2003 Victory Vegas –

22 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2003 Victory Vegas –
Victory Vegas

Viva (fewer) Lost Wages!

Man swagger, and a sense that something cool is gonna happen. tonight! And for the most part, Victory succeeds, and does so at a reasonable price point ($14,999 MSRP) relative to (cough) other American motorcycle companies. Compared to their Classic Cruiser based around the same power plant, the Vegas has been mildly stretched (from 94 length to 96.3) and slammed (from 28.3 seat height to 26.5).

The rear tire (170 60VB/18 Dunlop® K591 Elite SP) got fatter (from 3.5 rims to 4.5) and the front wheel got taller (from 16 to 21) and skinnier (from 3 rims to 2.15).

Stylistically, the fingerprints of design partners Arlen and Cory Ness are all over this bike, giving it a classic but custom look right off the showroom floor. The oil/air-cooled 50 degree, 92ci (1507cc) Freedom V-twin is split by a V-shaped badge replete with faux bullet-hole indents. This embellishment is repeated on the ends of the handlebar grips. A teardrop shaped, flush-mounted, LED tail light graces the rear fender.

The stretched and flowing gas tank dovetails to meet the seat, which has been executed with a chopper-influenced minimalism while refusing to sacrifice comfort. The staggered slash-cut dual exhaust delivers a satisfying note without being obnoxious. I would probably upgrade mine to something obnoxious, but that’s just my personality defect.

To summarize, the a la carte Vegas is served with the kind of secret sauce typically only found in a. well, in an Arlen Ness catalog.

The ergos are spot-on and had everyone smiling, from 6’2 Sean, to 5’9 moi, to the diminuitive JohnnyB. (Just kidding JB, please don’t bite me on the knee!) The pegs look farther forward than they really are, and the handlebars and seat all collaborate to create a casually kicked back body position that felt universally comfy to a challenging trichotomy of testers. The pegs are low though and will drag around a 90 degree turn if you get too sassy with it, slip into racer mode, and go for a deep-braking approach to the apex.

Even the pillion shows consideration for the needs of your sidekick. The seat is fairly plush and slants toward the rider rather than off the back of the fender. Gee what a radical concept!

Victory Vegas

When the wheels start turning, the Vegas offers 70 hp to shove its 615 lbs of dry weight down the highway. After being so recently spoiled by the performance cruiser stars while conducting our V-Rod/Warrior comparo, I was braced for disappointment when I opened up the Vegas’ throttle. But for a bike in its class, it moves when you goose it, and Brembo 300 mm floating rotor brakes bring it to a halt with total confidence.

The power is administered via a fiberglass-reinforced belt drive, and managed by a 5-speed constant mesh transmission that has a foot feel somewhere in between a metric click and an H-D clunk. The Vegas’ suspension does an above average job of absorbing pavement errata without incident. In fact, I gave the shocks an impromptu test by intentionally guiding the bike over a mild pothole under fairly hard braking, and squeezed only a tiny chirp out of the front wheel.

My sole complaint would have to be that the Vegas likes to whistle while it works. The whirring of overhead cams was a minor aural irritation to me, but went un-noticed by the full-face clad JB and Sean.


As MO’s lonely and embattled defender of the steel stallion, I had to retrieve my jaw from my boot tops when Sean and JB actually offered unsolicited praise for the Vegas. Typically, cruiser conversations around here rapidly devolve into a verbal rat-packing by the Hamilton-Burns-Alexander axis of evil, until I feel like Frodo Baggins fighting off a horde of raging Orcs. But apparently the Vegas hath charms to soothe the savage Power Ranger.

Phew!

Victory Vegas

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