2008 Victory Kingpin 8-Ball: MD First Ride …

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Victory Kingpin 8-Ball
Victory Kingpin 8-Ball

2008 Victory Kingpin : MD First Ride

Victory tendency to produce some of its as 8-Ball variants has nothing at all to do that old drug slang about an eighth of an ounce. You have to be a corner boy or dealer to one of these. Instead, the name is to describe a blacked-out paint with minimized bling.

the exhausts, headlight shell and housings retain their chrome skins-the rest of the is finished in bad, bold

This has benefits other dazzling fewer people. In with the standardized color the installation of a single seat than the double you see on other and a five-speed transmission that the normal Kingpin’s six-speeder, the of the 8-Ball is reduced to just fourteen grand.

So long as you plan to carry a passenger, is a meaningful discount (the of the Kingpin line starts at because the bike is otherwise identical to the rest of the Kingpin and shares a lot of the standard specifications of of Victory’s cruiser line. means it benefits from the upgrades conferred on Victory’s for 2008. (See our article November 12, 2007 ).

You have to it to Victory. The things that quite right first around soon come scrutiny and are improved forthwith. You can see the evolving from one year to the with components rationalized and as the feedback comes in.

The company management seems and determined, and the product line is and pretty diverse.

This is a good example of Victory’s It’s powered by the same inch 50-degree “Freedom” found under the tanks of all bikes bar the new Vision, and does work with it. The engine has a overhead camshaft to operate the valves in each cylinder, a balance system that wonders to quell the shake in V-twins with less 90-degrees between the jugs.

claims 85 horsepower for this chunk of hardware, with 106 of torque, and it certainly feels all of that when you screw it on. The 670 lbs. of dry weight would put the on the lighter end of the large displacement spectrum. Star’s Roadliner and Harley’s Fat Boy, both pushrod engines, come in at 705 and 694 lbs. respectively, according to manufacturers.

The combination allows the 8-Ball to pull hard to drop the traffic off decisively the throttle’s pinned.

Sure, high revs are not in this repertoire, but there’s a satisfyingly surge of acceleration in each before the engine’s exertions go calling for another gear and a new of opportunity. No, there’s no tachometer to be found, nor is one needed. The thudding that greet an opened at too low an engine speed tell the when a downshift is needed, and the softening of engine power is the for the rider to put his heel down on the shifter and ask for another cog.

The shift quality is mechanical but given the huge gearwheels used to handle the torque and the big pulses generated by two substantial (about 820 cc apiece), although up in the lower gears produces locomotive-scale clonks and bangs. other than the shift first to second, and maybe second to third, the mechanism is fluid.

It takes a deliberate by one’s left ankle at the to move things around, but nothing a full grown rider can’t handle. The in contrast, is a fairly stiff particularly in traffic, when use soon has your left feeling the strain. A hydraulic mechanism is an option with 8-Ball, and I think I’d get it, even I have fairly strong, hands.

I suppose it’s that part of the problem may be in the of the handlebar, so try it yourself before that option.

Other that the Kingpin is an easy to ride. The new Visteon fuel system provides pretty metering. The bike starts idles steadily, and answers the eagerly.

Slow creeping in traffic is without annoying surges, and response is crisp and predictable. The drive smoothes and quiets the progress down the road, the quiet valve train and internals allow the subdued exhaust cadence to take stage.

Some of the company’s for 2008 address mechanical reduction in the engine, and other some gear whine in gears, the result is a pleasantly engine operation, free clatter, whirring, ticking, or any of the noises afflicting big twins.

it or not, refinement is an inescapable of technical progress, and I, for one, the fact that I can hear the exhaust pulses of this without competing percussion, perhaps more important, having to fit loud aftermarket In fact, I’d say this quiet operation enhances the Kingpin’s of integration and mechanical sophistication. hope the cruiser enthusiasts begin to appreciate this too, before big brother in to suppress the racket.

Noise the most important thing a motorcycle is how it rides, and the Kingpin out on the road. It’s fitted a trick-looking inverted fork up that is raked far enough to cool, but with enough and resistance to flex to provide straight-line tracking and accurate The fork is backed up at the rear by a gas-pressurized monotube shock, so the steers faithfully at any speed on the and can be braked hard without any of skittishness.

In fact, the stability of the Kingpin is so that it withstood a hit from a semi-tractor at the right-hand bar end without over (at 5 mph, thankfully). The was hard enough to snap the knob right off. enough, we thought, to sink 8-Ball in the corner pocket.

Victory Kingpin 8-Ball
Victory Kingpin 8-Ball

But the just jinked and kept Hey, we do these things so you have to!

This stability itself in twisty environments where the Kingpin turns in and sticks to its line very for a bike of this type. much like a standard in this regard, able to a twisty section of road a combination of steering response, control, and directional stability.

the 8-Ball’s modest rear-tire section lacks the visual of the huge tires now seen on Hammer and other so-called cruisers, the bike tips bends easily and predictably as a Most of those big-tired have distinctly odd-feeling steering responses to offset cosmetic appeal. Besides, the doesn’t need a fat rear since-like most other cornering ability is restricted by the of ground clearance under the footboards that cruiser prefer.

No big deal. This is true of cruisers, and it hasn’t stopped from riding them. more, industry surveys that this isn’t considered a problem by typical buyers. But you still need to those corner entry okay?

Slow in, fast out is the with these machines. And in regard, the Kingpin 8-Ball has a front brake to slow the down. It’s only a disc, but it’s fairly at 300mm, and it’s gripped by a caliper.

Braking performance is good, assisted in no small by a rear brake that well because of the bike’s wheelbase and even weight

There’s an approachable aspect to the that makes it an appealing The controls and instruments are simple and the accommodations comfortable and confidence It’s a no-nonsense bike for of any length, although the usual stance can be tiring at high on a freeway.

But if you just crouch and let your arms and wrists go you can even manage that for periods, because the monoposto has a natural shape and relatively padding to keep the dreaded … at bay.

Regardless of Victory’s strategy for 8-Ball bikes (see our Victory interview tomorrow), the of the Kingpin 8-Ball was approved by from at least two distinct Dirck’s teenage son and his friends the elemental look, while a of fire fighters watching our shoot, ranging in age from to 50 or so, also specifically complemented the scheme.

All in all, we find the Kingpin to be worthy of consideration by looking for an American premium at a relatively low price. Particularly if someone prefers to ride and doesn’t wish to buy what else rides. The bike’s may well appeal to you stock, but it provides an ideal starting for customization (why pay for paint and you plan on changing?).

The U.S. of the 2008 Victory Kingpin is $13,999. For additional details and visit Victory’s web site .

Victory Kingpin 8-Ball
Victory Kingpin 8-Ball

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