Coastal Victory Pays Tribute to Injured Veterans with a Custom Vision Tour
Coastal Victory Pays Tribute to Injured Veterans with a Custom Vision
Craig J. Heimbuch
Some bikes are special. Not just because they ride better. Not just because they look better. But because they mean more. The work that went into them. The hours. The painstaking detail. The sweat on the brow and blood from cut knuckles.
The heart. The soul. The meaning.
These are the things that make a bike truly special, and Tim Sutherland knows how rare those bikes are. Ten years in the business, eight years taking stock Victory Motorcycles and making them unique. He and his crew at Coastal Victory in Myrtle Beach, S.C., knew they had an opportunity to create something great when a customer walked in with an idea: help draw attention to the Wounded Warriors Project the best way they knew how.
“I had been wanting to do something for the military and veterans for a while,” says Sutherland, his Southern lilt giving his words a sense of reverence. “It turned out this customer’s wife was very involved with the Wounded Warriors Project, and it felt like the perfect opportunity to do something special.”
Opportunity meets ability. Ability meets meaning. These are the building blocks of greatness.
They started with a “bone stock” 2013 Victory Vision Tour, the perfect canvas for the kind of creativity Sutherland and the folks at Coastal Victory have built their name on. Chrome, base work, all the expected modifications were made, but from there, it became a passion project.
“We put a six-degree tree on the front and lowered it and did a one-off, one-of-a-kind front wheel,” Sutherland says. They added custom parts from the Coast Victory collection and did a one-off engine cover. But the real magic of the Wounded Warriors Project was in the paint.
Myrtle Beach artist Jimmy Johnson spent a month refining details large and small, his steady hands wielding an airbrush to bring life to the soldiers portrayed on the bike.
“We’re so lucky, living here, to have so many talented people to work with,” says Sutherland. “(Johnson) put 30 hours just into the faces of the soldiers. You have a hard time believing it’s airbrushed. It looks like something you printed on.”
The end result is a motorcycle unlike any other, a rolling homage to those willing to sacrifice themselves in service to a higher cause and people they will never meet — a thundering tribute to those whose bare their sacrifice every day.
“We try never to repeat anything,” says Sutherland. “We try really hard to make each (motorcycle) unique. But this one is special.”
While the Wounded Warriors Project bike is privately owned, you may still be able to see it at rallies and events around the country. It was ridden in the Ride to the Wall in Washington, D.C., earlier this year, and Sutherland says it’s often on display at events held in support of veterans.
Some bikes are special. Not just because they are badass, but because of what they mean.
In honor of America’s servicemen and women, Victory Motorcycles’ Full Throttle Salute takes an additional $1,000 off the purchase of any new Victory model. Find a dealer near you and learn more.