Victory Magnum Jacket ReviewI’m not one for skulls or excessive branding. These help create a false profile of the rider, and way too many times the man or woman behind those skulls or overly-branded garments can barely screw on the throttle.
For me, it’s never about the aesthetics of motorcycle apparel, but rather the function. And considering the price of today’s gear – especially riding genre-specific jackets – function trumps all.For a four-season rider like myself here in Northeast Pennsylvania, two things are an absolute must – climate versatility and comfort. If you can use it for only one riding season, what good is it, regardless of how badass it looks?Enter the Victory Magnum leather jacket with removable hoodie. The Magnum – a name also used for Victory’s blinged-out Cross Country – lacks excessive branding, but has a huge skull on the back. The skull is a bit different from the normal ones on bikes usually adorning “Loud Pipes Save Lives” stickers, bringing a somewhat modern take on that iconic bad biker symbol.Once I got pass my skull quirks, Victory’s newest leather jacket was nearly perfect. Why? It’s on-bike comfort and versatility, allowing use of the Magnum in three season – spring, summer and fall. Contingent on climate – and use of bike with a large fairing and windscreen such as the Victory Cross Country Tour – the Magnum can stretch into that dreadful fourth season – winter.Victory did something a bit different to create this versatility. The Magnum jacket features a removable – and stylish – hoodie liner that can be worn on its own. Instead of the usual quilted liner, this hoodie insulates the jacket during colder temps.The 100-percent polyester hoodie is soft on the skin, and features a double-snap collar that provides warmth at the neck when riding. Plus, when traveling this past fall the removable hoodie kept me comfortable and looking like a true non-Harley rider during the nighttime festivities when the bikes were asleep at hotels.Once temps hit 75 or so, simply take the hoodie out via two vertical zippers and a single retainer snap at each sleeve, and the jacket itself provides comfort.If it gets any hotter, the jacket has five air vents that provide optimal airflow – especially when ripping on a cruiser with no windscreen. The Magnum includes two huge vertical vents up front, two horizontal chest vents, and one horizontal exhaust vent across the lower back.The outer leather shell is designed from 1.2-1.4mm of 3M Monaco leather, which is 97-percent leather, and, to remain flexible, two-percent nylon and one-percent spandex. The leather is soft, and the Magnum needs absolutely zero break-in time.Many leather motorcycle jackets lack on-bike comfort. Victory’s answer is its “V-Twin Fit,” which utilizes stretch panels under the armpits, above the elbows and along the sides to provide comfort in the cruising position. I never had one issue with comfort either on or off the bike.Other items that enhance comfort are expandable wrist cuffs via zippers, and a soft collar featuring two horizontal snaps that allow for a loose or snug fit.The staff at Victory Motorcycles advised me that the Magnum fits true to size, and a medium worked perfect for my size-44 (US) chest. It’s snug with the hoodie in, allowing only room for a t-shirt and an underlayer such as UnderArmour. Due to the warmth provided with this simple layering combination, nothing else is needed; I remained comfortable with this combo as temps dipped into the lower 40s.Without the hoodie – as one would expect – things are looser, which may just be the way most others like it. I come from the sportbike scene where snug is always better.Regarding safety, the Victory Magnum arrives with CE-approved armor in the shoulders and elbows, with space for a back protector. It aslo includes 3M reflective material for enhanced visibility – Victory wisely enhanced the skull logo on the back with 3M reflective material.While putting nearly 2000 miles on a 2015 Victory Cross Country Tour during some recent testing, I exclusively wore the Magnum jacket. It kept me comfortable in temps raging from the lower 40s to the upper 90s, and never had me complaining – except during a few downpours when I had to resort to those archaic rain suits.That being said, the only thing that would make this jacket better would be a waterproof outer shell, such as GORE-TEX. But then the $479.99 MSRP would easily go up $200, so for now let’s just stick with packing a rain suit.Though most of its resources go towards building ballsy motorcycles, Victory’s line of apparel keeps evolving, and the Magnum jacket attests this. The only thing the folks in Spirit Lake, Iowa. should do is tap further into its parent-company Polaris’ resources and add some waterproofing. While they are at it, they should also design some matching leather pants. The only leather pants currently available from Victory – Chaps – just don’t do it for some of us.For additional information, visit Victory Motorcycles.Action photography by Jason Healey
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!