Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sturgis was awesome this year! Aside from the usual festivities accompanying the rally there were the opportunities camping out offers veteran riders to talk about their 'rides.' The past few years I have listened to many HD fans bemoan the new 6-speed transmission. Although offering improved mileage(as if that is ever a factor in considering a two wheel steed)there is an annoying sound that comes with the get go. Yesterday I climbed aboard several Victories for my first test rides of these state of the art two wheeled suicide machines. The very first thing I noticed was the disconcerting sound the transmissions omitted when put in gear. It was a heavy metal 'clack' that assailed my ear. 1St & 2nd gears make this sound on every one of the bikes I rode. This is not to say I couldn't get used to it. Much to the contrary, by the time I was mounting the third in my tryout list it was noticeably less important than the overall performance versus comfort considerations. My very best ride of the day came aboard the Victory “Hammer 8-Ball” cruiser. I have never ridden the 250MM rear tire style. The handling in itself was quite impressive, but what really got my attention was the way the power to weight to center of gravity seemed perfect. Zero to 90 with ease, and cornering and “grip the road” with confidence cornering. Amazing experience and one that bears repeating often. Will I own one – probably not but one can always wish. The biggest of the lineup “Cross Country Tour” was the disappointment of the day. Great sound system and overall good to ride, but the heat issue needs resolving. My left leg from behind the knee nearly to my crotch was overly hot. Not a good thing when you're moving and considering traffic time of stop and go I believe it would have become unbearable in a short short. The inner thigh is not a place one desires a lot of heat while riding. Overall solid machines with some obvious needs that could be resolved tinkering around in the shop I'm sure. Stuff like handlebar length, height, width are all workable and can be defined in the garage by the owner to satisfy personal taste. The 'clacking' of gears would be an irritating thing forever. They have done a thing with their clutch pull that offers extreme ease, that was good. Shift and brake levers are okay but take some getting used to. On a scale of 1 – 10 I'd say 8 overall and 9 on the “8-Ball.”

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