By Gary Mraz
The new 2015 Victory Magnum looks fully custom right off the showroom floor. Taking advantage of the big-wheel bagger craze, the Magnum is riding on a 21-inch front wheel boasting the largest rim on any production bagger. This bike actually looks like it was designed ground-up for a 21” rim. The curvature of the cowling and front fender looks well balanced. Because of the larger 21-inch front wheel, the front suspension had to be redesigned – they retuned the dampers and stiffened up the springs using a very progressive dualrate set-up.
The pipes are also esthetically balanced and have a nice throaty tone. Plus notice how Victory fills in the space between the rear fender and the saddlebags for a seamless custom look.
Its slammed back-end delivers a sleek profile. Lowering the rear end was primarily done for the look and attitude of the bike, but that meant less travel to work with. The reduced rear wheel travel is down from 4.7 to 3.5 inches for the Magnum. To do this, they used a reworked suspension linkage for a more progressive rate and retuned the shock. At the end of the day, the front and rear suspension are nicely balanced, effortlessly soaking up smaller bumps while absorbing the large bumps as well. Of course the user-adjustable airride is standard as on all Cross series allowing an infinite variety of rider comfort settings.
The Magnum’s dropped rear also provides a low center of gravity. Its sleek new Low-Pro Seat cradles its pilot deep into the saddle and the seat is all the way down to 25.7 inches, from 26.3 for the Cross Country. Although lowered overall, Victory designers have been able to keep the Cross Country’s undercarriage space of 5.8 inches.
The Tri Oval Stage 1 exhausts sound great, a deep note resounds around town and she purrs deliciously at 75 mph on the freeway. The custom painted dashboards 6-Speaker indash audio system blasts 100 Watts and FINALLY, there is a mute button on the stereo system. The audio connector in the saddlebag is USB which is so cool. I literally loaded up a spare USB stick, plugged it in and listened to my favorite riding tunes. Accessories like the stereo saddlebag speakers with amps and chubby bar ape hangers are awesome options making this custom bagger look and sound even badder.
Ben Lindaman, Victory product manager states that “The Magnum is the bagger that everyone has either been asking for or building themselves over the last couple years.” This bike really is a good example of how Victory listens to its customers and isn’t afraid to make a custom bike that other brands won’t. Magnum comes standard with thousands of dollars in accessories and custom features, yet since we’re building the bike in Spirit Lake, Iowa without the dual expense of aftermarket parts, we can do it for thousands less than anyone else.” With the Magnum, you’ve got the style and performance that people are spend fortunes to get, and you still have a factory warranty and the confidence of a proven brand behind you.
Victory thinks the Magnum is oriented more toward urban use, and that the Magnum buyer is the extrovert who wants to be seen and heard around town as opposed to the long-distance rider who wants to get away from it all. I can attest, sitting in the magnum cockpit it’s an attitude adjustment. It’s almost a chopper feel, low and kicked back, a clean field of view over the small boomerang windscreen. Tunes pumping, everybody checks you out at stop lights. I will also mention the Magnum is the first Cross series with keyed fork locks. I had the good fortune of having both a Cross Country Tour and a Magnum in my garage at the same time and the comparison in stance are pretty dramatic.
Look how much lower the rear of the Magnum sits but I can attest (after 700 miles on her) she handles and rides beautifully. I did not ride with a passenger but I did put 50 lbs. of air into the air shocks for my long distance tour. Also notice the headlamp position, although it looks as its pointing more downward, the LED headlamps are adjusted perfectly to light up the roadway at night.
That 21” rim and fender just work on this bike but, fear not, you can retrofit any Cross series motorcycle because the rake and trail are the same. If you want to add a 21” onto your existing Cross contact your local dealer to order the parts.
Whether it’s an Urban Bagger or Touring Cruiser, the Magnum is rolling art right out of the factory. It’s hard to criticize anything about this bike because Victory gloriously achieved every single goal for the Magnum customer. For 2015 it’s available in Plasma Lime, Sunset Red Over Supersteel Gray, Ness Midnight Cherry, and Metasheen Black Over Supersteel Gray (seen here). Starting at a cool $21,999 (MSRP)
Dry Weight 760 lbs / 345 kg
Displacement 106 ci / 1731 cc
Oil Capacity 5.0 qts / 4.73 ltr
ENGINE & DRIVETRAIN
Battery: 12 volts / 18 amp hours
Charging System: 48 amps max output
Compression Ratio: 9.4 : 1
Cooling: Air / oil
Drive/Driven Clutch Wet, multi-plate
Exhaust: Split dual exhaust with crossover
Fuel System: Electronic Fuel Injection with dual 45mm throttle body
Type 6-speed overdrive constant mesh
Transmission/Final Drive: Carbon Fiber Reinforced Belt
Transmission/Primary Drive: Gear drive with torque compensator
Valve Train: Single overhead camshafts with 4 valves per cylinder, self-adjusting cam chains, hydraulic lifters
Bore x Stroke (mm): 101 x 108 mm
Engine Type: 4-stroke 50° V-Twin
Front Suspension: Inverted cartridge telescopic fork, 43 mm diameter, 5.1 in / 130 mm travel
Rear Suspension: Single, mono-tube gas, cast aluminum with constant rate linkage, 4.7 in / 120 mm travel, air adjustable
Brakes: Brake System Type Conventional w/ optional ABS
Front Brakes: Dual 300mm floating rotor with 4-piston calipers
Rear Brakes: 300mm floating rotor with 2-piston caliper
Tires / Wheels
Front Tires: 120/70R21 Dunlop Elite 3 Front
Front Wheel: 21 x 3.5” Front
Rear Tires: 180/60R16 Dunlop Elite 3
Rear Wheel: 16 x 5.0”
Fuel Capacity (gallons/liters): 5.8 gal / 22 ltr
GCWR: 1360 lbs / 618 kg
Ground Clearance: 5.8 in / 148 mm
Rake/Trail: 29.0° / 5.6 in / 142 mm
Seat Height: 26.3 in / 667 mm
Wheelbase: 65.7 in / 1670 mm
Overall Length (in./cm.): 104.3 in / 2650 mm
Colors Metasheen Black over Super Steel Gray, Magnum Red over Super Steel Gray, Ness Midnight Cherry, Plasma Lime with Silver