Victory may be the new kid on the block amongst American motorcycle manufacturers, but it has some significant advantages that “new” builders seldom enjoy. Namely, it falls under the Polaris umbrella, and benefits from the deep pockets and technical expertise that Polaris brings to the table. Victory started out making cruisers with an eye toward capturing a slice of the domestic market, and at this point it’s fair to say they have succeeded in gaining more than just a toehold and are beginning to pose a serious threat to the “Old Guard” brands such as Harley-Davidson and Indian.

Well OK, the threat to Indian is more of a case of Polaris taking some wind out of its own sails since the Indian brand also falls under their purview, but the point remains valid; Victory is gaining momentum. Join me whilst I take a look at the Magnum family, and let’s see if we can smoke out the reasons behind its burgeoning popularity.

Continue reading for my review of the Victory Magnum and Magnum X-1 Stealth.

  • 2016 - 2017 Victory Magnum / Magnum X-1
  • Year:
    2016- 2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Displacement:
    1731 cc
  • Price:
    22599

Design

2016 - 2017 Victory Magnum / Magnum X-1
- image 693371

One advantage to being new in the game is Victory has no deep roots or established style to try to work into its designs. The designers started with a blank slate, and pulled in the collective expertise of the Ness family whose influence contributed heavily to the sweeping lines that give the Magnum a certain flow the other American heavies lack. Granted, appreciation of this characteristic is entirely subject to taste, but it does offer an alternative to the more traditional looks prevalent amongst H-D and Indian models.

The factory cut down on the depth of the front fender skirts to show off as much of the front wheel as possible while leaving the full length for spray and debris control. A short front fairing and windshield provides some protection for the rider, and it lends the Magnum family a certain raciness that gets bolstered by the scoop fairing that conceals the front downtubes.

The upper lines plummet across the tank to the deep saddle, made to look all the more deeper by the stadium-style offset at the pillion seat. In the back, the lines of the fender fall off dramatically, a curvature matched by the hard saddlebags that leaves them looking more of an integral part of the bike, rather than a bolt-on accessory.

Housed within the fairings and the bags is the sound system that lets you share your favorite music with the class as it were. While the Magnum comes with a 100-Watt system and six speakers, the X-1 pumps up the volume with a 200-Watt system and a total of 10 speakers for your listening pleasure. Victory gave us the X-1 Stealth Edition” in 2016 This is a reference to the monochrome, Stealth Gray paint scheme and not any actual furtive qualities, because between the stereo and the exhaust note, the X-1 is about as subtle as a tornado. (Bikenado, anyone? Anyone?) The ’regular’ X-1 is anything but stealthy in bright Pearl White with Platinum Overlay and an Electric Red hand-applied pinstripe — their boldest color scheme yet.

Chassis

2016 - 2017 Victory Magnum / Magnum X-1
- image 666329

(Magnum X-1 Stealth Edition)

When one designs a frame for a bike with a 784-pound dry weight, and a 1,310-pound GVWR, all thoughts of trying to keep the bones of the beast dainty and petite go right out the window. Most of the frame comes concealed from view by the ample body panels, but the little glimpse we get at the steering head speaks to a solid, strong build. The steering head angle gives us a 29-degree rake with 5.6 inches of trail, numbers that are sure to prove stable on the long-and-straight, but are likely to leave the Magnum feeling a bit reluctant in the turns. That is, unless you are drift-savvy and know how to flattrack that sucker around the bends, ’cause the Magnum will certainly accommodate such treatment with aplomb.

A set of 43 mm, blackout, upside-down cartridge forks stiffen the front end and provide 5.1 inches of wheel travel, but offer none of the adjustments one might expect to see on such a performance-minded machine. The rear monoshock is a little more accommodating, as it comes with an adjustable air reserve for nearly infinite — and infinitesimal — ride adjustment through its 4.4-inch range of motion.

A 21-inch front wheel and 16-inch rear lends the rolling gear an asymmetrical look that plays right into the custom panache, as does the actual wheel construction that sports large flats that catch the light for a bit of extra bling.

Now, the base-model Magnum comes with sharp-looking, cast wheels, but the X-1 takes it a step further with billet aluminum wheels. For those of you wondering what billet is, it means the factory took a solid block of stock and milled away everything that wasn’t part of the wheel. It’s an expensive process, but it produces a superior product, so billet is good, m’kay?

The brakes necessarily come in a conventional, non-linked format, otherwise how could you pull off those awesome drifting maneuvers, right? A pair of four-pot calipers pinch the dual, 300 mm discs up front, while a twin-pot caliper binds the 300 mm disc in back. Plus, ABS protection adds a safety net to help prevent problems associated with overbraking, a very good thing considering the braking power inherent in such a set up and the heavy forces involved with controlling a bike that could potentially weigh two-thirds of a short ton when fully loaded.

Drivetrain

2016 - 2017 Victory Magnum / Magnum X-1
- image 693362

As of late, the major American manufacturers have been busy responding to domestic demand for increased V-twin performance. H-D, Indian and Star offer some big, 110-inch-or-better mills, and Victory is nipping at their heels with the Freedom 106/6 engine. This mill cranks out 106 pound-feet of torque, plenty to qualify it for the power-cruiser category.

A large part of the overall torque is due to the long-stroke engine layout. The 101 mm bore and 108 mm stroke leaves the 50-degree V-twin a bit undersquare; just what you want for stump-pulling grunt. Four-valve heads and dual, 45 mm throttle bodies let the big jugs breathe, and large-bore mufflers vent the waste gasses. You can open the circuit up even more to add horsepower, torque and a more authoritative exhaust note with the Stage 1 “Tri-Oval” exhaust accessory.

Instead of a chain, the Freedom 106 uses a gear-type, primary drive to carry power from the engine to the tranny. A compensator helps to smooth the power pulses a bit before they hit the wet clutch and the six-speed, overdrive-ratio, constant-mesh transmission. The final connection to the rear wheel comes courtesy of the belt-and-pulley final drive.

Price

2016 - 2017 Victory Magnum / Magnum X-1
- image 693372

(Magnum X-1)

The Magnum rolls off the floor for $23,099 MSRP with three choices of livery for 2016: Suede Pearl White with black and silver, Black Crystal/Super Steel Gray or Black Crystal/Havasu Red. For 2017, Victory offers the Magnum in Gloss Black, Habanero Inferno Orange, or Indy Red Pearl — each color with graphics A monochrome Stealth Gray finish with blackout treatment represents the only package available for the X-1 Stealth Edition, and it rolls for $23,499. MSRP on the ’regular’ X-1 for 2017 is $24,499 and it comes in Pearl White with Platinum Overlay & Electric Red Pinstripe

Competitor

2015 - 2016 Harley-Davidson Street Glide / Street Glide Special
- image 666348
2016 - 2017 Victory Magnum / Magnum X-1
- image 665708

The “Boulevard Bruiser” look is gaining in popularity, so I decided to look to the brand that helped define that look; Harley-Davidson and its Street Glide.

Both rides fit the Bruiser mold perfectly with understated front fairings, short but wide rear ends and tapered pillion pads, though there is certainly more of a flow to the lines on the Magnum compared to the Street Glide. The flow is where the Ness family DNA becomes apparent, and it offers an alternative to the more traditional H-D lines. Still the King of Paint, Harley offers the Street Glide in five solid colors, plus a pair of two-tone finishes for a bit more in the way of color options.

The base Street Glide comes with the Twin-Cam 103 that displaces 1,687 cc and generates 104.7 pound-feet of torque, just a little shy of the Freedom 106, and close enough to not be a point of contention.

Pricing is also close enough for government work with the Magnum family falling within the 23 K bracket, and the Street Glide covering 21 through 24 K, depending on color choice, ABS and security options.

He Said

“I don’t find the swoopiness to be as objectionable as with some of the other Victory models, but maybe I just can’t see past the paint jobs. While hideous may be too strong of a word here, I don’t think cartoonish would be going too far. Reminds me of my kid’s Power Ranger toys. Sure, you can take it and have it shot, but who wants to buy a bike and turn right around and pay someone to take it apart and repaint it. Nobody does, you want to get on it and ride, so for the money I think I would look elsewhere, or go ahead and line up the paint booth.”

She Said

My wife and fellow writer, Allyn Hinton, says, "I agree with my husband on this. While I do appreciate the performance of the Victory lineup with that Freedom 106 engine, I just don’t like the swoopy lines and the cyclops fairing. I prefer the classic look that Harley and Indian do so well. Now, that being said, if you think the classic look is yesterday’s news and you like the swoop of the Victory lines, you’ll be in heaven. There aren’t many choices in production bikes. The 1300 Custom Line lineup — Sabre, Interstate and the Stateline — and the Fury from Honda comes to mind and you get that look for less than half the price."

Specifications

Magnum

ENGINE & DRIVETRAIN:
Battery: YTX20HL-BS/12 Volt 18 Amp Hour 310 CCA
Charging System: 48 amps max output
Compression Ratio: 9.4 : 1
Cooling: Air / oil
Drive/Driven Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Exhaust: Dual-Large Bore Slash-Cut with Common Volume
Fuel System: Electronic Fuel Injection with dual 45mm throttle body
Transmission/Final Drive: Carbon Fiber Reinforced Belt
Transmission/Primary Drive: Gear drive with torque compensator
Transmission Type: 6-speed overdrive constant mesh
Valve Train: Single overhead camshafts with 4 valves per cylinder, self-adjusting cam chains, hydraulic lifters
Bore x Stroke (mm): 101 x 108 mm
Engine Type: Freedom 106/ 6 V-Twin
Suspension:
Front Suspension: Telescopic Fork / 5.1" (130mm)
Rear Suspension: Single monotube air adjustable shock: 4.4" (113 mm) travel
Brakes:
Brake System Type: Conventional w/ ABS
Front Brakes: Dual 300mm floating rotor with 4-piston calipers
Rear Brakes: Single 300 x 5mm/ Floating Rotor/ 2 Piston Caliper
Tires / Wheels:
Front Tires: Dunlop D418F Elite 3 120/70R21 M/C 62V
Front Wheel: 21 x 3.5" Front
Rear Tires: Dunlop D418 Elite 3 180/60R16 M/C 80H
Rear Wheel: 16 x 5.0"
DIMENSIONS:
Fuel Capacity (Litres): 5.8 gal / 22 ltr
GVWR: 1310 lbs / 595 kg
Ground Clearance: 5.3 in / 134mm
Rake/Trail: 29.0° / 5.6 in / 142 mm
Seat Height: 25.7 in / 654mm
Wheelbase: 65.7 in / 1670 mm
Overall Length (in./mm.): 104.6 in / 2657 mm
Specifications:
ABS/Cruise Control: Standard
Dry Weight: 784 lbs / 356 kg
Displacement: 106 ci / 1731 cc
Oil Capacity: 5.0 qts / 4.73 ltr
Features:
Colors:
2016: Black Crystal over Super Steel Gray (Base), Black Crystal over Havasu Red, Suede Pearl White with Black & Silver
2017: Gloss Black w/Graphics, Habanero Inferno Orange w/Graphics, Indy Red Pearl w/Graphics
Price: Gloss Black w/Graphics - $22,599, Optional Colors - $23,099

Magnum X-1 / Magnum X-1Stealth Edition

ENGINE & DRIVETRAIN:
Battery: 12 volts / 18 amp hours
Charging System: 48 amps max output
Drive/Driven Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Compression Ratio: 9.4 : 1
Transmission/Final Drive: Carbon Fiber Reinforced Belt
Transmission/Primary Drive: Gear drive with torque compensator
Valve Train: Single overhead camshafts with 4 valves per cylinder, self-adjusting cam chains, hydraulic lifters
Cooling: Air / oil
Exhaust: Split dual exhaust with crossover
Fuel System: Electronic Fuel Injection with dual 45mm throttle body
Transmission Type: 6-speed overdrive constant mesh
Bore x Stroke (mm): 101 x 108 mm
Engine Type: 4-stroke 50° V-Twin
Suspension:
Front Suspension: Inverted cartridge telescopic fork, 43 mm diameter, 5.1 in / 130 mm travel
Rear Suspension: Single, mono-tube gas, cast aluminum with constant rate linkage, 4.4 in / 113 mm travel, air adjustable
Brakes:
Brake System Type: Conventional w/ ABS
Front Brakes: Dual 300mm floating rotor with 4-piston calipers
Rear Brakes: 300mm floating rotor with 2-piston caliper
Tires / Wheels:
Front Wheel: Billet 21 x 3.5"
Rear Wheel: Billet 16 x 5.0"
Front Tires: 120/70R 21 Dunlop Elite 3
Rear Tires: 180/60R 16 Dunlop Elite 3
DIMENSIONS:
GVWR: 1,310 lbs / 594 kg
Rake/Trail: 29˚ / 5.6 in / 142 mm
Fuel Capacity (Litres): 5.8 gal / 22 ltr
Ground Clearance: 5.3 in / 135 mm
Seat Height: 25.7 in / 654 mm
Wheelbase: 65.7 in / 1670 mm
Overall Length (in./mm.): 104.6 in / 2,657 mm
Specifications:
Dry Weight: 787 lbs / 357 kg
Displacement: 106 ci / 1,731 cc
Oil Capacity: 5.0 qts / 4.73 ltr
Features:
Colors:
X-1: Pearl White w/Platinum Overlay & Electric Red Pinstripe
X-1 Stealth Edition: Stealth Gray
Price:
2016 Stealth Edition: $23,499
2017 X-1: $24,499

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended.

Image Source: victorymotorcycles.com, harley-davidson.com

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