The Victory gunner is not a brand-new motorcycle built from the ground up. Basically it’s a fraternal twin from the Victory Judge. Many of the Victory motorcycles share a lot of parts in common with each other. So, technically this isn’t that big of a deal. Many of the other manufacturers do the same thing so I hope your heart is broken.
One of the strengths of the victory line is the freedom 106 engine. This engine is a four stroke 50° V- twin displacing 106 cubic inches or 1731 cc. The valve train is a single overhead camshaft with four valves per cylinder incorporating self-adjusting cam chains and hydraulic lifters. It’s no secret that Polaris knows how to build bulletproof engines. So what you end up with is a bulletproof V -twin engine that will probably go on forever. There are a lot of rumors floating around that Victory intends to start water cooling their engines
The engine is cooled by a combination of air and lubricating oil. The engine holds approximately 5 quarts of oil that is continually removing the unwanted and power robbing heat from the engine. Between the two down tubes on the frame is a neat little oil cooler to reject the heat from the engine. Fuel enters into cylinders through electronic fuel injection system with dual 45 mm throttle bodies. A lot of people complain about large volume V- twin engines that are air cooled. They say that they are uncomfortable to ride due to the heat generated from the engine. I’ve been on plenty of Victory motorcycles and I’ve never noticed any extensive heat leaving the heads or exhaust pipes of this engine.
I also hear people complain about the vibration from V-twin engines. Well, the Freedom 106 has got to be one of the smoothest V-twin engines that I’ve had between my legs. The Freedom 106 incorporates a counter-balancing system to fight off the onslaught of vibration produced by two big pistons and a heavy flywheel in motion. Don’t waste your time looking for pushrods to operate the valves either. Nope, they’re not used. The valves rely on a chain drive system to participate in the internal combustion dance.
From my ride experience, it was easy to determine that the peak horsepower and torque are produced somewhere around 2900 RPMs. This engine gives you the opportunity to be a little sloppy with your gear choices. Although this motor produces peak power in the lower rpm, it does have some incentive for momentum at the higher rpm. Whatever plans Victory/Polaris have for this engine, I sure hope they don’t screw it up. Sometimes the manufacturers have a golden product and they get confused and turn it into a bronze product.
Pulling in the clutch lever in and tapping the gear shifter down one produces that all familiar clunk telling you that it’s in gear. The clutch is not hydraulically assisted, but the lever pull is still light and won’t be a problem in heavy traffic. The gearbox is a six speed ordeal with a wet multi-plate clutch. Also incorporated into the transmission is a gear drive with a torque compensator. Power is delivered to the rear wheel by a carbon fiber reinforced belt. Yep, no shaft -drive!
The first thing that catches your eye on this motorcycle is the casted aluminum rims. This 24-spoke configuration is extremely visually pleasing. As far as I can remember, I’ve never seen a configuration like this before on a motorcycle. I would also imagine that casting these rims is a lot of work due to the design of the rim. Either way they look “damn cool.” Both tires are Dunlop’s 16 x 3.5” which fit nicely on the fancy rims.
The front forks have a diameter of 43 mm with 5.125 inches of travel. The rear shock is a single, mono-tube gas with about 3 inches of travel. Also the rear shock has the ability to adjust the preload. This will come in handy when you decide to do two up riding or mount a bunch of bags on the back and sides of the motorcycle. The motorcycle generates a gravitational pull of 649 pounds, which is relatively light in the cruiser world.
The seat is only 25 inches off the ground making it very effective for those who are inseam challenged. The model that I rode had a very fancy red leather seat, for one person only. So I’ve no idea what the official seat looks like or feels like. From axle to axle the motorcycle is approximately 65 inches. The actual length for the motorcycle is somewhere around 94 inches. So you better make sure you have room in your garage before you buy one.
The front disc brake is a single 300 mm rotor coupled with a four piston caliper. The rear disc brake is also a 300 mm rotor but, it’s coupled with a two piston caliper. The motorcycle did not have ABS or linked brakes. I don’t know if ABS is an option for this motorcycle. The brakes do their job well, but I’m a big fan of two disk brakes in the front. I’m sure Victory is also a big fan of two disk brakes in the front, but they have to worry about the cost of manufacturing the motorcycle.
Riding this motorcycle falls in line with any other Victory model. Everything just works! No surprises. It corners well even when pushed hard through the turns. No wobbles, shimmies or anything that might cause your heart to skip a beat. The transmission is your friend keeping you on top of power delivery to the rear wheel. The engine is on a dedicated mission to put a smile on your face. I do have one complaint. Add a few extra dollars to the cost of the motorcycle and add second front disk brake. Just a thought!