First thing, right out of the parking lot, I noticed the feel of the front end. The fatter tire and the windshield made the front-end feel a little heavy when you move the handlebars back and forth. But once on the road this all goes away and gives the Kingpin a better sense of stability.
With the 100 inch V-twin, you don’t have to worry about being in the passing lane for an extended period of time and on the on-ramps your ability to match or beat the traffic is a breeze. In fact, if you get real aggressive off the line, you can spin the rear tire. This bike is much faster then the stock Harley cruisers.
This is not a high RPM engine. The V-twin engine is built for torque, reducing the need for a lot of shifting. Having said that, the true overdrive or 6th gear is very tall.
You will want to down shift for acceleration if you’re under 60 65 mph. But once at cruising speed, the tall gear is nice. Combine that with the windshield and the lower defectors to shield the wind on the highway and you have a nice little cruiser.
The riding position suited me well, and although there is some vibration, I did not find it annoying. The suspension provided reasonably smooth passage over most of the bumps and the inverted shock gave the motorcycle a little more of a sporty ride. On the curves and when turning on the city streets you have a feeling of confidence that the bike is going to do just what you want it to do, solid and secure.
It was a very hot day here in Phoenix so I did not spend a lot of time on the ride. I did get some interstate time in and some back roads as well as city riding and found the Kingpin to be very enjoyable.
One thing that I did find annoying, was the absence of a tach. That is one of my pet peeves. If you have a standard shift vehicle, you should have the feedback of what the engine is doing.
For only $200.00 you can add this option to any of the bikes in the Victory line. I also thought the engine was a little noisier than what I had experienced in the past. Then it dawned on me that this Kingpin had stock pipes and a windshield, making the engine noises more obvious.
If you have ever ridden any bike with and without the windshield you would find the difference in sound amazing. The windshield has a tendency to bounce back the mechanical noises from the engine.
This is a great sport cruiser. Victory has configured a great bike. If you are looking for a heavy cruiser and you spend most of your time on the road, this may not be the bike for you. But for most applications, this is a great trade off.
You can spend a week on this bike and enjoy it. Luggage capacity may be limited for the long runs, but great for those short week or weekend runs and the Kingpin will still be fun to ride around town anytime. Add a custom exhaust and a tach to this bike and you would have a real winner.
*The very aggressive price of $13,999 is from Victory of Mesa only, and only as long as inventory lasts. If you are interested, call Dave at (480) 668-7969. Say hello from Kirk.
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