Many readers may be unfamiliar on how first ride bike tests take place at magazines. Typically, when a new model is released they invite editors from different titles to a remote location where you are wined and dined. You ride the bikes on pre-scouted routes in some of the most scenic locations all over the world. Hold on now; let’s make sure that it doesn’t sound like I’m complaining about this. Because I’m not and press launches are one of the best part of the job! Ha! After the launch, we fly back home to our daily grinds of computer screens and PB&J. A few weeks later, the bikes we tested in grand fashion show up at the offices and the real tests begin.
I’ll be posting some different riding impressions of the 2015 Victory Magnum in segments. In this chapter, we’ll focus on my daily freeway commute that encompasses about 50 miles round trip. The day starts in Long Beach, California and ends in Irvine. It’s a straight shot on one of the busiest freeways in the country.
Please note the video was sped up for viewing purposes.
GAS: The Magnum does an amazing job on gas during my commute. The huge tank only requires filling up once a week, which shaves off valuable minutes each day. The only complaint would be the gas gauge reads full for a few days and then rapidly drops to empty in the latter part of the week.
HANDLING: The route I take is far from the Grand Prix and it’s pretty much a straight up and down ride, but bikes handle differently over bumps, concrete rain grooves, and stop and go traffic. It’s in the environment where your “cool guy” ape hangers and knuckle busting t-bars really show their shortcomings. The Magnum’s bars reach back a fair distance and make quick, short steering changes a breeze.
The Magnum’s bars reach back a fair distance and make quick, short steering changes a breeze.
These might be my favorite stock bars on a bagger that I’ve ridden yet.
POWER: On the California freeways, power is needed in short spurts when a gap in traffic allows for a quick lane split (which is legal). There isn’t any time to build up power, so gear selection and torque is key. The Magnum provides an awesome low-end grunt as well as a higher end pull when whacking the throttle to fill the open space.
STYLING: To figure out the general public’s feeling about the styling of a bike is easy. The way it’s done is to count how many people come up and ask about a bike while filling up with gas. The Magnum is a people pleaser for sure. Almost every time I gas up someone usually asks, “What is that?” When I say a Victory, about 50 percent know what that is. You also know the styling is on point, when patched up H-D riders even give a thumbs up or ask if that’s a custom bike. he look of the Magnum is as close to perfect from the factory as I’ve seen from Victory.
The look of the Magnum is as close to perfect from the factory as I’ve seen from Victory.
Personally, I think it just needs a few tweaks to make it my own, but then again I can’t leave anything stock.
PARKING: This may sound like a dumb test, but using a bike to commute means navigating small parking lots at low speeds. The lowered seat height on the Magnum gives you just that little bit of extra confidence when doing the Flintstone while backing up or stopping at a light. Slow speed riding is average on this bike as compared to other baggers. Not the easiest, but not the worst.
While designed for the open roads, the Victory Magnum can relatively easily be used to commute with daily. Plenty of torque, nimble enough handling and good gas mileage allows this bike to be used on a daily basis.
Plenty of torque, nimble enough handling and good gas mileage allows this bike to be used on a daily basis.
NEXT TIME: We want to see how the Magnum performs with a passenger and their point of view. Stay tuned for the two-up test coming soon.
For more information on the Victory Magnum visit: www.victorymotorcycles.com