Test ride reports on Victory Kingpin Deluxe [Archive] - Glock Talk

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fnfalman
09-26-2005, 12:04
I test rode a Victory Kingpin this last Saturday (24 SEP) at SoCalTriumph/Ducati/Victory in Brea, California. They recently dropped MV Agusta and picked up Victory instead. This is an excellent outfit. They have a heck of a shop for services, maintenance, performance tuning, etc., and their sales staff are friendly and knowledgeable, not to mention amenable for serious wheelin' & dealin'. They hold massive demo ride days throughout the year (two, three, four times). They won't let you get crazy with the bikes, but the route is long enough for a taste of the streets, the canyon and the freeway (20-miles long or something like that). This last time, they had two Victories: Kingpin Deluxe and Arlen Ness Edition Vegas plus probably ten Ducatis and a whole slew of Triumphs.

I got there late so I didn't get a chance to ride the Vegas. But here's the link to Victory for the specs on the Kingpin. The Deluxe came with windshield, side saddle bags and back rest.

http://www.polarisindustries.com/en-us/Victory/2006Models/Kingpin/Specifications.htm

Impressions:

The thing is not too massive at a mere 630lbs dry, but the weight distribution is great. It feels a lot lighter than it is. The weird part is that the website specification called for a 6-speed gearbox while I could have sworn that I counted only 5 gears.;g Fit and finish are quite good. Things seem to mesh together well, the chrome parts are nice and even. Gorgeous paint job and easily rivals H-D. Say what you will about H-D's quality and reliability, their paint job is awesome and the Victory paint job has the same look. Deep, glossy colors with no runs or orange peels that I can see. Switches are well made and not clunky at all. Kind of reminds me of a nice amalgamation of BMW and Japan. The automatic-off turn signals work just like a car's turn signal. Go past a corner and it switches off right away. BMW could learn from this (theirs work on engine revolution to shut off instead of steering angle). The windshield is solidly mounted (more on this later). Overall, everything is well executed and well made. So nice to see on an American motorcycle. One minor gripe: the kickstand doesn't quite snap in place when you kick it out. Reminds me of Ducati. :(

The dial is easy to read and has a neo-classic look to it. Not quite art deco nor modern but still very aesthetically pleasant.

Ride Report:

Turn on the key (on the side like a Harley), wait for the electronic diagnostic to do its thing and hit the starter button - it starts with a nice "thrummmm". Wonderful engine. It a pretty good size one (1700-something cc/ 100 cubic inch) and you can tell as the two big jugs jumping up and down. But it doesn't have the potato-potato lump like the Harley but more like a, ;g Jap big V-twin. There isn't much to the exhaust but that's how all factory bikes are. Rev it up and amazingly enough, it revs rather willingly yet so flexible. 3rd gear will do it all on the street. Very, very broad power band as expected of its displacement and V-twin configuration. At freeway speed, there's a slight low frequency vibration in your hands but I can't see your hands going numb any time soon. It's powerful enough to outaccelerate most mundane cages on the road.

Gear shift is positive albeit a bit long in the throw.

Wonderful suspension. It's so pliant and well dampened. It's soft but doesn't have the bouncy feel of a Harley. You feel planted to the road, and yes, it will take a decent corner though limited by the dragging of the floor board (guess how I know;f ). Sorry H-D, but Victory is "victorious" here. Side-to-side weaving and flicking doesn't throw the bike into a fit. Great suspension and great chassis.

It felt solid all the way until around 80-MPH in a sweeper that had some road irregularities and that's when it bounced a bit too much and bottoming out. More than what you would need in a cruiser, that's for sure.

Great brakes; both front and rear. Very linear with strong stopping force. When used in conjunction with each other, it brings the bike to a shuddering stop ala BMW style.

A couple of gripes now. First of all, fire the idiot that designed the windshield. It is worthless. Either make it shorter or make it longer, but as it is, it creates so much buffeting that drives you nuts. I'm 5ft6 and buffeting clips me right on my forehead. I can only imagine somebody taller getting hit more on the face with the buffeting. It's so unpleasant at 75-MPH that I find it hard for someone to be able to cruise long distance with this shield on. I kept ducking down underneath it as much as I can but that means contorting my body into unnatural positions.

I do believe that the discordance in the bike's handling in a high speed long sweeper is also attributable to the windshield's buffeting as well. The bike's suspension was already bottoming out but that was manageable, but you can tell that the buffeting from the windshield really threw the front end around and giving it some bad headshakes.

Secondly, the floorboard and foot levers are set so far forward that I had to stretch to get there. I don't know if these things are adjustable for fore 'n aft locations or not, but I wouldn't be able to safely and comfortably ride this vehicle on the street because I can't reach the gear and brake foot levers too easily.

The bike was low enough for me to flatfoot it, but then it's a cruiser, so nothing new there.

My cruiser experience is very limited: this Kingpin, my 1990 883 Sportster, a Honda Rebel 250 and a Harley Dyna-Glide that one of the guys at work ride, and an BMW R1200C that a guy I ride with has. No metric cruiser experience but I think that I'm going to have to check them out to compare, but as it is I would rate the Victory just a hair under the BMW. The BMW has much better handling, but I would rate that the fit and finish of the Victory easily equals that of Munich's finest. The Beemer's engine is only a 1200-cc so it doesn't compare as far as oomph goes. But it isn't fair to compare engines of such dissimilar displacements.

This demo ride had been the most surprisingly pleasant demo ride I've done since test riding the Triumph Thruxton earlier in the year.

jpa
09-27-2005, 00:53
Uh-oh...could we be swaying fal to the cruiser club? ;) Just kidding, but I had a similar experience on a Victory. I took a Hammer out for almost 2 hrs. The salesman handed me the keys and said "have fun." So I did. Great riding bike, but as I said before, if I wanted to spend almost $20k on a bike, I'd get a Harley. I think you're right about the buffeting from the windshield though. The model I rode didn't have a windshield and lacked any noticable wind resistance. My Shadow, however, has a shield and it gets blown around a lot. I actually took it off cuz I didn't like the unstable feeling.

stinx
09-27-2005, 07:56
My only Gripe about Victory is, at least in my area they are selling for Harley money, but are lucky if they have the resale/Trade value of a Japenese bike.My riding Buddy has a King Pin and was thinking about trading it for a Hammer or Harley Night train. Both dealerships offered him substantailly less than he expected if he was to trade. I told my buddy to keep his bike and customize it himself. I liked riding his bike, good engine, great brakes, nice looking ride. If he is smart he will keep it

jpa
10-02-2005, 04:33
Originally posted by stinx
My only Gripe about Victory is, at least in my area they are selling for Harley money, but are lucky if they have the resale/Trade value of a Japenese bike.My riding Buddy has a King Pin and was thinking about trading it for a Hammer or Harley Night train. Both dealerships offered him substantailly less than he expected if he was to trade. I told my buddy to keep his bike and customize it himself. I liked riding his bike, good engine, great brakes, nice looking ride. If he is smart he will keep it

The Kingpin is a nice bike. How much did they lowball him on the trade in? I'd be surprised if it was off by more than 1-2k since bikes seem to hold value pretty well. I second that he should keep it, especially since he already took the depreciation hit. If anything, if he wants to get rid of it he should wait until spring when the "new rider" bug starts to bite people and he may be able to get more $$ for it. I don't recommend adding any accessories or any kind of customization unless he plans on keeping it, since those things don't add any resale value.

stinx
10-03-2005, 09:25
he is going to keep the bike for another season,then try and sell it outright.