Classic Tourer Comparo

Roadstar Silverado :: Victory V92TC :: Nomad 1500 :: Road King :: R 1200CL

I love old BMW's, and that means I love the feel of this engine. You can feel and hear the big pushrods clattering around in their tennis ball can-like receptacles, which is refreshing in an era of seamless cars and motorcycles that generally lack character. This motor was clearly designed by people who cared about engine feel, not just power, economy or reliability.

All the attention to detail is great on this motorcycle. The speedometer is nice, and all the switchgear is logical (ahem, BMW) as well. The bags were a little disappointing. They could hold a week's worth of ladies underwear, but not much else. They are narrow and don't lock.

"Riding the bike instantly lets you know this is a solid, well made machine. It does everything a big-inch cruiser should do."

Sean grinding floorboard.

The sound is right, the motor responds to a handful of throttle with rich, meaty torque, and it's thumpy without being buzzy or uncomfortable. The gearbox is buttery smooth and has nicely selected ratios -- on a twisty road you can just pick second or third gear and leave it.

On the freeway, the Road Star's solid feel and neutral, relaxed seating position gives you a comfy spot from which to contribute to global warming. The seat is cushy, yet broad and supportive. The bars were positioned in a perfect spot for me. And it's pretty fast! It's about tied with the H-D in the roll-on tests, and the Nomad falls behind. The only nit I could pick on the interstate would be the windscreen, which of course causes buffeting at super legal speeds. But hey, so does every other bike. It's inevitable with these near-vertical windscreens, I guess, but it's much preferable to no wind protection!

Twisty canyon roads are the Star's black hole. Although the bike feels lighter than it is, and the suspension is OK, at a brisk pace those floorboards drag in just about every turn. Yamaha knows this, and their solution is a replaceable metal insert underneath the floorboard. Following this bike at night down a freeway onramp is entertaining as a geyser of sparks seemingly sprays from the rider's heels. It's fascinating, like watching the "Grinder Girl" on Letterman, but is annoying (and alarming!) when you're chasing psychotic road test editors on Victories and hearing horrible metal scraping sounds, like when you drive a Crown Victoria too fast over a speed bump.

The big, sweeping turns on Mulholland drive were more the Road Star's style. The bike's neutral handling and strong, smooth motor make a quick pace smooth and relaxing. In fact, that sums up the bike's feel. It's well made and makes you feel good. Everything works very well. If it wasn't for the ground clearance issue, I might have picked this bike as my favorite, and at a cool four grand cheaper than the Harley, it would be a hard pick were it my own dough.

Victory V92TC Touring Classic Harley-Davidson FLHRI Road King Yamaha Road-Star Silverado BMW R1200 CL Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Nomad Fi
Model Year 2003 2004 2003 2004 2004
Engine 4-stroke, Air-cooled50° Freedom™ V-twin 4-stroke, Twin Cam, Pushrod, vibration isolation mounted, 45° V-twin 4-stroke, Pushrod, OHV, Air-Cooled, 48° V-twin 4-stroke, Air/Oil-cooled "Boxer" twin 4-stroke, SOHC, Water-cooled, 8-valve V-Twin
placement / 1,507cc / 1,670cc 1,170cc 1,470cc
Bore x Stroke 97 X 102 mm 3.75 X 4.00 in. 95 X 113mm 101.0 X 73.0 mm 102.0 X 90.0mm
*Claimed* Dry weight 720 lbs. 723.0 lbs. 710 lbs. 672 lbs. 743 lbs.
Length 98 in. 93.7 in. 98.4 in. N/A 98.8 in.
Width N/A N/A 38.6 in. N/A 38.6 in.
Rake/ Trail 30 deg./4.76 in. Unk./6.2 in. N/A N/A 32 degrees/7.4 in.
Tires Front: MT90B/16
Rear: 160/80 16
Front: MT90B/16
Rear: MT90B/16
Front: 130/90-16
Rear: 150/80-16
Front: 150/80 16
Rear: 170/80 15
Front:150/80 16
Rear:150/80 16
Brakes Front: Dual 300mm floating rotors with 4-piston Brembo calipers
Rear: 300mm floating rotor with 2-piston Brembo caliper  
Front: Dual 11.5in. x .20in.
Rear: 11.5in. x .23in.
Front: Dual 298mm discs with four piston calipers
Rear: 282mm disc
Front: BMW EVO with full integral ABS, dual 12.0 inch floating rotors and four-piston fixed Brembo calipers
Rear: 11.2 inch single floating rotor, with four-piston floating caliper
Front: Dual hydraulic discs
Rear: Disc
rected SAE RW-
80.2 @
66.0 @ 3,900rpm 63.7 @ 4,200rpm 52.1 @ 4,900rpm 55.8 @ 4,900rpm
rected SAE RW-
94.4 @
71.5 @ 3,700rpm 92.4 @ 2,450rpm 64.0 @ 2,800rpm 72.3 @ 2,800rpm
Ground clear-
5.5 in. 5.1 in. 5.2 in. 6.2 in. 5.3 in.
Seat Height 28.3 in. 27.3 in. 27.9 in. 29.3 in. 28.3 in.
Colors Black, Sonic Blue, Solar Red, Flame Yellow, Black with Hot Rod Flames Luxury Blue Pearl, Luxury Rich Red Pearl, White Pearl Graphite Gray, Indigo/ Charcoal Blue, Liquid Silver (Silverado Limited Edition) Mojave Brown Metallic, Sapphire Black Metallic, Pearl Silver Metallic Black Pearl, Luminous Vintage Red Pearl, Luster Beige
MSRP $15,199 $17,295 $13,299 $15,990 $12,999



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