Victory was a relatively short-lived brand of motorcycles that ran from 1999 to 2017.
The brand was established by Polaris as a brand designed to compete with the likes of Harley-Davidson, but was deemed to be insufficiently profitable and was wound down in 2017.
Used models are still actively sold on the used cycle market.
This article answers the question: “How Long Will Victory Motorcycles Last?”…
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Here Is The Short Answer To: How Long Will Victory Motorcycles Last?
If properly maintained, a Victory motorcycle will last at least 100,000 miles. But there’s nothing stopping a Victory from lasting all the way up to 200,000 miles. Most Victory motorcycles will only fail because they haven’t been properly maintained by their owners.
The general picture is that they will last even longer than Harley-Davidson models when they are looked after.
How Many Miles Can You Expect?
On a typical Victory motorcycle, you can expect a lifespan of at least 100,000 miles, but with proper care and attention to the common areas of maintenance needed, you could easily see 200,000 miles in total.
The more that the owner addresses any common maintenance issues in a timely way, the more likely the chances are at reaching the higher end of that range.
This makes Victory motorcycles great value for money.
This is especially true because Victory is a discontinued line and therefore bikes are only getting cheaper, by and large.
How Reliable Are Victory Motorcycles?
Organizations like Consumer Reports, while not placing Victory very high on the list compared to Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki, has still found that Victory motorcycles are adequately reliable, better than most European brands, including BMW.
There have been some problems, however, such as a recall in 2017 of more than 26,000 2010-2017 Victory Cross Country, Cross Country Tour, Cross Roads, Magnum, and Hard Ball models.
The 2017 recall was issued by brand owner Polaris over fears of overheating caused during long riding sessions that were melting the rear brake line and nearby wiring.
Such damage was extremely hazardous and could result in crashes and engine misfires.
When it comes to overall reliability, Victory was most often compared to that of Harley-Davidson.
Victory was praised for its better integration of more modern components and technology.
This was natural for Victory as a much newer brand founded in 1999.
The better technology certainly helped Victory motorcycles to boast better performance, but not always superior reliability. There were other factors at play.
Another issue with Victory models was their exceptionally low center of gravity, which made them very prone to scratching.
Those who liked to ride aggressively found that Victory bikes were scuffed and scraped more often than other brands.
One more design floor in the 2011-2014 models was the weakness of the rear suspension.
It struggled to support anyone over 200lbs in weight, which in the world of heavy motorcycles was disappointing, especially when you consider that Victory bikes, on average, were on the heavy side themselves.
The rear suspension problems generally made the bike more uncomfortable over distance.
Finally, there were issues with the electrical system and the way it interacted with parts of the bike, especially the rear tire.
The rear tire would sometimes touch the rear bumper and damage the rear electric harness.
How Long Do Victory Motorcycles Last Vs. Competitors?
When we compare a Victory motorcycle to a Harley-Davidson or a Yamaha bike, we see some interesting results in how long they last.
Harley-Davidson is the brand that the bike is most often compared to since that was the main target competition when the bike was launched by Polaris in the late 1990s.
With Victory becoming defunct in 2017, the dynamic has shifted somewhat in how long the two bike types would last.
Even though Harley-Davidson suffers from some of its own technical issues, they are still known by researchers to be the longest-lasting bikes on the road, with 75 percent of Harleys still roadworthy after 25 years.
Victory was able to achieve a similar degree of longevity, but for the fact that it became defunct in 2017.
This means that every Victory motorcycle one purchases is, by definition, a used motorcycle.
Technical support and expertise gradually dwindle as fewer mechanics learn about the bike or brand; spare parts become fewer and production ceases; maintenance becomes more specialized and expensive.
All of these things contribute to Victory falling behind in longevity to its main rival.
Another interesting comparison is with that of Yamaha.
The Japanese motorcycle giant is known for being among the most reliable anywhere in the marketplace.
They have fantastic 4-year survival rates, but those rates drop when you extend the lifespan over decades.
The main difference is found in usage.
Because Victory motorcycles were often used like Harley-Davidson bikes, for cruising and steadier riding, they had a naturally longer lifespan.
The Yamaha bike range, on the other hand, is relatively cheap and designed for speed and spirited adventurous riding.
This means people ride them much harder and thus use up the bike more quickly.
A Yamaha bike has a great 4-year lifespan, but not a great 25-year lifespan like that of a Harley-Davidson, or, originally, a Victory.
The Victory still outmatches the Yamaha in the long term when it is properly maintained.
Which Are The Best And Worst Victory Models?
The consensus tends to agree that the best Victory motorcycle ever made was the Cross Country.
Though the depreciation factor is strong in this bike, many people saw that as a benefit because it allowed the bike to become affordable quickly.
The Cross Country arrived on the scene in 2010 as a distance Tourer model.
It was built with a frame-mounted fairing and sound system, as well as hard saddlebags and a lighter aluminum chassis.
The specific Cross Country model that proved the best of the bunch was the CC Tour Deluxe model, which was often described as a “superb, bulletproof long-distance motorcycle.”
Perhaps the worst model was the Victory Vision.
It was seen as such a departure from previous designs that had been a hit with buyers.
The Vision was bulky, unattractive, and rode extremely hot in summer weather.
Riders actually noted that the bike handled fairly well, but most couldn’t get past the horrendous design choice.
It looked like a 50s throwback done badly, and that’s why it went down as the biggest failure in the Victory arsenal.
Are Victory Motorcycles Expensive To Maintain?
Maintenance on Victory motorcycles is mercifully cheap, even more so than Yamaha models.
The estimated cost is about $800-1000 per year.
As a comparison, the BMW motorcycles cost around $1800 per year to repair, so it’s a big difference.
How Long Do The Brakes Last?
The brakes on your Victory will last about 20,000 miles, which is a decent length.
These are parts that are somewhat immune from lack of production because you can use aftermarket parts to easily replace the brakes affordably.
If you ride comfortably and without pushing the bike too hard, you could get 25,000 miles per use of the brake pads.
How Long Do The Tires Last?
Victory ran well on Michelin Commander 2 tires for most riders, but of course, opinion and recommendations differed depending on the typical annual mileage the bike covered.
The tires would typically last from 4-7 years depending on the style of riding.
Most recommended changing the tires after about 6 years regardless just to ensure that the integrity of the tire was sufficient, even when the tread looks healthy.
How Long Do The Gearboxes Last?
Some of the earlier models in 1999 and 2000 were prone to their third gears shattering, but this problem was fixed in later years after 2010.
If you have a bike from 2010 onwards, then you can expect the gearbox to last up to 35,000-40,000 miles at least, and longer if it’s properly maintained.
On older models, you might not make it to 20,000 miles before you need to switch out the gearbox.
How Long Do The Chains Last?
The chain was fairly stock and reliable and good for up to 20,000 miles or so.
Some explored aftermarket options to extend that life, especially now that the bike has been discontinued.
Investigating chains that can last longer is a good idea on a Victory motorcycle because the OEM part support is no longer there and you may spend way too much on an old and partially used OEM chain in the future.
What About The Insurance?
The exact insurance cost on a Victory bike will depend on the rider.
Since all the models are depreciating fairly quickly in cost and there are no more brand-new models, insurance costs should be lower on average than most new motorcycles.
The national average for motorcycle insurance costs is $700 annually.
Victory could cost you more than that if it’s a newer 2017 model, but older ones should fall closer to the national average for basic coverage.
For comprehensive coverage, it could be $1,000 or more per annum.
Most of the cost factors lay with the driver, however, so it’s hard to know for sure.
Best Tips to Prolong The Lifespan Of Your Victory Motorcycle
The first tip is to look into high-quality aftermarket parts in advance in preparation for when you need to switch out OEM parts.
Victory is no longer in production so some parts you may need to substitute. Research in advance and invest in quality to keep your motorcycle going to 200,000 miles.
Another tip is not to push the bike too hard on the road.
If you cruise on the bike evenly and steadily, then there’s nothing to stop it from lasting for a very long time.
Next, investigate the recall history and make sure the bike has been fixed.
If you have been sold a bike that was recalled but never underwent repairs, then you should get it fixed immediately.
Some of the recalls were very dangerous, as the wiring/brake lines in the 2010-2017 version of many models.
Aside from these points, just using the bike sparingly and keeping up with oil and filter changes, chain maintenance and carburetor cleaning will ensure that your Victory keeps going and going.
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