2017 American Iron Buyer’s Guide: Tourers & Baggers

In the echelons of motorcycling, tourers sit atop the food chain. These bikes are built for the long haul, doing so in style and comfort. Modern touring motorcycles are loaded with the latest techno gadgetry, sophisticated navigation systems and keyless ignitions, windscreens that adjust at the push of a button and tire pressures displayed on multi-function monitors. Anti-lock brakes, cruise control, and pre-load adjustable suspension are standard fare.

Baggers continue to be a hot commodity as well. Gotta love a bike you can show off at your local bike night, then load up and hit the road to Sturgis. Prized for their versatility, baggers are also a palette for customization, big wheels, boomin’ stereos and bold paint. Seeing how baggers and tourers are on the upper end of the price scale places them in a very competitive segment.
While Harley-Davidson has been a dominant force in the segment, motorcycles produced by its rivals like the Victory Cross Country and Indian Roadmaster have encroached on that domination. Harley though has not rested on its laurels, stealing the American touring and bagger segment headlines for 2017 with the launch of a new engine and suspension package.

2017 Harley Milwaukee-Eight Engine

Harley-Davidson’s big bikes are now powered by the new Milwaukee-Eight engine, standard models receiving the 107 version and its top-shelf CVO models equipped with the 114. The engine’s valvetrain design features four valves per cylinder, dual plugs, and a single camshaft. More efficient and more powerful, American Iron Editor Steve Lita said “I think of this engine as a well-sorted-out Big Twin – it’s better than you ever thought the Big Twin family could perform,” after his first ride on Harley’s new tourers. (Read the full review in American Iron Magazine Issue #342!) Harley also updated suspension on its tourers with dual bending valve technology anchoring the front and hand adjustable emulsion shocks on the rear.

The list of 2017 Harleys receiving the new Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine includes the 2017 Road King, Street Glide, Street Glide Special, Road Glide, Road Glide Special, Electra Glide Ultra Classic, Road Glide Ultra, Ultra Limited, Ultra Limited Low, and both H-D trikes, the Freewheeler and Tri Glide Ultra. The CVO Street Glide and CVO Limited both get the Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine, an 1870cc monster.

2017 Harley Tri Glide Ultra

2017 Harley Tri Glide Ultra

With its new Milwaukee-Eight engine and suspension package, Harley’s 2017 Street Glide should continue to be a favorite with Harley loyalists. Other features that make H-D’s bagger with the fork-mounted Batwing fairing an attractive package is its Reflex dual disc linked Brembo brakes, Enforcer wheels, and a Boom! Box 4.3 Radio with 25 watts per channel. The 2017 Street Glide Special gets the upgraded infotainment center, a 6.5-inch touchscreen with integrated GPS and the BOOM! Box 6.5 GT audio system, ABS is standard (a $795 option on the standard Street Glide), a gloss black inner fairing and color-matched fairing skirt.

2017 Harley Street Glide

2017 Harley Street Glide

The other bagger in Harley’s stable, the 2017 Road Glide with its frame-mounted Shark Nose fairing, is offered in three varieties. The base package of the Road Glide is the same as the Street Glide, from the Milwaukee-Eight 107 to the Reflex brakes to the Boom!Box 4.3 Radio. One difference is the Road Glide’s Dual Daymaker Reflector LED Headlamps. The 2017 Road Glide Special includes Harley’s premium 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system and BOOM! Box 6.5 GT audio system, an AM/FM/WB antenna, CVO-style low-profile rear suspension, a gloss black inner fairing, and a black powder coated Milwaukee-Eight 107. The 2017 Road Glide Ultra is set up for long distance road trips thanks to the addition of a Tour-Pak and luggage rack, a two-up touring saddle with passenger back and arm rests, and fairing lowers. Prices for 2017 Road Glides range from $21,299 to $26,299.

2017 Harley Road Glide

2017 Harley Road Glide

Harley’s apex tourer is the 2017 CVO Limited, an Ultra Classic Electra Glide taken to the nth degree in-house. The CVO Limited runs the Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine teamed to a Ventilator Elite Air Cleaner and chrome dual exhaust. A dual control heated seat comes standard. It’s decked out in a long list of goodies from H-D’s Airflow Collection (rider and passenger footboard inserts, shifter pegs, brake pedal and cover, highway pegs, heated handgrips with knurled inserts, and shift lever arms), Chrome Slicer wheels, hand-laid graphics and custom-quality paint. The CVO Limited also runs Harley’s top electronic package, from its security system to digital tire pressure monitoring to speed tuning that automatically adjusts the volume, bass and treble of the radio.

2017 Harley CVO Limited

2017 Harley CVO Limited

The big news from Indian Motorcycle Co. for 2017 is the launch of its new infotainment center called the Ride Command System. Indian aimed to make its system bigger, faster, and more customizable than its competitors. The Ride Command System features a 7-inch touchscreen that can be expanded and contracted like a cell phone, a fast processor, and a new navigation system. One of its standout features is the ability to split the large display into two screens and the ability to pick what you want displayed on those screens. The display has also been moved closer to the rider than ever before making it easier to use. The system comes standard on the 2017 Chieftain and Roadmaster.

2017 Indian Ride Command System

2017 Indian Ride Command System

The 2017 Chief Vintage joins Indian’s touring options thanks to a removable windscreen and soft leather saddlebags. The Chief Vintage has heritage styling, from its valanced fenders to the script on the tank to the fringes on its tan leather seat. Dressing the Chief Vintage up in one of the two-tone paint options makes it look even more classic.

2017 Indian Chieftain

2017 Indian Chieftain

Indian’s first hard bagger, the Chieftain, has been a big hit for the company since its 2014 debut. The 2017 Chieftain and its blacked-out version, the 2017 Chieftain Dark Horse, should easily maintain that trend. The Chieftain’s streamliner locomotive-inspired front fairing is distinct, its Thunder Stroke 111 engine is rich in torque, and its suspension is dialed in solidly. In addition to the new Ride Command System and 100 watt audio system, the Chieftains come with power windshields, remote-locking hard saddlebags, and keyless ignition. The 2017 Indian Chieftain lists for $23,999 while the Chieftain Dark Horse is a couple grand cheaper at $21,999.

2017 Indian Roadmaster

2017 Indian Roadmaster

Completing the lineup is Indian’s top-shelf tourer, the 2017 Roadmaster. It’s a regal-looking bike, from its chrome powerplant to its leather seat to its topcase. Between its saddlebags, trunk, and pockets in the fairing and lowers, the Roadmaster offers 37 gallons of storage. Passengers are perched in the same supple leather as riders, they’ve got their own controls for the heated seat, and the rider floorboards are adjustable.

2017 Victory Cross Country

2017 Victory Cross Country

The strength of Victory’s 2017 models is its Cross Country. With a rigid two-piece cast aluminum frame and inverted fork, the Cross Country is one of the best handling baggers out there, a primary contributor to its popularity. The motorcycle has an aggressive, modern look thanks to its frame-mounted fairing whose lines are matched by its saddlebags and a distinctive tank with a spine running its length. The 2017 Cross Country comes with ABS, cruise control, and Bluetooth connectivity as standard features. With 21.3 gallon saddlebags, Victory claims the bike has “more storage capacity than any other bagger.” A competitive price point of $19,499 also works in its favor.

2017 Victory Magnum X-1

2017 Victory Magnum X-1

There’s three other versions of the Cross Country in addition to the base model, the 2017 Magnum, Magnum X-1 and Cross Country Tour. With a 21-inch front hoop, slammed rear, 100 watt, six speaker sound system and stylish paint/graphic combos, the Magnum leans more to the production custom side. The Magnum X-1 takes it a step further with a 200 watt, 10 speaker system, 21-inch Black Billet aluminum wheels, LED headlights and White-Pearl paint with hand-laid electric-red pinstripes. The 2017 Cross Country Tour is road trip ready thanks to a huge topcase, Victory’s collection of vents and deflectors that comprise its Comfort Control System, and a comfortable passenger perch.

2017 Victory Vision

2017 Victory Vision

The final bike in Victory’s stable is the 2017 Vision. Hard to believe, but the big luxury-tourer is celebrating its 10th anniversary in production. Like the Cross Country, the Vision handles surprisingly well for a bike its size. With upright ergonomics, big floorboards, well-placed handlebars and a big, cushy seat, the Vision is ultra-comfy on long hauls. Heated handgrips and seats, a power adjustable windscreen, linked brakes with ABS, and a huge 29 gallon topcase add to its touring resume.

Find our 2017 Harley, Indian and Victory Bagger & Tourers Buyer’s Guide and other great features like the Perewitz Built Bagger in American Iron Magazine Issue # 345 ! To order a back issue of this or any other issue of American Iron Magazine, visit Greaserag.com.
 
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Victory Endurance Rider Grizzly Closes in on World Record Run

After traveling 29,888 miles over 46 days and 15 hours, Swiss endurance rider Urs “Grizzly” Pedraita is well on his way to achieving his quest to set a new world record by circumnavigating six continents in less than 100 riding days aboard his Victory Motorcycles Cross Country Tour.

Grizzly recently departed North Cape (Nordkapp) Norway after completing the European leg of his journey, and is on his way across Russia to the eastern city of Vladivostok.

Urs Grizzly Pedraita world adventure

Urs “Grizzly” Pedraita is well on his way to achieving his quest to set a new world record by circumnavigating six continents in less than 100 riding days aboard his Victory Motorcycles Cross Country Tour.

Grizzly rode away from Daytona International Speedway on March 11 flanked by hundreds of owners of Victory motorcycles who joined him to ride one lap of the Daytona 200 road course and escort him out of town for the first part of his journey.

From Daytona Beach, Fla., he traveled 3,971 miles in six days and 14 hours to complete the first leg of the ride in Panama City, Panama. He then continued traveling south 6,269 miles for nine days and 23 hours to reach Ushuaia, Argentina, at the tip of South America. From there, he returned 2,088 miles to Santiago, Chile, loaded his bike onto a plane and transferred to Australia, where he spent six days and five hours riding 4,604 miles west across the continent from Sydney to Perth.

From Perth, Grizzly and his Victory were flown to Cape Town, South Africa, and awaited clearance through customs. Thereafter, he took 13 days and 23 hours for a 7,509-mile journey from Cape Town to Cairo, Egypt, and a ferry to take him across the Mediterranean to Tarragona, Spain. From there, he rode 5,447 miles in six days and 23 hours, from northern Spain to Gibraltar, then all the way up to North Cape following a stop in Zurich, Switzerland where dozens of Victory riders were waiting to receive him in his home country.

Grizzly Pedraita in Africa

“My travel from Cape Town north through Africa was largely uneventful, although I met many friendly and helpful people,” Grizzly said.

“My travel from Cape Town north through Africa was largely uneventful, although I met many friendly and helpful people,” Grizzly says. “Europe was a pleasure and I was pleased to see so many friends along the route. However, leaving North Cape, I collided with a reindeer at 65 mph and with tears in my eyes had to release it from his tortures at the site of the accident. Prior to entering Russia, I stopped in Helsinki to have the bike inspected.”

After quick stops in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Grizzly is currently in Siberia and has his front wheel aimed toward Vladivostok. Future destinations include Seoul, Hanoi, Bangkok and Singapore, where he’ll load his bike onto a plane and travel to Anchorage, Alaska, before resuming his tour across North America to a planned finish in Daytona Beach.

As with any epic journey, some plans may have to change en-route. “We might see some route changes in Asia compared to the planned route due to customs and vehicle regulations as well as availability of quick transfers,” Grizzly says. “I am sure it will again be an interesting leg before I return back to the North American continent.”

The Victory Cross Country Tour used for this attempt was specially modified by Motostyling Zurich. While the engine, frame and running gear remain relatively untouched, other parts of the bike have been redesigned to fit Grizzly’s needs as he covers long distances in remote parts of the world.

Grizzly Meets Reindeer

Grizzly gets some unexpected escorts during his moto-journey around the world.

“Grizzly’s progress speaks volumes about his determination,” says Nate Secor, Marketing Manager for Victory Motorcycles. “He has been riding some tough roads in remote regions, so it also speaks to the dependability of his Victory. It has been fantastic to track this record-breaking journey and we look forward to his safe transition through the miles ahead.”

Time and position measurement are being done via GPS and satellite tracking. Timing is not stopped on overland routes (i.e., when waiting to pass a country border or when the rider is sleeping). However, timing is stopped for air and sea transfers between continents and restarts once the bike arrives on the new continent.

Grizzly’s total distance is scheduled to be approx. 62,000 miles. The current record for such a ride is 120 days.

Grizzly Keeps Grinding on Record-Breaking Run Aboard Cross Country Tour

Swiss endurance rider Urs “Grizzly” Pedraita is 25 riding days and 16,932 miles into his quest to set a new world record by circumnavigating six continents in less than 100 riding days aboard his Victory Motorcycles Cross Country Tour.

Grizzly rode away from Daytona International Speedway on March 11 flanked by hundreds of owners of Victory motorcycles who joined him to ride one lap of the Daytona 200 road course and escort him out of town for the first part of his journey.

From Daytona Beach, Fla., he traveled 3,971 miles in six days and 14 hours to complete the first leg of the ride in Panama City, Panama. He then continued traveling south 6,269 miles for nine days and 23 hours to reach Ushuaia, Argentina, at the tip of South America. From there, he returned 2,088 miles to Santiago, Chile, loaded his bike onto a plane and transferred to Australia, where he spent six days and five hours riding 4,604 miles west across the continent from Sydney to Perth.

Grizzly's Victory Cross Country in Australia

Grizzly grinds it out across Australia as he attempts to break the world record for the fastest and longest solo motorcycle ride around the world. 

From Perth, Grizzly and his Victory were flown to Cape Town, South Africa, on April 27, where they currently await clearance through customs. Thereafter is a 6,503-mile journey from Cape Town to Cairo, Egypt, where he’ll then point his front wheel toward Tunis, Tunisia, and a ferry to take him across the Mediterranean.

From Africa, Grizzly’s path will lead him north through Europe, then east through Asia. An eventual arrival in Singapore will have him load his bike onto a plane and travel to Anchorage, Alaska, before resuming his tour across North America to a planned finish in Daytona Beach.

“I had a very good start of my world record attempt from the Daytona Speedway on March 12 at 1:44 p.m. local time,” Grizzly communicates from his layover in Cape Town. “I’ve met many people on the road, and at the stops when I had some hours of sleep, and want to thank them for these encounters. They were very hospitable, helpful, open and without distrust – many thanks to them as this makes the world just wonderful!

“Now I am shortly before starting the next leg across Africa. In all books and on all plans, this is supposedly the most challenging continent to ride and I will surely have many more adventures in the next weeks as I continue my goal of being the fastest man on two wheels across all continents.”

The Victory Cross Country Tour Grizzly is using for this attempt was specially modified by Motostyling Zurich. While the engine, frame and running gear remain relatively untouched, other parts of the bike have been redesigned to fit Grizzly’s needs as he covers long distances in remote parts of the world.

“We are excited about Grizzly’s progress thus far,” says Alex Hultgren, Victory’s Director of Marketing. “Ultimately, this is an endurance race that balances Victory’s well-known dependability with Grizzly’s mental and physical fitness. We look forward to tracking Grizzly through the next phase of his journey.”

Time and position measurement are being done via GPS and satellite tracking. Timing is not stopped on overland routes (i.e., when waiting to pass a country border or when the rider is sleeping). However, timing is stopped for air and sea transfers between continents and restarts once the bike arrives on the new continent.

Grizzly’s total distance is scheduled to be approx. 62,000 miles. The current record for such a ride is 120 days.

Visit GrizzlyRaceTeam.ch for an up-to-date schedule of his travels. Learn more about Victory Motorcycles at VictoryMotorcycles.com or follow on Twitter and Facebook.

Grizzly's Live Tracker Map

New Model Preview – 2016 Victory Magnum X-1

322-22-2_12016 Victory Magnum X-1

Ingredients for a sound performance

text by Dain Gingerelli
photograph courtesy of Victory Motorcycles

With all the noise that came from Polaris Industries’ Indian camp this past year or so, it was only a matter of time before the other motorcycle company from Minnesota broke its silence. And when Victory Motor­cycles decided it was time to be heard, the ruckus came in a big way: a new Magnum-based bagger that pipes 200 watts of audio amped into 10 speakers. Let’s hear it for the Magnum X-1!

“This bike is built to shatter the sound barrier,” says Brandon Kraemer, Victory’s product manager, during the X-1’s special sneak preview at an audio-video studio in Simi Valley, California, last January. Kramer was speaking in figurative terms, of course. His words were aimed at those 10 speakers — six of which reside in the fairing dash, the remainder in the bag lids — that are poised and ready to broadcast whatever tunes you deem worthy of playing through the onboard audio system. For the most part, the sound system’s controls are the same as those on the standard Magnum because the X-1 is essentially a reissue of that model, but with bolder acoustics and a wilder display of paint graphics (Victory describes the red pinstripes as Electric Red), and contrast-machined components that include an all-new 21″ black billet front wheel design. There’s also a sun-bright, smoke-tinted LED headlight that can practically melt your retinas to light the way.

322-22-1

Kraemer’s reference to the sound barrier explains the Magnum’s X-1 moniker, too. The first man to break the sound barrier was US Air Force test pilot Chuck Yeager, and he did so back in 1947 piloting the experimental rocket-powered aircraft Bell X-1. Victory’s new Magnum X-1 won’t necessarily take you near Mach 1, but people at Victory are hedging their bets that the 200-watt audio system is loud enough to break another sound barrier, of sorts. You want loud tunes while you ride? The X-1 will deliver, claimed by Victory to be four times louder than a standard Cross Country. And, to drive home that fact, the folks from Victory parked one of the new bikes in the acoustically rich sound studio where they cranked up the volume. Simon and Garfunkel’s classic “Sounds of Silence” most certainly was not on the play list. Indeed, the Magnum X-1 might be the vanguard of future models from the Minnesota-based motorcycle company because Polaris is poised to ramp up Victory’s role in how it markets motorcycles. Victory Brand General Manager Rod Krois explained that the motorcycle community should expect even more diversity between Indian and Victory models in the future, with America’s oldest brand (Indian) taking the lead in producing designs heavy on heritage while Victory will develop and produce what Polaris calls “performance and muscle” — cruisers and baggers such as the X-1.

322-22-4“We are investing in motorcycles,” Krois explains to motorcycling’s gathered fourth estate, and any doubt about that was left on the table when that same day Victory announced that it was going NHRA Pro-Stock racing. With ambitions to crack into the hotly contested quarter-mile drag racing arena, Victory is teaming up with S&S Cycle to develop an engine and dragster for two-time NHRA champion Matt Smith and his wife/co-rider Angie to compete in the Pro-Stock class this year.

“We’re going to take on Harley,” one Victory spokesperson confides. And his words will be verified by the time this issue of American Iron Magazine hits the newsstands because the NHRA season will already have begun with the first race at the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

322-22-5No doubt the American V-twin landscape is becoming more and more interesting as time goes by. On one front, we’ve now got more than one American-made brand battling at NHRA race tracks, and we’ll have American baggers vying on the chorus line to see which bike is the loudest. So far the Magnum X-1 has top honors from Victory’s camp. And you can be a part of the magic, too, by underwriting the X-1’s MSRP to the tune of $24,499. AIM

This article originally appeared in American Iron Magazine issue # 322, published June 2015. To order a back issue of this or any other issue of American Iron Magazine, visit Greaserag.com.
 
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2015 Victory New Bike Specs

2015-Victory-Motorcycles-preview-featureSweet 16: 2015 Victory Motorcycles

Victory marches, not stumbles, in the wake of its after-party

Story by Steven Wyman-Blackburn Photos Courtesy of Victory Motorcycles

Published in issue #316 of American Iron Magazine

To view the full specs, pick up a copy now on newsstands!

The fact that Polaris Industries’ first venture into the motorcycle world turned 15 years old last year is a pretty big deal. Victory’s base of operations is rooted in a country that prides itself for developing some of motorcycle’s firsts (some argue best), putting them on the shelf among the oldest brands in the industry. Having to roll out against such competition, Victory had to shout loudly in order to be heard. Victory’s 3/20-of-a-century celebration in 2014 was spearheaded by an anniversary edition of its Cross Country Tour model (which, as Victory made sure to proclaim, sported the largest ever storage space, 41.1 gallons). This was soon followed by the continuation of the Ness series with Arlen Ness checking off the Cross Country bagger from his Ness/Victory bucket list. However, this bike received extra attention from all three Ness generations — another industry first.

In retrospect, the fact that Victory chose the grand marshal of its 2015 Victory sweet sixteen parade to be an all-new cruiser, the ’15 Victory Gunner, made its venture all the more attention grabbing since it’s a bike that exemplifies a line that diverges from the avant-garde appeal of its bagger and touring families. The Gunner, stripped of the Victory-specific nacelle, is now the most (aesthetically) nonmodern bike in Victory’s entire offering. By implementing the High-Ball’s shorty front fender and low 25″ seat height, the Jackpot’s slim frame, and even finding influence (to some degree) from the Boardwalk and Judge, the Gunner, in turn, allowed Victory to consolidate most of its cruiser section, coming up with a grand total of four models to make up the 2015 cruiser family. Each cruiser now highlights something unique to its line … and all in black. Yes, we hear you again, Victory.

A

On one end, we have two cruisers flourishing the Victory-styled nacelles, bikes that have been stripped of their own colors and thrown into Victory’s blacked-out category, the 8-Ball. One of these two, the Hammer 8-Ball, is the more compact but heavier version of the other, the Vegas 8-Ball, the latter of which is the only one to feature a fullsized fender in the entire grouping. Meanwhile, on the more traditional side of the cruiser spectrum (read, partly, as Victory nacelle-free), we have the High-Ball, a bobber-styled bike with whitewalls and, most notably, apes. Following this all-out Goth approach for 2015, the High-Ball is now available only in Suede Black for next year, ditching the “with flames” option. To cap it all off, you then have the more old-timey bike, the new Gunner, touting a low starting price ($12,999, the second lowest overall). The fact that both 8-Balls are still being offered for the same base price and that the High- Ball’s MSRP dropped by 100 buckaroos ($13,349) makes the 2015 cruiser line not only well-rounded, but affordable. As for the discontinued models, we’ll see if they resurface somewhere down the line. But for now, the Gunner fills that void nicely.

Following the throwback introductory model, Victory unveiled yet another completely new bike, the Victory Magnum a few months later. Victory showed it off to the world by yelling at the top of its lungs in hopes of rising above the cacophony of the moto realm, claiming that the Magnum comes stock with a 21″ front wheel, an industry first for the touring market (as it boasted about the anniversary edition’s 41.1-gallon spacing in 2014, as noted above). When you put the Magnum up against 2014’s lead bagger, the Ness Cross Country, you’ll note a significant price drop (a whopping one grand). Even though this brand-spankin’-new 2015 bagger didn’t get the whole Ness treatment, it still received some love from Arlen Ness in the paint department, but rather than garnishing Havasu Red with Ness Legacy Paint, the Magnum features a Ness Midnight Cherry option, all for $21,999.

BCoupled with the Magnum is the Victory Cross Country. When it comes to this model, Victory is continuing the Cross Country Factory Custom Paint program that was introduced in 2014. Along with the Factory Custom Paint Edition version, the Cross Country also comes in the 8-Ball color scheme as well as a regular option, both of whose base price tags are identical with last year’s. The regular Cross Country bagger hosts a plethora of new color schemes, replacing all of the 2014 model’s combos and solids except Suede Titanium Metallic, which finds its place in the roster among the newcomers. Concluding the bagger category, the only complaint concerns the missing Cross Roads models, which leaves a gaping hole in the line.

As for Victory’s touring models, they’re now sitting comfortably with no new additions or updates (save for the all-new color schemes) … for now. The Victory Cross Country Tour is now available for $500 less than last year’s model (starting at $21,999 and $22,499 respectively) while its more out-there brother, the Vision, is following close behind for the same MSRP, $20,999. AIM