Archive for the ‘Victory Motorcycles’ Category

RSD/Victory Motorcycles: Project 200 Video

July 28, 2010

When I first saw pictures (stolen from Cameron Brewer over at RSD: Thanks Cameron!) of the custom Vegas 8-Ball that Roland Sands is doing for Victory Motorcycles, I immediately fell in lust over its swoopy profile. That new tail section and dropped down seat, combined with the full fairing, really highlighted the design lines that Victory is known for. (It should probably be noted that I’m an Roland Sands Design and Victory sycophant — I just like the stuff that they do when they do what they do.)

Then I got really excited (starting to creep myself out here) when reading about what RSD is attempting to do with this bike. It’s called Project 200 and it’s Sands’ effort at building a bike aimed at hitting a Modified Partial Streamlining (MPS) record. Here’s a ‘graph from the RSD blog that explains it in RD’s words:

This Victory project is for the sole purpose of going 200mph. What started off as a move to do something different with a Victory turned into a quest for the 200mph marker. This has been a personal goal of mine for sometime and to do it on what was a custom cruiser makes it much harder and more interesting. Adding the bodywork and performance parts lends itself to setting this bike apart as a true high speed performer. It will soon be getting a turbo motor which will make it a 200 plus HP beast for both landspeed and the drag strip.

So now that Victory has announced its 2011 lineup and RSD had a chance to show this beast to the dealers attending the Polaris/Victory dealer meeting, this video has been posted.

It shows the early stages of Sands’ quest to hit 200 mph. We’ll try to follow along as they post more vids. Could watch stuff like this all day. Well I could if I got paid for it, so until then I’ll link to videos when they come online and then go back to my work-a-day tasks such as reading press releases, interviewing folks and pining for future press rides.

Rider Impressions: The Victory Hammer S

July 15, 2009

In June I picked up a 2009 Victory Hammer S from Polaris headquarters in Medina, Minn. Now, after one month and nearly 1,000 miles, it’s time I return the bike.

As a fan of all things with two-wheels, I would’ve enjoyed keeping this head-turner in my garage alongside the SV1000S, Tomos Golden Bullet moped and forthcoming two-stroke Stella scooter. Having a muscle cruiser like the Hammer helped satisfy my different moods – whereas I enjoy long, quick-paced rides on the Suzuki, I equally enjoyed implementing the Victory for shorter, inter-city jaunts. If the SV1S, in triple black livery, is my B2 stealth bomber, the Hammer S, available only in a vibrant blue with white rally stripes, was my attention-grabbing Blue Angels C-130T Hercules “Fat Albert” – heavy, but powerful and impressively agile for its size.
VictoryHammerProfile2
The bike attracted attention and garnered questions wherever I went, whether at the filling station, neighborhood grocery store or local bike night. “Go ahead and park it right out front on the sidewalk,” the owner of my favorite restaurant, Eli’s in Minneapolis, said after grilling me on the bike’s specs and my impression of the ride.VictoryHammerOverdrive

“Nice Hammer!” a guy in a pickup truck shouted to me while we were stopped at a red light. “I just bought one! I love it!”

The Hammer S represented the fourth Victory extended ride the folks at Polaris have granted me. The first bike, the V92TC, was a bit unkempt; the first year Vegas was better, but still not tuned quite right (needed more breathing, found through the parts catalog); and the Vision I rode for a few months last summer was hugely impressive in handling and performance for its size.
VictoryHammerFrontBrake
What’d I like about the Hammer S? I had a list of highlights I quoted to everyone who asked: The 97hp, 113 ft. lbs. of torque offers a healthy dose of acceleration, the bike’s outfitted with a smooth running carbon fiber belt, the sixth gear “overdrive” transmits a fuel-saving engine speed of 2,400 rpm at 70mph, it maneuvers surprisingly well with the big 18-incher up front and 250/40R18 Dunlop rear, and braking was impressive (stainless steel lines, front dual 300mm floating rotors with 4-piston caliper and rear single 300mm floating rotor with 2-piston caliper).VictoryHammerBelt

The list of things I didn’t like is much shorter: To garner the hardtail look, engineers placed the rear shock a bit too far forward, directly under the seat. It’s preload adjustable, but nevertheless transmitted some kidney-jarring bumps when traversing roadway irregularities.
VictoryHammerGauges

Victory Lays Down the Hammer … S

June 15, 2009

I picked up a 2009 Victory Hammer S from Polaris HQ today, June 15. I’ve noticed this particular bike is about Victory performance, and that my sportbike has tire envy.

2009 Victory Hammer S

2009 Victory Hammer S

After rolling 200 miles during the first few hours after pick-up, I do have a few qualms about riding position (see future posts). Of course, I’m traditionally more of a sportbike rider, so anything I ride foot-first seems a bit odd.

Still, this is the best of the four Victory I’ve ridden for an extended period of time. It accelerates impressively (for (more…)

The CORE — Victory’s First Rigid

January 16, 2009

A Victory hard tail? You betcha. With an African mahogany seat containing integrated LED tail/turn/brake lights nonetheless.

This is the CORE concept motorcycle and it was unveiled today at the New York IMS stop. As far as concept bikes go, this one does more for me than the early variant of the Vision that Victory unveiled at the 2005 Long Beach IMS. I could go into how I’m partial to this long, low and sleek look but I won’t. Instead I’ll post as many pictures as wordpress allows me to do along with the specs and a few words from Michael Song, Victory’s lead industrial designer.

“CORE is pure motorcycle,” Song says. “We wanted to strip everything not critical and build a motorcycle that uses some of the production technologies we have incorporated into the Victory Vision. The frame and engine architecture of the Vision was our inspiration, but we wanted to make a statement beyond custom and create something completely unique.”

The CORE is powered by a Victory Freedom 106/6 Stage 2 engine (which cranks out 97 hp and 113 ft. lb.). And now for some pics.

SPECS
• Victory Freedom 106/6: 106 cu. in. V-twin with 6-speed overdrive
• Aluminum alloy 356-T6 tempered 5-piece frame
• 304 Stainless Steel left-side scrambler high pipes
• Carbon fiber rear fender and fork covers
• Victory X-Factor Wheels
• Tires: Avon 130/70-18 front; Avon 150/70-18 rear
• Front Brakes: 320mm dual discs
• Rear Brake: 240mm single disc
• Suspension: WP 48mm-diameter inverted forks with 135/160mm travel
• 20mm Gates Drive Belt
• African Mahogany seat with integrated LED tail/turn/brake lights
• Dry weight 469 lb.
• Seat height 28 in.
• Wheelbase 64 in.
• 3.25 gal. fuel tank

Of course, Victory has a lot more to say about its new concept baby, but to read that you must go to the company’s Web site because it’s kind of esoteric and PRish at the same time — if you can imagine that.

Trust me, I’m way big on esoteric — I like to use words like aesthetic and talk about the feel of language — but how can I copy and paste phrases like this: “We want to create a new design language, but never in a way that interrupts the function of the motorcycle,” without coming across as a goofball? I’m even really fond of the guy who said it, Polaris Industrial Design director, Greg Brew, but a fella’s gotta draw the line somewhere.

At any rate, I’d like to tip my hat to Victory (I’m a huge fan, if you couldn’t tell) on furthering the cause of motorcycle design among the OEMs.

Victory’s Super-Secret Concept Bike is …

January 14, 2009

Admittedly, I’m a huge fan of Victory Motorcycles. Not only do I dig the motorcycles the company builds, I like that it is one of the more forward-thinking OEMs out there. For goodness sake, the Victory crew came up with the Vision.

Now the born-from-snowmobiles company is ready to spring something new upon the waiting public Friday Jan. 16, at the New York City stop of the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show. At 2:30 p.m. New York time (that’s 11:30 p.m. for you left coasters) Victory will unveil the CORE concept motorcycle. At this point, the only picture I’ve been able to find for this appears here so I thought I’d post it here:

core-crop-2

It looks like the Victory Design Team is channeling H.R. Giger.

The following is from the IMS site and is almost certainly channeled directly from a Victory press release:

Created by the Victory Motorcycles design staff, CORE is a reduction of the motorcycle to its most pure form using some of the latest production technology. Join the staff of Victory Motorcycles in the Victory display as they host the first public reveal and discuss the CORE concept motorcycle.

Hit us back up on Friday Jan. 16 at 11: 30 a.m. WEST COAST time (because we prefer thinking in our own time zone) to see pics of the CORE — as long as Pandya receives the bribe I sent him in exchange for the TOP SECRET pics.

(disclaimer for the literal: OK, it was an embargo agreement, not a bribe.)

Naked Vision (and one clothed)

December 9, 2008

Here’s some more stuff from out at the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show this weekend. I thought this was really interesting. I’ve seen a Victory Vision sans bodywork before but really dug seeing it again. Just being able to see the chassis, gas tanks, etc. go a long way toward explaining the final finish of the bike. I can’t count how many times people have commented on the radical design of the Vision while asking “Why?”

A Nake Vision

A Naked Vision

And one fully clothed

And one fully clothed

This usually precedes a discussion that goes one of two ways: That’s the ugliest bike I’ve ever seen on God’s green earth or Man, if/when I get a touring bike that’s the one I’m gonna get. Victory knew this when it designed the bike, in fact the company’s head honcho Mark Blackwell told me Victory set out to polarize the public with the Vision. Read it here. It knew it had to shake things up.

I was once riding one of these (the blue one) down to San Diego. I stopped at a rest stop and decided to take some pics. While shooting a guy came over, started chatting and then after confirming that I wasn’t the owner or a Victory employee decided to tell me how horrible, ugly and freakish he thought the Visions were. The whole time I was thinking, really, I actually like them.

Oh well, there’s a style for every taste.