2009 Victory Models - Vegas Jackpot, Hammer S, Kingpin Low Review - First Ride

10 years of Victory!

Hola from most-gorgeous and laid back Del Mar, California! Team Fonzie and Pete are here to sample Victory’s line-up for the 2009 model year. And what a special year for Victory Motorcycles! It’s a 10-year anniversary for the "New American Motorcycle."

Hard as it may be to believe, that humble little company from Medina, MN, has been building its version of a V-Twin-powered motorcycle for a decade now. Furthermore, they’ve been progressively successful, though tempered at times by various factors, in all that time, this past year still seeing growth in a down market. Impressive news when the rest are hurting.

No massive revisions this year, but rather a number of little upgrades and goodies to enhance existing models.

The 14-percent bump in power, as claimed by Victory, in the new Stage II cam kit 106/6 engines that power the Vegas Jackpot/Ness Jackpot, Hammer and Hammer S models, was hard to notice from the saddle, but Victory did more than add power.

A perfect complement to performance improvements, are new wheels that see a combined weight reduction of 22 lbs over the previous model wheels on the Jackpot and Hammer models. An overall lighter bike is inherently good, obviously, but shaving pounds in the wheels is one the best places to do so, as this translates to a quicker-turning, better-stopping and an all round better-riding bike.

'The bikes all performed admirably, reflecting the quality with which they’re built.'

In addition to these performance improvements to a couple of models, Victory also popped out a “new” model this year, the Kingpin Low. Like the Vegas Low from last year, the Kingpin Low is essentially a Kingpin but with a lower 25.2-inch seat (also 1.5 inches narrower than the standard saddle), and bars and controls moved 2.0 inches closer to the rider. The Low will be a solo ride, too, losing pillion capacity.

Finally, the biggest gift Victory gave to itself for 10 years in business was the creation of the 10 Year Anniversary Edition Vision. Nothing functionally different about this Vision, but it is loaded with every possible treat and trinket available for the model. Along the anniversary theme, Victory graced this Vision with a color-combo that pays homage to the company’s first model, the V92. Hype for this special Vision proved potent. Of 100 units produced, 99 of them sold out in 7 minutes online; the single remaining unit was retained by Victory. It’s easy to see why this bike was so sought-after. It looks great!

Our ride route took us from the balmy coast of North San Diego County to the sleepy and arid desert town of Borrego Springs. Weather was perfect, if a bit on the hot side. We cruised the superslab, blasted the straights and carved up the undulating curves. The bikes all performed admirably, reflecting the quality with which they’re built. All in all, it was a very happy birthday for Victory.

Look for a follow-up story with a few more details, photos and video in the coming weeks.

Related Reading
Victory 2009 Model Preview
2008 Victory/Lehman Pitboss Trike Review

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