With sound management, the wealthy resources of Polaris, and some help from the Ness designer family, Victory has built a strong, unique reputation in just over a decade and a half. Their latest creation is the all-new 2015 Victory Gunner, the so-called “uncompromising cruiser with bobber style.”
The Gunner sure looks tough and burly with a big Dunlop 491 Elite II front tire, exclusive 16” wheels, two-tone matte body paint, solo rider's seat, and black-trimmed tailpipes. On the other hand, a small, round headlight replaces the flashier one found on the Hammer and Vegas, confirming a steady styling evolution at Victory.
The 2015 Victory Gunner features a minimalist gauge cluster that's conveniently positioned and backlit for easy reading. It integrates a small digital screen providing a host of information that you can browse using the control near the left-hand grip.
The relatively wide, V-shaped handlebar combines with foot pegs that sit not too far up front for a fairly relaxed riding position. Of course, you can customize ergonomics at will thanks to the plethora of accessories from the Victory catalogue including custom handlebars, foot pegs and seats. There are also many exhaust systems to choose from if you'd like to squeeze more performance and testosterone out of your ride while still keeping your neighbours -- and the police -- on your good side.
Proven powerplant motivates the 2015 Victory Gunner
Expect plenty of thrills and sound effects from the 1,731cc Freedom 106 twin-cylinder, especially when mated to the available shotgun tailpipes. This somewhat flexible engine can accelerate smoothly after dropping to 1,500 rpm, yet it won't hesitate to catapult you all the way to the rev limiter. From 2,000 rpm, sprints are lively; once past 3,000 rpm, prepare for a terrific thrust. In fact, the Freedom 106 easily ranks as one of the most powerful twins in its class along with Harley-Davidson's Twin Cam CVO 110 and the parallel twin that powers the Triumph Thunderbird Storm.
The challenging transmission on Victory motorcycles has received significant improvements over the years, and now allows sharp, clean shifts. While the clutch lever could still be easier to manipulate, most test riders on-hand during the launch of the 2015 Victory Gunner said they liked the firm lever which contributes to a more rewarding riding experience.
|Expect plenty of thrills and sound effects from the 1,731cc Freedom 106 twin-cylinder, especially when mated to the available shotgun tailpipes. (Photo: Barry Hathaway)
2015 Victory Gunner is not a revolution, but…
Victory's signature dual-cradle steel frame teams up with a conventional, telescopic front fork and single rear shock that ensure pretty decent comfort for such a low-riding bike. Actually, ride quality is unmatched in the segment. Rough stretches of pavement don't pose a problem, while the rigid frame delivers a solid feel.
On winding country roads, the 2015 Victory Gunner also impresses with a taut package and not-too-wide rear tire (140 mm) making the bike surprisingly nimble and genuinely fun to toss around. Mind you, rear brake pressure needs to be mastered because the front brake lacks bite.
Cruising between traffic lights proves easy since the rider's seat is just 635mm high (the lowest of any Victory motorcycle) and you're fairly well protected by the big fuel tank on the highway. Simply put, the 2015 Victory Gunner won't make you pay for its delightfully slammed looks.
|Victory's signature dual-cradle steel frame teams up with a conventional, telescopic front fork and single rear shock that ensure pretty decent comfort for such a low-riding bike. (Photo: Barry Hathaway)
Summing up the 2015 Victory Gunner
The reality is that there are no direct threats to the sleek and youthful 2015 Victory Gunner, especially at a base MSRP of $14,499. The feeling you get once you straddle this cruiser may be worth every penny alone.
The all-new Gunner is by far one of the best-valued motorcycles to ever come out of Medina, Minnesota.
- Powerful and reliable engine with sweet sound effects
- Superb styling
- Tremendous quality levels
- Unbeatable value
- Clutch lever is still hard to manipulate
- Front brake lacks bite