Well, it has seemed like years since Victory announced their newest motorcycle, the Victory Vision. The marketing plan behind the new Vision started with artist concepts up to the unveiling of both the Tourer and Street Vision models at the Polaris stockholder's meeting held early this year. The marketing is working, slowly wetting the consumer's appetite over a year's period of time. This gets the consumers interested in the Harley Davidson and Honda Tourer's holding off purchasing to see what the Victory Vision experience will be like.
Consumers were constantly guessing and discussing what the Victory Vision would be like. The Kingpin Cruisers (KingpinCruisers.net) -- the number one Victory motorcycle enthusiasts site, held polls on which artist rendition would be closest to the final product. Once the various motorcycle magazines received their stock Victory Vision photos from Victory, the articles and discussions increased. It quickly became apparent that you either loved the new Vision concept or hated right from the initial photos. People that initially criticize the Victory Vision do not see the entire picture. They should applaud the Victory Vision for being a new innovative design which incorporates the latest technology. How many other manufacturers are releasing new models? for this fact alone, the Victory Vision is a winner.
With the year dragging on and the new Victory Vision models making rare appearances at the various motorcycle shows, the consumers were demanding more. The local Victory dealerships heard these requests as well. What happened next was that Victory allowed their authorized dealers to hire the Victory truck to ship the two Victory Vision models to their store for the weekend to demo to their customers. The independent Victory dealers had to shell out some big money to get the opportunity to have the Vision show up at their shop. But this ended up being a huge win for both the consumer and dealerships. Lots of traffic and possible new leads on existing Victory motorcycles in the shop as well as taking pre orders on the new Victory Vision.
The biggest win came in the fact that consumers could sit on the Victory Vision Cruiser and Street models. Buts in seats if you will. This is what sells bikes. Stay away from any dealership that does not let you sit on a motorcycle and take a demo for a test ride. After all, you do not marry your wife without taking her for a test ride, if you know what I mean.
I was fortunate to catch the Victory truck with the Victory Vision models at my local Victory dealership. I took lots of photos, sat on the bike and took it for a demo ride. My first impression was, Wow! The photos online and in the magazines do not do this Victory Vision justice. Sure styling is subjective, but the bike looks unique and very stylish. The Vision has a lot of plastic fairings. My one concern was the amount of damage that would be caused if the bike fell over. Well, this concern was put to rest when I saw how the Victory engineers designed into the body work, body/fairing protectors which were part of the passenger foot rests. This single point kept the rest of the motorcycle from touching the ground. It also allowed you enough leverage to straighten the heavy bike back to vertical. Very cool.
When I sat on the Victory Vision Tourer model, I was impressed by the low and very comfortable seat height. You are part of this bike when you sit and ride it. Unlike Harley Davidson's where I feel like I am sitting up on top of the motorcycle and not really feeling like I am part of the bike. Harley feel like scooters to me compared to the Victory motorcycles. The comfortable integrated seat on the Victory Vision also means you have a lower center of gravity. They bike felt very manageable and very well balanced. Very comfortable riding position and handlebar location.
My press pass allowed me a privileged demo ride. The first few minutes on the bike, I was nervous due to the size and all of the fairings. After about ten minutes I began to settle in and get comfortable with the bike. At 20 minutes I forgot I was on a huge full bagger tourer. The adjustable windscreen and gadgets kept my attention so I needed to force myself to focus on the road and not these gadgets.
The Victory Vision is a sheer pleasure to ride and I would definitely consider it for my long touring rides. I would even get it as a commuter. The Victory Vision, with all the stretched out marketing and hype, is going to be a winner. My advice is forget about the Harley Davidson's and Honda tourers and go pre-order yourself a Victory Vision. You will be glad you did and everyone will be asking you, what kind of bike is that.