Southwest Touring Ride on a 2013 Victory Vision Tour Rider Magazine

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Victory Vision Tour

Southwest Touring Ride on a Victory Vision Tour


December 6, 2012

minute…but epic!”

The attention-getting was from Manny Pandya, the of the Amazing Pandya Brothers, two gearheads who handle press for Victory Motorcycles. Manny was a small band of misfits for the to Chip Tour, a floorboard-scraping, ride from the Polaris meeting on the Las Vegas Strip to the Chip Resort in Sturgis. crowds and chaps fill me fear and loathing, but epic have the opposite effect.

Two later, I stepped off a plane in carrying my helmet and a duffle of riding gear.

Victory in the new model year with a ride.

At a swanky pub in The Venetian, I met and the three others on the ride, a guy with the perfect action-movie Rusty Creed, a tattooed agent from Arizona. and his brother Robert gave us a look at the impressive 2013 of Polaris hardware—motorcycles from and Indian, all-terrain vehicles and from Polaris and electric vehicles from GEM. Polaris is a bona fide success story.

Its own brands are growing steadily, an investor in electric-motorcycle manufacturer and it has partnered with Eicher in India to build off-road for overseas markets.

The S2C Tour showcase Victory’s touring and Manny offered us a choice. He had to four Cross Country and one Vision Tour, all 2013 sporting Victory’s new red “V” badges. Manny held up the key to the Vision, the guys stared at their but I stepped forward. Bold and the Vision looks like else on the road—an attractive in my mind but a tough sell V-twin traditionalists.

Wind (including an electric windscreen), power and handling are among the in the V-twin touring class—perfect for the road. The top trunk holds a lot of but the saddlebags are small and oddly

Comfortable, powerful and great in the the American-made Victory Vision is ideal for touring the American (Photo by Joe Gresh)

The next we roared out of The Venetian’s cavernous area and onto streets steaming from monsoon winding our way through the less side of Las Vegas. Soon we the lunar landscape of Lake National Recreation Area, Manny set a brisk pace. The Vision rumbled through Road’s rolling, smoothly curves with ease.

As usual, the Mojave Desert in was brutal, nearly 100 degrees noon. Out came the sunblock, vests and hydration packs.

we shunned interstate highways, an was made for the stretch of I-15 the spectacular Virgin River transporting us from Nevada to to Utah in less than 30 In St. George, Utah, we turned on scenic byway State 9 toward Zion National

The heart of Zion Canyon, out of red sandstone by the North Fork of the River, is accessible only by bicycle or shuttle bus. for time with dark clouds looming, we switchbacked our way out of the and through the mile-long Zion-Mount Tunnel. On the other side, rain assaulted us as the desert gave way to coniferous forest.

in Hollywood-themed Airstream trailers at the Star Drive-in is a one-of-a-kind

At Mount Carmel Junction, we north onto U.S. 89, then right onto Route 12, the Journey Through Scenic Byway, passing a national forest, a national and a national monument over the of 122 stunning miles. As the sun sank we pulled into the Shooting Drive-in, a blast-from-the-past motel east of Escalante.

It has eight classic Airstream configured as private cabins, with thematic décor movie stars like Monroe and John Wayne, a drive-in theater with six cars for guests to kick in during the nightly screenings. Mark Gudenas, who looks the in his porkpie hat and Hawaiian shirt, a BBQ cookout for us, followed by a showing of The One.

The next day, we east into the 1.9-million Grand Staircase-Escalante National At Head of the Rocks overlook, we to comprehend the vast geological known as the Grand Staircase, a progression of sedimentary layers includes famous canyons Bryce and Grand), cliffs for their colors (Pink, White, Vermillion and Chocolate) and mesas, plateaus, buttes and all linked together by a series of byways that offer of the best riding in America.

We plunged down into the River Valley, and then up to Hogback, a ribbon of pavement a narrow, twisting ridge cliffs that drop of feet on either side. promised an epic experience, and few describe this road so

Victory Vision Tour

Cruising through Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National

At Torrey, we turned right State Route 24, another byway that passes Capitol Reef National The varied and unique red-rock parks of Utah—Zion, Bryce, Reef, Arches and Canyonlands—are You can ride through them all in one week, enjoying many places to eat, sleep and along the way.

At Hanksville, we south onto State 95, yet another scenic byway winds its way through Glen National Recreation Area, top-down views of Lake and a bridge over the mighty River. After a desolate through the Navajo Indian we crossed into Colorado, for the night in the mining-town-turned-tourist-destination of Durango, tall tales over beers at the Durango Brewing and staying at the historic and supposedly Strater Hotel.

After covered in coal dust the Durango Silverton narrow-gauge train leave town, we north on U.S. 550 into San National Forest. Now in the Rockies, we had red-rock canyons for high-mountain like Coal Bank feet) and Molas (10,970 The 25-mile stretch of U.S.

550 from Silverton to Ouray is the Million Dollar Highway, riders with switchbacks, and jaw-dropping vistas. North of the road flattened out as we approached and turned east on U.S. 50. We the Blue Mesa Reservoir on Route 92, following the north rim of the Canyon of the Gunnison, and then State Route 133 through Mesa National Forest and McClure Pass (8,755

We spent the night at The Hotel another historic hotel in Springs with a brewpub door.

The Durango — narrow-gauge steam train, Durango, Colorado.

On the fourth I rode alone. Scheduling necessitated an evening flight out of rather than continuing on to In pursuit of more epic I departed dark and early, to conquer Independence Pass feet) and make my first of crossings of the Continental Divide.

The Vision’s wheels rolled Freemont Pass (11,318 and Berthoud Pass (11,307 before entering Rocky National Park, where Meadow National Scenic offers Alps-like grandeur, several passes (Milner, and Fall River) and tops out at feet. The cherry on top of a decadent day was to Peak Highway along the Range.

An epic ride, Over four days, I ran up the Vision’s odometer from 27 to miles, enjoying conveniences as cruise control, heated (on cold Colorado mornings) and With a pang of sadness, I the bug-splattered, floorboard-beveled Vision to a local Victory dealer, instead I could do the entire in reverse and keep going I reached the Pacific.


Victory Vision Tour


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