by Adam Waheed

Victory Motorcycles

Another year, another new batch of shiny new motorcycles from Victory Motorcycles. Highlighting this American motorcycle manufacturer’s 2010 line-up is some upgraded creature comforts, new colorways, and two all-new motorcycle models. A new rigid-frame concept performance cruiser motorcycle, tagged the CORE was also shown, and, once you lay eyes on it you’ll wonder why Victory hasn’t started production on it yet.

This coming year, a motorcycle touring enthusiast will have two new options within Victory’s touring line: The Victory Cross Country and Cross Roads motorcycles. Both models are designed to compete directly against Harley-Davidson’s Road King. Similar to the Victory Vision, both motorcycles are designed for long distance riding and differ only in outward appearance, with the Cross Country offering full fairings designed to protect the rider from wind and the effects of the road and the Cross Roads maintaining a classic-styling look with a windshield.

Both of these machines are powered by the air-cooled Freedom 106 cubic-inch (1731cc) V-Twin engine fed from a 5.8 gallon fuel tank. The Twin sports a compact 50-degree cylinder angle and four-valve cylinder heads each operated by its own camshaft and fuel-injection. A 6-speed transmission puts the power to the rear wheel via a maintenance-free belt final drive.

Each bike’s chassis is comprised of a two-piece, aluminum frame that like all Victory motorcycles uses the engine as a stressed chassis component. Victory’s proprietary CORE chassis technology ensures that both bikes carry the bulk of their mass as low as possible, making for easy handling manners at any speed.

In the suspension department, both motorcycles use a 43mm inverted fork with 5.1 inches of travel and an air-adjustable mono-tube shock absorber with 4.7 inches of stroke. The suspension is designed to complement the chassis by providing friendly handling manners without compromising ride quality.

Brakes are also shared between models, highlighted by the use of twin 300mm brake discs each controlled by a four-piston caliper at the front wheel with a single double-piston caliper latching onto a 300mm disc at the rear wheel. The brakes are attached to lighter “Roulette” style hollow-spoke rims. Since long distance touring are what both of these machines are about, they are wisely equipped with Dunlop’s Elite 3 touring tire.

One of the key benefits of Victory’s chassis technology is its low seat. Both machines feature a lowest-in-class 26.25-inch seat height. Another best-in-class is its use of 18-inch-long floorboards that allow the operator added legroom in the cockpit. Additional rider customization comes in the form of the height-adjustable handlebars.

Twin saddlebags each offer approximately 10.65 gallons of cargo capacity and can carry up to 25 pounds. This gives the Victory rider more possibilities in terms of what they can bring with them compared to other motorcycle in its class.

The $17,999 Cross Country and $15,999 Cross Roads come in two different color schemes: Solid Black or Solid Midnight Cherry. Additionally the Cross Country is also available in Black and Graphite with Extreme Skulls. Like all Victory Motorcycles, both bikes come with a five-year warranty.

Victory Vision

The radically styled Vision returns for 2010 in four unique iterations: the Vision Tour, Vision Tour ABS, Vision 8-Ball and Arlen Ness Signature Series Vision. All of the versions feature the same air-cooled Freedom 106 cubic-inch (1731cc) V-Twin engine, 6-speed transmission and 6-gallon fuel tank.

The chassis still uses CORE technology which allows for a low seat height. Up front a 46mm fork suppresses the effects of rough pavement while an air-adjustable rear shock absorber provides damping at the other end of the motorcycle.

The Vision is equipped with a variety of creature comforts including wide and thick seats with a built-in heating element. Cruise control is also standard, as is its iPod or GPS-ready audio system. Furthermore the Vision has standard heated grips and the windscreen can also be electronically adjusted up or down. In addition to the storage compartment in the cockpit, twin, side-mounted containers are attached to the bike on both sides. There’s also a rear storage container behind the passenger seat that can hold two full-face helmets. All the containers are lockable and waterproof.

Upgrades for this year include an updated sidestand that’s easier for your left foot to find when parking. In terms of comfort, an opening in the rider’s seat is designed to accept an accessory Driver Backrest, for added comfort out on the road. The auxiliary power receptacles have also been changed to a cigarette lighter-style. The audio screen offers more information and a higher display resolution. Helping the rider enjoy their tunes is a silencer-type device inserted in the airbox which reduces intake noise without sacrificing performance. Heated seats, grips, cruise control and electronically-controlled windshield all remain standard.

In terms of braking the Vision offers a linked braking system, in which the front and rear brakes work in unison. Up front twin 300mm brake discs are each controlled by a three-piston caliper. A single 300mm disc and twin-piston caliper is mounted to the billet “Anvil” style wheel.

The Vision Tour ABS model reduces the likelihood of the motorcycle skidding during braking by adding an auto-derived anti-lock brake system (ABS). The system uses independent wheel speed sensors to prevent either wheel from locking up on slippery surfaces or during aggressive brake application. As opposed to the standard Vision’s linked braking system, the ABS version only links the rear brake to the front, not vice-versa. When the front lever is depressed it provides no rear linked braking effect. The Vision Tour ABS also gets its own unique Solid Black colorway.

The Vision 8-Ball gives the Vision a bit more street cred, by lowering the motorcycle’s rear suspension by one inch and the seat by two inches, bringing seat height down to just 24.5-inches. The shorter and narrower seat brings the rider closer to the handlebars and allows them to more easily touch the ground. Aesthetically, the 8-Ball replaces chrome for blacked-out pieces, gets the “Roulette” wheels and deletes the rear storage compartment, heated seats and grips, cruise control, as well as the windshield electronics, providing a more minimalistic motorcycle. Price on the Vision 8-Ball is $17,999.

Bike builder Arlen Ness continues his relationship with Victory, this year releasing a limited-edition Arlen Ness Signature Series Vision. This machines stands out compared to a standard Vision with its custom paint with Ness name plates and logos. Many of its components including the dashboard and center console were also blacked-out.

Suspension was lowered one inch, which also brings the Ness stitched leather seat down to 25.5-inches. This signature Ness also rolls on custom billet wheels with similarly styled handgrips and engine covers. Pricing on all the Victory Vision models, with the exception of the 8-Ball, has yet to be announced.

Victory Vegas

The Vegas returns for 2010 in four distinct flavors including: the Vegas, Vegas 8-Ball, Vegas Jackpot and the limited-edition Cory Ness Vegas Jackpot. Each version benefits from a lower seat and revised hand and foot controls designed to make the Vegas easier to ride. Specifically, the height of its seat has been reduced by 1.3 inches and now measures just 25.2 inches off of the ground. The reach to the handlebars is shorter and the footpegs have also been relocated further back. This coming year’s Vegas will come in two colors: Solid Pearl White and Two-tone Sunset Red/Pearl White.

Powering the Vegas is an air-cooled 100 cubic-inch (1634cc) Freedom V-Twin engine mated to a 6-speed transmission. The set-up only differs from the larger engine in terms of its 6mm shorter piston stroke. Aside from that and its slightly lower compression ratio, the engines are identical.

Its suspension is comprised of a 43mm diameter fork that offers 5.1 inches of impact absorbing travel. Out back a single preload-adjustable gas-charged shock absorber provides 3 inches of travel.

The Vegas 8-Ball gets the same blacked-out treatment as the other 8-Ball models including: wheels, mirrors, triple clamps, and swingarm. The rider seat also has a different stitched cover. A passenger seat and footpegs are also absent, giving the bike a cleaner, more urban look. The 8-Ball also has a 5-speed transmission.

The Vegas Jackpot continues with the Vegas’ stretched out and low styling theme, but this one has a chrome fork and triple clamp. Billet aluminum wheels are also standard. It comes in two colors: Tequila Gold and Solid Black. Both the frame and swingarm are color matched as well.

The Jackpot also receives the longer stroke 106 cubic-inch engine with higher spec camshafts and a 6-speed transmission. It puts the power back to a custom billet wheels with a wider 250mm wide Dunlop rear tire.

The Cory Ness Signature Series Jackpot is the high-end Vegas model in this year’s line-up and features Fireball Red paint with custom graphics designed by the Ness. It also has a different set of billet wheels with matching sprocket. A chrome taillight was also added and the top of the headlight was painted to match the bike. Other Ness accessories have been liberally applied including handlebars and grips, hand and foot controls as well as a stitched leather seat. The Cory Ness Jackpot is also bestowed with the same up-spec 106 cubic-inch engine and fat 250mm rear tire. Price has yet to be released on all Vegas models.

Victory Kingpin

Victory Motorcycles classic cruiser, the Kingpin comes in two variants for 2010: the Kingpin and the Kingpin 8-ball. The Kingpin comes with the 100 cubic-inch Freedom V-Twin engine with the 6-speed transmission. New features for this year include the fuel cap, wheels, and braking components all finished in black. The colored fuel tank emblem replaces last year’s monochrome badge. The Kingpin comes in Solid Midnight Cherry and Two-tone Ocean Blue/Sandstone Metallic.

The Kingpin 8-Ball differs from the standard model with a lower seat, reworked floorboards moved two inches back and an updated handlebar sweep said to make the bike easier to ride for smaller riders.

Aesthetically, the Kingpin 8-Ball gets the blacked-out treatment on the mirrors, front fork triple clamp and swingarm. The rider’s seat also has a stitched cover and the passenger seat and footpegs are deleted.

Victory Hammer

Victory’s muscle cruiser, the Hammer, is back for 2010 in three variations: the Hammer, Hammer S and you guessed it, the Hammer 8-Ball. All bikes benefit from Victory’s hopped up Freedom 106 cubic-inch V-Twin engine and 6-speed transmission that put back to a fat 250mm rear tire.

Updates for this year are limited to a new handlebar and black fuel cap, wheels and brake components just like on the Kingpin. Pricing on the Hammer and Hammer S models have yet to be released.

The Hammer S model uses lighter “X-Factor” wheels that come in either black or blue and a silver or black fork depending on the Suede Black/White and Boardwalk Blue paint schemes you choose. The S model also gets the black treatment on each individual component and the tank emblem is now colored. The Hammer 8-Ball uses a lower reworked seat and gets the full black component treatment as well and costs $14,499.