First Ride: Victory Vision Street

A change of pace for the Whitham's as they take the large Victory on a tour of the Lake District

Click to read: Victory Vision Street owners reviews, Victory Vision Street specs and to see the Victory Vision Street image gallery.

I’ve never ridden, or seen for that matter, anything quite like the Vision before and I suspect the same would be true of most motorcyclists.

It’s fair to say that outside the world of one-off specials and home-builds, this bike is the oddest looking thing you’re ever likely to come across. Even the bloke who led me through to the workshop when I picked it up asked if I’d seen one before, when I said no he just replied “Oh”!

My thoughts when I saw it were a mixture of humorous intrigue and intimidation. It looked to me more like some kind of huge jet-ski than a bike. The talk-through by the guy was also one I’ll remember. He explained all the various (and numerous) controls, looked me up and down then said “I know you can ride a bike, but you’re not a big bloke, so if it starts to go over on you, don’t try to stop it, just get your legs out from underneath it and let go.” After a short period of silence I asked him “how would I pick it back up?” He answered with a dead straight face, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world, “get a member of the public to help!”

The first thing you notice when you take to the road is that the majority of other road users and pedestrians are looking at you as you pass, mostly with a look of bewilderment. The Vision is a big bike. At nine feet long and 370kgs dry, it’s twice as heavy and a good two feet longer than an R6, but once you get going it carries its self well and feels stable. Even at walking pace you can easily ride feet-up. When you do stop the unbelievably low seat height means even the shortest rider would get both feet on the ground at once.

On the motorway, which I suppose would be it’s natural habitat, it pretty much rides itself. By tweaking the electric screen it’s possible get out of the wind completely. Going up the M6 with the iPod playing through the speakers, sat in your own little air bubble, it was quite relaxing. 2,500rpm gives 70mph in top, and 3,000 glides you along at 80. It has a six speed box, but to be honest, the near-on 1800cc V-twin motor has so much torque it would be better with four, then you wouldn’t have to use the hideously heavy clutch as often.

As long as any corners you encounter are not too tight, and as long as you don’t rush into them, the bike stays perfectly balanced and neutral although you do feel very detached from how the tyres are going over the road surface. The two biggest gripes about the bike were the heavy clutch and the fact that when it rains - which was all the time on this trip - it’s difficult to see through the screen, but to be fair you could set it to its lowest height and peer over the top. For me, and I suspect many others, the Vision is just too different to be attractive. But Judge Dredd would absolutely love it!

Rear View Missus

Andrea Whitham

When James turned up at home with the Victory I was speechless - and that takes some doing! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bike as big. From behind it looks like a moped that’s been on steroids, from the side a boat and the front, an eagle! For such a huge machine it was very easy to get on and off, as it’s quite low, but the seat felt a bit on the large side for me, as I’m not the tallest. It’s extremely comfortable. I really enjoyed the ride up, especially when we plugged in the iPod! I was amazed that you could here the music clearly, even at 70mph. I loved being pillion on such a mad bike...

Victory Vision Street Specifications

Price: £15,500
Engine: 1731cc, SOHC, air/oil-cooled, 8-valve 50° V-twin
Drive: 6-speed, belt driven
Power: 92bhp @ 4,300RPM (claimed)
Torque: 109lb.ft @ 2,750rpm
Front suspension: Conventional forks, no adjustment
Rear suspension: Single shock air adjustable
Front brake: Twin discs 300mm, four-piston calipers
Rear brake: 300mm disc, four-piston caliper
Dry weight: 365kg dry (claimed)
Seat height: 673mm
Fuel capacity: 22.7 litres
Top speed: 125mph (est)
Colours: Solid Black, Midnight Cherry, Supersteel Grey