2003 Polaris Victory Vegas from United States of America
There's a reason I have owned 16 cars and only this one bike; it's that good
1. Aside from "wear and tear" items such as brakes, tires, seals, etc, the bike has been very reliable.
2. Shifter issue: inside of the transmission, there is a pin had keeps the shifting fork in place. After shaking it loose riding through some tough east Texas hills, the bike would not shift in, or out, of gear. With some strong adhesive, I was able to repair this weak point when I pulled off the primary case.
3. Watch out for the clutch cable: I've broken 3 clutch cables in my 10 years of ownership. Do yourself a favor, ensure it is lubed regularly and give it a bit of slack. I made the mistake of having constant pressure on the line, which led to its untimely demise.
4. Exhaust: After removing the exhaust multiple times and a lot of hard miles, I couldn't get the exhaust to mount back in properly. I invested in a Bassani exhaust system and it's by far the best performance addition I have added to date. Great sound without the highway racket.
I love my Victory! Hands down, one of the most reliable, best running, and greatest riding bikes I've ever ridden.
1. Looks: I firmly believe Victory makes one of the best looking cruisers out there, especially in its price range. They remind me of a 1940s pin-up girl, curvy and smooth.
2. Motor: Plenty of power in all RPM ranges. Mechanically, it's the perfect blend of old school, tried and true steel cranks and valves, while using fuel injection and hydraulic lifters. At idle, she feels almost like a "Harley-Davidson shake" with the 50 degree V-Twin, but anything off-idle to wide open throttle, it's smooth right out to the redline. It's a quick bike, like damn quick. Could I keep up with a Triumph Rocket 3 or a Suzuki M109, hell no. But for a 1500cc V-Twin, she can smoke almost anything else on 2 wheels. Riding everywhere from Florida to West Texas, and now South Dakota, no overheating issues.
3. Transmission: Even though the gears are a bit short for this particular year/model, this bike is at home even at 75-80 mph. Shifts are a combination of a Japanese touring bike "click" and a HD "CLUNK". Clutch pull is good, but like most cruisers, it can get a bit heavy after a while in traffic. I have the same clutch that came with the bike with no signs of slippage or wear, even with liberal engine braking/down shifting.
4. Ride: Even built as a "bar hopper", this bike is comfortable. It does come stock with an adjustable rear spring/shock to dial in the pre-load. Considering the fact I am a tall fella (6'8", 240 lbs), I've made a few modifications to make the ride better for me. I would suggest an aftermarket seat. I use a Mustang 2 Up saddle and it is fantastic. It sets me back a few inches, up an inch, and is a wider seat for, well, my big behind. Through the corners, it's well balanced and corner transitions are a breeze. Running through the Black Hills of SD, she was great.
5. Brakes: Both front and rear are single pot Brembos. MORE than enough braking power. Smooth, constant pull, and can lock up the front wheel if you really hammer down. Seriously powerful brakes.
6. Economy: I average about 35-40 MPG. I can usually get 175-200 miles to the tank, however, if I'm riding above 70 mph, I find the mileage stays around 35 MPG. Like I stated before, the transmission is geared a bit low. This is also running premium fuel (91-93 octane) in hot weather (85+ F).
7. Overall: If I could go back and do it again, I would. The only shame about this bike is that Polaris decided to stop making Victory Motorcycles.
8. Modification I've done: Memphis Shades 21 inch windshield, Memphis Shades fork wind deflectors, Mustang 2-up saddle with backrests, Bassani 2 to 1 exhaust system, and 2 inch forward control extensions, leather saddle bags, floor boards for passenger.
If you're looking at buying a Victory, they really are outstanding bikes. Take one for a spin, you'll see what I mean.
Ride safe and keep it rubber side down.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 26th December, 2017