Victory, we hardly knew ye

I am a fan of Victory Motorcycles. Others have talked about the reasons the brand is going away, so I don’t need to do that here.

I live very close to Milwaukee, my father and brother (der Bart) are Harley fans. Harley is an important employer around here. Harley does a lot for motorcycling. It seems I should be a Harley fan, and yet I never was. There’s a few reasons for that: around here, everyone has a Harley so I would hardly stand out from the crowd if I had one too. I was also concerned about quality and longevity. When people say “If your bike breaks down there’s people around to repair it” as a selling point, that makes me nervous.

I’m also an engineer by trade and so I care about engineer-type things more than your average buyer. That was part of me buying two Victory bikes: the Freedom 106 is a great engine. Victory didn’t have a Heritage crowd to make happy with a certain sound or feel, so they were free to just make a great American V-twin. The styling of Victory also spoke to me directly. I don’t love chrome, I don’t want a bike that takes any styling cues from the Heritage Soft Tail Classic. I like a blacked out bike and a bike that looks slightly more modern: keep the Harley “batwing” fairing and the Indian “sweep” of the front fender. If you have read this blog you know I take a lot of long trips, so the superior saddle bag capacity was appreciated.

My wife and I do well, but not “infinite money” well, so the price difference was a factor as well. Just for shits and giggles I built an Indian Cheiftan Dark Horse and a Road Glide Special, both 2017 Model Years. $7k more for a bagger set up the way I want it is a log of money.

I plan to ride Red Sonya (my 2015 Victory Cross Country) for a while still, but now I know my next bike won’t be a Victory. I somewhat wish I’d gone up to a Magnum X-1, but of course I thought the brand would be around for a while.

Hopefully Polaris and Harley learn from this, and the future holds better bikes. RIP Victory, we hardly knew ye.

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