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2008 Victory Vision

2008 Victory Vision

Thanks to
Victory of Mesa
for providing
the motorcycle
2008 Victory Vision
2008 Victory Vision
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Motorcycle Test Drive
2008 Victory Vision

MSRP Starting At: $18,999

From Victory of Mesa

by Kirk Johnson
Sept 2007

2008 Victory Vision Specs
Bike Model Victory Vision Street
Engine Type 4-stroke 50° V-Twin
Engine Displacement 106 ci / 1,731 cc
Transmission 6-speed overdrive constant mesh
Fuel System Electronic Fuel Injection with 45mm throttle bodies
Fuel Capacity 6.0/22.7, Reserve 1.0/3.8 U.S. gallons/liters
Primary Drive Gear drive with torque compensator
Final Drive Carbon Fiber Reinforced Belt
Brakes

Front;Dual 300mm floating rotor with 4-piston caliper
Rear; 300mm floating rotor with 2-piston caliper

Wheels
Front; 18x3.0in
Rear; 16x5.0in
Tire Size
Rear; 130/70R18 Dunlop Elite 3
Rear; 180/60R16 Dunlop Elite 3
Dry Weight
804/365 lbs/kg
Seat Height 26.5/673 in/mm

About the Bike

The Victory Vision has been promoted for about a year now.  I haven’t seen so much hype about a motorcycle in a long time.  Almost everything you heard about the new Vision seemed too good to be true.  Of course, you have to consider the source – the marketing arm of Victory Motorcycles.  Have you ever had something so elevated in promotion that by the time you get to experience it, it’s a disappointment just because the expectations were set so high?  I was afraid this was going to be the case when I was asked to come and take this new Vision for a test ride.  As Victory claims on their Web site, they are not trying to rewrite American history, they are writing its future.  After nine years of being in the motorcycle manufacturing business, did they really produce the dream machine that’s going to sweep the motorcycle enthusiast off their feet?

In the past, every Victory motorcycle model shared the same frame and engine.  How each was accessorized was how they were set apart.  Each model had different seats, tires, wheels or chrome, and sheet metal with custom paint jobs to make each unique.  Now the all new Vision is here and it’s not just a modified Victory motorcycle.  That’s obvious at first glance.  The futuristic look of the new Vision is a bold statement.  Love it or not, it’s one of the most recognizable motorcycles on the street today.

One of the technical improvements includes, increasing 100ci Freedom V-Twin to 106ci.  From what I can tell by the spec sheets, they increased the stroke from 101mm to 108mm and the compression ratio has increased to 9.4:1 from 8.1:1.  I was told the original 100ci V-Twin produces 104 ft-lbs of torque and 86 horsepower.  Now, the new Vision produces 109 ft-lbs of torque and 92 horsepower, according to the brochure.  This is a nice little bump in power and torque, but there’s also an increase of 128 pounds over the Kingpin.  The Kingpin comes in at 676 pounds and the Vision comes in at 804 pounds.  So the talk about the Vision running circles around the original line of Victory motorcycles seems somewhat of a stretch.  I will ride it and decide for myself; read on.

The Vision does have an adjustable rear suspension feature for the mono air shock with coil springs.  You can make adjustments using air valve on the side of the bike to support changing loads.  The six-speed transmission seems to be the same as the older models.  That has always been a good reliable transmission and I really like the 6th gear overdrive for interstate cruising.

One feature on the Vision that I hadn’t heard anyone talk about was the Linked Braking System.  The 3-piston, dual 300mm floating caliper up front and the 2-piston 300mm at the rear are linked when the foot pedal is operated.  On moderate to heavy braking with the rear brake pedal, slight front braking is applied to improve braking.  The front brake lever is totally independent of the rear brake.  Obviously if you’re in a hurry to stop, use of the front brake will be required.  

Of course, there are some really great creature comforts included on the stock Vision. There’s a 2-speaker premium sound system with convenient controls at your fingertips on the left side by the hand grip and on the right side you have the cruise control buttons.  Then there are four analog gauges mounted just under the windshield that provide engine RPM, motorcycle speed, battery and fuel information.  Then in the middle is an LCD digital display that informs you of the time, temperature and estimated miles per gallon along with the big number in the middle that displays your gear selection.   With the premium package you even get heated grips and seats (including the passenger backrest) and an electric windshield.  How hot is that?

Test Ride

When I first approached the Vision, I had to peek around at all of the new stuff.  WOW what a change.  It’s a bit too futuristic looking for me at first glance but as I spent more time with it, it began to grow on me.  One neat thing that they pointed out was the integrated tip over protection; structural supports on the front and rear part of the body and frame.  If you ever drop the Vision while stopped, it will rest on these supports, eliminating damage to the motorcycle and enabling a person to upright the motorcycle without a crane.  How cool.

After mounting the Vision, the first thing that I thought about was the size of this beast.  The fairing was so wide that I thought I was in a car.  But at the same time, the 26.5 inch seat height was truly awesome.  Even with the beast just over 800 pounds, you could easily maneuver the Vision around the parking lot.  Although, the Vision seemed big to the eye, as soon as I was out of the parking lot and running down the road, I found the little Victory motorcycle hidden inside this big Vision.  This is going to be hard to explain, but the windshield and fairing seem so big and far away and knowing how much this beast weighed, I was sure it would be a handful to work with until I got out on the highway.  Not so. 

With the low center of gravity and solid torque of this low revving engine, it was easily tamed.  All the time I was in traffic, stopping, starting and lane changing, I was impressed.  It behaved very well.  The machine didn’t seem to be as big as it looks.  I really liked stopping at the lights and being able to put my feet flat on the ground.   

After spending time in traffic, I was able to get the beast out on the road so I could stretch its legs.  First thing I noticed was the rev limiter and the red line.  The soft limiter is set at 5,500 rpm.  It doesn’t shut down, it just lets you know as it very slowly climbs in the RPM that it’s time to shift.  With 100 ft-lbs of torque at 2,000 rpm, you have a nice range of solid power.  As for the performance, it was very good.  It should blow the doors off any stock Harley, with the exception of the V-rod.  I do not think it will keep up with the stock line of 07 Victory’s though.  Grabbing the 6th gear allows the engine to idle at about 2,600 rpm at 70 mph.  There is plenty of torque to accelerate to faster speeds, although you would want to grab 5th to pass on a two lane road. 

As with the old line of Victory motorcycles, the engine is fairly smooth and seems quieter than the older models.  I would imagine that’s due in part to all the sheet metal surrounding the engine. One thing that I noticed as I was headed back to the barn after a long run, it got a little warm around the legs from the engine.  That was easy to remedy by moving my feet out farther on the oversized floor boards. 

Summary

Victory has made a bold statement by creating the new Vision.  The more time I spend with it, the more I liked it.  Expectations of the new entry were very high and I wasn’t disappointed.  I’m sure you will see a lot of them on the streets in the very near future and I am sure you will not confuse it with any other motorcycle out there.  Although the Vision didn’t live up to super status as promoted by so many people, the Vision is truly a great machine and a fantastic touring motorcycle.  Although this is a big cruiser, in application, it’s a very tame and easy to ride motorcycle.  This includes the low seat height for parking and moving around a parking lot or stopping at a light or stop sign.  With the abundance of low end torque, you can easily move about with ease.  Even though the faring is huge, all the controls are right at your fingertips.  Even the fuel capacity, six gallons, is huge and will enable you to spend more time on the road and less at the filling station.

Ride safe

Kirk
www.phoenixbikers.com

www.motorcycletestdrive.com

 

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