2008 Victory Vision

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Practically Victory’s most refined motorcycle ever, the all-new Vision is simply a design and engineering masterpiece, a machine that redefines the luxury-touring concept with its radical and yet refined look. No matter model (Street, Tour, Street Premium, Tour Premium or Tour Comfort), the bike is best characterized through a long and low chassis which gives it maneuverability and a new 106-cubic-inch Freedom V-Twin engine which will keep any rider in its traveling schedule.

 

Introduction

Victory Vision

The Vision represents the biggest step forward that Polaris has ever made since producing Victory motorcycles. The maker hasn’t produced touring motorcycles previously, but it was all a matter of lining up to the market’s request and evolution.

But if it was to create a Touring bike, Victory decided that it would be best to result into a machine that will not only look and perform good now, but years from now so we’re expecting this model to be produced for long time ahead.

Competition

Victory Vision

Being a highly refined touring motorcycle, the first and normal intention is to position it up against the Honda Goldwing, the filled-with-heritage Japanese solution to the American type of riding, but Honda’s six-cylinder engine simply can’t be compared with a V-Twin, no matter the approach.

This makes us head towards Harley-Davidson. The first and biggest American maker has a range of seven touring models which are all about classic looks, leaving us with the Electra Glide Standard as the closest thing to the subject of this review. It looks massive, it has a torque-producing 96-cubic-inch fuel-injected V-Twin and it stands as Harley’s vision for the future. This maker decided that it would keep building the bikes that made it famous and successful, but Victory has just entered this road where innovation is the key factor in delivering a great motorcycle.

Exterior

Victory Vision

But all that greatness, in the case of the Victory Vision, consists in the way the bike looks. It is imposing, it is large and it is damn attractive. Designers definitely had an inspiration with this model and knew how to fill up all that space in order for their Vision to provide awesome wind protection and stand out immediately.

The front end is tall, wide and even scary I would say thinking how would it be to see this thing in your rear view mirror. A big stylish headlight is incorporated in the fairing and represents the starting point for all those refined lines. Also, the signal lights are carefully attached on the sides of the headlight in a V-shape arrangement. I wonder where this came from.

Something that you don’t see every day at American bikes is the lower fairing surrounding the bike’s gas tank and engine while keeping the wind away from the rider’s legs. There will be no problem in wearing an open-face helmet on the thing because the windscreen, even though not as big as expected, is efficiently arranged and does as much needed in order to let the rider see the road ahead without eating bugs and flies on the way. The signal lights needed room for action and that implied widening the entire motorcycle with what are considered to be both hand wind protectors and incorporated mirrors on an American touring motorcycle.

If I was to name the bike that I consider looking as close as possible to an UFO it would surely be the Victory Vision. Admired from the side, it not only looks like running with 100 mph at standstill, but it also makes an eventual helmet sitting on its seat look like it is meant to be there.

Victory intended to reveal the massive powerplant so the fairing ends where the V-Twin starts. The gas tank does feature the nice flowing lines with which we all got used to and so we are introduced to the low seat. It would seem like things are getting normal, but the rear end immediately changes this opinion. On the Street and Street Premium models, the side cases continue the descended design of the bike while Tour, Tour Premium and Tour Comfort are distinguished by a stylish top case which also has the role of a backrest for the passenger.

It will look awesome, no matter the chosen color, Solid Black, Solid Midnight Cherry or Solid Supersteel Gray.


Test Drive

Victory Vision

As good as a bike would look, performance comes first and in the case of the Victory Vision there are no problems related to that. Featuring a brand new 106 cubic-inch (1731cc) engine mated to a six-speed tranny, the bike has a gear for any riding situation or style and didn’t managed to disappoint from any point of view.

Twisting the throttle will determine the 91.7 horsepower and 109.2 ft-lbs of torque to prove their point instantaneous, just below 2000 RPM. It is all due to the intelligent gearbox which helps the big bike get going fast in the first gears and finally reaches an overdrive sixth gear which is perfect for highway cruising. And when it comes to passing cars, the best solution would be the downshift and a widely opened throttle.

I must say that the blast I had on it during the two days of riding didn’t left me with a damaged butt as the seat, which is positioned 26.5 inched from the ground, consists in four inches of foam, perfect for the long haul. Also, wind protection was absolutely perfect as the fairing and windscreen that surrounds the bike’s front end do their job spotless.

And even if I wouldn’t have been completely satisfied with the accommodations, the new motor featuring longer stroke and implicit more torque would have compensated for that. The upgrade also required new camshafts, pistons, rods, crank, balance shafts, cases and covers, but what I most appreciate are the 45mm throttle bodies of the new electronic fuel injection system. The engine has a healthy pull, perfect for long-day exploitation.

Engineers have spent a lot of time perfecting the Victory Vision and most of the refinements concerned the vibration which had to be almost inexistent. All parts that reduce noise and vibrations were called NHV in this enthusiastic and successful attempt. The result is simply top notch as vibrations aren’t able to reach the rider’s hands, feet or but and the riding comfort from all points of view will simply reach the highest levels.

Much to do with the smoothness and quietness I experience had to do the belt final drive with which the Vision is fitted. Barely noticeable underneath the right side case and exhaust, the final drive couldn’t have been more adequate for this type of motorcycle and for my riding.

Victory Vision

The six-gallon fuel tank will require gasoline fairly often. A gallon kept me going for approximately 35 miles, but it can definitely do best or worst depending on riding style and what the rider understands by touring. Also, if carrying a passenger, the number of miles per gallon will decrease and you’ll find yourself wondering when the gas station that appears on the map will finally be in front of you.

As a luxury tourer, the Vision is expected to be kind of a tough handler, but during the 600 miles I’ve put on it, I did not noticed such behavior at all. It is indeed a bit demanding and the 804 lbs shouldn’t be neglected, but as you twist the throttle all that weight seems to disappear, leaving you with an impressively comfortable ride that only reminds of your previous worries with its dimensions.

There is the optional adjustable windshield if you are set on finding the angle that suits you best and the goodies don’t finish here. Other options are the GPS, XM and CD changer. Standard are the loud speakers, the iPod jack and FM/AM radio. Optional or not, all of the previously mentioned equipment makes life on board more entertaining and inviting.

On-Board controls are at quick reach and easy to use making the biker feel well at home on it from the very first second. The adjustable mirrors aren’t that adjustable due to the fact that they are incorporated in the fairing and I had kind of a hard time getting a clear image of what happened behind me. At night, the headlight proved very powerful and efficient and the bike’s dimensions and weight allowed me to pass trucks and tourists as if I was on my own road. And I actually was, because after a seven hours trip I am begging for another ride on it.

Price

When it comes to pricing at Victory’s, the model is the decisive factor and in this case we’re witnessing no exceptions. Offered for $18,999, the Victory Vision Vision Street is the cheapest model followed by the simple Tour version with an MSRP of $19,999. More expensive models are the Vision Street Premium and the Vision Tour Comfort ($20,499) and the Vision Tour Premium ($21,499).

Conclusion

The second biggest motorcycle maker in the U.S. has definitely pulled it through with this one and gets a first place in everyone’s minds as it has a futuristic approach instead of the classic everybody got used to and mechanically it is as upgraded as it could get. It becomes a class leader and the perfect machine for crossing the continent, but the fact that it doesn’t come at an exorbitant price range clearly shows us Victory’s strategy.


SPECIFICATIONS

 

Engine and Transmission

Victory Vision

Engine Type: 4-stroke 50° V-Twin
 
Cooling System: Air/Oil 
 
Displacement: 106 ci / 1,731 cc 
 
Bore x Stroke: 101x102mm
 
Compression Ratio: 9.4:1
 
Valve Train: Single overhead camshafts with 4 valves per cylinder, self-adjusting cam chains, hydraulic lifters 
 
Fuel System: Electronic Fuel Injection with 45mm throttle bodies 

Exhaust: Split dual exhaust with crossover
 
Oil Capacity: 5.0qts/4.75ltr
 
Charging System: 50 amps max output
 
Battery: 12 volts/18 amp hours 

Primary Drive: Gear drive with torque compensator
 
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate

Transmission: 6-speed overdrive constant mesh
 
Final Drive: Carbon Fiber Reinforced Belt

Chassis and Dimensions

Victory Vision

Front Suspension: Conventional telescopic fork, 43mm diameter, 5.1in/130mm travel
 
Rear Suspension: Single, mono-tube gas,cast aluminum with rising rate linkage , 4.7in/120mm travel, Air adjustable 

Front Brake: Dual 300mm floating rotor with 4-piston caliper
 
Rear Brake: 300mm floating rotor with 2-piston caliper

Front Wheel: 18x3.0in 
 
Rear Wheel: 16x5.0in
 
Front Tire: 130/70R18 Dunlop Elite 3
 
Rear Tire: 180/60R16 Dunlop Elite 3

Length: 103.5/2629 in/mm

Wheelbase: 65.7/1670 in/mm
 
Seat Height: 26.5/673 in/mm
 
Ground Clearance: 5.8/148 in/mm
 
Rake/Trail: 29.0°/5.4/137 in/mm
 
Dry Weight: 804/365 lbs/kg

Fuel Capacity: 6.0/22.7, Reserve 1.0/3.8 U.S. gallons/liters

GVWR: 1414/641 lbs/kg


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