Victory Test Ride Weekend, 19-01-13
Victory Motorcycles of Elizabeth Street Melbourne, gave Martin and me the opportunity to test ride two of their motorcycles for the weekend. It was a very generous offer including a $200 Best Western Motel gift card to cover our accommodation, food and drinks. Fabulous!
Scott McDonnell of Victory, had Martin fitted out on the Cross Country Road and me on the top line Vision. The Victory is more modern than some American motorcycles, having an alloy mainframe, strong forks, rear suspension with a linkage and air adjustable shock and good brakes. Scott explained the features, cruise control, stereo, ABS, and reverse on the Vision. Some may wonder how my puny 60 kilo self would manage on a 400 kilo motorcycle and I have to say it was easy as both machines have excellent low speed stability, light steering and an engine that seems impossible to stall. Combine all this with American style and great colours gave us two machines that we couldn’t wait to throw our legs over and get going.
Saturday saw us leaving Lilydale early and travelling through Yea, Bonnie Doon to Mansfield for morning tea. It was a fine morning but much smoke was in the sky. The run from Mansfield through Tolmie and Whitfield onto Bright promised to be a good test of the handling of the two machines with the mix of tight corners and changes of elevation. Adjusting the electric screen on the Vision to let the airstream go over my head gave a quiet ride, all the better to listen to the stereo. Bright arrived with us feeling comfortable and ready for more. Parking the bikes in the main street of Bright attracted attention as some people had not seen a Victory before, or did not know that you could now buy them in Australia. Riding out to the paragliding field drew further attention as we again were asked about the machines by the people there.
Our route after Bright was through Tawonga Gap, another piece of road to test the handling, suspension and brakes. This is a favourite area for sport bikes and was no trouble for the Victory. From Tawonga we went through Dederang, Tangambalanga and onto Wodonga.
The late afternoon was quite hot and we had booked into the Hovell Tree Inn on the Albury side. We would recommend this motel if you are up that way. The rooms were great, modern and spotless, and it was so nice to get out of the heat, shower then settle down with a beer or two before tea. No complaints with the food either. We had very happy smiles on our faces and thought how fine was this – Great Bikes, Great weather, Great Food! A good night’s sleep was followed by a sumptuous breakfast. Victory had asked that we spend all our credit and I’m happy to say Martin and I succeeded. Here, the bikes also attracted further attention and questions while parked.
On Sunday our ride began by a visit to Beechworth and its historic goal.
Leaving there it was down the freeway to Glenrowan, Kelly country. We parked the bikes in front of Ned’s huge statue to take photos and this also attracted a crowd and attention to the bikes. We used the opportunity to allow other tourists to take happy snaps of their children on the Vision. Happy faces all round.
Down the freeway the bikes were doing about 2700 rpm at 110 kph and we had been getting near 22k/litre. Pretty impressive for a 1740cc engine and 400kg. Cruise control made it very relaxed. Next was out of Glenrowan, around the back of Lake Mokoan, then onto Shepparton, Tatura and Rushworth. Martin has a friend called Allan here who also owns a CBR1000F living there so we dropped in. Allan is an ex-publican so he has his shed nicely set up with all the right cold drinks which we really enjoyed as the afternoon was hot again. Martin had some spares for Allan’s bike. Allan joined us for the ride on to Seymour where he left. We set the cruise control for the run along the freeway making it easy to avoid tickets.
Arriving back in Melbourne late afternoon finished what had been a most enjoyable weekend. For large motorcycles these behave beautifully. Thanks to Victory Motorcycles, Scott and the city staff. To paraphrase Winston Churchill – Never have so few [us] owed so much to so many [Victory and their staff]. It was fun. Thank you guys.