Victory Motorcycles have reached their first decade of production and which better way to celebrate the occasion than with a limited edition anniversary model? The manufacturer has concentrated on its most distinguishable model, the Vision Tour, which apart from a fiery red color is just a little bit longer and comes filled with anniversary emblems.
What we must definitely mention is that Victory will only sell 100 exemplars of this new, greater model and all have already been booked. But that’s no impediment if you’re not ostentatious as the Touring lineup also contains the already famous Victory Vision Tour, Tour Comfort and Tour Premium, as well as Street and Street Premium models, which are new for 2009.
The review concerns mostly the anniversary model, but all the unique features that make the machine a dream on wheels can also be found on the simpler models, the only ones now available, by the way.
For a start, there’s the most advanced 106 cubic inch Victory V-Twin engine which keeps going strong at relatively high revs due to the 92 horsepower that it develops and provides great pull from just above idle engine speeds thanks to the 109 ft-lbs of torque.
The lucky owners who wait for their Anniversary models will not only benefit of the reliable and smooth-operating engine, but will also impress more than a few buddies when hitting reverse and doing enough parking maneuvers to make it clear that they are riding one very special bike.
Features such as the button-adjustable windshield, heated grips and, also heated, ergonomic seats (with backrest for the passenger seat on the Tour versions) are known to be standard on the Vision, but the bike can be further accessorized with mp3, helmet communicating devices, iPods, as well as all kinds of navigation systems that are a must on such a bike. Even more, the anniversary equipment includes Victory tourtech global positioning system, the CB Intercom communicating gadget and XM radio for greater relaxation down the open road.
Also well worth mentioning and a real stand out on the limited editions, the billet wheels and sprocket, but we shouldn’t forget that when night time comes, the 10th Anniversary Vision won’t shine less as the awesome-looking High Intensity Discharge headlight is there to make sure the road is seen clearly.
Even though not as filled-with-heritage as anyone would expect from an American motorcycle, the Vision travels in time and returns to show us the way for Touring motorcycles. First launched in 2007, the bike is totally different from the timeless looking machines we got used to and has, indeed, a little bit of background.
Back in 1995, Polaris Industries sets up the Victory division, one that in a very short time managed to be recognized as a brand of its own. The next big step was the launch of the V92C, a 1500cc cruiser. From then on, Arlen Ness took over and Victory models started being introduced one after the other.
As I was saying, together with the launch of the Vision in 2007, the Victory name becomes notorious and the bike stood out as yet another American emblem.
But did ever Victory managed to say out with the old, in with the new? Not totally as Harley-Davidson is ingrained the hearts of riders all over the world for ages and as long as the Electra Glide models will be produced (that will probably happen forever and ever), the Vision has reasons to worry.
The 2008 Harley-Davidson Touring lineup offers a competitor for every 2009 Vision model. Therefore, the Electra Glide Standard is a correspondent for the Vision Standard, the Electra Glide Classic for the Vision Tour, and the Ultra Classic Electra Glide (105th Anniversary model) for the very special 10th Anniversary Vision Tour. Notice the difference?
All three Harley models are powered by the 96 cubic inch air-cooled twin-cam V-Twin which, at least in what concerns torque, is a little bit weaker. Only 92.6 ft-lbs are developed at 3500 rpm. But, more people buy these metal horses for their history and sound rather than for riding excitement, so still the fight stays rough.
A less rumbling, but more powerful motorcycle is the Honda Goldwing, also a fierce competitor for the Victory Vision Tour. In this case, the 1832cc SOHC liquid-cooled horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine fed through the Programmed Fuel Injection system with automatic choke will power the bike way in front of the crowd, leaving us wondering if the previously mentioned bikes are worthy of this freeway battle. Because that’s what the Goldwing is…Honda’s freeway machine.
Victory designers and engineers have consequently studied the motorcycle market before even getting to the drawing board and came up with the conclusion that the next big thing in the motorcycle domain has to be comfortable and very bold looking, a benchmark in the touring class if you will. That is why it got the lowest seat height in its class (26.5 inch) and the design leaves everyone wondering if this is not a concept waiting to hit the streets. No sire, it rules for a year now.
The Vision goes way beyond the concept of a cruiser fitted with a windscreen, saddlebags and comfortable seats. It introduces the fairing wrapped around a V-Twin engine, something that has never been seen before at a production motorcycle. This gives it its daring and imposing appearance, but the flowing lines are testimony of the levels of refinement found on this think.
The streamlined V-Twin powered cruiser was created to put an end to the wind protection problem that kept appearing at these kinds of motorcycles and the adjustable windshield has much to do with that. Everybody can now find its perfect riding position and with the simple push of a button direct the wind on the very top end of their helmets and still look great and ride in complete comfort.
With low-positioned, perfectly integrated saddlebags and trunk on the Tour version, the Vision looks like following a descendent characteristic design line which creates the choleric design.
Even though Victory offers this many models for 2009 (six, anniversary model included), the story is basically the same on each one, with only a few differences. The simple Vision misses the passenger backrest and trunk as they are present on the Tour version.
What comes special for 2009 is the 10th Anniversary model which features the custom stitched seats, backrest and trunk lid, saddlebags anniversary decals, and the exclusive 10th Anniversary badging. The limited edition model also stands out thanks to the exclusive fiery Red color scheme that it features with the purpose of further enhancing the already impressive design features.
Prices vary depending on the chosen model. So you will find the Victory Vision Street having an MSRP of $18,999 and the Victory Vision Premium priced at $21,699. The Vision Tour comes at $19,999, Tour Comfort $20,499 and the Tour Premium goes as high as $22,699.
We kept the best for the end. Priced at $28,999, all 100 exemplars of the 10th Anniversary Victory Vision Tour have already sold out by the time you read this review so there’s no need to deep deeper in your pocket.
Probably the most highly-refined American Touring bike ever made, a machine well ahead of its time and an inspiration source for others, the Victory Vision stands as the completed goal of entire teams of engineers and designers that have worked together in order for their mark to become a consecrated brand. Mission completed.
Engine and Transmission
Displacement: 106 ci / 1731cc
Type: 4-stroke 50 V-Twin
Cooling System: Air / Oil
Bore x Stroke: 101 x 108 mm
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 dual 45mm throttle bodies
Fuel Capacity: 6.0 gal / 22.7 ltr, Reserve 1.0 gal / 3.8 ltr
Exhaust: Split dual exhaust with crossover
Oil Capacity: 5.0 qts / 4.75 ltr
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
Front Suspension: Conventional telescopic fork, 46 mm diameter, 5.1 in 130 mm travel
Rear Suspension: Single, mono-tube gas,cast aluminum with rising rate linkage, 4.7 in 120 mm travel, Air adjustable
Front Brake: Dual 300 mm floating rotor with 3-piston caliper
Rear Brake: 300 mm floating rotor with 2-piston caliper
Front Wheel: 18 x 3.0 in
Rear Wheel: 16 x 5.0 in
Front Tire: 130 / 70R18 Dunlop Elite 3
Rear Tire: 80 / 60R16 Dunlop Elite 3
Length: 103.5 in/ 2629 mm (104.9 in/2,665 mm on the 10th Anniversary Vision Tour)
Wheelbase: 65.7 in / 1670 mm
Seat Height: 26.5 in / 673 mm
Ground Clearance: 5.8 in / 148 mm
Rake/Trail: 29.0° / 5.4 in / 137 mm
Dry Weight: 804 lbs / 365 kg (849 lbs / 325 kg on the Vision Tour and 882 lbs (400 kg) on the Anniversary Vision Tour)
GVWR: 1349 lbs / 641 kg (1414 lbs / 641 kg on the Vision Tour and 10th Anniversary Vision Tour)