I’ve been a motorcycle owner since 2002. I learned to ride in high school on dirtbikes and my brothers Honda Interceptor, but it took until 2002 to decide to get my own bike. Greatest decision I ever made.
For the last 6 years I’ve been riding a Yamaha Road Star. A big fat heavy cruiser. I loved that bike and it took me all over the country and even into Canada! That bike and I have seen a lot. But with 55,000 miles on her, she was starting to have problems. In the last few years I replace the stator coil, the fuel pump and the steering head bearings. I rebuilt the carburetor and I even had to have the rear fender subframe welded because it broke in half on the freeway. To top it all off, the bike just exhibited all the normal stuff you have to deal with when you have a carbureted motor. It takes forever to warm up in the morning, it performs differently in the mountains than it does in the desert, and when it gets hot, it just refuses to start.
So I decided I had had enough and decided to buy a new motorcycle. And here it is.
She’s a 2012 Victory Kingpin. 106 cubic inch, counterbalanced motor. Electronic fuel injection. 6 speed transmission. She’s 100 pounds lighter and has 30 more horsepower than my old bike. Modern technology in a classic package. This bike is amazing!
What floors me is that everything about this bike is so much more thought out and so much more advanced than my old Yamaha. First, there’s almost no maintenance on this bike. There’s no transfer case to service, there’s no need to mess with the valves. All you have to do is make sure the moving parts have lubrication and that’s about it. And you only have change the oil every 5000 miles. Simple, strong and reliable is what Victory is all about.
But even the way they designed the little things like how the rear fender is designed is amazing. My old bike had four bolts on the rear fender and those four bolts did everything. They held on the saddlebags, they held on the fender, and they held on the luggage rack and passenger seat back. And the passenger seat sat right on top of the fender which meant if you wanted to take it off, the fender paint was all rubbed or scratched. On the new bike, the fender is held on by it’s own bolts. The accessories by another set of bolts and then the seat sits on a frame which connects to another set of bolts. What this means is that you don’t have to mess with taking off the bags, if you want to swap out the luggage rack or the seat. And the seat NEVER contacts the fender paint.
The whole bike was designed this way and you can see it just by looking at the motor. You won’t see any wires or tubes or emissions garbage mucking up the look of the bike. It’s all be designed to be out of sight.
So how does it ride? Amazing. It’s nimble, it’s fast, and it’s just a pleasure to ride. Honestly, compared to my old Yamaha, this thing rides like a sport bike. It’s just so smooth and even the braking is way better. I can’t get over how much fun she is to ride.
So she wasn’t cheap, I’ll be paying payments for 6 long years. But it was worth it. With the amount of riding I do, it’s money well spent. I’m looking forward to getting her out on the open road and doing some serious rides real soon!