“Trace your way back 50 years
To the glow of Dresden, blood and tears
In the black above by the cruel searchlight
Men will die and men will fight, yeah”
Opening lyrics to Iron Maiden’s “Tailgunner”
Tailgunners in World War II were a breed apart. Victory aims to inject some of the same bravado and brashness of those tailgunners in its new cruiser motorcycle, the 2015 Gunner.
“Where that name was inspired from, if you think about those Americans, the hot-shot guys in those planes, either they were the tailgunner or sidegunners and so forth, it took a special kind of person, a really gritty, young and gritty American that did a phenomenal job for us,” said Steve Menneto, Polaris Industries Vice-President of Motorcycles at the Gunner’s media debut.
Which gives you a hint at what market they’re going for with the 2015 Victory Gunner. The blacked-out brawler features a solo seat, trimmed-down fenders, and 24-spoke cast aluminum wheels on meaty Dunlop 491 Elite II tires. It has a 25-inch seat height, tying the High-Ball for lowest among Victorys. Forward controls and pullback bars make for an upright yet aggressive riding position. It has the same 4.5-gallon tank with the raised spine as the Jackpot. Like all Victorys, the 2015 Gunner will be powered by the Freedom 106 engine teamed to a six speed gearbox, albeit the one on the Gunner has received the blacked-out treatment. With a claimed dry weight of 649 pounds, the Victory powerplant should be capable of making this bike really hustle.
The 2015 Victory Gunner has an attractive price point of $12,999, the second-lowest MSRP in the Victory lineup (the 2014 Vegas 8-ball sells for $12,499). This price point allows a little wiggle room for customization, and Victory already has a lineup of factory upgrades ready for buyers, from a red solo seat to Straight Stage 1 exhausts to V Drag Bars.
Victory debuted its factory “bobber” today to crowds visiting the Chicago IMS. It will also be on display and available for demo rides at Daytona Beach Bike Week at the Speedway.