Hey all. Been riding HD for almost 16 years. Love the Judge, kinda like the Gunner, especially in green.
A couple questions, for guys who have been around for a while.
Back in the days, I had a brother who rode a Vic. It was one of the
old 92s. Everybody liked the bike, but it would gobble oil, and ran bad.
Now, I know that people have said that those old engines required someone to be able to work on them, but that bike had a warranty, and even the dealer couldn't fix it.
You could as easily and with the same amount of truth have substituted the brand name of any product sold in a multiline dealership, any motorcycle or farm implement or jet ski.
I've seen a lot of people say that Vics never have any issues. But then, I read the forums, and hear different.
Well that it false. It's a machine, really it's a car. Not the four wheeled variety but in it's complexity and in its engineering and manufacturing technique. This is a mass produced vehicle defined on a virtual palette, tested within mathematic confines and built on an automated assembly platform to maximize efficiencies and minimize deviation from spec. Do Dodges have issues? Go to Dodge forums for the answer. How about Lexus? Prius? Grove? Mann? They all have forums and they all have issues and those issues are aired on their enthusiast forums.
If I jump into this thing, and end up with some kind of weird issue, is there anyone out there that'd be able to fix it?
Yes, there are notable shops and wrenches whose names appear regularly here and elsewhere. Maybe your geography makes one of them a viable resource. Then there are local reputable dealerships who have inhouse skilled mechanics and a sense of purpose that translates into quality service. That's a harder nut to crack. You will not find out how the local is unless you test the waters.
Then, the other side of that coin is local dealers who are hacks or so overwhelmed by low sales volume and low service ROI carrying Victory that they just don't invest the commitment to the brand that results in superior service. Methinks they are easier to find than the high level performers.
There are indies out there who can massage life into anything that spits and bangs. You might have luck in that arena but again, it's a crap shoot. The dif with indies is their parts stream for Vics runs through dealers. Tough getting a deal but then again if the dealer is a buffoon and the indie is stand up, the extra time and coin is well spent.
Is this common? Does Victory honor their warranty, and how much can you do without having them say, no way, it's modded now.
First, these questions are not valid in a fishbowl. Victory is a product vying for the same dollar as a laundry list of manufacturers of like products. Excepting Harley, which uses a unique model that they have been able to afford to cultivate and harvest due to a primary factor in their market appeal being the tacit agreement between HD and the client that the client will pay a premium for a middling product and then to continue to dig deep, waay deep into their pocket regularly subsidizing a variety of peripheral revenue streams.
Other manufacturers, Victory included, sell the product and only marginally sell the "experience". They all do it to varying degrees, but they all fail.
Is this common? What, weirdness? Well, Hondas have weird issues, Kaws too. You can't find a Ural that doesn't raise an eyebrow. Ever talk to a Ducati owner? Apparently they are haunted by the tortured souls of Ducati owners passed. So yes, Victorys have weirdness. Comparatively very little weirdness which is a pity for those of us wwho populate this forum because the same issues coming up time after time gets old. I vote for weirdness.
Will there be a white knight in the wings to fix possible weirdness? Yes, yes there will. It's just a machine, rather it's just an amalgam of the six basic machines. Quite a bit more complicated than an inclined plane but not rocket scientry. Now, who that is and what you have to do to get your machine in that persons competant hands is the variable, just like almost every other vehicle bought at a multi line dealer.
Factory warranty? Victory has a lousy factory warranty reputation. Not alone. Not good but not unique. They will honor their commitment but unlike some highline manufacturers the sense is the onus of accepting responsibility is lacking. They suppose you are trying to pull a fast one until facts demonstrate otherwise. On a 20 thousand dollar Kia that may be a reasonable approach. I think less so on a 20 thousand dollar motorcycle but that's elitism ain't it. Peeps worry about mods but it's rare as houndsteeth that mods get you in trouble. Certainly if you beef the mill and dump the bottom end on the dragstrip then chances of factory repair is zip and a set of cams not installed by a factory authorized shop is a ticket to nowhere, most everything else is not going to be a reason to lose sleep unless it directly is attached to the failure that you are looking at Ma vic to cover.
Besides which is it? I mean if you are on the fence over having a resource for competent wrenching then isn't it that competent set of hands you are going to have putting parts? Or, if you are capable to go all up in your machine then the need of local wrench magnificance is not that big a deal after all I would think.
Meh, to each his own.
The second question is, some people say that the Vics have some issues first coming out of the hole. Now, they seem to make up for this in top end, but then, the power comes on later.
You peruse these forums for awhile and see the dyno charts of the stock, damn close to stock, and kiss stock goodbye motors, then go looking at other similarly configured motorcycle charts from other forums. The answer is plain and a source of rightful pride for the powerheads among us Vic folk.
I've heard that there's a gear change that can be done in order to change the ratio, and get more out of the bottom. Has anyone done this, and is it worth it?
So, yes, yes there is. No I have not done that tweak to this motorcycle but I have done it again and again to previous steeds. Ah but for a chain drive we can alter the entire powerband of a bike in about a half an hour. Anyway, be careful for what you wish. Not to put words in your mouth but I would have said something like "So I have owned my Vic for awhile and yes it has balls but there is a riding condition that causes me to think, man I need to leave more rubber at the light and less pump at the top of the speedo because I am compelled to run eighths better. I'm going to juggle ratios." But that's just me. Maybe you like counting clouds from every stop sign.
It's not a particularly complex operation assumming you are tooled up but it ain't changing a chain sprocket in either time or money so not like you get the notion to try it out in the morning to see if you like it, then switch back after lunch if you don't.
Anyway, Victory is like Subaru. Some of the styling cues make me go hmmm but the engineering is undeniable. There's a little thought that went into the ratios and for most riders there is ample abilty to get yourself in deep with what it will deliver right out of the box.
Also, can you reflash the computer in order to update the ratios in the ECU, so that the speedo reads right? Am I even close to how it works?
Maybe, but my money is that it would likely require a hall pass from the factory. There's other ways to skin that cat but I am a shadetree dummy and there are lebtukal geniuses here who could thread that needle for you I'm sure.
Here's a concept. Ride the damn thing. They let people with opposable thumbs and a motorcycle endorsement do that and if the opposable thumb thing is a high bar I think you could probably fool them if you stick vienna sausages in the fingers of your gloves. Kidding aside. Get thee hence. Ride them. I would love to say that I have been riding Harleys for 16 years but that would be doing an injustice to the other lifetime I been riding Harleys. Old RICZ got me beat though. Whenever he went to school they didn't have history. When I went all they had was the history of RICZ. I ain't a hater, still keep a couple of hawgs in the shed, but I would like to think that I know a good machine from a less good machine. Warts included what we have here is a case of that. Ride the damn thing then you tell me.