Silly me, I started posting before introducing myself here! I guess I'm impatient...
I'm a damn proud owner of a 2011 Kingpin 8-ball that has already begun a transformation of mods into what *I* want it to be. But I gotta say, the canvas was the most ideal to me. I'll get into that in a second. First I should talk about my background.
I ride a Ducati Monster. It's tricked out to fit me, perform and handle flawlessly, and it was what I learned to ride on. I still own it, and still ride it when I want to wick it up and not worry about cornering clearance (though I can and have scraped the pegs a good many times). I love the look, sound, and character of the bike, so when I hear harley guys say "it ain't a Harley" I understand.
That said, I test rode a lot of options before picking my new ride. It came down to performance and fit for me, along with a different breed of character. I didn't choose the vic because I couldn't afford a Harley. In fact, I paid more for my vic than the slew of pre-owned harleys I was considering.
I chose the vic because it's flat out awesome. The *only* two things I am not totally satisfied with from a performance standpoint are the weak front brake feel (if you squeeze hard enough it stops), and the shift quality. Both are liveable, and are outweighed by the steep performance advantage of the stock bike compared to the competition.
I wanted a comfortable bike with performance and style for two-up touring. I could have gone the sport-tour route but chose not to for personal reasons (look, feel, and intimidation factor for the missus).
Specific things I prefer on the vic over any harley:
1) the clean look of the motor. It's minimalist and modern at the same time. That's rare. Ducati monster guys tend to take off parts from their bikes to get that clean air-cooled look. The vic has it in spades with the OHC setup and the tall-stroke finned chambers.
2) power - duh
3) handling - easy to ride, and handles as good as a dyna, which I think is a pretty good handler for a cruiser.
4) looks - for the most part, I love the looks of my vic. Only thing I'm not in love with are the fenders, which I know may be sacreligous but I don't care- it's my bike
5) balance of smoothness vs vibration - This is a personal preference so I don't think harley riders are "wrong". I get it. I just prefer a bike that allows me to feel in control ALL the time, while still feeling like I'm on a machine with soul. The vic hits that balance for me. The first time I did real engine braking on a dyna I realized it wasn't for me. Just way too much unnecessary motion going on to feel engaged with the road.
6) robust build quality - from what I can tell, the thing is built like a tank. That's cool. Modern functionality, with styling that is both a throwback and forward-looking at the same time. Respect.
Finally, what mods have I dont or have planned for my ride? Glad you asked!
- Penske shock, set to my liking. I have one of my ducati (along with ohlins road and track forks), and it makes a difference. I don't like the ride height of my vic, and expect to get far more handling prowess from this simple mod.
- Hacker Rippers (yes I know of the bad rap, I'm taking a risk and will let you know how it works out), Lloydz airbox (not the torque tubes- didn't want something that had potential for direct exposure to rain water), PCV plus the autotune module. From what I've read I'm thinking that combo may be good for +15 HP/TQ. More importantly, faster throttle response time.
- tsukayu hard bags, vic touring pass saddle and backrest
- dual front disc brake conversion from a hammer (I want more stopping power with less lever effort to match that sensitive rear brake!)
- hammer front fender and a vegas rear fender. This is purely to get the look I want. I'm just not a big fan of the art deco look of the kingpin fenders. To each their own.
That's it for now. I'm glad to be here and hope to share knowledge as I gain it.