All Visions share the monocoque frame that serves to not only suspend the motor but is also the airbox. The cast-aluminum frame allows large amounts of air to enter the motor while also providing a very rigid and close tolerance frame. The closed-loop fuel management system allowed each of the Visions to start up effortlessly with perfect idle control. Seating comfort and position was good due to 4 inches of seat padding.
Although the Visions are approaching the 850-900-pound mark, rarely did any of them feel awkward or heavy. The bike was easy to get off the sidestand and maneuver around a tight parking lot. One area we've had problems with in the past, and not specific to Victory, was maneuvering the bike backwards in gravel or dirt. For 2009 Victory came to the rescue of short leggers everywhere with the optional (standard equipment on the Anniversary model) reverse gear. On the left side of the case there is a lever that puts the bike into Reverse. After engaging the gear, pushing the starter button sets the gear into motion. With no effort at all, the big machine moved backwards in a very controllable fashion at about the pace your leg power would provide. It's a nice touch for sure. It came in handy during our ride as the shoulders and turnouts were thick, heavy gravel and sand.
No matter how hard the bikes were pushed, there was never a wobble or shimmy and hitting hard parts in turns is almost impossible. It sure feels nice not having to worry about digging a floorboard into the pavement going 80mph through a big sweeper. The motor delivers all the power you need at almost any rpm. Gearing seemed perfect with plenty of power available, even in Sixth gear as long as the rpm's were above approximately 2,500 (about 70 mph). Stability and suspension compliance during mid-corner perturbations was nothing short of exceptional. Some of the sportier motojournalists on the ride looked like Nicky Hayden throwing the Visions around, hanging off the side and throttling up.
The Visions feature linked brakes that, well, link the operation of the front and rear calipers under certain conditions. When the rear brake pedal is depressed hard, one piston in each of the front three-piston calipers is also activated. It worked seamlessly and prevented dive while not affecting the feel or operation of the front brake lever. No ABS is available, but we feel it isn't needed. Victory's own research indicates its customers don't want it either.
On the comfort side of the equation, we liked the electronically adjustable windscreen that could be moved up to 3 1/2 inches on the fly. In the lowest position the top of the screen was just about at nose height for the average rider while well above eye level in the highest position. Even though air gets to the rider's head in the low position, no buffeting was evident. Adjustable, laterally mounted wind deflectors on each side of the fairing also did an excellent job of wind and cockpit heat management.