Friday, August 20, 2010

Victory Motorcycles reminds me of Canada. Few people in the USA pay much attention to the nearly invisible Canucks, just as Victory cruisers are roundly overlooked by America's steadfast allegiance to Harley-Davidsons. You have a better chance of seeing a limited-edition CVO Harley on the road than you will riding alongside any Victory model made in the firm’s 13-year history.
But lest you think Victory might be going the way of the Dodo bird (or Buell, R.I.P….), you should be aware that sales of the Polaris Industries spin-off were up 48% in the second quarter of 2010, despite a lackluster economy and a general shrinking of the two-wheel market – the 1400-plus-cc market is down 14% in North America this year. It was also Victory’s third consecutive quarter of increased market share and retail sales, thanks in large part to the successful Cross Country and Cross Roads light-tourers introduced late in 2009. In international markets, Victory sales are up 25%.
Victory’s 106 cubic-inch V-Twin is now standard equipment across the lineup, as is a redesigned 6-speed transmission.Victory’s 106 cubic-inch V-Twin is now standard equipment across the lineup, as is a redesigned 6-speed transmission.

And for 2011 Victory continues to evolve its lineup via several engineering improvements, including the adoption of the 106 cubic-inch V-Twin across Vic’s entire lineup. The 106/6 was previously available only on the Vision, Hammer, Jackpot and the hot-rod Vegas LE).
The 106-incher comes in two states of tune. The Stage 1 version in Victory’s touring lineup produces a claimed 92 hp and 109 ft-lbs of torque. The cruisers receive the slightly hotter Stage 2 iteration with lumpier cams claiming 97 hp and 113 ft-lbs. Victory Engineering’s James Holroyd notes that the enlarged 1731cc motor offers 14% more horsepower at no increase in price. We can get behind a program like that!
Upgrades to Victory’s powertrain also include a totally re-worked 6-speed transmission that promises smoother shifting, easier neutral access, and 100,000-mile durability.
The 2011 Cross Roads, like all new Victorys, receives a totally redesigned 6-speed transmission with a neutral-assist feature. Gear whine in 4th and 6th gears is dramatically hushed. zz
Victory claims a 66% decrease in driveline lash via the use of “hi-lo dog/pocket” design, and alternating heights of the gear dogs are said to result in a better fill of pockets while increasing the likelihood of engagement. Shift forks have been redesigned for increased bending resistance, and selector drum tracks have been reprofiled to ease shifting. Durability is upped thanks to a larger bearings and wider gear-sets for 4th and 6th gears. A Neutral Selection Assist feature eases access to neutral even after clutch degradation, helping extend the range for oil service from 3,000 miles to 5,000.
But more importantly, Victory has alleviated the annoying whine from the previous tranny’s spur-type gears by employing new helical-cut gears. These reduce noise dramatically, a significant 6 to 10 dBA, depending on which gear is chosen, now allowing Victory’s touring models to meet Euro noise regs. The quieter gears (including a primary-drive gear-tooth geometry tweak) have a nice side benefit of letting engineers hog out the size of the exhaust’s outlet tips to emit a more satisfying rumble from the tailpipe.
Although Victory didn’t release any fully new models for 2011, several updates have spread through the line in addition to the 106-cube motor and reworked transmission. Here’s a list of this year’s upgrades.

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