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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well today, the local Polaris/Victory dealer had demo rides. And for a change I was around to take advantage of it. They were run as something of a "group ride" with a supplied lead bike and "tail gunner" Got a bit of time on some "interstate-like" roads and a bit of 2 lane back roads. About 15 miles total.

I managed to get seat time on two different bikes.

The first was "Zach Ness Vegas" which was all tricked out with lots of black parts that were drilled to expose bits of aluminum beneath. 106 cubic inch motor. Lots of grunt, but, I had no idea what RPM I should be shifting at or if I was troubling it by running the RPMs too low from time to time. The forward controls were strange to me. Had to actually look down to figure out where to put my feet. Personally, I did not care for the riding position. It felt as though I was having to pull myself forward with my arms and my hips were uncomfortable. But, it road nice and I was surprised that it wasn't very windy, as I sat quite low. We didn't ever carry enough speed through the twisty part to really judge its handling. But, it was alright. Just so VERY different from what I am used to.

Then I got to ride on a CrossRoads. Without a windscreen and with the leather look hard (in)side saddle bags. Again with the 106 cubic inch motor and a 6-speed tranny, it would certainly get out of it's own way. But, I still wasn't sure about the rev range. The handlebars on this bike came WAY back over the tank. And while you were at speed, it was fine. But, when maneuvering around the parking lot at low speeds, it was like a giant tiller. You had to swing both grips over a tremendous distance to turn. I really hated that.

And, it seems that ALL of the Victorys had a loud "bang" (for lack of a better word) when shifting gears. It shifted OK and there was even a gear indicator in the LCD portion of THE Speedometer. But the noise at every shift bothered me. I could even hear it on the bikes ahead of me in the group as we were slowing for a stoplight.... Probably not a functional issue, but annoying to me.

So, at the moment, they are not on my short list. But then again, nothing is on my short list... I'm just keeping the ZR-7S for the foreseeable future.
 

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Thanks for the review. The only cruiser I have been thinking about is Victory. Nothing against the Metric guys on the forum (my best riding buddy rides a Honda Shadow ACE) it's just that when I want cruising V-twin I want to go American and I don't like associating myself with the image "The Motor Company" puts forth. I like the Vegas 8-Ball, so I hope the seating position isn't as bad as on the Ness model. I don't know if I'll be able to get used the the gear bang myself either. Question; how did it pull? I know these cruisers are supposed to have mountains of torque. Did you find that to be the case? Thanks for sharing the ride! :alcy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Strong...

The Victory bikes I rode both had the 106 cubic inch motor. What is that?? About 1800cc??? They had TONS of torque. And pulled hard. Very Hard.

My problem was that I am so very accustomed to my 750cc 4 and running around at 5,000 rpm as a norm... that I had NO IDEA what was the "right" rev range to be in.... I struggled to figure out when the motor felt right.

I found myself in 4th gear when running 60MPH... did I need to hear the higher revs??? Shifting up to 6th, yes - 6th!, revs were around 2300RPM or so. Was that too low?? Would be on the ZR.

Like I said, I enjoyed both bikes I rode. But, they were SOOO different from mine that I would need more seat time to get truly comfortable with them. Aside from the Transmission "Thunk" (and a friend said almost all owners find that disappointing) I thought they were excellent machines.

Perhaps in a few years, when I am a bit older still... I may be shopping for such a machine. For now... the ZR suits my needs quite well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry Ben...

I wasn't bright enough to remember my camera! :nono:

Although, I enjoyed riding some different equipment... But, for the time being, my ZR-7S doesn't have anything to worry about.... :alcy:
 

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I did victory demo days in the spring. Ran out the Hammer S. Looks....a 10! Nice torque and handled well all around. I could live with it if I had a few bikes; but I got back on the 650R and I just like the high seat position, and oh yea the better performance and handing. Nice bike though. And all the cruisers have such a low CG that they are effortless to handle at low speeds even with the heavy weigh-in vs the light NINJA. At that time I was still looking for more comfort and I really wanted ABS also (not on many, if any Victory bikes) but did not want to give up performance. So here at the end of the season I parted with the '06 650r and picked up an '07 FJR. I'm not a tour guy but I want to go 2 or 3 hours without pain. The Bullet Train fits the bill.
 

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I have rode the Victory line and find them to be torquey bikes without a lot of personality. Very dull IMHO. I wish that Victory would get off the cruiser/bagger kick and branch out to build something else that would appeal to a rider wanting to buy American. How hard would it be for Victory to design a decent standard, sportbike or dual-purpose machine? When they become a little more creative I will take a second look at their bikes. I'm tired of the Ness theme (really passe) and I think that Victory is very capable of taking their skills into another direction.
 
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