First Rides: Magnum X-1 Stealth

Article By: J. Ken Conte

Photos By: Heather Callen & Ken

Originally Published In The September 2016 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

I’m not ashamed of flying to a motorcycle rally and arriving there in a cage. I’m sure this won’t be the last time I do it, either. It makes for less of an adventure and allows me to be gluttonous with my packing, but sometimes that is the way life works. I prefer the minimalistic travel on two wheels, but I am also a realist, and I know that work is work, whether you’re doing it on two wheels or four. I arrived at Daytona Bike Week sans motorcycle because I had arranged to ride the newest custom offering by Victory, the Magnum X-1 Stealth Edition. I have ridden many Victory Cross- Country’s over the years, dating back to the first year they had them in Sturgis, so I am not new to the platform—but this one looked and felt different from the get go. I always have expectations about the Polaris products, and although I try to see every bike I ride with fresh eyes, it’s hard not to compare them to previous rides. I didn’t have to worry about that this time, though—this bike was different.

I knew that the Magnum X-1 Stealth Edition was Victory’s version of the Custom Vehicle Operation (CVO) Street Glide over at Harley, but I had a feeling they’d put an unconventional twist on it—and they did. The first thing I noticed was the contrast-cut 21-inch front wheel and the suede monochromatic paint job that color matches all the important parts. Both features set it apart from their American counterparts. The next pieces of equipment that registered were the saddlebag lid speakers—part of a 10-speaker sound system that cranks out over 200 watts. I immediately figured out how to pair my phone, which was a breeze compared to many OEM Bluetooth procedures—I would go so far as to say it was intuitive. I have never been a huge fan of music blasting from speakers. It feels like I’m imposing my musical tastes on everyone around me—when I was 16, this seemed essential, but now, approaching middle age, it seems silly and self-indulgent. But this bike’s sound system begs you to crank hip-hop and Rap. It truly provides a crisp and enjoyable sound, even at speed.

Cruising up the coast with Bean’re and Bobby from Indian Larry Motorcycles, I started to settle into the bike. I noted the 1-inch-under-stock seat height gave me a sense of being in the 787-pound bike instead of on top of it. The handlebar and seating positions were stable and comfortable, even after several hours of riding. The power of the 106-cubicinch engine was ample—I was passing cars with a simple twist of the wrist. The smoked LED headlight is allegedly 74% brighter than a stock Halogen, and while it seemed to give plenty of light for those brisk Florida evenings, I still worried about gators lying across back roads near swamps. My only real qualm with the ride was the windscreen. If my 5’ 11” frame was 2 inches shorter, it might have been perfect, but, for me, the cut-down windshield allowed a buffeting effect against my helmet that became a nuisance at speed. This could easily be remedied with the addition of a Klock Werks flare windscreen for an additional $239.99. I have ridden the gamut of Polaris two-wheel offerings, but if I could only have one of them for the rest of my days, it would be the Magnum X-1 Stealth Edition. It’s classy, handles really well and has plenty of room for customization.

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