The innovative group of industrial designers at Victory Motorcycles is at it again. The same team that brought us the striking Victory Vision in 2008 unveiled its latest project, the CORE concept bike, today at the New York City IMS show.
The design is the brainstorm of Victory’s gifted Lead Industrial Designer, Michael Song, the same man who spearheaded the Victory Vision’s development. And while the Vision features heavy bodywork and a ton of touring amenities, the CORE is a deconstructed motorcycle, stripped to the essentials, void of fluff and frivolities, all the way down to its raw metal finish. It features a cast aluminum frame (hey, where’d the downtube go?) mated to Victory’s newest Freedom 106/6 Stage 2 engine teamed with a proprietary six-speed gearbox.
Michael Song, Victory Motorcycle’s Lead Industrial Designer, works on early sketches of the CORE concept bike.
According to the Victory press release, the “design team felt the name CORE perfectly reflects the essence of this concept motorcycle. It is, in fact, the raw ‘core’ or center of a motorcycle. There is no traditional bodywork; the motorcycle is effectively turned inside-out with its architecture completely exposed. It also accentuates the innovative frame design and the process that is used to make the cast aluminum frame: the molten aluminum is poured into a sand core, which is removed when the casting process is complete.”
The aluminum alloy frame consists of five pieces and houses everything from the fuel, air box, battery box, to all of the electronics. The front is anchored by a Works Performance 48mm inverted fork with carbon fiber fork covers. And despite sporting a neo-board tracker design, hefty 320mm dual discs should be more than enough to bring the 469-lb bike to a halt quickly.
Having solid brakes is a good thing, because the concept motorcycle is powered by the same engine as the 2008 Hammer. Knowing first-hand how well that 1731cc powerplant launches the Hammer off the line, I can only imagine what 97 hp and 113 lb-ft of torque will do in a bike that weighs 200 pounds less. Short, stout stainless steel Scrambler pipes
shoot off the left side, leaving the right side for the belt-driven primary drive.
On the backside, a tire-hugging carbon fiber fender snugs up to an Avon tire mounted on Victory’s lightweight 18-inch X Factor wheel. A single 240mm disc will give an assist to the dual set-up on the front. And look as long as you like, but you won’t find any rear suspension. No, it’s not a softail. We’re talking one rigid ride as the rear suspension has been nixed in Victory’s move to minimalism.
The slender 3.2-gallon tank has lines that remind me of Roland Sands KRV5 Tracker (of course, minus the Kenny Roberts MotoGP mill). The bars are short and tucked in tight and helps keep the CORE’s profile sleek and slender. You get a thin plank of African mahogany for a seat that has the LED tail/turn/brake lights integrated into it. It’s original and looks fantastic, but I’m sure my backside might have a different opinion.
So why take drawings and spend the time, money and resources to build a functional concept? Victory’s Director of Industrial Design, Greg Brew, sums it up best.
“The fact is a project like CORE is as important to the design team as winning Daytona would be to an engineering team. ‘Pushing the boundaries’ is just another cliché – CORE exists to show the world how dedicated Victory is to the art and science of motorcycle design,” Brew said.
It also provides a peek into what the performance cruiser of the future could possibly look like. Consider that the initial sketches of the Visteon Vision originated in 2000, and eight years later it was a production model. Using that time frame as a barometer, will we be seeing the first production CORE models in 2016? Only Victory can answer that, but hopefully we won’t have to wait that long.
• Check out our 2009 Victory Motorcycles First Ride article for more information about Victory Motorcycles and the 2009 model lineup.