The Victory Deluxe From The Leather Bagged Cruiser Comparison

Victory's major contender

Victory Deluxe
The Victory Deluxe provided comfortable rider and passenger accommodations during the UFO tour.Dean Groover

This article was originally published in the August 2001 issue of Motorcycle Cruiser.

For the 2001 model year, Victory introduced its third variation on the cruiser theme. Although the Victory Deluxe utilizes the same engine and chassis as this year's V92C, a passel of extras make it in to the mix.

The base V92C received multiple upgrades for this riding season. At the top of our list of anticipated changes is the improved transmission. Your riding buddies won’t hear the metal on metal clank that always accompanied gear changes on the old tranny. The factory also added an all-new clutch assembly, which is claimed to offer a smoother engagement with 10 percent lever effort. We did notice that the lever was easier to operate, but unfortunately, the clutch became progressively more grabby the longer we rode the bike.

The clutch issue is a disappointment because the engine produces gobs of power down low. Having a smooth clutch would make this bike an around town favorite. Out on the highway, the internal engine changes aimed at reducing vibration are immediately apparent. By adding 0.2 pounds to the crankshaft and rotating the balance shaft 11 degrees, the engine is butter-smooth at high rpm. Otherwise, the 1507cc (97 x 102mm bore and stroke) remained the same.

The suspension’s recalibration was a mixed success. The shock’s spring and damping rates feel much better on the heinie when the road gets rough. The fork, however, delivered harsh jolts to the rider. Any sharp-edged bump was transmitted directly to the grips.

Victory Deluxe
The Deluxe gets a full windshield that offers the best wind protection of the bunch.Dean Groover

One improve­ment that doesn’t often get mentioned in the cruiser class is overall weight reduction. The V92C lost 27 pounds! The rear subframe also went on a diet. The rotating mass was reduced by lightening the wheels and brake rotors. Although the discs were lightened, their diameter remained at 11.8 inches.

To the V92C chassis, Victory added a full windshield—complete with lowers. The rider and passenger accommodations are comfortable leather seats with a passenger backrest. Floorboards are provided for pilot and pillion, alike. The leather bags look the part of classic cruiser bags. A plastic liner helps them hold their shape whether they’re empty or full. The liner also ensures a rigid mount to the bike. Their internal volume places the Deluxe’s bags in the middle of the pack storage-wise.

Victory sets the standard for informative instrumentation that still remains within the cruiser styling spectrum.

Overall, the Deluxe combines every feature we like about the V92C and sweetens the pie with touring goodies. Once the clutch and fork issues are resolved, this bike will be a major contender in the soft bag set. As it stands, the Deluxe is tied with the BMW Montana for second place.

High Points Low Points First Change
Best wind protection Abrupt clutch engagement Return or replace the yellowed pipes
Much improved transmission Harsh front suspension
Impressive bottom end pull Pipes yellowed
Specifications:
Suggested base price: $14599
Wet weight: 712 lb.
GVWR: 1150 lb.
Seat height: 28.5 in.
Fuel capacity: 5.0 gal.
Fuel mileage: 33 to 46 mpg, 38.5 mpg avg.
Average range: 193 miles
Engine type: Oil/air-cooled, 50 degree tandem V-twin
Final drive: Belt, 64/30
Front suspension: 5.1 in. travel
Rear suspension: Single damper, 4.5 in. travel, adjustable for preload
Wheels: Wire spoked, 3.0 x 16.0 in. front, 3.5 x 16.0 in. rear
Quarter-mile acceleration: 13.80 sec., 94.2 mph