2015 Victory Magnum Review
Victory's latest is a custom bagger that's loud and proud
Baggers are a big deal these days, making up something like half of the cruiser market according to Victory’s experts. Victory’s newest attempt to supply what the market demands is this highly customized version of its pre-existing Cross Country, dubbed Magnum.
2015 Victory Magnum
What you get is a 21-inch front wheel instead of the CC’s usual 18-incher, a slammed rear end that carries the seat about an inch lower, and some big upgrades in the styling department: There are four multicolor paint options, all of which are really eye-catching without being too over-the-top (not a skull in sight), and the bright color carries on through the dashboard and rear fender close-outs, ie, where the fender blends into the bags.
In contrast to the Cross Country touring bike it’s based on, Victory thinks the Magnum is oriented more toward urban use, and that the Magnum buyer is the extrovert who wants to be seen and heard around town as opposed to the long-distance rider who wants to get away from it all. To that end, it gets a new 100-watt sound system with six speakers packed into the fairing, which does pump out more and better sound than the CC’s stereo – and optional saddlebag lid speakers are available too (along with medium and high apehangers, a throatier exhaust, etc.).
The seat is all the way down to 25.7 inches, from 26.3 for the Cross Country. Victory says the rear shock linkage is redesigned for the same smooth ride, but the price you pay is reduced rear wheel travel, down from 4.7 to 3.5 inches for the Magnum. In my brief spin around Las Vegas on smooth pavement, it wasn’t a problem. Mainly what I did notice is that the Magnum’s low-speed handling, as in making U-turns in parking lots and things, was way more manageable than the Cross Country Tour I rode on a 5000-mile tour a couple of months ago – maybe because I didn’t have 60 pounds of junk in my trunk? But I don’t think so.
Guys who know their choppers tell me putting a big wheel on the front is an age-old way to improve the handling of any bike: It shifts more weight rearward, including tilting the engine weight that direction, the oil in the pan, etc. However it works, it’s a big difference you can feel. Crawling around in traffic, the Magnum is easily balanced and graceful. Victory’s specs claim identical rake and trail numbers for the Cross Country and the Magnum, but the Magnum must have a little more of both.
If it seemed like the loud and proud Magnum might’ve been a good time to squeeze a little more juice out of the tried-and-true but not-updated-for-a-long-time Freedom 106 V-Twin, we agree. But that didn’t happen. It’s still a perfectly acceptably torquey/powerful engine, but we do need to keep up with the Joneses, don’t we? Maybe the fact that Polaris is standing pat with it means the new liquid-cooled motor our man Dennis Chung uncovered in April might be here sooner than we think?
Anyway, yours in four pretty cool color schemes, including the two in these photos as well as black/gray and red/gray, starting at $21,999. Again, not cheap, but not bad considering you get ABS brakes with steel lines, cruise, the sound system and all the rest of it – keeping it roughly on par with the best-selling H-D Street Glide.
Victory says business has tripled over the last few years. The Daytona PD is the 46th department in the country to switch over to Victory, and if you’re a cop, fireman or military (like 30-percent of its buyers) – you get a $1K discount. Clamp your eyeballs on one physically at your friendly Victory dealer in September.
- Really good low-speed manners around town
- Stands out in a crowd
- You’ll be able to hear “Free Bird” at 90
- A little more “go” to go with the “show” would’ve been nice
- Still lacks the final 5-percent attention to detail of comparable H-Ds
- Personally, I don’t think I’m man enough to appear on it
2015 Victory Magnum Specifications
|Engine Type||Air-/oil-cooled 50° V-twin; single overhead camshafts; 4 valves per cylinder, hydraulic lifters|
|Engine Capacity||1731 cc|
|Bore x Stroke||101 mm x 108 mm|
|Compression||9.4 : 1|
|Fuel System||Closed loop fuel injection, 54 mm throttle body|
|Transmission||6-speed overdrive w/ torque compensator|
|Clutch||Wet multiplate clutch|
|Final Drive||Carbon fiber reinforced belt|
|Front Suspension||43mm inverted cartridge fork; 4.4 in. (113mm) travel|
|Rear Suspension||Single air-adjustable shock; constant rate linkage; 3.5 in. (90mm) wheel travel|
|Front Brakes||Dual 300mm floating rotors, 4-piston calipers, ABS|
|Rear Brakes||300mm floating rotor, 2-piston caliper, ABS|
|Front Tire||21 x 3.5 in; 120/70R21 Dunlop Elite 3|
|Rear Tire||16 x 5.0 in; 180/60R16 Dunlop Elite 3|
|Dry Weight||761 lbs. (claimed)|
|Fuel Capacity||5.8 gal.|
|Colors||Metasheen Black over Supersteel Gray, Plasma Lime or Sunset Red over Supersteel Gray, Ness Midnight Cherry|
|MSRP||$21,999 Black, $22,499 Lime, $22,999 Cherry|