Doing the Victory Demos at NCY Motorsports
Story/ Photos by Randy Twells
Getting to try several bike models all at the same Demo event is a great way to compare them with each other and with what you already ride. Then you have a realistic idea of how each bike will perform over the same route/geography and road/weather conditions. This past April 24 & 25, NCY Motorsports in San Marcos/North San Diego County hosted the Victory Demo truck. A seasoned rider & former racer himself, dealership Owner Jim Hurkman does the pre-ride briefing himself and then along with his staff of experienced riders assisting, he personally guides the group on the route.
John says: “I have ridden and owned only a few bikes: 2 Triumphs– a modern Bonneville and a Thunderbird Storm, and 1 sport bike; an Aprilia Tuono. My latest bike is a 2015 Victory Cross Country Tour. It’s big enough and comfortable enough for long distance rides. It has all the modern amenities you would expect from a long distance dual rider, and my wife loves it (isn’t that what’s most important anyway?!).
On April 24th and 25th NCY Motorsports hosted a Victory Demo ride. Since I have purchased three of the four bikes I have owned from them, my wife Karen & I figured we should show up to support the event. Also, I am always looking for the next bike, and this was a great way to try out a few other Victorys I have been eyeballing. Unfortunately, my wife and I were under time constraints and I only had time to ride one bike, the 2015 Victory Gunner. Now, I am not going to bore you with all the stats about the bike because 1) I am not a professional writer. And 2) you can look up all the stats at Victorymotorcycles.com or, go to NCY, speak to one of their fabulous sales associates and take one for a spin.
The bike I rode was a matte grey or graphite Gunner. (I can never tell the difference between the two colors.) It had a nice stance and the seating position was good. I’m a big guy. Standing between 6’1” and 6’2” and weighing close to 300lbs there are not a lot of bikes I fit well but, I was very comfortable on the Gunner. The peg position was far enough forward so I didn’t feel like my feet were all bunched up under me, and the bar position was great. I didn’t have to lean forward at all to grab on.
Once the ride started we hit the highway. Freeway would be more accurate. We jumped on the 78 freeway heading west for about a mile or so. This was nice because I was able to open the bike up a little and I’ll tell you what; that Freedom Vtwin 106 in a bike with a smaller frame (as opposed to the Cross Country Tour) has all the power you would ever need for tooling around town, or even hitting the open road for a few hours of fun. Once we got off the highway and into town, that’s where I got to get a better feel for the bike. With all the up and down shifting, braking and steering, I got a good feel for the overall handling of the Gunner. It handled great. No problems leaning from one lane to another, throttle response was amazing, braking was good, and the sound of the stock exhaust was fantastic. A nice deep rumbling note whenever I would twist the throttle hard. The fatter front tire took some getting used to. At first, it can make the front end feel heavy when turning. But once I had a few miles in, It became second nature.
After a few miles through town on Twin Oaks Valley Parkway, we found ourselves in San Elijo Hills turning onto Elfin Forest Road– my favorite ride. Hitting the winding roads out there is always fun and really lets you find what a bike can do. I used to ride it every day for work, so I am very familiar with each turn and how fast I am able to maneuver through the area. (The only time it’s not a nice ride? When the road is wet. Yikes!)
Once we dropped down the first hill everyone sped up to a more appropriate speed for the area. Not too fast, but fast enough to let you know you were alive. Handling on the Gunner remained great. Up and down the hills, in and out of turns, it thoroughly impressed. I did find very quickly though, that the Gunner does not sit as high as my Cross Country Tour and if the sign says 20mph on a turn, it means 20. After scraping the pegs a few times — always racks my nerves for a second when I do that– I got a very good feel for the cornering abilities and limits for the Gunner. Again, I am a big guy, used to a bigger bike. I made the needed adjustments. After a quick romp through Elfin Forest we headed back towards the dealership. Altogether I’d say it was a nice 45 minute test ride and I got to experience a very good mix of riding environments you may expect to run into on the Gunner.
My overall opinion of the 2015 Victory Gunner?
I’d buy one right now if my wife would let me.
I should note that the event hosted by NCY was a class act. They had plenty of food and drinks for everyone. The Victory Demo guys were right out front, so you didn›t have to navigate through a crowd of people and bikes to sign up for a ride and as always, the NCY crew were friendly and willing to answer any questions you had. Whether it was about a new or used bike, accessories, or how many of the delicious smoked Bratwurst you were allowed to eat (FYI, as many as you want). I hope to be able to attend future events and will definitely remain an NCY customer. Thank you, John C. Coddington.”
I also had met up with Sergio Monzon, as he was checking out the bikes between the Demo departures. So he said he’d fill us in too on what he thought.
At this Demo event, I test rode both the 2015 Cross Country Tour and the 2015 Magnum X-1. Both bikes rode smooth and the power seemed endless; as long as you change gears when the bike is at 3000 rpm it makes it a smoother shift. There was a big difference in both bikes in their ride position. The CCT felt as if you could ride it from coast to coast in a relaxing position.
However, the Magnum X-1 had mini-ape hanger handlebars! A totally different ride.. With the miniape hangers it made you feel as if you where sitting in the bike instead of sitting on the bike. It only took about two minutes to get used to them. Not sure how they would feel on your shoulders on a long ride, but they sure made the bike and rider look bad ass.
Now, the CCT would be a great ride for a passenger on long rides, but I think that a passenger on the X-1 would be a little more uncomfortable with its seat. For going around the city it would be fine, but to Vegas and back, not sure my wife would appreciate that. I really enjoyed both bikes, but if I had to choose one, I would choose the Magnum X-1 of all the Victory models. The paint job just pops and every eye is on that bike when riding or standing, the sound system was awesome, and with the mini-ape hanger handlebars, makes it the best bike for the price, that just can’t be beat. — Sergio Monzon”
Well there you have it, just two of the many Demo riders that day, with their candid assessments. Jim’s wife Julie Hurkman, was right there too making sure the buffet food table was fully supplied, and the aroma of the brats cooking out back in the smoker drifted in to tempt hungry riders. All the while Dan Byles the Marketing guy also helped people at the Parts Counter. Everyone pitches in at this family business, making everyone feel right at home and ready to ride.