AMERICAN cruiser firm Victory has revealed a glimpse of what its future models could offer in the shape of the aptly named Vision concept bike.
Pretty? well, we’ll leave you to form your own opinions on that. Technologically advanced? Definitely.
The Vision incorporates electronics that even the latest Japanese tourers can’t match. The result of a collaboration between Victory and fellow US firm Visteon – a company which specialises in supplying technology to the car industry – its equipment is more Star Wars than Easy Rider.
The bike is based on Victory’s current mechanical set-up – which itself is not as low-tech as you might expect. The motor is an SOHC, four-valve-per-cylinder fuel injected twin, with a capacity of 1507cc, and while the chassis is a simple tubular steel cradle, the suspension design is more sports bike than cruiser – with Marzocchi forks and a single rear shock.
But it’s the Vision’s electronics that set it apart from your average cruiser.
The bike’s kit includes a satellite navigation system, which uses maps on CD-ROM and gives the rider spoken directions through a voice synthesiser. And it’s no plastic mock-up – Visteon manufactures this type of equipment for luxury cars and has simply transposed the technology on the Vision.
But that’s just the start. There’s no key to get the Vision’s motor running – the bike scans the rider’s fingerprint to activate the ignition, and the same system allows him to open the panniers and disable the steering lock.
The technology isn’t limited to rider aids – the bike also features a totally new type of lighting system.
The headlights are High Intensity Discharge (HID) units, which give brighter light and use less power than conventional bulbs. And despite the appearance, the lights aren’t mounted right at the front. Instead, the bulbs are hidden away behind the fairing, transmitting the light to the nose through fibre optic cables. The taillight uses LEDs rather than conventional bulbs – claimed to use less power than traditional ones and to last longer.