Saturday, March 29, 2008

Riding to Victory! OK - Riding A Victory

(Pictured in the order I rode them - Hammer S, Kingpin, Vision Tour, Kingpin Tour)

The Victory Motorcycles Demo Fleet is in town today and I spent a good chunk of my day test riding these beautiful bikes. I started out with a Hammer S and was immediately impressed with the, shall we say, "frijoles" this bike has. Rolling on the throttle rocketed me down the road, especially when I got on the freeway. Hitting 90mph took seconds.

The Hammer seemed to be appropriately named. I felt like my kidneys got the whey beat out of them by the time I got back to the launch pad, but this might be more of a comment on the size of my posterior than the ergonomics of the bike. Other than my tail end not feeling too welcome, it was one sweet ride. It handled like a dream, cornered with ease, and accelerated like a real thoroughbred.

My next adventure in Victory-land was on the Kingpin. Again - "frijoles". The saddle accomodated my "assetts" much better, the forward controls were in perfect position and I shot down the rode with my fists in the wind and a maniacal grin on my face. Hands down, it was my favorite bike.

I couldn't keep doing this alone, so I ran home and cajoled my lovely wife to join me on the next two rides. She hopped on the back of my current ride and we went back for our next adventure. We decided to try the Victory Vision for our first two-up ride. This behemoth looks like something straight out of Star Trek. I was a little apprehensive at first, because I have never ridden a bike that big, and I started out with the wife with me, which makes it a little trickier to ride. Other than taking my first two turns a little wider than I would have liked, it worked out all right. It had good get-up-and-go, but not quite as much as the other two I tried. (The additional weight of the bike surely had something to do with that.) The saddle was wonderful, the stereo rocked, and the controls were in intuitive locations. There were a lot of displays and gauges up front, the most interesting being the gear indicator. It didn't tell you what gear you were in, it told you what gear you should be in. Sally and I both enjoyed the seats. Very roomy and comfortable. Unfortunately the passenger floorboards weren't high enough to do Dulcinea any good. She said that the ride wasn't as smooth as she expected and I would have to agree with that assesment. Crossing the railroad tracks was fun - we were hauling and Dulcinea caught air as we road over. (She didn't like that as much as I did)
While the bike is beautiful and impressive, I can't see myself ever owning one. It just wasn't my style. I didn't like not being able to see my front wheel, the fairings blocked so much wind that I couldn't cool down very well, and I felt like I was riding a two wheeled convertible more than a honest-to-goodness motorcycle.

After a quick bite to eat we hopped on our last bike of the day - the Kingpin Tour. The floorboards were perfect for both of us, and my saddle was comfortable, but Dulcinea didn't like hers that much. She didn't have very much room. (She did, however, have it better than the girl that was riding right in front of us on the back of the Hammer S. That poor girl didn't have a saddle much bigger than a postage stamp and had to hang on for dear life.) I was dissapointed that the ride wasn't comfortable for Dulcinea. If she isn't comfortable on the back, it pretty much shoots the reason for getting it.

Victory motorcycles are beautiful machines. The paint schemes are eyecatching, the engines stand up and deliver great performance, they handle like a dream, and they feel authentically American. My only dissapointment was that they weren't very comfortable for my wife. If I were to buy one it would be either the standard Kingpin or the Vegas Low. But it would have to be a 3rd motorcycle for me. After today's test rides I am thoroughly convinced that my next 2 (yes, 2) bikes are going to be Harley's. Right-on Baby!!!

Final note - My current bike, my lovely Honda Shadow A.C.E. Deluxe, felt small and weak after riding these bikes. I am afraid I will have to upgrade soon just to keep my manly pride intact. :-)

1 comment:

Salsa Mama said...

Not TOO soon, dear... :)