NEWS: Victory releases “Magnum”. We thought it was nowhere near ready and that they wouldn’t even be talking about it yet (has anybody seen Zoolander http://btbaggers.com/1xp1DFa?)… But here it is! http://btbaggers.com/X3gmuD. A brilliant move by Victory releasing this bike just the week before Sturgis (where last year they released the entire new line of Indian Motorcycles). Would somebody please tell me why in the world Harley waits until late August at the dealer show to release new models? They miss the most important and widest covered event in the motorcycle world and allow competitors like Victory to eat their lunch.
The Magnum has an impressive 106 cubic inch motor, 5.8 gallon fuel tank and 6 speaker -100 watt stereo with saddlebag lid speakers. This look comes with a wrapped front fender encasing a 21″ stock front wheel flanked by what looks to be a matching rotor. The tank has a stretched tank look that normally comes from aftermarket parts companies or custom fabrication by your painter of choice. They even did a great job adding a modified chin spoiler to hide the historically hideous rectangular cooler from the profile view (updated). It looks as though all models come standard with cruise control and ABS though we may be mistaken. Did we mention that this bike is $22,000 – less than a fully loaded Street Glide that doesn’t have all of these bells and whistles. Keep in mind, all of this is based on the Victory website and BTB has not yet taken the bike for a blast – we will shortly.Not everything about the bike is perfect. We would like to see a lower stance (including lower bags/fender) paint-matched speaker grills (instead of the black grills on the painted cover), chrome controls (to match the bars) and slightly more aggressive bars. The outer fairing seems to be an acquired taste but it is different enough than the street glide that it is hardly a clone. We also can’t tell if it has GPS or an iPod mount- points worth considering if comparing the bike to the Harley Street Glides. With this said, many HD purists are not supporters of digital tech on bikes making this a non-issue.
At Beantown, we are huge fans of Harley Davidson touring bikes – with few exceptions this is exclusively the filler for our garages. But this Victory is the first bike that makes us think that maybe there is life after Harley. A stock American bike with a chin spoiler, lid speakers, 21″ front wheel and fully paint matched (including inner fairing and bag latches) is impressive. My favorite feature is that the lower legs look good right out of the box. The fact that Harley continues to ship bikes with chrome uppers and brushed lowers is just down-right-wrong! Why should I have to spend more money to powdercoat the lowers or change them for chrome versions as soon as the bike arrives?These add ons for a HD would cost you upwards of $3,000. Most interesting is that Victory setup an accessory page directly from the bike page (accessories http://btbaggers.com/1kiKLQq) – quelling the criticism that it is too difficult to customize Victories or that HD provides a better platform for interchangeability. It is true that more aftermarket parts are available for HD but it wouldn’t surprise this writer if Victory began to promote aftermarket part suppliers.
In the column of “more of a hope than a prediction” is if Victory creates a bike-builder application including non OEM parts. The latter point is something we have publicly asked of Harley Davidson many times to no avail. Imagine if you could customize your brand new bike with Yaffe Bags, Carlinni bars, RSD controls, Thunderheader pipe, PMD breather and a Bad Dad front fender! These builders don’t make a large line of Victory parts today but better partnership with the manufacturer may go a long way.
Milwaukee, consider yourself on notice and we hope for your sake that the 2015 Road Glide really delivers to our expectations because from the specs and photos of the Victory Magnum, Polaris has beaten you to the the pre-Sturgis press.
Would you move off of Harley to this bike? Email us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org