Ride One and You’ll Own One: Tommy Menard, U.S. Navy, Does His Research, Test Rides and Buys a Vegas 8-Ball
Ride One and You’ll Own One: Tommy Menard did his research, took a test ride and he now owns a Victory Vegas 8-Ball.
While on a U.S. Navy deployment a couple years ago, Tommy Menard of Jacksonville, Florida, put his free time to good use.
“While spending a year in Guantánamo Bay Cuba where I stood the watch, watching over detainees as part of my IA Tour in the Navy, I had plenty of time to think and review many options on what I thought is the best motorcycle for me,” Tommy said.
“After returning stateside and talking the wife into the idea of getting a motorcycle, I called the local Victory dealer here in Jacksonville, Florida [Jacksonville Powersports], and scheduled a test ride for a Saturday, two weeks from when I made the call.
“My wife and I went to the dealership knowing they offered the military discount [the Victory Full Throttle Salute] and we had an idea what the bike might cost us.”
With that test ride, the bike proved itself exactly as the “Ride One and You’ll Own One” tagline promises.
“I took a test ride on a 2012 Vegas 8-Ball and I was in shock and awe. I loved it!” Tommy said.
“The bike is so well balanced and handles as if you’re on a small 650cc bike. You can really throw this bike around in turns. The takeoff and speed of the bike are just amazing. The 106ci won't leave you asking for more, that is for sure, unless you’re on a race track.”
Following his ride, the dealership staff was helpful and not pushy. “After the test ride they asked me how I enjoyed the ride and they didn't hassle me about trying to buy the bike,” he said. “I had asked him to check on financing, as well as the new badging of the 2013 models. To my surprise, they just received a 2013 model, and this was about a month before they where showing the 2013 lineup online.”
Tommy had no doubt about how much he loved the Vegas 8-Ball.
“I knew I had to have that bike. After applying for a loan and getting insurance – remind you, on a Saturday – my wife and I are now a proud owners of a 2013 Vegas 8-Ball, and we couldn't be happier.”
Studied His Motorcycle Choices Thoroughly
Tommy, who has served in the Navy for just over 11 years, is a Damage Controlman 1st Class Petty Officer. He is stationed at Naval Station Mayport at the Fire Field as a Firefighting Instructor. He has ridden a number of motorcycles in the past decade-plus, many of them sport bikes, and did thorough research on cruisers before test riding the Vegas 8-Ball.
“I got my license back around ’99 or 2000 and been riding off and on throughout the years, but never owned my own bike,” he said. “My first bike that I learned to ride on was a Honda Rebel 250 LE, and I have been on various crotch rockets and Harleys.
“I did most of my research online while being in GTMO – Gitmo, as they call it in the Navy. I read several magazines from the Navy Exchange that we had on base. I looked at several bikes from Harley, Suzuki and Yamaha, but something just kept calling out to me from Victory.
“I've looked at many bikes and… I quickly realized I wanted something with lots of style that could go fast. Harley has the V-Rod, but I have heard many good and bad things about those. The look Harley has for their bikes is lame with the same style from over 100 years ago. Nothing changes with them and I wanted to stand out of the crowed and be different.”
So he test rode the Vegas 8-Ball and now he owns one.
He was on his bike last October and he saw friends’ bikes struggling, which convinced once again he had chosen the right motorcycle.
“While at Biketoberfest in Daytona Beach, Florida, it was funny to see a few of my buddies that had Harley-Davidsons overheating while we were waiting in traffic. I knew I picked the best bike that is made in the USA!”
Tommy and his wife Jessica had the dealership install a passenger seat, passenger backrest and foot pegs, and Tommy reported “My wife loves it so far, too.”
A true Victory owner, in March 2013 he took part in the Victory Ride and Victory luncheon at Daytona Bike Week.
“Thank you for such a wonderful experience and truly the best slogan for sure: RIDE ONE AND YOU'LL OWN ONE!
“And thanks for supporting our troops!”
• Learn more about 2013 Victory cruiser motorcycles like the Vegas 8-Ball and the all-new Boardwalk. •
Here’s Tommy on the Victory Ride at Daytona Bike Week 2013.
Jessica and Tommy posed on their Vegas 8-Ball with its Hacker Rippers exhaust.
Here’s Tommy on his bike at the second annual Wounded Vets Ride for Pride Scholarship Rally.
That’s Tommy, in his military vest, on the day last summer that he took his Victory test ride at Jacksonville Powersports and purchased his Vegas 8-Ball.
Here is the bike. On the left fork is his military base vehicle registration.
Here are Tommy and Jessica with their daughters, Hannah (on the bike) and Olivia (standing, foreground).
Let’s see you and your Victory. Send photos with information about you and your ride – and make sure you’re in the photo – to us via the Victory Mailbag.