We've just finished unpacking from the Victory's 2013 model year press launch in central California, where Victory announced its first set of early release machines for the new year, among other things. For one thing, Victory says business is booming (up 20% year-over-year), but there's also a new brand direction and marketing effort afoot, a big part of which includes a new logo (also unveiled at this introduction). As to the actual bikes, 2013 early releases include four Cruisers and four Baggers/Tourer models (that's how Victory is now labeling the bikes: Cruiser, Bagger, or Tourer). The Cruiser line features returning favorites like the Vegas 8-Ball, Hammer 8-Ball, High-Ball and Judge, while the early-release Bagger series includes the Hard-Ball and variations of the Cross Country model. The Tourer section rings in with the Cross Country Tour as well as the Vision tour.
The Baggers /Tourers
There are no real surprises on the early-release 2013 Cross Country
models, which still boast a custom styled fairing with premium integrated audio, and large, lockable saddlebags. You'll see no changes to the now-readily recognizable long, flowing lines either. The comfortable ergonomics and the standard 106/6 powertrain remain status quo as well, we're happy to report. But there are some retina-searing new colors for the early release Cross Countrys however, including:
- Antifreeze Green - You can't miss this full-on custom look, with rocks black flames and chrome trim, including stylish forged highway bars.
- Solid Black - This bare bones vibe brings tubular highway bars for easy customization.
- Sunset Red with blacked-out trim - With black tubular highway bars and black drivetrain cases.
The 2013 Hard-Ball
brings swagger to the bagger class, with its no frills, bad-boy styling and minimal vibe -- Suede Black paint, red pinstripes, blacked-out components, 18-inch black laced wheels and ape hangers as the exclamation point. A set of large bags are bolted to the sides. (Consult local traffic codes regarding the use of ape hanger handlebars.)
The early release 2013 Cross Country Tour model likewise continues to deliver the same award-winning qualities that made it such a hit in 2012, with class-leading comfort and 41 gallons of storage (most of any motorcycle in the world, crows Victory!) heading up the list. Two large saddlebags offer weatherproof storage, while a roomy trunk has room for full-face helmets; two front storage compartments also offer easy storage options for the pilot.
The Cross Country Tour also brings back Victory's Comfort Control System, which consists of adjustable upper and lower air controls to redirect airflow onto the pilot. The controls can be closed to seal out the cold, or opened for cooling airflow when it's warmer out. That's on top of the standard swoopy fairing that packs premium integrated audio inside, with a tall windshield up top. Also standard are heated grips and heated seats with separate rider and passenger controls. The early release Cross Country Tour models have new colors for 2013, which are solid black, Boardwalk Blue and Bronze Mist.
The early release 2013 Victory Vision
also returns virtually unchanged, with 29 gallons of weatherproof storage in the hard side compartments, bolstered by a large trunk out back. Heated grips and seats, a push-button height adjustment for the windshield, and integrated premium audio still make this a top choice for the long haul. 2013 Victory Vision Tour colors include solid black, two-tone Gold Mist Metallic/Bronze Mist, and Sunset Red and black with black carbon graphics.
Released earlier this year as a 2013 model, the Judge
made a big splash with its rmuscle-car styling cues, stout power and exceptional handling. The mid-mount lower controls and aggressive drag handlebars make for more engaged and sporty ergonomics. Colors include Gloss Black, Gloss Sunset Red and Suede Nuclear Sunset.
(Victory's best-selling cruiser) - returns with its Suede Black paint, laced wheels, blacked-out components and ape hangers. (Consult local traffic codes regarding the use of ape hanger handlebars.)
The two returning 8-Ball models continue to deliver excellent performance and minimal no-nonsense styling at a relatively low buy-in. The Vegas 8-Ball
steps up the styling a touch, while the Hammer 8-Ball
reeks of pure muscle, with a read-to-shred 250mm rear tire. The 8-Balls are available only in solid black.
Additional 2013 Cruisers and Baggers will be introduced with the complete 2013 Victory lineup on July 30, just in time for Sturgis.
Perhaps the most important element to be revealed at last month's meeting was Victory's new logo -- to which we say, it's about time. Designers at the meeting said the point of the new graphic was to bring a more modern and refined ID that was also bolder and more easily identified. The new badging is meant to align with Victory's newly aggressive branding strategy, which, as mentioned earlier, breaks out the bikes into 3 classes: Cruiser/ Baggers /Touring (there are subcategories within those as well). There were simply too many confusing and disparate elements at play in the old logo, which we always felt was overly busy from the get-go. The new 'V' is bigger, bolder and far more dimensional; in fact, it's almost like a car logo, which in a broad sense can only help Victory by being more identifiable. The new logo is overly simple, but that's a quality we expect will be remembered better by consumers in the long run. It also has more texture to it, which, as everybody knows, makes for great T-shirts too.