Victory Kingpin

Last season, I took the 2010 Victory Kingpin for a country spin and in 2011, that same model has had some upgrades.

The Kingpin entered the Victory lineup in 2004 winning Cruiser of the Year with its inaugural 92 cubic inch engine and five speed transmission. By 2010, the engine had increased to 100 cubic inch (1634 cc) and a six speed overdrive transmission. But that still wasn’t enough and the engineers kept working.

The 2011 Kingpin now boasts a 106 cubic inch engine (1731 cc) with the same four stroke V-Twin, single overhead camshafts with four valves per cylinder, electronic fuel injection and still with a 17 litre fuel tank.

The two-tone blue and metallic sandstone colour was available in 2010 but in 2011 has been replaced with solid Pearl Sandstone. The solid midnight cherry of 2010 has been replaced with 2011’s Crimson.

District sales manager for Victory in B.C., Cory Davidson, describes the 2010 Kingpin, “It has inverted front forks, which for the sport bike rider, you understand the benefit of that. When you are pushing it into the corners and when you are at high speeds, you have that rigidity that you are looking for. It is one of the best performing, best handling bikes in the 2010 lineup because of that configuration.”

Count on the same configuration in 2011.

The inverted front fork has 5.1” of movement making that bump in the road seem non-existent whether you are in a parking lot or on the highway. Rear suspension is a single, mono-tube gas, cast aluminum with 3.9” travel.

Notable on the Kingpin is the quiet ride but with the staggered slash-cut dual exhaust, still gives the impression of a force to be reckoned with on the road. With as much HP and torque as the bike offers, it is exceptionally quiet for a cruiser. Don’t let the peace of the pipes intimidate you however because this bike offers more torque at the higher gears to get you out of a tricky situation should you need it.

“DOT says that as manufacturers we have to meet noise regulations on every motorcycle sold in the province and across Canada,” said Davidson. “All of our bikes are shipped with DOT approved exhaust on them but you will find that a popular accessory on these bikes are new pipes that can change the sound dramatically and the performance of the bike as well.”

Standard on the Kingpin is the heel-toe shifter with full floorboards for smooth and easy gear changing, full flare fenders and multi-LED taillight. Seat height is 26.5 inches making it nice and low for stationary control.

Additional customs available include a trunk and side bags for that touring look or for commuting to work and packing your briefcase.

“The Kingpin is a popular bike for those that are just getting into the touring segment,” said Davidson, “New couples, maybe someone that is looking to find someone to be a couple with them. It is a comfortable ride for the rear passenger. It is not the bike for the hard seasoned tourer. Those riders will usually go into a Vision which is a true touring model.”

A beautiful ride through various road conditions proved the Kingpin was easy to handle in parking lots, provided great up hill acceleration, easy handling in and out of corners and enough highway power that I would recommend a windshield.

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