Dawn of the Neo-Power-Touring-Cruiser

Victory Kingpin Deluxe vs. modified Harley-Davidson VRSCA V-Rod

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Frankly, this has been a profitable endeavor for all parties concerned, but thankfully, I believe this trend has reached its logical conclusion. It's time to move forward in new directions and to their credit, the OEMs appear to be doing just that. The cruising rider can't accommodate his unique riding style, ergonomic needs, and stylistic preferences if the available choices consist of a vast sea of McCruisers.

Victory started out with a "me too" tourer in the form of the 92C, but has begun carving out their own identity now. The Kingpin is a wonderfully versatile machine. It does virtually everything well and looks good doing it... at least if those flared fenders are your cup of tea. If they're not, that's OK too because a neo-tourer doesn't want everyone to like it, it wants someone to love it! If you plan to strike off in total comfort for long distances but still want to be checked-out when you pull up at the pub, the Kingpin just might be your dream ride.

"It's gotta be the ultimate executive riding tool for a weekend getaway with the boss's secretary.."

After loading up the V-Rod with a few touring accessories, it willingly morphs from a bullet-fast power cruiser with gobs of personality, to ... well a bullet-fast power cruiser-tourer with gobs of personality! It still looks terrific, as H-D has done a masterful job integrating the styling of the accoutrements into the look of the bike. The size limitations of the windscreen, pillion, bags, and gas tank probably won't make you want to go long hauling, but it's gotta be the ultimate executive riding tool for a weekend getaway with the boss's secretary.

Back when Saturday Night Live was still funny, Billy Crystal's Fernando Lamas character used to say, "It's better to look good than to feel good, dahling". That either/or proposition pretty much used to be your only choice. Now, the touring-equipped Kingpin and Vrod give you the chance to have both. Choose your weapon, baggers can be a blast and getting old ain't as bad as it used to be.

Super Fast vs. Rock Solid

When pitting two American V-Twin neo-cruisers against the each other in a get-the-heck-outta-los-angeles-for-the-weekend trip, I would blindly choose to ride in traditional style and pick the Harley Davidson V-rod. However, as both my camera collection and gullet grow and my desire for a bagger swells, I would ultimately choose the Victory for in-town touring as well as for cross country trips. While the HD's stock tank only holds enough gas for little over 100 miles, the Victory wins the range game hands-down with a 5.7gal fossil fuel reservoir.

I would agree with EB that the V-Rod's Sundowner saddle is better than the Victory's - maybe the best touring saddle I've ridden yet - but where the HD loses traction, is its lack of alternate foot positions. Easily fixed with that phonebook catalog of HD aftermarket parts, but they're still way-out-front and the passenger pegs are too high to use when riding solo. Ride height on the V-Rod is rather low - perhaps another choice for those considering the 883 hugger. Low and aimed "down" where the airbox cover is set. What one normally rides behind is a gas tank, but not with the V-Rod, instead we have an easily removable air box cover that appears to slope down and forward on the bike, making the bike feel even lower and thinner than it really is. This space is well suited for a non-magnetic tank bag. Otherwise, the V-Rod is a Harley I would probably never own. Sure, it's a sporty ride and a beautiful piece of machinery, but I feel that if I wanna buy a sport bike, I'll buy a Yamaha. When I'm ready to buy my next Harley, I'll want a Harley that sounds, looks and feels like a Harley! Thanks for the V-Rod's smooth ride, but I'll pass and take the Victory for those long days in the saddle.

The Victory's ride ergos are more upright and less of a pain-in-the-ass than the stylish V-Rod. This makes both sets of floorboards useable when not carrying the ol' lady around. The long reach to the Kingpin's bars frequently caused me to lock my elbows. However, rotating the bars slightly rearward would fix this in about 2sec flat. Neither bike had a passenger backrest - something else a touring bike should include - even if it is the little 2"x4" thing HD makes. Just a little something there is nice for either the passenger or gear lashing, but that's just my personal preference.

** SPECS PROVIDED BY HARLEY-DAVIDSON **

HARLEY-DAVIDSON VRSCA V-ROD

V-Rod MSRP as tested = $17,695
Accessories included in test:
Leather saddlebags = $799
Windscreen = $309
Sundowner Seat = $289
Luggage rack = $110

Length 93.6 in.
Seat Height Laden(1) - 26.0 in.
Unladen - N/A
Ground Clearance 5.6 in.
Rake Steering Head/Trail 34.0° / 3.9 in.
Wheelbase 67.5 in.
Fuel Capacity(2) 3.7 gals.
Oil Capacity 4.5 qts.
Weight Dry Weight = 596.0 lbs.
Running Order N/A
POWERTRAIN
Engine(3) Revolution
Displacement 69.0 in.
Bore x Stroke 3.94 in. x 2.84 in.
Claimed Engine Torque(4)(5) 74.0 ft. lbs. @ 7000 rpm
Fuel System(6) Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI )
Compression Ratio 11.3:1
Claimed Miles per Gallon(7) Carb. - N/A
ESPFI - 47 hwy / 37 city
Primary Drive Gear
Gear Ratio (overall) 1st - 11.745
2nd - 7.890
3rd - 6.320
4th - 5.450
5th - 4.890
WHEELS/TIRES(8)
Front Disc / 120/70ZR19 60W
Rear Disc / 180/55ZR18 74W
ELECTRICAL
Electronics Standard security system
Instruments Electronic speedometer; odometer; resettable tripmeter; diagnostic readout; tachometer
Indicator Lamps Oil pressure; engine diagnostics; coolant temperature
CHASSIS
Brakes (diameter x width) Front - 11.5 in. x 0.20 in. dual
Rear - 11.5 in. x 0.23 in.
Lean Angle (per SAEJ1168) 32° / 32°
Exhaust System Slash-cut duals
COLOR OPTIONS(9) Vivid black, impact blue, lava red sunglo, two-tone luxury teal and brilliant silver, two-tone smokey gold and vivid black
UNIQUE FEATURES Chrome, two-tone silver and charcoal engine; hydroformed perimeter frame with silver leafed aluminum powder-coat and clear-coat; 49mm forks raked out at 38°; 26" seat height; 3.7-gallon fuel tank under seat; radiator shroud with twin vortex air scoops; aerodynamic, reflector optic headlight
PRICING(10) MSRP
Vivid black - $17,695
Pearl - $17,895
Two-tone - $17,995
Anodized - N/A
Laced wheel option (if applicable) - N/A
H-D® factory security system - Standard
ESPFI - Standard
California emissions - Carb. - N/A; ESPFI - $100
Freight (applies to the 48 contiguous states and Alaska only) $220
All models feature 5-speed transmission and carbon fiber belt final drive; 40 mm constant velocity carburetor with enrichner and accelerator pump (except Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection models); multi-plate clutch with diaphragm spring in oil bath; and two-year, unlimited-mileage warranty.
We reserve the right to discontinue models or change specifications at any time without incurring any obligations.
Attention: The vehicle in the configuration shown and many of the accessories for this vehicle are not available for sale or use in several countries outside the U.S. Specifications and vehicle availability may vary from market to market depending on local importation and registration laws. Please check with your local dealer for details.
(1) Measurement reflects 180 lb. / 81.7 kg operator weight.
(2) Includes reserve on carburetor equipped models.
(3) Recommended 91 octane or higher fuel (R+M)/2.
(4) Per SAE J6 07.
(5) Values shown are nominal. Performance varies by country.
(6) Standard and optional fuel systems may vary by country.
(7) Based on tests conducted under ideal lab conditions per U.S.E.P.A.test procedures. Your mileage will vary depending on your personal riding habits, weather conditions, trip length, vehicle condition and vehicle configuration. Break-in mileage will vary.
(8) Standard and optional wheels may vary by country and region.
(9) Availability of colors may vary from dealer to dealer, and is subject to change without notice.
(10) Prices listed are the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices. Options such as color, laced wheel and fuel systems are available at additional cost. Prices exclude dealer setup, taxes, title and licensing and are subject to change. Dealer prices may vary.



** SPECS PROVIDED BY POLARIS INDUSTRIES **

VICTORY KINGPIN

(*PRICE AS CONFIGURED/ KINGPIN DELUXE*)
MSRP: $14,999

Engine 4-stroke/50°/Freedom V-twin
Bore x Stroke 97 x 102 mm x mm
Displacement 92 / 1507 cu.in / cc
Compression Ratio 9.2:1
Valve Train SOHC/4 valves per cylinder/self-adjusting cam chains/hydraulic lifters
Carburetion Electronic fuel injection/44mm throttle bodies
Fuel Capacity 4.5/17.0 U.S. gallons
Exhaust Staggered slash-cut dual exhaust with common volume
Oil Capacity 6.0 / 5.7 U.S. quart
Electrical
Charging System 38 amps
Battery 12 volts/18 amp hours
Cooling
Cooling System Air/Oil
Drivetrain
Primary Drive Gear drive with torque compensator
Clutch Wet/multi-plate
Transmission 5-speed constant mesh
Final Drive Reinforced belt
Brakes
Front Brake 300mm floating rotor with 4-piston caliper
Rear Brake 300mm floating rotor with 2-piston caliper
Dimensions
Length 99.1 / 2519 in/mm
Wheelbase 66.5 / 1690 in/mm
Seat Height 26.5 / 673 in/mm
Ground Clearance 5.8 / 148 in/mm
Rake/Trail 32.8°/5.44in./138mm
Dry Weight 639 / 290 lbs/kg
GVWR 1154 / 524 lbs/kg
Suspension
Front Suspension Inverted cartridge telescopic fork/43mm diameter/5.1in. (130mm)
Rear Suspension Single, mono-tube gas/forged and cast aluminum w/ rising-rate linkage/3.9in. (100mm) travel/preload adjustable spring
Tires
Front Wheel 18.0 x 3.0in./6-spoke cast aluminum (standard)
Rear Wheel 18.0 x 5.0in./6-spoke cast aluminum (standard)
Front Tire 130 70-18 Dunlop® Elite II
Rear Tire 180 55-B18 Dunlop® D417
Colors
Solid Colors Black, Sonic Blue, Purple Thunder or Solar Red
Two-Toned Colors Black & Bronze or Bronze Mist & Pearl White
Multiple Colors Sonic Blue with Tribal Fade Flames or Purple Thunder with Vogue Silver Tribal Flame
MSRP $14,999

*All specs are for standard Victory Models. Specs may change with the addition of custom order options. Seat height reflects 180 lb. operator weight. Prices listed are MSRP for stock solid black model. Alternate paint options or additional options may increase price. Victory reserves the right to change specifications at any time without incurring obligation.

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