2015 Victory Magnum | FIRST RIDE

A Heavy Dose of Attitude For Bagger Nation

They say: Huge wheels, loud paint, big audio. We say: An apt capsule description, now just add motorcycle.

As Victory tells it, the 2015 Magnum is meant to project “eye-catching style” while giving certain bagger riders exactly what they’re hankering for: huge wheels, loud paint, and big audio. The Magnum obliges with six speakers powered by a potent, 100-watt in-dash audio system, but the first thing you’ll double-take on is the 21-inch cast wheel leading the way. You’ve probably seen 30-inch hoops infiltrating the custom scene, but here’s a saner 21-inch wheel wearing a 120/70 tire on the Magnum’s front end; and yet this happens to be the largest front wheel on a production bagger. Yes, the custom guys are snickering.

The three-tone Ness Midnight Cherry graphic scheme will set you back $22,999, but it'll get onlookers' eyeballs popping.

Otherwise, the components on the Magnum won’t surprise anyone: the Freedom 106/6 powertrain, 43mm inverted fork, triple disc brakes, and lockable hard saddlebags are familiar Victory fare. Besides the signature 1,731cc, four-valve-per-cylinder mill, you’ll also find the same 5.8-gallon tank and bar-mount fairing atop a cast-aluminum frame, along with same 65.7-inch wheelbase as the rest of its bagger brethren. It’s even got the same rake and trail as the Cross Country models.

Cutting a sleek profile with that tall (but not too skinny) front wheel, the new Magnum offers surprisingly good ground clearance too, considering how low the seat height is.

The first decreasing-radius turn will remind you that this ain’t no Cross Country, though. But even if the 21-inch tire’s initial turn in is a touch lighter, the Magnum never feels squirrelly, and that inverted fork offers a measure of stability you wouldn’t expect from a wheel that size. Victory’s engineers reduced fork travel, tweaked damping, and increased spring rates for the new setup; even so, the suspension is more than reasonably compliant.

The stylized front fender sits tight on the 21-inch cast front wheel (largest for a production bagger). But you also get dual floating brake discs up front, and ABS as standard equipment.

Because the engine is unchanged, you get all the smooth, linear power Victory baggers are known for, with an ample hit of low-end torque. You’ll also have no trouble slowing down as the Magnum comes with ABS. Victory has this basic motorcycle figured out, and didn’t want to stray too far.

The Magnum is a long, low machine, which makes for plenty of stability in a straight line. Check out those rear fender close-outs, which neatly plug the gap between fender and bags and dish out a Cory Ness-inspired custom look.

Still, the Magnum is mostly about attitude, so its custom touches have to reinforce that vibe. They do. The sleek bags mimic the flow of the slammed rear suspension, which is one inch lower than other Victory baggers, also dropping seat height to an in-the-weeds 25.7 inches. From behind, color-matched closeouts plug the gaps between bag and frame for a seamless look. Other details include a painted dash and color-matched radiator shroud, and a big new LED headlight.

The styling, fit, and finish on the Magnum reflect its premium aspirations, and there’s no question it’ll appeal to Millenials and probably later-era Boomers looking to jumpstart their midlife crises. It’s sure to give the Harley Street Glide Special a run for its money in the bad-ass bagger category. Both ring in at a similar price—the Magnum starts at $21,999—and have standard ABS along with high-end audio (though Harley’s Boom! Box system is a bit more than just music).

Victory says it’s ready to end its 15th year with a mature product lineup, and this bike—along with the bobberesque Gunner released earlier this year—looks like a pretty good way to do it. No doubt Victory’s designers are celebrating with a magnum or two.

tech SPEC  
Price $21,999 - $22,499
Engine type Air/oil-cooled 50° V-twin
Displacement 1731cc (106ci)
Transmission 6-speed, belt
Frame Aluminum backbone
Front suspension KYB 43mm fork; 4.4-in. travel
Rear suspension KYB shock adjustable for air preload; 3.5-in. travel
Front brake Dual Nissin four-piston calipers, 300mm discs with ABS
Rear brake Nissin two-piston caliper, 300mm disc with ABS
Front tire 120/70R-21 Dunlop Elite 3
Rear tire 180/60R-16 Dunlop Elite 3
Rake/trail 29.0°/5.6 in.
Seat height 25.7 in.
Wheelbase 65.7 in.
Fuel capacity 5.8 gal.
Claimed dry weight 761 lb.
Availability Now
Contact victorymotor.com

VERDICT   7/10 Stars

Victory goes big (up front) without compromising on performance or comfort.
A painted, color-matched dash on the Magnum highlights now-familiar instrumentation, but distinguishes this bagger from a run-of-the-mill rig. The ape-hangers pictured (which we had on our test unit) are options.
Cutting a sleek profile with that tall (but not too skinny) front wheel, the new Magnum offers surprisingly good ground clearance too, considering how low the seat height is.
The Magnum is a long, low machine, which makes for plenty of stability in a straight line. Check out those rear fender close-outs, which neatly plug the gap between fender and bags and dish out a Cory Ness-inspired custom look.
The stylized front fender sits tight on the 21-inch cast front wheel (largest for a production bagger). But you also get dual floating brake discs up front, and ABS as standard equipment.
The three-tone Ness Midnight Cherry graphic scheme will set you back $22,999, but it'll get onlookers' eyeballs popping.
What, six speakers ain't enough? Go for the saddlebag speaker option, and mount up two additional units for more rear audio.
Las Vegas was the backdrop for our First Ride on Victory's new custom bagger. Tooling down the Strip in July is not exactly a cool cruise (it was 106 degrees at one point), so we'd all assumed this event would be an unveiling of Victory's water-cooled engine, which has been an open secret on the internet.