I've noticed this too. But in all reality, I believe it is making me a better rider. It's really made me concentrate on low speed control, and I can definitely say that aspect of my riding has improved.
You won't find the world's top racing talent riding choppers with mismatched tires to improve their skill, but if riding around the bike's shortcomings improves your focus and throttle control, then enjoy. I tend to be a fan of goods that are the best in breed at their intended purpose. If something bugs me, I fix it or sell it.
Could you elaborate on the "breaking loose" comment?
Watch at around the 1:45 mark:
Did you hear him wind up the engine coming out of the corner? His front tire was cold and instead of gripping the road and completing the corner, the rear pushed the front and the bike tipped over. When the front lets go it happens fast and there is usually no recovery. If the front is gripping, you can spin the rear up a little and still maintain your low insurance rates.
Now, that was a bike with a proper front end and super sticky rubber. Imagine cornering aggressively on that little flat 21" bias ply patch [shudder]. It can be done. I saw Dave Searle of MCN ride the pea pea out of an 07 Wide Glide with a bicycle tire. He's a braver man than I.
OK...so are there wider 21" tires??
There are, but they require a wider 21" rim than the stock Vegas rim. See the Yami Raider.
As previously stated though, people have been building bikes for years with all sorts of tire sizes, both front and back. IMO, I don't believe a manufacturer would release or manufacture an "unsafe" bike. To me, it's just a matter of adjusting your riding style per the bike. If you can do that, then you're golden.
I think that's a proper assessment.
I only value the handling to the point of safety. I have not at any point and time felt unsafe on this bike, at least from a handling issue. My own lack of experience is a totally different story. It feels good to me, could just be lack of knowledge and experience. I mean, I've learned to ride on this bike and this bike alone. So really, this is all I know. Had I rode a Hammer, I might be singing a different tune.
I think the Hammer handles worse. Humongous rear tires are at least as bad as scrawny front tires from a handling perspective. That's why the Evil 8 is the cat's meow. It's got the best looking rear end (Vegas) with a proper sized tire, coupled with the most functional front end from the Hammer. Why Victory couldn't see fit to marry the two is a mystery to me.
I do like the work they did on Evil 8, but my jury is still out on whether or not I like the smaller tire on the Vegas. In the end though, looks don't really matter as I can't even see the tire while riding.
Perzactly, that's why I prefer function to form. Don't get me wrong, I like the look of a bike as much the next guy. All this big wheel, little wheel stuff is new school styling however. Except for a few Harley models, there weren't a lot of either offered on stock motorcycles until recently.
Mechanical attributes like beefy inverted forks with dual front radial brakes running braided brake lines and a front tire wearing a modern radial design are things that ring my bell. I see that and I think, "there is a manufacturer willing to put high end (read: expensive) components that appeal to people who take riding seriously."
When I see Harleys with crap single piston front brakes, ridiculous rake angles, anorexic front wheels and toothpick forks, I think, "there is a manufacturer making a fortune selling crap to people who don't know any better." It doesn't make me all that happy to see Victory emulate that business model, but from a financial standpoint it makes perfect sense. FWIW, both new Harleys and Vics low end parts are loads better than stuff Harley has sold in the past, though the new parts still have that terrifying look.
Great comments Saddle, and thank you for taking the time to explain this. I definitely need to hang out with you more hahaha.
You don't have to go far. I'm a sucker for bike blabber. Happy trails.