Victory Magnum Test Ride
‘Magnum Opus’ is a Latin term used to describe the ‘great work’ of an artist or musician - their signature piece.
It’s also a conveniently apt way to describe the 2015 Victory Magnum that I spent the best part of a week, having the best time, cruising and touring around SE Queensland on.
I found this to be a great piece of work in a number of ways.
Town and Country.
It’s a very enjoyable and quite versatile ride. For me it’s something of a crossover between a Cruiser and a Touring motorcycle - and it does both jobs well.
The first thing that got me as Robertino wheeled it out of the Victory Brisbane showroom was how aesthetically pleasing I found the machine. It beckoned me to ride the wheels off it, and I did – every chance that came my way. A long way.
The next thing that struck me was how wonderfully comfortable the bike is. Victory claim that the 667mm saddle height is the lowest in the class, but it still remains very comfortable for a taller rider (I’m 195cm). This one is ride-all-day good. The saddle is one of the most comfortable I’ve parked my butt in. Plush.
The pulled back handlebars give a ‘sit at the table’ riding position and the footboards are long and wide and offer a variety of leg positions for relaxed or sporty attitudes. (There are also OEM mini apes available). If your legs are long enough you can even hang your heels off the scalloped front edge of the boards and they work like very comfortable highway pegs.
The dash and cockpit are also very attractive. The instruments are very legible and they display the usual luxury motorcycle array of data. Right down to the ambient temperature thermometer.
The dash is colour matched with the bodywork and it gives a beautifully integrated ‘hot rod’ feel while the 100W stereo really pumps. Naturally for a luxury motorcycle these days it has full bluetooth connectivity for phone or music device and there are power outlets on the dash and a handy USB connector in the RH pannier.
The other creature comforts are all well done too. The cruise control switches are located on the RH switch block and the sound system’s buttons are hung under the left. The other switchgear is Victory standard and the LED headlight casts a wide, flat spread with an additional spotlight coming into play on high beam.
Feel the stability.
The 21” front with low profile rubber and premium cast wheel, sitting in 43mm telescopic forks, also add to the visual appeal, as well as making it a very stable open road motorcycle.
The test bike is fitted with a shorty windscreen that is great for around town and cruiser work. For longer trips there is a larger touring screen available (Klockwerks Flare – RRP $375) and the changeover is simple. It will alleviate some of the minor buffeting that comes off the shorty at freeway and open road speeds and then it’s simply a matter of deciding on a direction. Both screens fit around a fixed pressure equalisation vent at their base.
Touring speeds are where the 21” front end really comes into its own. The steering is light, precise and the stability that the larger hoop and excellent geometry provides is quite noticeable.
The bike is nimble for one tipping the scales at 345kg dry and low speed turns or side to side action is rewarding and the size of the hoop doesn’t interfere, but what really impressed me is the bike’s rock-solid feel on the super-slab or over country back roads. Firm and planted and (Dale Kerrigan voice: whatever the opposite of ‘skittish’ is – this is it.) Just sit back and relax - and enjoy how good riding this bike feels. Seriously.
The 106 cube Victory engine is pretty familiar now. The 1731cc, SOHC 4-valve unit is smooth and revs readily to the five grand redline and beyond without noticeable power drop off. It will also trundle along quite happily at 60kph in the tallest of its six speeds without lugging or bogging down and the belt final drive is slop free. The gear driven primary adds to the direct feel at the throttle hand.
The test bike is fitted with Victory’s Tri-oval exhausts and they sound great. Particularly from the rider’s perch. (Priced at $1,900 fitted.)
Does my butt look phat on this?
The rear end is also attractively styled and functional. The air adjustable pre-load is easy to access behind the RH side cover and can be dialled (pumped) up for sportier conditions or a passenger and it offers 120mm of travel.
The rear wheel is fitted with a real-worldly 180/60R16 Dunlop and is mostly concealed behind the luggage and the great looking swoop of the rear guard and bags, but it all works in concert with the big front end very efficiently. Did I mention it’s a great bagger to chuck around?
The 1670mm wheelbase adds to the stability and the 300mm floating rotors – twin on front – single rear – are fitted with ABS.
The pillion seat is wide and roomy and the hard bags have easy access with good carrying capacity.
2nd Verse: same as the first.
As you can probably tell, overall this bike sung to me - much louder than the impressive stereo did.
It’s available in a variety of colour finishes but the Red and Greys worked really well, though I’d like to see the Plasma Lime (green) in the flesh too.
It’s a versatile machine that will do good work as a cruiser around town and it’s also fitted with the creature comforts that make it an excellent distance machine. (See windscreen – and the rest of the range of Victory accessories and riding kit.)
It’s rock solid on the road, the engine is as close to vibration free as any big V-twin I’ve ridden and it really looks da bomb.
The manufacturer calls the bike ‘dynamic’ and it’s hard to disagree.
At $29,995 ride away, if you’re in the market for a stylish up-market bagger it’s definitely worth throwing a leg over for a test ride. Stocks are arriving at your local dealership now.
Great work Victory.
Footnote: Like the bike but already have a Vic? Victory also offer a ‘Magnum Kit’ – all parts and components are available to turn a Cross Roads model into a Magnum – see your dealer for pricing and availability.
Dry Weight 760 lbs / 345 kg
Displacement 106 ci / 1731 cc
Oil Capacity 5.0 qts / 4.73 ltr
ENGINE & DRIVETRAIN
Battery 12 volts / 18 amp hours
Charging System 48 amps max output
Compression Ratio 9.4 : 1
Cooling Air / oil
Drive/Driven Clutch Wet, multi-plate
Exhaust Split dual exhaust with crossover
Fuel System Electronic Fuel Injection with dual 45mm throttle body
Transmission Type 6-speed overdrive constant mesh
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
Bore x Stroke (mm) 101 x 108 mm
Engine Type 4-stroke 50° V-Twin
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, 4.7 in / 120 mm travel, air adjustable
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
Tyres / Wheels
Front Tyres 120/70R21 Dunlop Elite 3 Front
Front Wheel 21 x 3.5" Front
Rear Tyres 180/60R16 Dunlop Elite 3
Rear Wheel 16 x 5.0"
Fuel Capacity (gallons/liters) 5.8 gal / 22 ltr
Ground Clearance 5.8 in / 148 mm
GVWR 1360 lbs / 618 kg
Rake/Trail 29.0° / 5.6 in / 142 mm
Seat Height 26.3 in / 667 mm
Wheelbase 65.7 in / 1670 mm
Overall Length (in./cm.) 104.3 in / 2650 mm
Color / Graphics Metasheen Black over Super Steel Gray
Colors (Base) Metasheen Black over Super Steel Gray, Magnum Red over Super Steel Gray, Ness Midnight Cherry, Plasma Lime with Silver