2009 Victory Motorcycles

Party For A Decade

If you were a manufacturer who shell-shocked the industry with an award-winning, genre-bending machine last year, you might be excused for taking the year off, making like a wallflower and watching the new designs from other OEMs hit the street. But that's not how Victory operates.

Not content to watch from the sidelines, the motorcycle arm of Polaris Industries jumped at the chance to ring in its 10th anniversary celebration with not just several tweaks and updates of existing models, but four all-new examples to boot.

To say that machines issuing forth from the Victory's Medina, Minnesota, plant have come a long way since the first V92C in the summer of 1998 is an understatement. The 50,000 V-twins cruising the streets right now are a testament to this American success story.

For 2009 there are more evolutionary changes than full-on retools, though. But stuff like a new monochrome badge treatment only underscores the fact that much of this lineup is fresh-more powerful, more comfortable and better-handling. And if Victory's bikes have always been at the forefront of progressive styling, they only continue in that regard for '09, further distancing themselves from the, ah, Old American Motorcycle.

Nowhere is that more apparent than on the limited-edition 10th Anniversary Vision. The bike's party-on, Antares Red/Metallic Black hues-complete with gold pinstripes and anniversary logos-are a subtle nod to that first V92C, but that's where the coyness ends. The push-button reverse gear that's now available as an option on the other '09 Vision models is standard here, along with just about anything you can think of from Victory's P&A; catalog. The wheels, rear sprocket and exhaust tips are all billet. There's also a standard Garmin GPS system, heated handgrips, a CB, an intercom and a long list of high-end details to set it apart from the, uh, "regular" Visions. And the limited part is for real: There will only be 100 examples minted, which you can order online at victorymotorcycles.com. (Though if you haven't plunked your cash down yet, chances are you'll miss the shindig Victory is throwing for all the owners at Daytona this March.)

Naturally there's an Arlen Ness Signature Series Vision-which also brings the bling and is available in limited numbers. And even though the standard Visions get less flash, they do sport their fair share of enhancements for 2009. There's that optional reverse gear we mentioned earlier (alas, no way to retrofit that to older Visions) plus standard billet wheels on Premium models. New speakers deliver improved traveling tunes and more volume, and the instruments are a tad more refined this time.

For vertically challenged types, the new Kingpin Low's seat sits just 25.1 inches above street level, an inch lower than the standard model. Floorboards are moved back 2 inches on the Low model, while handlebars get pushed rearward to give smaller pilots an easier grab at the controls, with scalloped side covers making the bike narrower. On the flip side, no pillion seat or pegs are included, so you'll be relegated to solo rides.

Power comes from Victory's Next Generation Freedom 100/6 engine-that would be 100 cubic inches of air-cooled, eight-valve, 50-degree V-twin bolted to a six-speed transmission, in case you'd forgotten-touted to pound out 85 horses and 106 lb-ft of torque.

The rest of the lineup shines, too-the new Vegas Jackpot now has the latest version of Victory's biggest 106/6 twin. The 1731cc lump gets Stage II cams and a closed-loop injection system that delivers fuel through 45mm throttle bodies, all adding up to a claimed 97 bhp and 113 lb-ft of torque.

The '09 Hammer and Hammer S come with that 106/6 as well, along with a long list of upgraded details found on all '09 Victory cruisers, such as a wickedly bright LED taillight and a more efficient headlight, improved gaskets throughout and a redesigned fuel pump.

Cory Ness has also stepped up for 2009 with a limited-edition, pearl-white Signature Series Vegas Jackpot, this one covered with the sorts of accessories you'd expect from the Ness Empire.

And-while he doesn't have a bike in the lineup yet (though he did show us a one-off project)-ubiquitous bike designer Roland Sands is getting in on the Victory party action as well, having signed into a partnership with the company that's sure to produce wild designs. Stay tuned for the details.
-Andrew Cherney

Arlen Ness Signature Series Vision
Cory Ness Signature Series Vegas Jackpot