Riding the Vision – An American Metric

A Concept Bike that Actually Looks Just Like the Concept!

Although Polaris began introducing the revolutionary Victory Vision to the world nearly a year ago, we hadn’t had the chance to take one for a spin until a chilly December day at Cycle World’s International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach, CA recently. Victory’s 18 wheeler was on hand with a dozen Visions that were booked from dawn ’til dusk for test rides. Victory1.gif

Pretty impressive display of fairings! Victory2.gif

The Vision comes in two models, the Tour and the Street. Cutting to the case, the primary difference is that the Tour has a rear trunk and 4 speaker sound system, the Street doesn’t have a rear trunk and is equipped with 2 less speakers. Each model comes in either a standard package or a premium package, (the premium gives you more chrome and an auto-adjust windshield).

Since the test ride set up was “first come first served,” I quickly grabbed the top of the line Tour Premium with all the extras shown below. Victory3.gif

The driver ergonomics were very well thought through for a pretty comfortable riding position. All of the controls were logically positioned so that an experienced rider could hop on the bike and figure out how to operate everything from the cruise control and windshield height to the stereo system. Driver floorboards were the longest I’ve experienced from any factory, plus attached folding highway pegs offered additional leg room. Victory4.gif

Time to hit the road…(What’s up with the blue jacket, didn’t someone tell the author that there would be test drives?) Victory5.gif The test drive course was about 10-12 miles and covered a small stretch of curved freeway initially, then another 8 miles or so of stop and go street riding. Much to my surprise, this 850lbs machine behaved like a champ. At first glance, you wouldn’t think that cornering clearance would be anything to write home about, but the boards were tougher to scrape than I imagined! The Vision is a well balanced touring machine, even at low speeds.

The Freedom 106ci, (1731cc), six speed overdrive V-twin was reasonably smooth and torque was sufficient for it’s class, (although this test ride was not 2-up riding with full saddlebags).Victory6.gif

Nice numbers and easy on the eyes, (easy to confuse motorcycles and women!). Victory7.gifspecsvision.gif Here’s some shots for those of you who like to see nude pictures… victory12.gif

The Good:

  • Great attention to detail
  • Nimble, easy handling
  • Nice ergonomics and comfort
  • Decent acceleration and like the 6 speed overdrive
  • 6 gallon gas tank
  • Ample storage, especially on the Tour Package
  • The Bad:

  • Not made for splitting lanes
  • The factory sound system isn’t bad, but it doesn’t blow you away either
  • $20K+ OTD pricing will be out of reach for many
  • No reverse, unlike it’s competition
  • The Ugly:

  • The look is not for everyone, and not meant to be
  • I doubt there will be any fence sitters, you either love it or hate it
  • Overall it’s a quality machine that competes in the high end category along with the Goldwing 1800, BMW K1200LT and Harley-Davidson Electra Glide. The Vision represents one company’s vision of the two wheeled future, so when the Victory 18 wheeler comes to town, I recommend you take one for a spin.

    -Thunder Bob

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