From Toronto, Ontario. My road to Victory...
This year I decided to get a cruiser after only having ridden for just over a year on a Honda CBR 250. I had fun on it and it's a great learner bike, but I knew I wanted something more comfortable and more powerfull.
I had my heart set on a Harley, and went to the demo event. I really wanted a Yamaha Stryker and went for a demo. Then decided to go to a Victory demo, just because I had a free day and was slightly interested in the High Ball.
The only thing Harley had going was that the stock sound was better, but I'm most likely gonna get some aftermarket RPW slash pipes. I find a lot of people buying bikes without riding them. Seems stupid to me, that you would spend that much money and not even know if the ride is what you want. Can't just sit on it and know how it handles. LOL.
I was about to purchase a 2013 Yamaha Stryker. It's a nice looking raked out chopper inspired bike. I sat on it at the dealer and it "felt" comfortable. Decided to wait a week for a demo and after 10 minutes I knew the bike was not for me. Could have been an expensive mistake, but I would most likely just convinced myself that I loved it.
Also, after riding MANY Harleys, the Dyna's would be the only bike I would consider. Either Street Bob or Fat Bob. The Softail fatboy I rode was comfy but handled like absolute sh%t compared to the street and fat. If you go HD the Dyna's are much more fun and the only reason I would get a softail is for cruising. Forget about twisties on them.
The Vegas, Judge, and High Ball all handled great. Much better then the softail. No unwanted vibes, and really nice low end torque, and smooth shifting. Really feels like you are riding a big powerfull machine.
The Judge was very aggressive in riding position and really fun. That's a bike that could get you in trouble. A little to sporty feeling riding position. It was very easy to fling around, and made you want to ride FAST. Could see people coming from sports bikes liking this model.
The High Ball is what worked for me. Apes are cool. Thought I would have to sacrafice handling because of the the apes but didn't find that to be the case at all. The bike feels very light (especially when underway) and handles great in the twisties. Really liked the fat front tire, which added stability and confidence when riding. And, Matte Black and retro style was perfect for a younger guy like me. This bike is a looker.
The Vegas was nice, but I didn't really like the skinny front tire. Made the front end seem almost to light and made the bike feel less stable. It's a nice bike with a good price point, but I would rather go with the Judge or High Ball.
I'm new to cruisers, as I'm coming from a sports bike, but I made it my mission to ride AS MANY cruisers as I could this summer. Must have ridden over 15 models. LOL. Demo day to me was showing up early and leaving when there were no more rides left. I couldn't believe people would just show up and ride one model (unless they have ridden all the other ones before) Some other rider just came for a sporster demo. I could tell right away that he was way too big for a sportster, and after the ride he said he was going home. I asked if he rode the street bob and he said he thinks it's too powerfull for him. I was like, do yourself a favour and try it and he did. Came back from the demo ride smiling and saying that the sporster was out now. LOL.
Came down to Street Bob vs. High Ball. Harley prices in Canada are insane and they don't negotiate at all. So it came down to used street bob vs. new High Ball. The main negatives for the street bob were price; price, the vibes at idle could get annoying, riding position for me (6' 185lbs) was a little cramped with mid controls, and the bike felt a bit small overall.
I ended up with the High Ball
As the Street bob is one of Harleys most popular bikes for entry level riders or younger guys, I think people should really check out the High Ball as it's cheaper, faster, more comfortable, and looks better
Thanks to Gary at Peak Powersports in Burlington. Great place, friendly atmosphere, no pressure. Goes out of his way to help you.
Also, great demo day. Good team at Victory, and they let you push the bikes a little to get a feel for them.
Sorry, dont want to sound like I'm some kind of expert on cruisers. So take this from a newb who had a chance to ride a bunch of cruisers this spring and these are just my impressions. Really hoping other new riders can get some insight and hopefully google can help if someone does a street bob vs. high Ball google search, as it's hard to find real comparisons. High Ball is a fairly new model though.