Such is the case with Victory Motorcycle’s 2016 Magnum.
Who should be interested in this article? Aside from riders who simply enjoy reading about motorcycles, anyone considering a bike for touring but still wants the sexiness of a cruiser must read on.
The term ‘bagger’ may not be used as much as it once was, pretty much to the point it’s somewhat ambiguous with many riders. But when it is used, the name invokes a vintage era of motorcycles, originally describing motorcycles equipped with full sets of saddlebags, panniers and other luggage for long rides and road trips. It’s believed the term’s origins were less than flattering, coined to make fun of bikers who pieced together these cargo-carrying items on their motorcycle in the formative years of post-World War Two riding.
Fortunately, the effort of piecing anything together isn’t needed with Victory’s 2016 Magnum, nor will anyone make fun of this ride. As readers will note, this motorcycle allows riders to command the open road with style and power.
When it’s understood ‘bagger’ has been replaced by many describing this type of ride as a ‘tourer’ or ‘touring motorcycle’ as well as the fact Victory’s marketing plan is to beat Harley-Davidson at its own game, it’s no surprise the Magnum is aimed firmly at Harley’s Street Glide.
Seriously, the website gives an option to compare the Victory Magnum to other motorcycles using a drop down box with the phrase ‘Who’s afraid of a little competition?’ There’s only one motorcycle to compare the Magnum to and yes, it’s the Harley-Davidson Street Glide.
So any comparisons made between the two motorcycles is not Clutch and Chrome diminishing one or the other, simply following the route given by the manufacturer of the motorcycle being reviewed.
The 2016 Magnum is the top of the line for Victory in its bagger category with the Magnum often called an ‘over the top’ ride. Victory’s marketing department gave the bike a tag line of ‘Envy comes as standard’.
2016 Victory Magnum - Source Victory Motorcycles
The motorcycle could easily be described as a muscle car on two wheels. Victory’s Freedom 106-cubic-inch V-Twin drives its long 65.7 inch wheel base and aluminum two-piece frame which is about two inches longer than the competition it’s aimed at. Some reviewers have noted this two inch difference does make a difference in handling with shorter length being more nimble. However, the Magnum can’t be considered as anything other than easy to handle. An effort would be needed to ground the floorboards as the belt-driven motorcycle moves through the curves.
The engine is air cooled delivering 106 ft. lbs of torque sounded out by dual-large bore slash pipes which run along the motorcycle, peaking out the other side of the swept saddlebags. Not only does the Magnum bring the power, it also enjoys smooth throttle response.
The transmission gives riders six gears to play with using a wet, multi-plate clutch and pushes the power back with a carbonfibre-reinforced belt.
2016 Victory Magnum - Source Victory Motorcycles
Its front wheel is called custom on the Victory website and consists of a 21 inch alloy rim, making it the largest production bagger wheel on the road. The rear wheel is smaller in diameter, measuring in at 16 inches, but is naturally wider at 5 inches. Experienced bike builders agree putting a larger wheel on the front of a motorcycle is a tried and tested method of improving handling and obviously helps with nimble feel of the Magnum.
Victory includes many items that are considered as must have on any tourer; Cruise control, ABS brakes and a tank that will hold 5.78 gallons of open road.
What some riders may consider a necessity, the high performance audio gives a wall of sound rate at 100 watts from six well-placed speakers. Featuring AM/FM radio along with USB and Bluetooth connectivity, the sound system can be further enhanced with optional saddlebag speakers for riders who feel ‘it ain’t rock unless it’s loud!’
Speaking of which, the removable and weatherproof hard panniers are large and will accommodate a lot of luggage. At the time of writing, Clutch and Chrome didn’t have the exact cubic capacity.
A LED headlight in front helps a biker pierce the darkest night ride and team up with the LED taillights. The Magnum allows the rider to sit low with a seat height of 25.7 inches, which will be needed as it weighs in at 784 lbs with no gas, no luggage and no rider.
The 2016 Victory Magnum can be had in three color combinations; Black Crystal over Super Steel Gray, Black Crystal over Havasu Red as well as Suede Pearl White with Black & Silver.
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, the Magnum is the most expensive in Victory’s bagger line with a MSRP of $21,999. Others in this category are the Cross Country 8 Ball starting at $17,999 and the Cross Country at $18,999.
Victory Motorcycle's Magnum X-1- Source Victory Motorcycles
Victory have indicated the Magnum is aimed at the urban rider who would like the ability to hit the open road. While they may have the Street Glide in their crosshairs as the competition, Victory’s Magnum offers a very different styling and certainly a different feel when riding. Add to the mix, Victory have promised to release a X-1 version of the Magnum with an addtional paint choice as well as an insane audio package sometime in early 2016.
As with every motorcycle purchase, it will come down to a rider’s preference and ultimate choice and we all know this is a blend of facts and gut-feelings. Regardless, the Magnum does open up the road for riders looking to put down some serious miles.