Ziggy says:

    Potato-Potato-Potato-Potato…..SaSaSaSaSNooorrrre!

  15. Jay Mack says:

    It doesn’t matter whether Ness actually designed the Victory or whether he merely leant his name to the Mike Song design. It isn’t about Arlen ness, personally. It’s about the design.

    It isn’t a timeless design. It’s a styling exercise that got old quickly. Just look at the Vision. Vision of what, Bozo on a bad trip? It is just idiotic. Who could base a complete motorcuycle line on that thing and hope to suceed in the long run?

    I presume the frame is good, so just punch out different plastic and get into something like the original TC, which was fine and just needed some refinement, trim work around the edges and some shape to the bags. Get away from the damn, two decades old ‘Nessies’ and goofy ‘8-Ball,’ ‘Jackpot,’ crapshot clown nomenclature. Who makes the motorcycle decisions over there, anyway?

    • Matt says:

      People may disagree whether they like the Vision’s styling or not but the fact still remains it has been one of Victory’s best selling models.

    • LOREN2 says:

      Timeless design you mean like a bike frame that was designed in the 60’s. If the Vision had a HD name plte on it, it would be their best selling bike. More power,more comfort and less pucker factor when you go faster than 95.

  16. Michael H says:

    I live near Milwaukee. The local Victory dealer sold its first unit to HD, who used it as a test mule. HD sends the Victory back to the dealer for routine maintenance. The Victory bike HD owns now has more than 60,000 miles on its odometer.

    The HD engineers who bring it in for service have told the Victory dealer that they can’t destroy the bike’s engine, short of running it without oil. They also said that the Victory engine is pretty much what HD would have in its bike, if a famous brand-name designer would finally retire.

    The Victory dealer counts eight HD executives who have purchased a Victory from his shop, and ride them on long trips, sans HD apparel.

    I rode a Vision. The design is polarizing, but the bike is superb, with excellent engineering and assembly. The engine is perfectly balanced and as smooth as the flat six in the GL1800 that I previously owned. The aluminum frame is rigid, the bike handles as well as a GL1800, which is to say pretty good, for a heavy bike.

    I’m not in the market for a new bike just now, thanks to the crappy economy. if I was, Victory would be one of the bikes I’d seriously consider owning. My interest would double if Victory offered an adventure-touring style bike with an upright seating position and longer suspension travel. Perhaps they will one day, and perhaps Polaris will transplant the engine and transmission from one of its awesome ATVs into a maxi scooter.

  17. Vicfriendly says:

    Hey Goose….. if I had spent what you have spent on HD products, and only got in horsepower, torque, and styling what people back in the 50’s got, for a hell-of-a-lot more money, I’d be staring at them thinking, “What the hell am I doing?” Straight off the showroom floor, a comparable Kingpin, Hammer, or any other Victory cruiser puts out over 20 more HP, and close to 30 more ft.lbs. of torque…. STOCK! Now if you go and spend another $2k to $3k on your HD, you MIGHT get the same stock HP and torque that the Vic has standard, then the Vic owner could add about $1.5k to his engine and get incredible HP and torque. Maintenance? There is none on a Vic product. Vic has riders that have put over 120k miles on their bikes, and most replace batteries and one has replaced a clutch. Nothing to the engine itself. Can you say that about a HD product? Not according to statistics!
    For me, I’m glad Victory is taking the modern approach to styling, and getting away from the TC styling, which reminded me of a HD takeoff. Ride one Goose…. you’ll forever change your opinion. They are fantastic machines.

  18. RBP says:

    I spend hours staring at my bike too, but what I stare at are the handlebars, headlight, and front fender because I’m on the road riding it. I checked out Victory because I liked the looks better than Harley. I bought the Kingpin because of how it rode. This article leaves the impression that something is wrong with Victory, but their sales and market share increases are outpacing their competition…Seems to me Victory is doing things just fine. Besides, I think a little variety is a good thing. I think every Tom Dick and Harry riding the same bike is boring. And NO, Tom ona FLWTF and Dick on a FLFU2 is NOT variety.

  19. Bikendad says:

    Why do most all HD riders think that Ness designed the Victopy bikes? Mike Song does the Victory designs and he must be doing an excellent job. Everywhere I go, people walk right by a dozen HD’s to drool on my Cross Country.

  20. Vic Man says:

    So when are people going to find out that the ness’s don’t design the enitre victory line. Those bikes are that are Ness series are just basic stock bikes that get a ness paint job and have ness acces. on them already. Every Harley rider out there can say that their bike is better styleing or looks so much bettere then mine, but when I roll into a bike night, my bike get more looks. Why? cause its not a black screaming eagle harley. I don’t dislike har;ey’s either but for the price and the preformance IO wanted more. Oh and everytime I have my bike out in public riders of all bikes and non-riders a like comment on how great my bike looks. Oh well people will believe what they want, these bikes haul ass and look great, and run on every start. You all keep bragging about how much attention your “custom” harley gets and I will just ride.

  21. ABQ says:

    I understand that polaris also makes a decent CVT…
    Not that the Aprilia Mana or Burgman 650 need the competition.

  22. Kawatwo says:

    Polaris makes some of the fastest “Sport” snowmobiles on the planet and is what they were known for when I was a youngster. The theough that they have no sporty standard or sportbike still boggles my mind.

  23. Joseph says:

    Why not a dual-sport? Polaris quads are top-notch. A solid dual-sport motorcycle designed and produced here in North America would be welcomed.

  24. ABQ says:

    For a company that makes ATVs, I would think that some sort of dirt or dual purpose bike would come naturally. The cruisers are premium machines, and like other American bikes, too big, heavy and expensive. Make a mid sized bike. It doesn’t have to look retro or reptilian. Just fun, practicle and affordable.

  25. MarkF says:

    Looking at the Cross-X bikes I can easily see a big standard, no-frills kinda bike. Kinda like a one of those in-line fours the Japanese four doesnt import. Offer that with optional windshields (National Cycle) and suitcase style luggage (Givi) to the European and US market and they might just reach out in a new direction.

  26. mechanicus says:

    The subtle theme of this article is right on. I think I am the rider that Polaris was originally targeting, i.e. a life-long HD owner who was/still-is weary of some of the aspects of HD ownership – hey, part of owning an HD is griping and bitching about this and that – we can gripe but don’t want to hear it from metric owners LOL. An acquaintance bought one of the first Victorys and I was curious and would have considered it. But, by the time I was ready the Victory line had morfed into the Ness/swoop stuff. To this staid old eye, every single one of the Victorys is just plain butt ugly. If it has a gas tank shaped like a turd I ain’t ridin’ it – sorry. I think Polaris was a victim of a very good marketing ploy by the Ness family [“hey, we KNOW HD’ers – we can get you in with them”] when in reality most just gawk at the garish Ness stuff, remark “Cool…”, but think under their breath “I wouldn’t be caught dead on that” and pass it on.

    I do think they can get this to work. The Vision fairing sorta works, but the tank area is just too overboard, and that tail end with the tour pak is just stupid. The stripped touring frame they show around looks good; I have often thought of buying a wreck or used Vision [although I have never seen either] and doing something with it. I guess I am suggesting starting a new parallel non-Ness styling exercise using syling cues from the traditionally most-admired bikes. Eh, they probably won’t and don’t care what I think. Just thought I’d comment. Mechanicus

  27. Tim says:

    I am not a Cruiser fan. But I love motorcycles and I like Polaris as a company. When I look at cruisers, I have a hard time separating the Harleys from the Stars. It is a lot easier to separate the Victories from everything else. Which I am not sure is a good thing when you are in the knock off market. Harleys sell well. Stars seem to sell well too. There must be a market for these types of bikes. Polaris needs to figure out what they are doing wrong if they are to be competitive. Maybe they can look at the liter sport bike market. From a distance, all the sport bikes look the same. It is not until you get real close to one that you can see the differences. Victory’s look more like a motorcycle than a motorcycle in the cruiser class. The right side of their motor does not look anything like the other bikes in that class look like. They are the only Asian looking American built bike around. I am thinking that is not a good thing.
    I find it fascinating that Polaris is still clinging on to the Arlen Ness styling. It was a fad. It seems that the auto industry has moved on. I think that Polaris should move on too.

  28. Adam Adaire says:

    Victory is too dependent upon the Arlen Ness ‘Nessies.’ What if you don’t like Alren Ness? What if yo don’t like that design? When is Victory ever going to sell you a motorcycle? You mean, VIctory intends to never try to appeal to lthe general public? Only to Arlen Ness fans? At this point, he practically owns Victory. Not monitarily, but style/design wise. Why does Victory give themselves 100% to a limited Arlen Ness design that will never be anything else?

    It was kind of cute at first, to some, although the style never appealed to me, personally, but now, frankly, it’s just gotten annoying. All the curves and sways are the same as they were on the first day I saw one ande I didnt like them then. They are pointless and very tiresome on the eyes. It’s time to see what VIctory itself thinks a motorcycle should look like, not Arlen Ness.

    Personally, I’d still prefer a traditional cruiser look like the old TC. I know VIctory hates to hear that but the ‘Nessie’ is just too ‘last decade.’ It will never appeal to the people it hasn’t already appealed to.

    • Superbikemike says:

      ditto….adam got it right imo…drop the ness influence… make a bobber….

      • Mike D. says:

        Or a DualSport with the 106/6 or Standard….OR ANYTHING but ONLY Cruisers…

        They had some cool PWC’s too… BUT! they chickened out of the GAME and gave up when they had something cool like the Genesis MSX 150 going for (750cc I-2 Turbo making 150hp).

        Ok, Im done whining. (^_^ )’

      • Mike D. says:

        OH…and Yes, im kinda FED UP TOO about the whole NESS-ADDITIVE, tone it down a bit, sometimes too much “Custom-Ness” HURTS.

  29. Jim says:

    If I were interested in owning/riding a cruiser, a doubtful proposition at best, I’d opt for a Victory rather than be an HD zombie. And yes it would be nice if Victory expanded beyond the cruiser market, but to do so they’d need a different motor and a more compact drive train.

  30. kpaul says:

    I love the styling on the Victory bikes compared to Harleys. Love the Kingpin, Vegas and all the 8 ball bikes. Although not a fan of the Vision, it’s great to see a company take risks on bikes like that. I wish Victory well now please buy Buell for me. I need my 1190 RR .. :) Nice article Gabe.

  31. Tom H says:

    Bought my wife a Victory Vision Tour Premium for our 30th wedding anniversary. Both of us have ridden some pretty unique motorcycles but the Vision tops them all when it comes to attracting attention. Men and women 16 to 70 years of age, motorcyclists to non, it does not matter. Leave it parked somewhere and there is almost always people standing around it. As for the ride, my wife says that 800 mile days will be no problem.

    There are enough choices that we should ride what makes us smile. The Victory Vision really makes my wife smile!

  32. mdhill says:

    Goose seems to love his Harleys. He just doesn’t see any beauty in the Victory lineup.
    Lets see the Harley batwing fairing came out in about 1969. the top case and bags are
    about the same vintage. If you have a good one it puts out 65 horse. If you want more
    power (who wouldn’t) you can put another 2 or 3 grand into a Harley and get about 75
    horse and they can hear you coming for 5 minutes before you get there. I would stare
    at it in the garage too. But my thoughts would be more like…I GAVE $25,000 FOR THAT!!!!

  33. Goose says:

    Why are you so angry Victory went for a huge segment of the market (cruisers) instead building bikes you and (maybe) 10 people like you would buy? Standard bikes haven’t sold well in a couple of decades, dirt bikes are not exactly a big growth segment and will keep getting smaller. Why would a Polaris executive make the decision to build bikes that don’t sell instead of bikes that do? Cruisers have over 50% of the market.

    I can’t speak for any other Harley owners but the two Harleys (XR1200 and Road Glide) in my garage are well built, quality products. I’m going to guess you’ve never ridden a modern Harley. I have, I’ve also owned BMWs, Hondas, Yamahas, Ducatis and a Kawasaki and had a ride on plenty of other bikes in 40 years of riding. I’m not rich but I can ride what I choose and I’ve found the Harleys are fun to ride AND fun to own. Could they be improved? Of course, just like every bike I’ve ever owned. There is also Moto Guzzi (V11 Sport) parked next to my Road Glide. Believe, as much as I love the V11 the Harleys are much better built. If you have a few hours I’ll tell you about the piss poor engineering on the dozen BMWs I’ve owned.

    Back to the subject, I wish Victory well. Besides no dealer in my area the styling just doesn’t work for me, I do agree with John on that point. I go out to my garage and stare at my Harleys and Guzzi for long periods just enjoying the shapes, the Victorys just don’t have that quality. The harleys and the Guzzi are also fun to work on, anybody know how the the Victorys are for maintenance? Too bad Victory keeps screwing the pooch on styling, I think it would be great for Harley to have some real competition from a US made product.

    Goose

  34. michael (from Sydney, Australia) says:

    Victory has produced a couple of really attractive concepts. Why not a cafe race style of machine that can still be used for the occasional interstate ride? Think of the Darley’s XR1200 but with Victory’s 106ci motor and a decently sized fuel tank, twin discs up front coupled with a single disc at the rear. None of that feet forward rubbish. It should have a “sportier” ride postion which means that the seat height would be higher than any of their cruisers.

    Another bike I would like to see is a retro bike (Bobber style) but still retaining both sporty and light touring capabilities (via accessories). Again it should have twin discs up front as well as a decently sized tank unlike HD’s Sporty Forty Eight (with its 8 litre tank)

    Why not install twin discs upfront for the Kingpin Tourer? In fact, all their bikes should have twin discs up front.

    Have been to Victory’s Melbourne showroom and, seeing Victory in the flesh for the first time, I was very impressed with the quality of their product and look forward to the opening of their Sydney showroom.

    • jimbo says:

      It sounds like you are another candidate (like me) for BMWs 2008 concept Lo-Rider, cafe racer, lo-rider, many cosmetic options, based on the lovely and lightweight (for the segment) R1200R. It may be irresistible if it ever appears.

      We can only dream what a similar bike from Victory would be like. Weight is the primary advantage of the BMW; it could be below 500 lbs curb/full tank.

  35. algarete says:

    My wishes and requests are falling in deaf ears. For goods sake Victory, build a freaking sport tourer or at least a standard with bags and wind protection. Is that too much ask for?

    • Ruefus says:

      With what engine? Even more basic than that – WHY??!?? Square peg….round hole. So many other manufacturers do it well. Heck – Ducati HAD a sport-tourer and dropped it. That should tell you something about how much profitability ISN’T in that segment.

      Sport Tourers and standards do not sell in large volumes. Why focus on such a teeny-tiny portion of the market during this time in the economy? Besides…..it’s hard to get farther away from Victory’s traditional target market than sport-touring and standards.

      Same situation applies to Harley Davidson.