Just thought I would pass along this newbies first impressions on this bike we share. I have a lot of points of comparison as I started riding nearly 50 years ago going back to a couple of Cushman scooters (anybody remember those?). Since then, bikes that have run the gamut from Harley's to BMW, Norton, Moto Guzzi and some Japanese. I've even restored a couple of Vespa's cause they're just cute!
Anyway, picked up my weathered but low mileage '05 a few days ago for the ride home from a dealer about 50 miles away. It had set outside for what looks like years, with faded paint and lots of corrosion (but I got a good deal!)
I was a bit spooked because the bike was still running the old oil. The dealer did say he put some Seafoam in the gas, and the bike had been started everyday since he got it. So I had no idea what to expect as I donned my helmet and jacket.
First off it started instantly. I noticed it has the Performance Exhaust and it sounded just right, not too loud but with character. After a minute warm up it settled into a very smooth idle. Unlike some Harley's that always idle as if on the verge of stalling. Was concerned because had read complaints about engine noise from other Vic owners. All I can say is if my bike is typical, those folks' point of comparison must be their Honda Civic. I've had a couple of Japanese water cooled bikes that might be quieter. But this Vic is way quieter than any English, Italian or certainly Harley I have been around. No obvious top end noise, no gear noise, just a healthy sounding engine. And very noticeably missing is that irritating 'against the grain' noise you get from a Harley primary chain. Always sounds like the engine is fighting itself.
That lack of primary chain also seems to contribute to the Vic feeling very smooth compared to a Harley. By smooth I do NOT mean lacking V-Twin character--the Kingpin has that in spades. Its just that the Vic engineers did an amazing job in hitting that sweet spot where the 'bucket of bolts' vibes and sounds are gone and what's left is the sense of one very powerful purposeful engine.
Another concern went away as I pulled in the clutch. Again, read complaints from Vic owners that this is a stiff clutch. C'mon guys. I'm in my 60's and no macho man, but maybe y'all need to get off the couch more often. This is NOT a hard clutch! I'd say about half the pull as my Superglide, a bit less than a Moto Guzzi and about the same as a British bike.
When I put it in first, I was wondering about all those complaints about Vic trannys. I find it nicely solid like a Guzzi or Harley but no clunk or grinding on this bike. I like it, as for instance Japanese trannies can seem too soft and smooth without a feeling of solidity. Next concern to go was the one about neutral being hard to find. I found it by accident when my boot (not accustomed to floorboards) touched the shifter!
Fuel injection mapping seemed perfect, no flat spots or hesitation anywhere. Again, kudos to the Vic engineers! A little rich, but the K&N filter that's been sitting in there without maintenance for 10 years might have something to do with it. The torque makes pulling away from a stop or pulling onto the highway a joy. This is a 92 and certainly no power monster, but ample for anything you'd want to do and certainly enough to be fun. Besides I'm one who believes you can actually have too much power. Ever ride a V-Max? Scary!
Bike is solid on the road not very prone to buffeting and and relaxing to ride. Oh and no whining from the transmission (another complaint seen on the internet).
I think I'll be looking for a batwing fairing, as those wide bars turn you into a sail at speed. Other than that my only complaint is the seat plants you in one place and after 45 minutes or so I needed to move to get my hips in a better place.
Got the bike home and immediately drained the oil and found it looked new and seemed really thick. It had a Victory oil filter so I'm gonna assume this is Victory oil and maybe the original oil (the bike has 3,400 miles on it). Maybe this is why I found my bike so quiet and the tranny so willing? Time will tell. But for now I'm really enjoying this honeymoon!
BTW I have started posting pics and some questions over on the Tech and Performance forum as I have already started the renovation. Please have a look and offer some advice if you can. Thanks!