We're on the first leg of our touring bike comparison and we've been lost all day. It seems even the best navigation systems are only as efficient as their operators. Staffer Tim Carrithers and our guest testers, Dave Russell and Mauricio Fernandes, have been following me like lemmings, not even questioning why the typical four-hour ride from Los Angeles to Death Valley has already taken eight. And we're nowhere near the whiteout sandstorm.
The lack of grumbling may have something to do with the bikes we're riding. The august Honda Gold Wing, contemporary Victory Vision, brawny Triumph Rocket III Touring and classic H-D Ultra Glide Classic are an eclectic mix, but each is geared for long-range comfort, so we're feeling good. A few more days of tying Boy Scout knots in our high-desert route will give us ample opportunity to examine these four very different touring philosophies.
Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide
No matter what you think about the fluff-and-puff lifestyle that surrounds this brand, you've got to hand it to Harley-Davidson for holding its course with the flagship Ultra Classic. Sure, The Motor Company has the means to reinvent the whiskered granddaddy of two-wheeled touring-and it will do just that for '09-but who would its buyer be? H-D riders are investing in an experience, not just a vehicle, so the statutes of modernization don't apply.
Conversely, we applaud Harley for knowing how to quietly slip some high-tech upgrades into the parts bin-like the new ABS option we were pleased to find on our test unit. The application is masterfully discreet in order to protect the Ultra's traditional styling, but definitely improves the bike's manageability in a straight-line stopping situation, especially for untrained riders.
Louvers and wings allow the Ultra rider to fine-tune the cockpit environment.
Over the years the Electra Glide platform has seen other tactfully applied improvements, yet not enough to keep it up-to-date in terms of usability or excitement. The once-interesting Twin Cam 96, for example, seems wimpy compared to the Honda six and Triumph triple. Yeah, it's only a V-twin, but so is the Victory and that bike keeps up just fine.
Is the Harley merely outdated or an out-of-the-box classic? That's a question that can only be answered by its pilot and depends largely upon his or her frame of mind. As Russell said, "If only they'd told me, 'Relax, you're on a Harley,' I would have been able to enjoy the Ultra sooner. The key is not to force it, because it will protest." Sometimes, the protestations are loud-say when you're knee-deep in a bumpy sweeper and the frame starts flexing like an 800-pound door hinge. Ride the same sweeper unhurriedly and you might not induce a wallow at all. And so went our circuitous tour. Every time we exited a winding section of road, the Honda, Triumph and Victory riders pulled over to wait for whoever was trundling along on the Harley.
The Ultra Classic embodies the typical Harely-Davicson experience, transporting its rider
But put the bikes in a low-speed environment-say a parking-lot or lane-splitting situation-and the Harley's short wheelbase allows it to outmaneuver the other full-dressers. Let's just say the Victor McLaglen guys aren't going to be swapping their 'Glides for a fleet of Visions anytime soon.
The Ultra also has an advantage in the luggage department. While its trunk might not hold as much as the Gold Wing's, the simple, foolproof latches and convenient, open-from-the-side lid make it very efficient. The saddlebags are also super easy to use, employing a soft-hinge, top-loading lid instead of the more trendy clamshell design that's more likely to dump your stuff roadside during a mid-trip rummage. The Ultra's saddlebags aren't easily detachable like the also classically styled Rocket III Touring's bags, but are lockable and well protected from tip-overs.
In the cockpit, the rider will find a visceral environment conducive to the more primitive experience for which Harleys are famous-"that noise" and the engine throb are far from accidental. Harley's manta ray-shaped, fork-mounted fairing looks like it's been around forever, and it has, right down to the analog instruments reminiscent of a '60s muscle car. It's even got a chrome cigarette lighter.
Windshield reviews vary according to each rider's height and preference, but none of us were a fan of the Ultra's stock screen, especially after being spoiled by those on the Gold Wing and Vision. The Harley does have a nice auxiliary air-management system, however, which dramatically changes cockpit temperatures. In the stereo war, the Ultra's CD/AM/FM/WB/CD/MP3 system took a backseat to the luxo-dressers due to lack of amplification; buzzing at high speed; and smaller, crowded controls. The cruise control switches also aren't very glove-friendly, leaving us to wonder if that's why so many Harley riders opt for fingerless gloves.
The bike's spacious seat, narrow handlebar (by touring standards) and medium-size floorboard combination is roomier than the Gold Wing's engine-driven arrangement, but nothing near the Barcalounger-like seating of the Vision.
The 2008 Ultra Classic comes with two wheel options and a raft of color choices, including some two-tones and a mildly accessorized 105th Anniversary Edition. Also timely, the Harley logs in with very impressive fuel efficiency and range (37 mpg/222 mi.), so figure that into the bike's $20,695-$23,270 MSRP.
Off The Record
Jamie "Wrong Turn" Elvidge
I fell hard for the Vision at its press launch last year in Iowa. So much so that I stole it away for a two-day, eight-state Iron Butt ride. I still love the Victory for all its "wowness" and it's way more comfortable than my couch, but what I didn't get riding through the Great Plains was California-style curves. It'll get you through without too much dancing, but it does feel its size-unlike the Gold Wing, which never feels burdensome underway. The Ultra is a classic's classic, like a man's man: fun to have a beer with, but not the one I'd want to marry. And the Rocket III Touring? Love that motor, but mostly for ripping around. When you get the Triumph rolling at touring speeds, the advantage of all that torque is left at the last on-ramp, so it loses some appeal as a long-distance tourer.
Age: 42 Height: 5'10" Weight: 135 lbs. Inseam: 34 in.
The Wing, with its crazily smooth flat-six and well-balanced suspension, is a pleasure to
Honda Gold Wing
OK, so the styling might reek of the late '90s, but Honda's powerful, super-smooth and amenity-laden luxury tourer is still a sweet ride. You could tell by the end of the first day, when we were all Jonesing for another hit off it! Yet there's not one best thing about this full-dresser; it's the overall package that works so well. Typical Honda to put efficiency first: We're not saying the Gold Wing is bland, it just doesn't wear its personality on its sleeve.
Our test unit was Honda's fully loaded Premium Audio/Comfort/Navi/ABS version in Pearl White, and the stereo kicked butt! If you don't have helmet speakers, you might as well turn off the typical bike stereo once you hit freeway speeds. Not Honda's Premium Audio, which is highly amplified and nearly distortion-free at all times. The audio controls are spread between switches on the handlebar and atop the faux fuel tank, where you'll find a veritable smorgasbord of toggles and buttons that control everything from cruise control to headlamp position, heated seat and grips to rear suspension preload. It's a little overwhelming at first, but you quickly realize all of the controls are intuitive and glove-friendly.
The Wing, with its crazily smooth flat-six and well-balanced suspension, is a pleasure to
The Gold Wing and Vision were the only two bikes equipped with GPS. The Honda comes with an integrated Magellan unit and the Victory with an optional Touratech from Garmin. We all preferred the positioning, display and overall usability of the Victory's unit, and not just because you can't operate the Honda's while the bike is underway-irksome that. For long days on the road the Wing's seat is comfy, although a couple of riders complained that the step up to the passenger's seat is intrusive. The seat's heating elements are comfortable on cold days, and the heated handgrips are especially useful.
The Honda's luggage is more spacious than the others and easy to access. Though we've had problems on other test bikes with the internal latch system (actuated along the bottom edge of the trunk), this unit's system worked flawlessly.
The Honda is the only tourer we tested with a reverse gear, though Victory will offer one
In the power arena, the Gold Wing's 1832cc flat-six is sexy-sounding, super-efficient and eerily smooth. Output is delivered via shaft drive and a five-speed overdrive transmission, with no need for a sixth. Handling is another Honda ace in the hole, and the bike surprised every pilot with its low-speed control and high-speed stability. We encountered every kind of corner during our ride, including some tricky, decrepit, half-paved sections on a double-black-diamond "shortcut" that had the other bikes yawing like crazy. The Honda offers respectable cornering clearance for a bike of this stature, with its footpegs dragging late and long during aggressive riding.
Unlike the other bikes in this group, the GL sports footpegs instead of floorboards to make room for its six horizontally opposed cylinders. Anyone taller than Danny DeVito will feel hemmed in by the lower body ergonomics and fantasize about crash-bar mounted pegs, even if they'd have you doing a split. The upper body is more pampered, enjoying a neutral stretch to the grips that's universally comfortable. The Wing's windshield isn't electrically adjustable like the Victory's, but its louvered venting system changes cockpit temperatures dramatically. The Comfort package we enjoyed also incorporates adjustable vents that draw engine heat onto the rider's feet.
We had mixed views on the Honda's linked braking system, most of us preferring a standard arrangement. We all agree the optional ABS is a bonus on a touring bike and the GL's works efficiently. The electric reverse gear came in handy in a few parking situations, though mostly because the possessor of such an innovation is given a free pass to park indiscriminately. We didn't miss it on the other bikes.
The GL comes loaded in Pearl White with Audio/Comfort/Navi/ABS for $23,399, which is a few dollars more than the Anniversary Edition Ultra Classic. Hmmm...
Off The Record
David "Applejacks" Russell
I'd recommend the Gold Wing to anyone looking for the ultimate touring bike. It's composed over any road surface, at any speed and is comparatively nimble, masking its considerable mass. Silky-smooth, glitch-free power, well-balanced linked brakes and a solid chassis add up to the only bike in the test that I actually felt like owning. The Vision is comfortable, and has a stout heart under its designer skin, but it's not for the meek. The Ultra Glide succeeds as a mount for the H-D Faithful. Smooth above idle, easy controls and relatively light steering are unexpected surprises, though acceleration happens at a glacial pace, especially in sixth gear. The Rocket III's brutish motor defines it: Big torque with vibration to match, this is the bike to run down Main Street-two counties over.
Age: 52 Height: 6'2" Weight: 170 lbs. Inseam: 34 in.
Triumph Rocket III Touring
How did a bare-bones bagger find itself in a touring comparison like this? The Triumph Rocket III Touring embodies the minimalist approach to long-distance riding. This is the bike for someone who doesn't want all the bells and whistles-who wants to feel like he's riding a motorcycle, not a minivan.
Plus we dig that 2.3-liter triple-the largest capacity production motorcycle in the world. With 106 bhp and 154 lb.-ft. of torque, you could tow a hotel room behind it! New for '08, the R3T model uses a completely different chassis than the original R3, including a new fork and preload-adjustable shocks to provide a smoother, more comfort-oriented ride. The Triumph rides well for such an enormous cruiser, and in certain situations-especially low-speed maneuvers-it was the favorite handler. It's more than 100 pounds lighter in weight than the Gold Wing and Vision, and isn't encumbered by a CG-upping top trunk or fork-weighting fairing.
The Triumph wears its touring philosophy on its sleeve, in this case, as the largest-displ
In fact, the medium-sized windscreen (available in three dimensions) is very lightweight and intended for quick-release-same with the well-built, retro-style saddlebags. Just pop off the works and you don't have to admit to your tourophilia. The bags not only look nice, but also offer more space than the others, which is a good thing since the Triumph isn't offered with a trunk.
Our test bike arrived accessorized with an adjustable rider backrest, though half of us wished it hadn't. "The backrest is good until it isn't," said one tester, describing how after 30 miles you can find it unbearable and impossible to adjust on the fly. Though the teardrop floorboards are nice and leg room agreeable, the seat was the least favorite of the bunch. Therefore it's a blessing, not a curse, that the bike offers the least efficient fuel mileage and range with its 4.9-gallon tank, demanding a breather every 120 miles or so. Go figure why the standard Rocket III and Classic boast 6.3-gallon tanks...
The billet heel/toe shifter on the Triumph echoes the bike's simple yet substantial person
Regardless of the R3T's lighter overall weight, the brakes-dual four-piston calipers up front and a single, two-piston job out back-don't cut muster. We'd like to see a stronger setup for such a burly beast.
Instrumentation is very basic: analog speedo with integrated fuel gauge and a single display that offers time, twin tripmeters and range to empty. In contrast to the aircraft-like clutter of controls found on the other bikes, the Triumph is refreshingly stark. All you can do is ride the thing: no stereo, on-board suspension adjustment, GPS or Weather Band.
Certainly in the R3T's case we have to discuss style, since a bagger buyer rarely puts comfort or convenience first. In our eyes the Triumph is sexier than the Harley or the Honda, though none can hold a candle to the Victory. We're happy that Triumph didn't carry over the gigantic 240mm rear tire from the original and Classic versions, and instead opted for a slightly more sane 180mm rear meat. That makes the engine the most prominent styling cue. And that's how it should be, right? When you're packing the biggest pistol on the production-bike planet, people should notice.
On the sliding scale of touring bikes, the Triumph represents the simplest, most old-fashioned approach, and in keeping with its no-frills nature sports the lowest price, too. Solid-colored versions start at $16,999. That's a lot of bang for your buck for a bagger.
Off The Record
Mauricio "Berm Eater" Fernandes
I like a bike that offers all the comfort you expect from a luxury tourer yet handles like a sportbike when you get to the corners. That's the Gold Wing: performance plus luxury. Second choice is the Vision, which offers luxury but lacks fine-tuning. The look of the bike is totally different-I see it as the choice for someone looking for something unique and stylish. I was surprised by the Harley's strong brakes and the new ABS works really well, making it safe for inexperienced riders. But the motor is underpowered for a bike in this category and it's not the best handler, making my third choice the Rocket III. The Triumph has a nice engine, but it's a cruiser and a world away from what a luxury tourer like the Gold Wing offers.
Age: 37 Height: 5'9" Weight: 165 lbs. Inseam: 31 in.
Victory Vision Tour
The flamboyant Victory Vision stole the show no matter where we were. People took one look at the massive, sweeping arc of the fairing and stretched and sculpted tailsection and assumed it was a concept bike. When we told them it's a made-in-Minnesota production model, they were astonished, oohing and ahhing over every detail, such as the lighted fairing badges and the pod-like trunk. If you love this kind of attention, the Victory brings it like rain.
Each line and element of this motorcycle-from the arch of the passenger grab rail to the wave-like engine portal-blends into the next. The attention to detail is astounding. Take the underside of the passenger floorboards, for example: They're stylized to stream artistically with the bike's overall flow when folded up out of use. Whether you love or hate the aesthetic result, this bike is a feast for spectators, though happily the Vision is not a book that's all cover.
Beneath that retro-chic skin you'll find a functional marvel, a blend of engineering feats that meld mechanical elements to further echo the bike's overall futuristic/vintage persona. The mega 1731cc V-twin fools people into thinking this machine is a cruiser, but a quick ride halfway down the block proves it's more than that. Polaris-born Victory has outdone itself with this all-new, highly complex touring platform-a move that yanks it out of the fat-ass chopper rut it seemed to be wedged in since the launch of the Vegas in '02.
Everyone wants to know whether the Victory is a concept bike or an alien spacecraft. Unfor
Though it weighs almost 900 pounds with a full fuel tank, the Vision keeps up with the lively pace set by the Gold Wing and completely outruns the Ultra Glide. The Vision also kept up in fast cornering situations, especially after we bumped up air pressure in the rear shock (easy to do using the saddlebag-located nipple and supplied shock pump). In parking lots and tight, technical maneuvering, however, the Victory was one of the least enjoyable rides, feeling its length and offering only vague steering feedback.
The traditional split braking system offers strong stopping power, though it's disappointing there is no ABS option. Cornering clearance is surprisingly high. Not that you're going to be scraping the hull in straight-line touring situations, which is where the Vision shines.
Up or down, even the passenger floorboards follow the Vision's unique aesthetic line.
Hands-down, and for every tester but tiny ones, this is the most comfortable touring bike around. The cockpit is beyond roomy, allowing maximum stretch and range of position. The floorboards-free of the heel/toe shifter common on touring cruisers-feel as big as skateboards, with plenty of room for fore/aft movement. We all felt good about the seat cushioning too, though some riders with longer legs felt crowded by the raised pillion. Our test bike was equipped with the optional heated seat and handgrips.
The Vision's windshield was also a winner, mostly due to it being electrically adjustable via a toggle switch. This allowed us to dial in visibility and wind protection on the fly. We universally enjoyed the bike's uncluttered control center and exceptionally easy-to-use, optional navigation unit. Audio quality was decent around town, but not very listenable at freeway speeds, making helmet speakers a must. The Vision comes standard with AM/FM/MP3 capability and options for CB/Satellite radio and CD player. Stereo controls are found both atop the faux fuel tank and in a cluster below the left handgrip. The grip controls are easy enough to manipulate with gloved hands, as are the cruise control switches on the right side of the bar.
Engine clatter directed toward the rider was a complaint we all shared, drowning out the would-be romantic pulse of the big V-twin. Our unit had several thousand miles on the odometer, and some buzzing in the dash at midrange rpm was also a pleasure-sucker.
The Vision Tour model's trunk, which visually reminded one tester of a Venus flytrap, offers plenty of room for the essentials, including storage of two full-faced helmets. The saddlebags look like they'd be spacious from the outside, but are very modular inside and won't handle nearly the stash you can cram into other panniers.
The Vision comes in five versions, including a Street style that foregoes the trunk starting at $18,999. A decked-out Premium Tour like ours goes for $21,499-two grand less than the similarly equipped Gold Wing we tested, minus the ABS.
Off The Record
Tim "Ultra Klassic" Carrithers
The average American loves living large a whole lot more than I do. Luxury cars, luxury liners, luxury hotels, luxury sky boxes and this whole luxury-touring thing are beyond me in more ways than you can swipe an American Express Platinum Card at. The Gold Wing rules the interstate with a slightly lower level of amenities than a Royal Caribbean flagship, and it can scrape through the twisty bits quickly enough to humiliate allegedly sportier equipment. And what of the alleged competition? You can take on 70,327 tons of steam-turbine powered HMS QE2 with a brigantine, a clipper ship and a three-masted schooner, but the results are predictable.
Age: 50 Height: 6'3" Weight: 215 lbs. Inseam: 34 in.
Hi-ho, Silver away!
Just after dark I make the most calamitous wrong turn yet, but I can't admit it, even though I know Wild Rose Canyon-an infamous "shortcut" into Death Valley-could eat us alive. This steep, winding, mostly dirt donkey trail has just enough aged chunks of roadbed to bounce your bike around like a pinball off the bumpers.
These tourers are undeniably out of their element, but they get us over the pass nonetheless, and we arrive at the highway feeling like kids lighting firecrackers in June. How long has it been since we've felt so thrilled? Certainly these touring bikes flaunt four different intentions, but they serve only one purpose, and it's not really about getting us where we want to go, but rather about getting us back to what's important.
Choosing the device to carry you to that place of excitement and satisfaction is completely subjective. If you want rumbling, old-school tradition and an instant family, the Harley will get you there faster. Want to feel like it's just you and the road, with nothing but the basics in between (and a sh*tload of torque)? The Triumph might be your cup of tea.
However, for us nerdy, tech-minded touring enthusiasts-riders who want to make time, eat a side of corners for lunch, listen to our "Highway 50/Nevada/Sunset" playlist and ride until the deer get thick-it comes down to the Victory and the Honda. From our first ride on it, we were totally impressed by the Vision. In fact, this whole comparison was born from the realization that people would misunderstand Victory's bold, new market entry and assume it's a touring cruiser and not a luxury tourer. Aside from its V-twin engine, there's nothing "cruiser" about it. And man, is it comfortable!
Stylistically the Vision is a take-all winner, too. It's a rolling sculpture, and while some people don't like certain elements, it's a creative statement that can't be denied.
Yet despite all that specialness, the Victory's comfort and drama can't quite conquer the beloved practicality and silky pleasantness offered by the benchmark Honda. The Gold Wing may not be the most stylish bike on the road, but it's always a joy, never a job. To be brutally honest, we were each counting the miles until it was our turn to ride the Honda again.
Plenty of bikes can get you where you want to go, but only one will get you there in everything but style.
2008 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide | Price: $20,695
|Engine type: a-c 45-deg. V-twin||Rake/trail: 26.0/6.2 in.||Valve train: OHV, 4v||Seat height: 27.3 in.||Displacement: 1584cc||Wheelbase: 63.5 in.||Bore x stroke: 95.25 x 111.25mm||Fuel capacity: 6.0 gal.||Compression: 9.2:1||Weight (tank full/empty): 860/824 lbs.||Fuel system: ESPFI||Measured horsepower: 58.1 bhp @ 5000 rpm||Clutch: Wet, multi-plate||Measured torque: 70.9 lb.-ft. @ 3250 rpm||Transmission: 6-speed||Corrected 1/4 mile: 14.20 sec. @ 91.07 mph||Frame: Steel square-section backbone with twin downtubes||Top gear roll-on 60-80 mph: 12.23 sec||Front suspension: 43mm Showa fork||Fuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 45/34/37 mpg||Rear suspension: Twin Showa shocks, air-adjustable preload||Colors: Numerous||Front brake: Dual Brembo four-piston calipers, 300mm discs||Availability: Now||Rear Brake: Single Brembo four-pison caliper, 300mm disc||Warranty: 24 mo./unlimited mi.||Front Tire: MT90B16 Dunlop 72H||Contact: www.harleydavidson.com||Rear Tire: MU85B16 Dunlop 77H|
Classic to the core, the Electra Glide has admirable horsepower and torque curves, but dated engineering yields modest performance.
A nearly 90-degree seating angle splays the rider out in classic La-Z-Boy fashion, perfectly suiting the leisurely cruising for which this tourer was intended.
2008 Honda Gold Wing | Price: $23,399
|Engine type: l-c opposed six||Rake/trail: 29.2/4.3 in.||Valve train: SOHC, 12v||Seat height: 29.1 in.||Displacement: 1832cc||Wheelbase: 66.5 in.||Bore x stroke: 74.0 x 71.0mm||Fuel capacity: 6.6 gal||Compression: 9.8:1||Weight (tank full/empty): 898/858 lbs.||Fuel system: PGM-FI||Measured horsepower: 108.8 bhp @ 9000 rpm||Clutch: Wet, multi-plate||Measured torque: 109.9 lb.-ft. @ 4250 rpm||Transmission: 5-speed with overdrive, electric reverse||Corrected 1/4 mile: 12.78 sec. @ 103.3 mph||Frame: Twin-spar aluminum frame||Top gear roll-on 60-80 mph: 5.9 sec||Front suspension: 45mm Showa fork with anti-dive||Fuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 40/32/36 mpg||Rear suspension: Single Showa shock with computer-controlled spring preload||Colors: Metallic red, pearl white, titanium, black, dark red metallic||Front brake: Dual Nissin three-piston calipers, 296mm discs, linked, ABS optional||Availability: Now||Rear Brake: Single Nissin three-piston caliper, 316mm disc, linked, ABS optional||Warranty: 3 yrs./unlimited mi.||Front Tire: 130/70-R18 Dunlop Elite 3||Contact: www.powersports.honda.com||Rear Tire: 180/60-R16 Dunlop Elite 3|
Torque comes on hard and remains strong while horsepower rises steeply, producing loads of usable power with buttery-smooth delivery.
The Wing's luxurious accommodations provide the utmost in comfort for the upper body, but a restricted seat-to-peg distance may pain those with longer legs.
2008 Triumph Rocket III Touring | Price: $16,999-$17,299
|Engine type: l-c inline-triple||Rake/trail: 32.0/7.3 in.||Valve train: DOHC, 12v||Seat height: 28.9 in.||Displacement: 2294cc||Wheelbase: 67.2 in.||Bore x stroke: 101.9 x 94.3mm||Fuel capacity: 4.9 gal.||Compression: 8.7:1||Weight (tank full/empty): 897/867 lbs.||Fuel system: EFI||Measured horsepower: 80.5 bhp @ 4250 rpm||Clutch: Wet, multi-plate||Measured torque: 122.5 lb.-ft. @ 2250 rpm||Transmission: 5-speed||Corrected 1/4 mile: 13.05 sec. @ 100.02 mph||Frame: Tubular-steel twin-spar||Top gear roll-on 60-80 mph: 4.13 sec||Front suspension: 43mm Kayaba fork||Fuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 36/33/34 mpg||Rear suspension: Twin Kayaba shocks with adjustable spring preload||Colors: Black, black/white, black/red, two-tone blue||Front brake: Dual Nissin four-piston calipers, 320mm discs||Availability: Now||Rear Brake: Single Brembo two-piston caliper, 316mm disc||Warranty: 24 mo./unlimited mi.||Front Tire: 150/80-R16 Bridgestone Exedra||Contact: www.triumphmotorcycles.com||Rear Tire: 180/70-R16 Bridgestone Exedra|
Dominating in displacement and thrust, the Triumph triple churns out 12.7 more lb.-ft. of torque than the Honda six, but power falls off once revs climb.
Essentially a touring cruiser, the Rocket III isn't quite as comfy as the others, our lower backs and butts protesting after not so many miles.
2008 Victory Vision | Price: $19,999
|Engine type: a/o-c 50-deg. V-twin||Rake/trail: 29.0/5.4 in.||Valve train: SOHC, 8v||Seat height: 26.5 in.||Displacement: 1731cc||Wheelbase: 65.7 in.||Bore x stroke: 101.0 x 108.0mm||Fuel capacity: 6.0 gal.||Compression: 9.4:1||Weight (tank full/empty): 899/863 lbs.||Fuel system: EFI||Measured horsepower: 76.9 bhp @ 5000 rpm||Clutch: Wet, multi-plate||Measured torque: 94.9 lb.-ft. @ 2750 rpm||Transmission: 6-speed||Corrected 1/4 mile: na||Frame: Aluminum backbone||Top gear roll-on 60-80 mph: na||Front suspension: 43mm Kayaba fork||Fuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 45/33/38 mpg||Rear suspension: Single Kayaba shock, air-adjustable preload||Colors: Black, Super Steel Gray, Midnight Cherry||Front brake: Dual Nissin three-piston calipers, 300mm discs||Availability: Now||Rear Brake: Single Nissin two-piston caliper, 300mm disc||Warranty: One yr./unlimited mi.||Front Tire: 130/70-R18 Dunlop Elite 3||Contact: www.victorymotorcycles.com||Rear Tire: 180/60-R16 Dunlop Elite 3|
A near-duplicate of the Harley's curves, with considerably better numbers: up 18.8 bhp and 24.0 lb.-ft. thanks to four valves per cylinder and overhead cams.
Reigning supreme with a spacious cockpit and generous floorboards, the Vision was voted hands-down the most comfortable of this group.