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The Big American Motorcycles

Let me start this discussion by getting to the bottom line. Harley is Harley. Only Harley is Harley. Victory is not Harley. Victory will never be Harley.

The other bottom line: Victory's Vision is a darn good motorcycle, with modern handling and great reliability, and a lot of Vision buyer's would be Harley buyers if Victory did not exist.

What's cool about Harleys is the classic design, the incredible low speed maneuverability, the fact that most things can be fixed in a parking lot with minimal tools, the ability to get help and usually parts almost anywhere, and, of course, the patented sound.

What's cool about Victory is that it's American built, has a fresh modern design, great handling, comfort like crazy, electric everything imaginable, and it seems to be reliable.

I spent the weekend with a group of riders on both bikes. They both have that big American V-Twin sound, although the Harley sound remains unique. The advantages of each are what you would surmise, especially if you have read reviews and test rides in the motorcycling press.

Personally, I believe that this is a great new addition to the American motorcycle genre, and that it will not only provide an alternative, but also spur Harley to new and better things, as well.
 

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I have a lot of interest in the Victory bikes. I think they have proven to be great competition in the big cruiser market, and competition is great for all the riders out there. It keeps all the manufacturers on their toes.

The styling of the Victories is certainly on the wild side. I'm not 100% sold on the looks of the wheel design, but that's just personal choice. From all I've read, they have a pretty good edge on performance over the Harley brand.
 

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The Vision looks a little too futuristic in the print ads for me. BUT after you walk around it 3-4 times on the showroom floor you really appriciate the "modern" lines. As a former HD owner, and current VIC owner, I don't ever see myself going back to what I've come to consider an American "assembled" (from japanese parts) HD. Nothing against the japanese & european rides (love the ones I own) But I don't like the fact that they(HD) claim to be "American" when IMHO they are barely more american than they were when they were making all the enduros in italy. Just my $.02
 

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When I was searching I narrowed it down to the HD Fat Bob and the Victory Vegas. I couldn't pass on the Vic for less money I have a bullet proof engine, more HP and torque, and I like the styling to me it looks like no other bike on the road.

Only draw back is they parts are crazy expensive and if need to have it worked on it isn't going to be cheap.
 

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Bikes, Guns and Video Games - Ain't life grand?
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I dunno, I looked at the victory's but they just didn't move me that much. I don't really like the look and here in OKC, they were just as expensive as Harley's. I thought, if I'm going to spend that much money, I'm getting a friggin Harley.

Still I wasn't in the market for a new bike. I just stopped by the dealer and laid my eyes on the Cross Bones and I was hooked!!! I'm so glad I got a Harley it isn't even funny.....and I'm getting compliments nearly every day I ride it.

HD just affect people differently than other bikes. While I'm glad that Victory is making bikes, they simply can't compete with this:


 

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I prefer the classic look of most Harleys over the Victory models - just a personal preference on aesthetics. That said, there are three Harley models I would consider owning: Heritage Softail Classic, Fat Boy, and the Road King Classic. I just can't get myself to pull the trigger though because of the price. I bought a Suzuki C90 in February and love it. The sad truth is most big metric cruisers match or in a lot of cases out perform comparable Harley cruisers for thousands less. Yea, I know all about that "Harley Mystique" and they do hold their value better, but still. I can't justify the price tag for the same or even lessor product. Again, not trying to knock Harley, it just is what it is. Maybe Harley will realize that since they've had to scale down production in their plants and lay off a sizable portion of their work force. I do try to buy American made products when I can and when it makes sense. But as other posters have said, Harley really is not American made. It's just American assembled. By the way, some metrics are assembled in America as well.
 

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The Vision is a work of art. Looks like it would be mad fun take on a long trip. With the whole Harley holding their value thing, I see a lot more Harley's for sale on craigslist & ebay than anything else. Is this because the owners feel they hold their value & won't list them any lower. With all the bikes on the road nowadays, seems like your return on a metric might be better than Harley. I don't know. Not knocking HD, I would love a softtail or road king.
 
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Yikes? I agree with just about everybody’s' comments here with a few of my own added for good measure :rolleyes:: I own (at least at this brief moment in time) both an older Victory and Harley. There's seriously little (if anything) to compare between the two factions, other then they're both V-Twins, made in America (although the Victory’s share of USA Made parts are MUCH greater then H-D I’d say!), and are more or less both in the ‘Cruiser’ market (although the definition is getting vaguer everyday?!). But beyond that they really are different animals… could be from different Planets too as far as I can see?! I continue to love Harleys, but daily am warming up to the Victory. But ironically enough neither manufacturer’s recent years models and/or current lineups appeal to me at all! I’d seriously have to take my business elsewhere (IF I was in such a happy position again…) and honest to gawd I keep lookin’ at those Friggin’ Hyosung (and/or United Motors) GV650 Cruisers (hoping for a bigger model soon), accursed Valve Shim type / Valve Lash Adjusters or not!

But as far as my current machines, I judge everything by function and serviceability. And so far the two entities are running neck and neck: I LOVE the 6-gallon Fuel Tank and 6-Quart Oil capacities of the Victory, plus the Gi-Normous stock OEM CAR-size Oil Cooler the Vic came with. Seriously everything on this Victory seems to be sized Extra-Large! This is a huge bike, even by H-D standards! Oil and Oil-Filter changes are a snap, once you get the correct (again odd sized) tools for this scoot. Air Cleaner servicing is great also. But simple jobs like change the lousy Spark Plugs OR adjust the single Rear Mono Shock?! Man, I hope I never ever have to do those jobs again – EVER (but you know I will!)!!! The Vic is quiet, even by Gold-Wing standards (without a water jacket) this machine is quiet (except it IS a used and abused as received bike with a little Piston Slap at idle, annoying but livable). Virtually vibration-less – certainly again at the level of GW standards (with it’s included Counter-Balancer). Whatever Vic’s are, they’re definitely NOT Harleys! And that’s just fine with me.

As far as Harleys, what they are (and aren’t) are already well outlined in here. Sportsters still remain much easier to service then BT’s, and seriously probably have more in common with Vic’s then they’re bigger Brothers?! I’m used to (and comfortable with) working on H-D Big Twins then I am much else, though probably feel a LOT more comfortable with Shovels then I do Blockheads (Evos) and Fatheads. Heck, I’m STILL hoping for an old Panhead someday, win… lose… or draw. But I will say at this point in time, until such time as the perceived value (if ever?) changes, you’re far better buying a Victory USED rather then new! The ongoing theme among Vic owners remains: NO Resale Value and it’s true! I paid $3,900 for my 2000 V92SC Vic offa’ eBay (plus choke/gasp $$$ Shipping!) 2 years ago and I still think that’s a pretty fair deal. The only thing BETTER is if I coulda’ (as I would of YEARS ago) used it as an excuse for a Road Trip and gone and picked the dang thing up myself! Nuff’ said.

LRG :cool:

Footnote: I'll just add I really had a very rough start with the Victory, but have since sorted it out. Initially the Clutch Cable broke! How many bikes do you know break the CC on the first ride up the yard?! As received one of the two Throttle Cables was broken. No big for anything else, but try finding these for a Vic (I did eventually but..)?! Most anoying thing was the LACK of a Fuel Petcock on this thing, and the cheap and nasty Plastic Fuel Line Connectors they used on this bike (break without warning!). I've bite the bullet since and replaced all this schitt with Top of Line Fuel Dragsters BRASS Fittings! Heh, probably outlast the dang bike now! :D
 

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The unique design of the Victory is either great or a complete turnoff. I'm much moreso a traditionalist and lean away from the Victory design. I think it's great that it's being realized that HD is "Jap Crap" like most other bikes. Maybe the public will someday consider HD as another "foreign" bike that is wildly over priced!
CD
 

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The unique design of the Victory is either great or a complete turnoff. I'm much moreso a traditionalist and lean away from the Victory design. I think it's great that it's being realized that HD is "Jap Crap" like most other bikes. Maybe the public will someday consider HD as another "foreign" bike that is wildly over priced!
CD
I disagree, Harley is not overpriced when you consider it is built by American labor in an American factory. The "Jap Crap" as you refer to it is in fact not crap at all and when you consider the reduction in labor and manufacturing costs it makes sense in terms of price difference. When you stack up those machines that are built in the US the price line starts to even out.

The Victory vision is very smooth but the hard bags design cuts off usable space which is needed on the road. I like the Road Glide best of them all but I am not to happy with the new TC96.
 

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Bikes, Guns and Video Games - Ain't life grand?
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I am glad I found this forum. I was just considering a Vegas 8-ball. Wow that Cross bones looks Kick [email protected]#.
Thanks!! I love it!! In fact, I've also got a BMW but I hardly ride that anymore. My Harley is just so comfy and powerful and it sounds so badass...I love it!!
 

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Read this thread and had to register!

I had a horrible accident last year leaving me unable to bend my left leg much and in need of a bike with forward controls. My choices were Harley Fat Bob, Victory Hammer or Suzuki M1900R. I quickly dismissed the Suzuki as being a contrived copy of a cross between a cruiser and a V-rod. The Victory stood up well on aesthetics apart from wheel design, which I found rather brash and not really in keeping with the image. The Fat Bob got my vote as it looks quite Europeanish, has dual front discs, a sensible sized wheel and tyre combination and was actually quite a lot cheaper than the Victory. And, apart from all that, the Victory sounds just like any other Japanese Harley copy. I'm not after performance any more, particularly with the current proliferation of speed cameras in the UK, my Fat Bob arrives in a couple of weeks and I hope I don't regret the choice I have made. Having spent the last twenty years riding sports bikes, it'll be something of a culture shock.

Anyway, hello everybody, I'm Dave!
 

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Bikes, Guns and Video Games - Ain't life grand?
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Hi Dave...welcome to the forums.

And holy thread resurrection batman. :)

You know...everyone told me that when you own a Harley it's a different experience and I agree. I'm so glad I bought a Harley.

I love going into the dealerships and checking out all the cool gear and motorcycles and I've had so many people compliment me on my bike.

Sorry to hear about your accident and I hope you get more flexibility in your leg. I also hope your Harley will be as enjoyable to as mine has been to me.
 

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"I think it's great that it's being realized that HD is "Jap Crap" like most other bikes."

All current Harley Davidson motorcycles are manufactured in the USA. Approximately 15-20% of the components used are manufactured overseas. (In the case of the V-rod it's slightly higher, but I do not know what the actual percentage is.) Of the components manufactured outside the USA some are made in Japan, some in Italy, some in Austria, some in Germany, some in Canada, some in the UK, and some in a few other places. The MoCo does this because in certain cases they can purchase a better quality part for less money then they can a similar part made in the USA. (Which is a sad, but true, reflection of the state of some American manufacturing industries.)

I have heard and read, but do not know for a fact, that Victory motorcycles have approximately 10-15% of their parts manufactured overseas. Like it or not, we are an integral part of the world's economy and there is no such thing as a motorcycle that's of 100% American origin.

As for the Victory's themselves, I have very little experience with them. I know a fellow that uses them exclusively for customizations and he swears by them. Since I know how much experience he has building and fabricating, I'll have to believe that they're pretty **** good motorcycles. Me personaly, I think they look a little too sanitary and generic for my taste, and they look like yet another Harley clone. But if that's what anyone chooses to ride, you won't find me knocking either their choice or the brand. As I said, I believe they're probably great bikes, but they're just not for me.

Oh, and let's not forget one of the other American motorcycle companies: Indian. Anyone want to talk about over-priced? <chuckle>
 

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Be proud!

I hear Triumph are pretty popular on that side of the pond, you may be shocked to know just how much of them is made in Japan particularly or wherever the part can be sourced cheapest.

Essentially, the frames and engines are made in Triumphland which really does it for me. The bike on which I nearly died was a Triumph Daytona with a Union Flag splashed across the fairing. I was proud of the fact that I was riding a British bike despite the fact that the brake calipers said Nissin on them etc.

I will also be proud when I finally get my Fat Bob which is a real American hunk of metal no matter how many of its components are manufactured abroad. Does anyone really care that its electronic ignition module was made in Italy or wherever? It looks, feels and sounds like a Harley, it is a Harley. Be proud (and buy lots of Triumphs, we could do with the export trade!).
 

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The only problem I have with the Victory bikes is that they don't produce an 'entry level' bike (sub $10k MSRP) like Harley (and most every other manufacturer) does with the Sportster. At $12,999 to start, they're missing a significant portion of the market.
 
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