So, let me get this straight...
Do I have to ride one to want to own/own one? The answer is a definitive N O. I went on (from my front door and back) about a 200 mile ride with the local victory owners (polaris west in katy texas) There were a couple of visions, couple of cross roads, a kingpin, a hammer, a vegas, a triumph t-bird, a kingpin, and a v92. I was there on my 1200 sporty. I can honestly say that I have NEVER had to work so hard to keep up with the group. They were extremely good sports, watched out for me and were very patient with me.
I had myself and my wife on the sporty and for the start of the ride we were holding up extremely well I'd say. It was when we got into the twisties and the bouncies that I started having a very difficult time and having to row the bajeezus out of the transmission. When we'd hit a severe bump, we'd bounce off of the seat and have to back off and wait for the suspension to settle then I'd have to throttle the heck out of the bike to catch up.
At our first stop I was doing alright, but I was starting to feel the butt burn. We got even more into the twisties on the second leg of the ride, I was scraping pegs, fighting my suspension and just fighting like hell to keep up. We made it to the gas station and it was time to tank up, for me, by this point, the stop wasn't long enough. That h-d "touring" seat.....NOT!!!!
As we headed on to the main event restraunt, If I had the money to buy a vic, I would've traded in my bike and done whatever inappropriate prison act would have been required to have secured said cross bike. The food was awesome, my wife made some new 2 up friends and I got an earful about "why can't our bike do that" and "yeah you should get him to get a crosscountry/roads/vision" I'm sitting there realizing exactly how much of the harley davidson kool-aid I've drank in my life. but as we all know when you've drank so much, there has to be a hangover tax to be paid.
We start to head back home (I would've been happy hanging out at the restraunt for a couple more hrs while my ass stopped whining like a virgin that just got back doorered in a camaro on prom night). and there's only one word for what I was feeling.
P A I N
My butt was hurting, my hands had been vibrated to numbness, my legs were cramping and I was falling behind the pack. I just didn't have the mental on enough to keep up. I'd worn myself out physically and mentally. The owner of the dealership that was hosting the event fell back behind me, keeping an eye on me to make sure we got back to the dealer safe and sound. He never left me behind and made sure that me and my spouse were safe the entire way.
I saw the sign for katy tx 9 miles and got that massive OMG we're almost there and pushed harder then I have on any other ride. To see that sign with the victory logo and the wings I was so happy to see it. We pulled in, my wife hops off like nothing had happened (curse you butty buddy) and the parts manager and dealership owner made sure that I was physically okay and alright to ride home. I didn't even have enough left to hop onto the freeway for the final 11 miles back home. I took the feeder all the way back home.
When I got the bike back into the garage, I got off the bike and wanted to kick it over. My harley davidson, my national icon, my american legend had not only let me down, had not only aggravated me, but just left me feeling empty, upset, and pissed as hell. I'm done with harley-davidson. To be a "legend" is fine. Right now I just want to be able to ride to ride in comfort, to be able to enjoy the ride, to not have to apologize for not being able to keep up, Take me home Victory, take me home.
When finances permit, I'll be in the market for a kingpin or a crosscountry. I just cannot support harley after this ride. On the 28th, I'm going for a victory demo ride. I want to see things from your handlebars. I'm sick of seeing taillights and apologizing.