Victory is Ours!
2008 Victory Vision Street and Vision Tour First Look
About a year ago, some of you may remember a news post from the 2005 International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach, CA. There, Victory Motorcycles showed an interesting concept bike. We mean "interesting" in a trying-to-be-nice way regarding the styling, but truly interesting in the sense of the parallel-twin, automatic-transmission-equipped powerplant.
We probably won't see that model any time soon at a Victory dealer, but we did learn two things about Victory. One is that they were very interested in building and selling street motorcycles beyond their traditional cruiser and power-cruiser norm, and the other is that they were interested in getting into the luxury cruiser market.
In December of 2006 they invited us and the usual crowd of bottom-shelf, two-bit journalistic hacks for some free drinks and snacks in a nondescript conference room near the IMS show in Long Beach. After we signed the usual embargo forms, we were treated to a slideshow and unveiling of a totally new product for Victory, a well-planned full-dress touring rig that has been years in the making.
MOrons and MOfos, meet the Victory Vision Tour and Vision Street.
Billed as "a radical departure from the norm" , the Vision Tour and Vision Street vault Victory Motorcycles -- a subsidiary of American powersports giant Polaris -- into the luxury-touring market. They're an unusual pair of motorcycles, with sleek, European styling combined with Victory's muscular, reliable and soulful made-in-USA V-twin. [Watch this video from Victory Motorcycles - 26mb MP4]
At the event, Victory's designers and product planners told us about the process and the thinking behind this ambitious project. Victory wanted a full-on luxury tourer for their customers, something that would supplement their Kingpin Tour. The first concept photo, shown in 2001, reveal a touring cruiser with upper and lower fairings as well as sculpted Corbin-style hardbags. Since then the concept has been honed by Victory's designers with the help of market research and plenty of ink and paper.
The styling is bound to be controversial. Many of you will mock it and say mean things. But many of you will be intrigued by what is definitely a fresh look that is a blending of many contemporary styles with plenty of fresh ideas. We see Honda ST1300 in the mirrors and front end, BMW K1200LT in the sculpted shapes of the rear luggage and more than a hint of Goldwing in the console and dash. And that big Freedom 100 cubic inch V-twin is proudly on display between the rider's legs.
We don't have a lot of details about the frame and chassis, but we know all about this motor. We know it's powerful, smooth and economical -- and with a six-gallon fuel capacity you can expect almost 300 miles to a tank from the Vision -- with overdrive and terrific roll-on power that should make it a good traveling companion. We're guessing there's a tube steel chassis under that swoopy bodywork, and judging by the other Victory models we've ridden in the past nine years, it should handle well, with fat radial tires (130/70-18 in front and 180/60-17 in back) and adjustable rear suspension. The brakes should be great, too, with dual triple-piston calipers and 300mm floating rotors in front. Wheelbase is a tidy 65.7 inches, and expect dry weight to be substantial when it's revealed to us at a later date.
Touring features are about what you'd expect from a flagship tourer. The Tour offers 29 gallons of storage space, with 12.5 from the stripped-down Street, which lacks that cool top box. The ergonomics are pure cruiser, with a relaxed feet-forward seating position and Billy Barty-ready 26.5" seat height, with four inches of padding to cushion discerning heinies. Wind protection is well-thought out, with an adjustable windscreen (electrically adjustable is optional) and adjustable side wind deflectors to perfectly manage the breeze.
Tourer owners love to customize, and Victory won't miss that boat. There are all kinds of touring electronics available, from a fully-integrated premium audio/visual system (that Fonzie claimed drowned out the DJ Victory had on hand at the event) to the now-obligatory Nav system. There's even an iPod connector and parking spot in the locking glove box. Victory also offers a full line of "chrome accessories and enhancements" as well as "an extensive selection of lifestyle and apparel items".
Other than the attached specs and whatever else you can glean from our photos, that's about all we know about this new model. More information will be released in June, and we will attend the model introduction (we hope) when that happens. We don't know the price, weight, and a lot of other details, but we do know that Victory has expanded outside the cruiser realm. Does this mean a sportbike, dual-sport or standard in the future? We hope so, as this company builds some very convincing and fun motorcycles. Whatever you think of the Vision's looks, we know it will be a good product that will get the job done, and we can't wait to try it out.
|Two Bikes. Two Types of Riders.|
Victory Vision™ Tour
Victory Vision™ Street
|Even the badging lights up... |
that's a pimpin' accessory!
|Preliminary Features Common to Both Models|
|2008 Victory Victory Vision™ Tour and Victory Vision™ Street|
|** Preliminary Specifications - Courtesy of Victory **|
|Engine Type||Victory Freedom™ V-Twin|
|Cooling System||Air and Oil Cooled|
|Bore x Stroke||TBA|
|Fuel Injection||Closed Loop|
|Transmission||6 Speed with True Overdrive|
|Final Drive||Cabon Reinforced Belt|
|Rake/Trail||29 Degrees/5.4 Inches|
|Front Tire Size||130/70-18 Radial|
|Rear Tire Size||180/60-16 Radial|
|Length||104.9 Inches Tour|
103.5 Inches Street
|Front Suspension / Wheel Travel||TBA|
|Rear Suspension / Wheel Travel||Adjustable / TBA|
|Front Brake Type||Dual disk, 3 pistons per caliper, 300mm floating rotors|
|Rear Brake Type||Single disc, 2 pistons per caliper, 300mm floating rotor|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||6 U.S. gallons|
|Total Storage Volume||6750 cubic inches (Tour)|
3370 cubic inches (Street)
|Colors||Black, Super Steel Gray, Midnight Cherry|
|*Note: TBA = To Be Announced. More information forthcoming in June 2007. Preliminary specifications are subject to change.|