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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Victory had all their bikes out at the local dealer today for demo rides. My brother in law and I both took the day off work and headed up there to check it out. I believe they had one of every model in the line up available, but, to tell you the truth, I don't really know. Victory's bikes all look so similar that, other than the variations on the Vision, I had a real hard time determining what I was riding. We spent most of the day from 0930 thru about 1530 riding the different bikes. Some thoughts on the ones I am sure of.

- Kingpin 8-Ball
I jumped on this bike first because I wanted to try something with floorboards. Bad idea. The first turn of the ride had me scrubbing those floorboards and the bottom of the lower exhast pipe along the asphalt. I think the 8-ball bikes must be lowered because this was the only one I had a hard time keeping the parts off the ground. The seating position didn't work for me, either. It had my feet too high, which brought my knees up. The bars had me leaning back a little and the seat twisted my hips back. All of this combined to make me feel like I was going to roll off the back of the bike any time I got on the throttle. That riding position, for me, wouldn't work without a backrest to keep me in the seat.

- Cross Roads
This would be the one if I had actually intended on buying one. Still has floorboards, but doesn't sit as low as the 8-Ball line. Redonkulously large saddlebags. If I had to guess, I'd say each one could hold as much as BOTH of my saddlemen jumbo bags. The angle of the seat, along with the massive floorboards and the reach on the bars, created the perfect seating position for me. I was able to stretch out and move around enough to stay comfortable. It didn't having that flip over backwards feeling.

- High Ball
I wasn't really sure about this one. I think, for me, this bike wouldn't work. It's more of a "look at me! look at me!" kind of ride. The tall bars weren't as uncomfortable as I would have thought, though. It creates a lot of leverage which allows you to sling the bike where ever you want it to go. Not the easiest thing to do with a bike that's about 200+ lbs more than my usual ride. The seat was a little rougher than I would like, but still 100 times better than the stocker on my shadow. Maybe the Cross Roads had spoiled me.

- Vision Tour
Big. Heavy. And it feels like it when you're riding. The electronically adjustable windshield and all the buttons for the stereo and cruise control create all kinds of neat little distractions. You'll be entertained all the way to the scene of the accident. One really nice feature is the radio automatically turns up as you pick up speed. No need to fumble with it up when riding, down when stopped, back up when riding. Pretty sweet for someone who has to have the MP3 in the pocket if they want tunes on the ride. My brother in law and I both decided we're picking up some sort of bike mounted radio. Probably some ebay cheapy for now, but anything's better than nothing.

- others and notes
The rest of the bikes, I don't really know what they were. All the bikes had the same motor and transmissions so, power wise, it was pretty much a wash. Speaking of power, I love the low end torque. Just releasing the clutch causes the bike to almost leap out from under you. The power delivery was smooth from idle all the way to the rev limiter (which hits way too early in first gear). There wasn't any sudden onset of power at a particular RPM. It just goes. For the size of the motors, though, I wasn't impressed. I wanted something that would make the world around me blur away, like when I tested the ZX14 or the Z1000. I know, i know. Different scene.

Seats - awesome. Honda. Kawasaki. Suzuki. Take note. Victory knows how to make a motorcycle seat. Even the worst seat (Highball) was better than the best stock seat on any metric cruiser that I've been on. Before I reshaped my Shadow's stock seat, 30 minutes would cause major pain. The Victory seats felt like they could go all day without any problems. No hot spots. Soft enough to not feel like a park bench but firm enough so you don't end up sitting on the seat pan. If only I could make one fit the shadow.

One thing I did notice after getting back on the shadow. Victory makes big bikes. Everything is big. Long tanks. Large wheels. Big bags. Larger diameter bars. Even the clutch pull and shifter travel were a lot longer than my Shadow. Now I understand why some guys feel like they're too big for a 750. It was almost like riding my bike all day and then jumping on my son's mini bike. It's not something I would have ever thought of had I not ridden anything bigger, though.

My only real complaint would be the transmissions. Specifically, shifting. Holy crap, I thought my bike clunked into gear! This things really bang in. Coming off the stop lights, over the exhaust notes and blaring radios from 12 - 15 bikes, once the light turned green, you could still hear *CLUNK**CLUNK**CLUNK**CLUNK**CLUNK**CLUNK**CLUNK**CLUNK**CLUNK**CLUNK**CLUNK* as everyone shifted into first. Every gear was like that. And, the shifter travel on all but the Cross Roads required me to lift my foot off the floor board/peg. In stop and go, this would get irritating real fast.

Overall, they seem like great bikes. Comfort was the number one thing for me. All but the Highball/8 Ball models were some of the most comfortable bikes I've been on. The thing is, none of the things that make these bikes comfortable for me are specific to those machines. I could get a mustang seat and forward controls (or just highway pegs) and be able to stretch out in comfort just as well. The power of the 106 would be nice to have on the Shadow, but it's not lightning quick and, lets be honest, when is the 750 really not fast enough? Only when you're doing something illegal. I don't need any help with that. Also, the shifting on my Shadow is sooo much lighter and smoother than any of the bikes I rode today.

My final conclusion, Victory makes what seems to be a great bike. The vision is kind of goofy looking but it's growing on me. The rest of the bikes would be nice to have until I had to pay for them. Once money comes into the picture, though, there is no way I could justify spending three to five times more than what I paid for my Shadow just to do the same thing I'm already doing.
 

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awesome. nice summary over the bikes! :D
 

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Interesting. Just so you know, the crossroads/Cross country and the Vision all share the same platform, and are nearly the same weight. I have done many 5-600 mile days on the seat of a Vision, and I can tell you, the seats are very comfortable. Good review!-----Metalguy
 

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Nice writeup Conman:
I test drove a 2005 Victory Kingpin last month when they were running a promotional deal and I loved the ****e out it. Price was around $10,000 OTD but I wasn't ready to make the jump. I wouldn't have any problem having a Victory as my next bike, nope, none at all.....:mrgreen:

Man oh man, did they put the pressure on for me to trade my spirit in, right now, gave me the sales pressure that I couldn't pass up the deals they were offering today ONLY!!??!

I will return to test drive something different soon. Who knows, could happen.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If anyone is interested, I can go back tomorrow and pick up a certificate good for $1000 off Victory accessories with the purchase of a bike. Has to be used within two weeks, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nice writeup Conman:
I test drove a 2005 Victory Kingpin last month when they were running a promotional deal and I loved the ****e out it. Price was around $10,000 OTD but I wasn't ready to make the jump. I wouldn't have any problem having a Victory as my next bike, nope, none at all.....:mrgreen:

Man oh man, did they put the pressure on for me to trade my spirit in, right now, gave me the sales pressure that I couldn't pass up the deals they were offering today ONLY!!??!

I will return to test drive something different soon. Who knows, could happen.......
They were really cool about it, today. The people leading the ride don't work for Victory or the dealership. The are Victory owners that were selected to oversee the ride. There was zero sales pressure. I guess they figured the bikes speak for themselves. Too bad for them, but the bikes were speaking to a bunch of guys with no money.
 

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Cool review Convict, thanks for sharing your experience dude. I always thought they were very cool looking bikes, I especially dig the Jackpot - more than a bit out of my price range!
 

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My brother in law just bought a Vision 8-Ball. Very different looking machine. I have yet to ride with him but I agree that when I sat on the bike, the seat was a dream.
 

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Nice write up. Victory has come a long way, and seem to have made a nice niche for themselves. American made, competitive prices and a good aftermarket network. I just think the tourers look too whacked.
 

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:mrgreen:Great idea - take the day off to test ride all day - might do that given the opportunity. And my wife thinks I'm obsessed now that I'm back riding. What is she thinking :wink:
 

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If I wasn't looking for a more practical bike (as in, one that I can actually carry stuff on) I would be all over the Hammer 8-Ball.



I think it's a gorgeous bike. I look at early Victory models and man were those bikes ugly, but they must be making changes because now they do have some really nice looking bikes. Yes, a little bit different, but I think that's good. Why should a bike made today follow too closely the styling from 50-60 years ago?
 
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