Motorcycles: Out of Sight
Victory Motorcycles has introduced an impressive array of big American
cruisers over the past decade; the Hammer, Vegas, and Kingpin bikes each
displayed a fresh design and distinctive flair. Now, on the eve of its 10th
anniversary, Victory has again demonstrated its vision with the release of the
Vision, a futuristic-looking motorcycle that is available in touring or street
The designers and engineers at Victory—which was launched in 1998 by
Minnesota’s Polaris Industries, a maker of snowmobiles and off-road quads—had
been toiling in secrecy for six years, experimenting with the technologies and
innovations that they would incorporate into the Vision.
Victory claims that
extensive market research preceded the project, and that the brand listened to
riders’ requests. “It became apparent that dynamic styling and comfort were
paramount, combined with power, handling, good brakes, and dependability,” says
Victory vice president Mark Blackwell.
The Vision Tour, which has a starting
price of $20,000, has all of those features. Underneath the flowing bodywork is
a sophisticated, forged aluminum, hollow-backbone chassis that draws air
directly into a stalwart Victory Freedom V-twin power plant. The air/oil-cooled,
106 cu in, 1,731 cc engine delivers 92 hp, a stump-pulling 109 ft lbs of torque,
and a ferocious growl—an essential hallmark for an American cruiser. The 6-speed transmission transfers power to the rear wheel through a carbon fiber reinforced
final belt drive. The innovative chassis design incorporates a forged subframe
that provides for the lowest seat height in the touring class—just 26.5 inches
off the ground.
Despite tipping the scales at 849 pounds, the Vision Tour is
surprisingly maneuverable, even at low speed, which usually is the bane of a
heavy cruiser. The Vision’s agility is attributed to its low center of gravity.
The linked brakes assist with stopping, and the rear suspension utilizes an
adjustable mono-tube air shock to offer a comfortable, compliant ride. Although
the Vision is classified as a touring bike, it invites fairly aggressive riding
because of lean-angle capabilities that are as ample as those of the Honda Gold
Wing and BMW LT.
An adjustable windscreen and side deflectors allow you to
tailor the wind flow. The Vision also is equipped with mounting points and
electrical connections to accommodate helmet-based communication devices, a CB
radio, a GPS system, and an iPod. The weatherproof, lockable rear and side
compartments provide 29.2 gallons of storage space. The Vision Tour is available
in Midnight Cherry, Super Steel Gray, or straight black.
Victory Motorcycles, www.polarisindustries.com