Victory Kingpin Review

This is not an article written by a wannabe motorcyclist article writer that is under direction from the magazine owners on what to write and say based on which motorcycle company is paying the most in advertising dollars at the moment. This article keeps it real.

As I mentioned, I purchased my Victory Kingpin in February of 2004 — A very good year. After looking at Harley Davidson and seeing how Harley has become a mass production company of cookie cutter, oil-leaking machines, I decided to look elsewhere. If a Harley is you bag, then that is all good. For me, I do not understand the appeal. Next I looked at the Honda VTX 1800 — Very nice bike. Best performance and all around cruiser for the money. I wanted this bike.

At the last minute I catch glimpse of a Victory Vegas advertisement. I decide I need to know more. I find that the 2004 Victory motorcycles are being sold by mostly Indian dealerships. Why? Well this is about the time that Indian corporation has decided to go out of business. So the nervous Indian dealerships are quickly signing on with Polaris to sell the Victory motorcycle lines. Was this fate or what? The Victory dealers are enjoying record sales now and selling high-quality American motorcycles. I go to my local Indian dealership, check out the Vegas, then in the back of the small showroom I see Victory Kingpins sitting there calling to me. One was the Black/Bronze 2004 two-tone color. I wanted this motorcycle. The look of the bike, the test ride.

Yes, I said test ride. And the professionalism of the Victory dealer made me sign for the bike that day. Sure I was nervous buying an unknown and unproven American (86% American that is) motorcycle. I knew the inherent problems with buying a Harley and I did not want to go there or be labeled a Harley rider. Not for me. Common sense told me I should have gone with the Honda VTX 1800. But the Victory had styling, had performance, and had comfort and handling that I wanted. It cost eight thousand more than a Honda, but who cares when it comes to the bike you want.

The Kingpin was a joy to ride from day one. I upgraded to the Stage I performance kit, which included new slip-on exhaust, a new K&N air filter and a remapping of the Victory Electronic Control Unit (ECU). The new slip-ons gave the bike a deeper throatier sound. Not the metal clanky sound you hear with Harleys. After doing the recommended engine brake in, I started to get comfortable with the new machine and explore its handling capabilities. With its low-center of gravity, this bike handled like a dream. Not as good as my sport bike but very impressive.

I initially was afraid to work on the bike since it was so expensive and foreign to me. But that winter I started doing some modifications on the bike. The modifications started small with simple bolt on add on like the highway bars, chrome goodies and mirrors. The following year I got even more serious and started wiring in brake light and headlight safety modulators. Then I started swapping out stock parts like the ugly stock turn signals and replacing them with custom LED lighting products from the boys at MBW Motorcycles. Now the bike was started to look custom and I was learning my way around.

The latest modifications I have done include more wiring in of the PIAA driving lights, adding a custom after market drive sprocket overdrive pulley. The latter modification involved removing the fuel tank, exhaust, rear wheel, belt drive, right foot controls. This was a serious modification and I had to make sure I put her back together correctly. I strongly suggest you buy the Service manual for your motorcycle. You need to know the torque specifications and which bolts need Loctite. I did succeed in getting the Kingpin back together and running. I took some time in practicing how to align the rear wheel with the belt drive. I did this a few times and bought a Motion Pro belt tension gauge to make sure I was a close to accurate I could be. With all of these modifications, my confidence in working on the Kingpin has gone from zero to what can I try next. It is Zen like to work on motorcycles and to ride them.

Now we are in spring of 2006. The Victory Kingpin is two year old. With all of my modifications and 10,000 miles I have not had one single mechanical problem with this motorcycle. Yes I am shocked. Especially since this was the first year for this motorcycle. There were bound to be some problems. The answer is simply no. This motorcycle is a gem. I can count on this bike on long trips. Feel comfortable riding the bike, and feel confident that I can keep her running for years to come.

I have my Kingpin completely customized to my style. With one or two performance modifications in place, I find the need to give the Victory Freedom 92 cubic inch engine more power. The method to which I will use to satisfy this need is to install an Eaglecat custom Victory air box and a Lloydz Victory Fuel Control module. Bit the items combined will give your Kingpin an additional 11 horsepower. Yes I said eleven horsepower. I have the dyno sheets to prove this.

How to Save Time Washing Motorcycles

Alright, I figured we would start with something simple that many people seem to struggle with in dealing with their two wheeled machines. The topic today is how to save time washing motorcycles. I personally receive compliments all the time on how great my motorcycles look when I’m at events or just out riding. Everyone always says, “It must take you hours to clean your motorcycle”. I laugh and say actually it only took about a half hour. No one ever believes it because they are use to spending most of their time spending pain staking hours cleaning their motorcycle to obtain an awesome finished product.

The truth is it will always take time and there are many products available that will help your motorcycle look good, although no product saves you time. Washing is basic, you just need to use a light detergent soap that can be found in any automotive section of a department store and apply that soap with a soft rag or special soap applicator. Make sure to wash small sections and rinse frequently out of direct sun light, preferably in the shade or in a garage. You don’t want to give the soap time to dry on your motorcycle since it leaves an ugly white residue on your chrome and paint.

Once you have completed the wash and rinse you are almost done. Here is the hard part, drying your motorcycle. Most people are firm believers that chamois are the way to go, I use to be until I found a better method that leaves an awesome finished result with no spots or water lingering in cracks and crevasses. Drying with a chamois takes forever and most of the time you will have water trapped in areas that you can’t get to and it eventually drips or runs on your chrome and paint leaving streaks. How upsetting is that after you spent quality time washing and drying and there are still water spots and streaks all over your finished work!

It’s really no secret and the way around water spots and streaks is using the right tools for the job. Using the right tools saves time, money, and unneeded aggravation. Years ago someone told me about using a leaf blower on my motorcycle and I thought they were insane until I got tired of wasting an hour or more drying everything on my motorcycle and tried using a leaf blower. I have to say it cut my time down in 1/3 with outstanding results. I have to admit that I still had to go around and wipe a little here and there with a chamois but the time savings was significant and the results were spectacular. Eventually I found another tool that works even better and faster with results that are remarkable. What I found was the Air Force Blaster Motorcycle Dryer. There are three different models of the Air Force Blaster; the 1.3 HP, 4 HP, 8 HP. Each of these models does an outstanding job turning the normal hour or better choir into 10 minutes or less removing every molecule of water off your motorcycle. There is no using a chamois when using the Air Force Blaster, just turn it on and let it do all the drying for you!

This tool may seem like an investment to you and you are right, it’s an investment to save time and effort to get superior results in the final look of your motorcycle. Any good motorcycle dealership has an Air Force Blaster model in their shop for their employees to use when the work is complete on a customer’s motorcycle and wash time begins. Why do you ask? The reason is simple, dealerships are in the business to make money while they also provide great service and products. If they want a customer to return with their motorcycle they are going to give it back to their customer in better condition than what it came in as. Washing only makes sense, although it is very time consuming and the customer really doesn’t pay for this service. Dealerships found the tool that saves their employees significant time and them a huge amount of money on wages, that right the Air Force Blaster! Air Force Blaster enables a dealership’s employees to wash 8-10 motorcycle in the time it use to take washing one motorcycle the old fashion way. The money they spent buying an Air Force Blaster provided an immediate return with phenomenal results.

I encourage you to try the Air Force Blaster out, any model will provide outstanding results with an immediate return on your investment. Time is money and you can never put a dollar amount on the time taken away from riding and spent on cleaning. Thanks for reading and please post comments, we always enjoy hearing feedback on our blogs and products.

Protective Motorcycle Clothing – To Wear Or Not to Wear?

Who wears Protective Motorcycle Clothing? Manly Men?… Or… Wimps?

Wearing protective motorcycle clothing… or not… is something everybody has to decide. There are several directions that the thinking that goes into making that decision can take you.

What’s your hide, and the other pieces and parts of your carcass, worth to you? Is it more important to ‘Look Cool’…

… or… remain whole?

Many years ago, an old Cowboy once confided in me; “Brian, there’s a thin line between Macho… and Stupidity… and son… I gotta tell you… you step across that sucker, way too often!

I have to admit that I’ve resisted acquiring much in the way of protective motorcycle clothing. But, at some point a fella has to accept that maybe a little discretion is in order… and take those few steps required to help preserve the good looks the Boss upstairs blessed him with!

I can’t help but agree that helmets reduce that absolute sensation of Freedom I get on a motorcycle. Wrapping my head in a plastic bucket is not my favorite thing… But that dislike is outweighed, in my mind, by the vision of somebody having to pick up the mush that used to be inside my skull, with a stick and a spoon!

The feeling I get when I roll without a motorcycle helmet is so superior to wearing one, that I can sometimes have considerable difficulty strapping on that particular piece of protective motorcycle clothing…

But… I take those couple of moments considering the possible consequences of not having it in place… seasoned with a thought or two about the other people, on the road, that a motorcycle rider has to contend with… and on it goes.

Your Brain pan is not the only part you have to protect either. You’ll want to consider the other pieces and parts of your carcass that are vulnerable, when considering protective motorcycle clothing.

All the parts that smack the ground if you’re sliding, or tumbling along, after you dump your motorcycle are in need of protection. Shoulders, elbows, hands, hips, knees… all can stand a lil’ shielding from the assault made on them by hitting the asphalt, at 45 mph!… or quicker!

Many is the story where a biker had to drop his ride… to avoid simply slamming into the side of some bozo on 4 wheels… and then got up and walked away, with only minor scrapes and bruises. A story that wouldn’t get told if he’d chosen ‘Macho’… over good, quality, protective motorcycle clothing.

Now we get to the bottom of the story, even your butt needs protection 🙂 sorry… I just couldn’t resist that one… Do a little googling about that… and I’m confident that some of the ‘Road Rash’ photos, that will turn up, is going to send you motoring, credit card in hand, liver quivering, to buy the latest, thermonuclear, protective motorcycle clothing for your kiester!

You’ll soon find that there’s no particular shortage of motorcycle gear to protect you. There are even a few outfits building ‘inflating’ motorcycle vests and jackets that instantly wrap you in an airbag you wear!… should you part ways with your motorcycle.

Motorcycle Leather or Fabric Jackets, complete with built in padding and shields to offer protection against impact and abrasion… synthetic or leather, Motorcycle pants, over pants, strap on shields and pads, underwear made to be abrasion resistant, and chaps and motorcycle gloves; the list of protective motorcycle clothing is nigh on to endless…

I’m the first one to admit it… I much prefer riding ‘Free’… Nose to the wind… unarmored… But, I can only shake my head when some guy comes roarin’ along, just sunglasses, muscle shirt, shorts and flip flops. No helmet, no gloves, hell, not even sleeves!

Then there’s the other guys… haulin’ their wives or girl friends on the pillion behind them… Just as unprotected… Not a piece of protective motorcycle clothing to be seen between the pair of ’em.

Knowing what would be… should either bike get cut off… and they have to drop it, just sends a cold shiver up my back.

I may be able to make that decision for myself… and live with the consequences… but should anything go wrong… having to look at the lady I carried, unprotected, is simply something I’m unwilling to do.

Make the decision to protect yourself… and then acquire the proper protective motorcycle clothing to keep you whole.

A set of Protective Motorcycle Clothing can change a really ugly wreck… into some minor scrapes and bruises… and provide fodder for some fine motorcycle touring ‘war stories’… sippin’ a coke at a stop on your next poker run!

… and the truth is… The gear they’re building now-a-days… carefully selected… actually looks pretty ‘Cool’ … so, now you’ve got no excuses!