– Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Victory Upgrades 2011 Lineup

Arlen Ness Signature Vision

Victory Motorcycles has announced their 2011 model range, including several significant updates and refinements.

The biggest news has to be in the engine and transmission departments. Dropping their smaller displacement motor for 2011 Victory motivates every model in its line-up with the huge Freedom 106 cubic inch v-twin originally developed for the Vision Tourer a few years back. We have sampled bikes powered by the Freedom 106 and believe us when we tell you that it is one of the finest cruiser engines available. Although every single 2011 Victory gets one, the Freedom 106 comes in either Stage One or Stage Two tune.

The Stage One engine produces 92 hp and 109 ft/lbs of torque. The Stage One engine is found in the Vision Tourer, Cross Country, Cross Roads, the Cory Ness Signature Cross Country and the Arlen Ness Signature Vision Tourer.

Zach Ness Signature Vegas 8-Ball

The other Freedom 106 engine has the Stage Two cam package and it is a beast among OEM cruiser engines. The Stage Two puts out 97 hp and 113 ft/lbs of torque. It wasn’t that long ago that large displacement cruisers struggled to make 60 hp at the rear wheel. The Vegas Jackpot, Hammer, Hammer S, Vegas, Kingpin, all of the 8-Ball models and the Zach Ness Signature Vegas 8-Ball each get the Stage Two Freedom 106 engine for 2011.

The other big news for 2011 is the new transmission, which is featured on every single model. Victory dug into its already competent 6-speed transmission and made numerous changes and refinements. Aproximately 40% of the drivetrain is all new, and the changes have resulted in improved performance, reliability and even sound. Acording to Victory, driveline lash has been reduced by 66%, while unappealing gear whine has been reduced, or completely eliminated in each gear. A “Neutral Assist” has been added to make it easier for riders to find neutral when they come to a stop.

The fact that the new 6-speed transmission and the bigger Freedom 106 v-twin engine are available across the board brings a lot of added value to Victory’s lower priced models, such as the Hammer 8-Ball, Kingpin 8-Ball and Vegas 8-Ball.

All cruiser models now get the nicer, more complete instrumentation found on the Victory Cross Roads that includes analog speedometer, blue back lighting and a large LCD that displays clock, gear position, tachometer and diagnostic readouts. In addition to the normal indicator lights for high-beam, neutral and oil pressure, there is an always-visible fuel gauge.

Oil change intervals have been increased to 5,000 miles for 2011 as a result of proven reliability and the new transmission design. There are plenty of other detail changes that you can find on Victory’s website, and look for our discussion of the new bikes when we post our ride review in roughly two weeks.

Before we kick you over to the website, however, there is a cool new trunk being offered by Victory for both the Cross Country and the Cross Roads models that incorporates a passenger backrest, dual audio speakers and a lock. It is large enough for two full-face helmets, and can be both attached and removed quickly, without tools. It is available as an accessory for each of these models. Finally, we should mention that ABS is now standard on the Victory Vision Tourer and Arlen Ness Signature Vision.

Take a look at Victory’s website for all the other details and specifications on the 2011 models.

Cory Ness Signature Cross Country


  1. hermando says:

    I have checked out touring bikes now for one year and as a 1970’s bike rider all I can say is the Victory cross country has alot to offer with that big engine for long range traveling and less break downs. its stylish, will made and its American made. Give the company a chance fellas, Harleys are still being upgraded with the new six speed and they are having a world of trouble in the quality control dept. with minor expensive repairs ,unless you buy a maintenance package. if it were such a good bike why does it cost so much to keep it running. the fellas I know with Harleys spend a GREAT deal of time waiting to get there bike fixed instead of a great deal of time riding. Whats up with that . GO VICTORY GO.

  2. Jeremiah says:

    Buying a Hammer S with all the trimmings was the worst motorcycle purchase I have made to date (4th new bike purchased). Nothing but problems, horrible dealership and Polaris *if* you can get a hold of a real person doesn’t care. The official response on 22 to 24mph highway gas mileage was “We have no idea, there is nothing we can do.” I cannot get rid of this machine fast enough.

    • Arthur says:

      Regarding your poor mpg, how many pounds do you weight?

      I find it funny you’re bashing Victory for their customer service when they happen to be rated #1 for 2009. If they can’t please you, I don’t know who can. Sounds like you’re better off saving all your money and not making any more purchases in order to avoid any further disappointments.

  3. justin says:

    victory is made in iowa not ohio

  4. Dominik says:

    The only thing Victory did wrong is that they unveiled the Cross-Country a year too late. If that bike had been available in 2009, I would’ve bought one. I got an Electra-Glide Classic. At that time, I didn’t want anything to do with the Vision. I road tested most of the Victory line this summer and I came to realize I should’ve gave the Vision a closer look before I bought my Harley. Kudos to Polaris/Victory for having the cojones to built bikes that different from the rest.

  5. ROXX says:

    Looks like loudmouth Mack left town on his ultra original harley.

  6. ScreamingEag1e says:

    The uninformed and undereducated always find fault in things. Can’t step outside the box that society has put you in and afraid to be a free thinking individual. Just like Sheep. How many have actually thrown a leg over any of these bikes and their competitors? Probably not a lot of hands being raised yet a lot of criticism. Next we will be criticising each other over the brand of toothpaste we use. Yes, I am buying a 2011 Vic. It is on order.

  7. Guy Manning says:


  8. webbie says:

    Hmmm — nothing polarizes like a Vision.

    I had a vision once, but this one ain’t it. All bling and little zing. Honda could afford to screw around with useless Runes, but even that didn’t have the rear overhang of a fifth wheel camper.

    As for outsourcing, there’s nothing anywhere with journalistic integrity saying what will now/later be built where. MN PBS did the only professional bit I can find at

    It nets out to the usual lame “can’t build ’em here and make money…gotta go where tacos are cheap…”, or paraphrasing the old song, “Anything they can do, we can do cheaper”. Last I saw, automotive workers in MX make about $2. a day, so how can you pass up a deal like that, geez, eh? Funny, though. BMW’s bread-and-butter bikes are still built by the highest-wage auto builders in the world in Spandau and they still manage to make a profit. They’ve even expanded production there. I think they call it working smarter, and not just cheaper.

    One thing sure: I won’t trade my two 10+ year-old beemers for one of the newest of what will be a “motobicycleta del Estrella Polar de Mexico” anytime soon. Abajo, y ademas todo bajo!

    • RCRC says:

      I am from Mexico, and now leave in the USA. And one of the reasons for the cheaper labor in Mexico is what you describe above about efficiency, and guess where that efficiency learning came from? the USA with the factories operating there, AND from not unionized environments (not saying unions are bad but some are and very inefficient and costly UAW?). One more important reason besides the economics of each country, is the Social Medical care in Mexico, every employee gets medical assistance for very low money, and here in the US we have to pay outragous medical expenses, as an example I pay about 2500 dlls/yr for insurance and if I get sick I need to pay a minimum of %5000 dlls before the insurance takes over, and add that every person needs to have a fortune saved for retirment medical coverage and there you have a big chunk of the cost. Canada, U.K. and France all have excellent medical services….paid mostly by the government with employees taxes. Obama to fix?.

  9. sam says:

    i think the elimination of Buell has created a huge opportunity for Victory – MARKET AN AMERICAN SPORTBIKE! and to proactively reply to comments that an american sportbike will not sell (citing Buell as the example), i truly believe that it would. i think every american biker knows guys who would love to buy a sportbike built in the states, by an american company. they just didn’t want buells because they were so unconventional. that can be good (eg. Britten), but in the case of Buell, it was a source of excuses. every single review would read “the buell does this/that really well, BUT…” build a more conventional bike to get your foot in the door, and innovate later. just look at what bmw is doing with the s1000rr.

  10. Jim says:

    Reading is so hard. The bikes are not going to be built in Mexico. You must be a HD fanboy.

    • Heath says:

      You sure seem to be opinionated about the Victorys. Have you owned one before? Since I’ve been riding cruisers, I’ve owned a Honda shadow, a Kawasaki Meanstreak, Honda VTX1300, Harley sportster, a Victory Vegas, and now an 09 Victory Kingpin. I’ve ridden my buddies Harleys, and older brother’s goldwing, and even tested a few crotch rockets, and I wouldn’t trade my Victory for all of the others put together. If you love Harley so much, then ride a Harley and leave us Victory owners alone. I don’t complain about Harley guys riding overpriced junk, and I would appreciate Harley guys to keep their opinions to themselves. I like standing out from the crowd instead of trying to be like everyone else. If you don’t like Victorys, quit reading about them.

  11. Ruefus says:

    All the lines on ANY cruiser can essentially be traced back to Harley or Indian or whomever. It’s Harley who has found a niche and never wavered.

    Sport tourer? Dual sports? No margin – no volume – no profit, and deeply entrenched competition.

    Cruisers? #1 market in the US, volume, margin and people looking for something unique. Like it or hate it – you’ll never mistake a Victory for a Harley.

  12. Bill says:

    For those that think HD is not “south of the border” I got news for you…they do build MANY parts for there bike in Mexico and inport other from Japan …and no that does not make them bad bikes ! As for Victory if I had the bling and they made a better bike than my V-Strom I would have one.

  13. Jay Mack says:

    Victory should really broaden its perspective and move into other than cruiser designs. Couldn’t they be competing with BMW? I’d like to see a much more practical, light weight tourer and sport tourer along the lines of either a R12RT or a Goldwing. I’d like to see a standard, too.

  14. Mike D. says:

    Some Victory models look great, but that’s it,(Hammer S comes to mind) but not enough for me to justify buying one (Not to mention they are way beyond my financial grasp and I have no practical use for what they currently build (Cruisers).

    Like someone already said, they should try building some sort of standard (think ZRX1200, Griso, Z1000, XR1200X, MT-01, XJ1300, GSX1400 but using their 106ci twins) or go Half Fairing like the old TL1000S or SV1000S since americans seem to DESPISE nakeds, lol.

    I bet it would be a total BLAST to ride and BOMB around town… OH, AND DON’T FORGET TO MAKE IT ACCESIBLE($)for folks like me (less than $9k).

  15. jim says:

    What a flying heap of steaming, bloated, design-by-commitee, slab of fantastic plastic. Sometimes you have to shout through the bullhorn, “step away from the Industrial Design department.” On top of the fact that its overpriced and the market for this is long saturated, the target demographic’s next set of wheels is a trike at best, or more likely a wheelchair. Riddle me this batman, what are all these crewszer companys going to do to attract future buyers, given the fact that 25% of them are unemployed and have a fico score equal to the displacement of a 4 stroke moto (450)? Want to make some money? short HD.

  16. ryan says:

    Whats so nice about these bikes some have a 6 speed tranny and nice suspension to boot.The Harleys have been around over 100 yrs and Victory about 12yrs.Harley needs to do better..

  17. Brian says:

    I think Victory has done a great job of offering designs that don’t look like another Harley copy even though they use the same basic configuration. I like some of the bikes, don’t like some of them. I can say the same for Harley. Like some, don’t like some. But neither company offers something that I would want as the only bike I would want in my garage.

    As for Victory moving production, have you seen where many “American” cars are made lately? Mexico and Canada…


  18. Cal says:

    I have always liked Victory and have test ridden quite a few. I would not buy one due to excessive drivetrain noise and clunky tranny. The story says they adressed these issues for 2011 if so then they could get more buyers and HD converts. Still too much money for the bike. Look at the new Cross Roads and Cross Country pipes under the bike…very cheap heat sheild coverings. for that price mufflers should be real and chromed.

  19. Matt says:

    These are GREAT looking bikes. And I know they put a lot of time and effort into each and every model. Not like the production giants out there that simply stamp out model after model. Way to go Victory, keep up the good work.

  20. Dave Oliver says:

    Nice engineering. Perhaps a standard version would be good variation.

  21. Gabe says:

    Before anyone can criticize a Victory, they need to go to a Victory dealer and ride one. You will be surprised. If, however, the only thing you care about is looks, how a bike handles, stops and goes is unimportant, and you probably won’t buy a Victory anyway.

  22. Ward Bond says:

    Victory can stand on its own. HD is old and outdated. If I want spend $12K+ for a bike, I’ll pick one of the Italians or maybe BMW. I like technology and improvement, but I will still go for a $9K Moto Guzzi any day of the week just to cruise around on. Ahh…the old days of simple standard bikes.

  23. Scottie says:


    You sound like an enthusiast who is emotional rather than factual. Read the SEC filings. Cruisers may be called the dying segment, but Victory’s sales are up 68% in the first half of the year after fairing no worse that anyone else in the first half of 2009. Overall, The parent company, Polaris, is doing well in this recovery. Also, remember that Polaris’ CEO was mentored by Jack Welch all the years he was at GE. He lives by “take no prisoners”.

    H-D sales are down from 300,000 units to 200,000, and most of the profits come from black t-shirts. Vic up 68%, H-D down another 10%+. Innovation gets customers.

    Again, I love my Stratoliner, which was innovative five years ago, but if Vic had the Cross Roads then, I would have bought it.


  24. Ruefus says:

    The Arlen Ness Signature tourer is a nice looking bike, ruined by that IDIOTIC black and white stippling. Looks like a pair of skate shoes I had when I was in high school.

    It looked bad then…..and nothing has changed.

  25. Dean says:

    Victory just keeps getting better and better. I may have to slow down and check out their cruisers… The Vision is a bit too “Advanced” for my styling tastes, but it is a good tool for gettin on down the road. The whole line is better than HD where you can spend more money for half the performance. But that also buys you into the Chrome L-ug-nut crowd, which I want nothing to do with.

    Victory, keep up the good work!

  26. Jim says:

    I’m not a fan of the tourer. I would like to see a sport version for real motorcyclist. Not a faired repli-racer or a power chopper but a real world v-twin sport bike. It’s a shame Buell was lost and Harley continues to build outdated, primitive bikes. Maybe Victory can succeed where Harley fails again and again. I would like to have a modern bike built in the USA.

  27. ko06 says:

    I don’t see myself ever wanting to own any of the Victory models of today and don’t use that as an excuse to bash the company. It’s good to have a deep range of design choices for all riders and enthusiasts. No such thing as a “hideous and useless” motorcycle.

  28. Chad says:

    Gee, who would have thought hat the brain trust at Victory would determine their bikes need bigger motors? Will there be no end to bigger must be better?

    I sure hope Triumph can bump up their 2300cc to something I wouldn’t be ashamend to be seen on, perhaps a 3500cc?

  29. Bob says:

    The only Victory that appeals to my visual senses is the Hammer S. Unfortunately, it’s still too long and raked out for my riding tastes. I prefer my chassis to be closer to the standard side of riding, like a Sportster Sport or a Dyna Super Glide. If Victory built something with a sensible riding position, better handling and cornering chassis, I’d give it a look. I just can’t stand choppers…butt jewelry with bad ride quality.

  30. kpaul says:

    I like the Vegas 8 ball. If I was going to buy a cruiser that would be it. Don’t understand the short windscreen on the Vision 8 ball. Of the Visions the 8 ball I like the best But I would have to buy a super hero custom of 1940s comic book fame to feel at one with the bike 🙂 I don’t mean this in a bad way I actually like 1940’s comic books.

  31. Scottie says:

    Victory go bust? Doubt it. According to its SEC filing sales for the first six months are up 68% over last year.

    The Vision was designed to shake things up. The X-Roads and X-Country were designed to squash the Road King and Street Glide. If they’d produced the X-Roads earlier I’d likely be on one of those instead of a stratoliner.

  32. Nice Bike says:

    I think cruiser motorcycles are a waste of money but if I was to buy one then the Victory would be the one. Harley Davidson is stuck in the past and will not modernize there line of bikes. I notice that Victory at least puts brakes on there bikes not like Harley with the single front disk. I do not like to dress like a pirate or ware shorts and a t shirt to ride a bike so the cruiser line up is out for me. I get a real kick out of the Harley crowd with there pirate costume and 3 foot tall handle bars and no muffler. Who are they trying to impress. Maybe the idiot police……

  33. Big B says:

    You guys sure do like to say how bad your sport is. Seems to be the sport bike arena is the worst next to Harleys for trash talking. I mean really, it is tuff out there. People are struggling for cash. Everyone needs to ride. Ride what you can and own it. ALL BIKES CAN BE COOL! Harley and Victory need our support as American company’s. All the ladies need to ride, they are not going to pick out 150hp bike. Hopefully neither will newbies. Cruisers are cool, hang out with some scraggly mugs and shoot the breeze at the local watering. Sport bikes, are cool too, going ballistic with the grim reeper ridin b*tch. It is all good. The new Victories are undeniably their own. Not straight out Harley copies. American innovation and “know how” and creativity with a big ace motor. Not bad at all. As far as looks go, do Americans ever follow? I dont. They built a bike that is different, not necessarily bad. You definitely wont mistake it for any other bike.

  34. bobbyb says:

    Cloning is for sheep. These are not clones and Victory can be proud of their product. I know I am.

  35. Superbikemike says:

    in these aweful economic times, and there cheapest offering is $12.5k to an astonomical $28k…..i feel they are in for a long hard year in sales…. i do like there product but there pricing, is big-ticket and high priced….good luck victory you’re going to need it….

  36. Tom Barber says:

    It is nice that this brand remains strong, so that people who prefer this type of motorcycle will have more choices.

    To each his own.

  37. Jay Mack says:

    The only one I’d go for would be the Vegas all-black one. Too bad it’s called an ‘8-Ball.’ I really don’t think of myself as an ‘8-Ball.’ I don’t really want to ride with 8-balls, either. They scare me.

  38. Bill says:

    I can only hope that this bike can even possibly fall into the old moped adage in its comparison to fat girls and the conundrum of being ridden vs. seen on it…..

  39. Nathan says:

    You all sound like a bunch of clucking old hens just searching for something to complain about. I, and many others, find Victory’s to be attractive and most importantly, different. If the 8 Ball Vision came with a radio I’d probably trade up for it. The “fuel mileage” argument is patently absurd as the difference is assuredly negligible, not to mention, there is no movement in the motorcycle world towards that, thank God. Complaining about the names of the models? Jeez people, we’re really reaching huh? I’d hardly consider the V-Max a cruiser, more of a muscle bike. My guess would be that if it’s not Japanese or a sport bike you people will find a way to bash it.
    You people want truly ugly? Try just about any recent Ducati eg: 999, Multistrada, Hypermotard, or the bug eyed CBR 1K, or the new R1, or any Gixxer……etc etc etc…..

  40. bagadonitz says:

    You’re all too hard. Everything doesn’t have to fall into sport bikes or adventure bikes.

    For some time I’ve been liking the look and ride style of the HD Street Glide. Think of this as a more modern better looking Street Glide for almost $3000 less (locally to me anyways).

  41. Wendy says:

    The vision should come with a brown paper bag. Not since that bagger BMW cruiser has there been such an ugly motorcycle. Thank the market for the recession so more tasteless individuals haven’t bought more of these eyesores.

  42. moonbandito says:

    give Victory a break. they put out a quality product. Fugly? how about the Honda DN01, Honda Deauville, Suzuki B-king, Kawasaki versys, and is the Yamaha ‘Roadliner’ better looking?

    cory ness version of the batwing/bagger looks good to me.

  43. Thoppa says:

    As everyone looks for ways to make more fuel efficient vehicles, Victory go the other way and drop the smaller engine and make the bike hideous. Victory soon to go bust ?

  44. algarete says:

    Where’s the freaking sport-tourer? Come on Victory, make me one. and don’t charge me $15,000 for the darn thing.

  45. Pat McDonald says:

    Finally, we see the real Batcycle. Is there a model for Robin as well?

  46. Marc says:

    They sure can make some ugly bikes. I agree with Mack about being hit with the fugly stick. My question for Victory is where did they find a fugly stick that big.

  47. Jay Mack says:

    Victory has some great ideas mechanically. But they are still saddled with the out of date, never was that attractive anyway, Nessie design.

    I also can’t stand the nomenclature. ‘Kingpin.’ Yecccch. Who wants to say ‘Kingpin.’ It suggests a ‘Pinhead.’

    It’s too bad they didn’t evolve the original Touring Cruiser look.

  48. Nick says:

    That ‘Vegas looks tough, and now with the 106, should run great! I like!!

  49. jimbo says:

    “…It wasn’t that long ago that large displacement cruisers struggled to make 60 hp at the rear wheel…” Surely you omitted the word “twin cylinder” between “displacement” and “cruisers”. I can’t imagine an early 1970s Honda Magna 1100cc V-4 liquid-cooled DOHC 4-valve made less than 60hp. Not even mentioning the Yamaha V-Max just a few years later.

wordscape cheatgun mayhem 2 unblocked games