2008 Harley-Davidson Cross Bones Vs. 2008 Victory Kingpin 8-Ball - The Boredom Antidote

Two Badass Choppers Inject Some Excitement Into Aerostich's Very Boring Rally

By: Aaron Frank, Bill Berroth, Photography by Jim Moy

2008 Harley-Davidson Cross Bones | PRICE: $16,999
Hard Parts

The Cross Bones rocks the 96B (for "balanced") version of H-D's Twin Cam V-twin, which runs smoothly enough to be rigidly mounted in the Softail frame without excessive vibration. The six-speed Cruise Drive transmission adds an overdrive ratio for even more relaxed cruising at highway speeds.

Rear wheel travel is an acceptable 4 inches, though it's all spring and no damping. The sprung saddle and fat, 200mm-wide rear tire help take the edge off harsher hits, however. The similarly under-damped Springer fork isn't exactly compliant or controlled, encouraging a sensible pace.

Harley's Softail chassis might resemble a rigid in profile (especially the Cross Bones version, with its retro-look sprung saddle), but it actually has rear suspension. Twin dampers are hidden underneath the motor.

Weak brakes will have you crossing your heart in panic situations. The front brake is a barely adequate one-piston affair-torsional loads produced by a stronger front brake would tie up the Springer fork, H-D says. Extreme rearward weight bias means the two-piston rear brake is more effective than most.

Tech Spec
Engine type: a-c 45-deg. V-twinRear brake: Single two-piston caliper, 292mm discCorrected 1/4-mile: 13.62 sec. @ 94.67 mph
Valve train: OHV, 4vFront tire: MT90B16 Dunlop 72HTop-gear roll-on 60-80 mph: 3.05 sec.
Displacement: 1584ccRear tire: 200/55-R17 Dunlop 78VFuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 43/31/39 mpg
Bore x stroke: 95.25 x 111.25mmRake/trail: 32.5 deg./6.3 in.Colors: Vivid Black, Dark Blue Pearl, Black Denim, Pewter Denim
Compression: 9.2:1Seat height: 30.1 in.Availability: Now
Fuel system: EFIWheelbase: 64.5 in.Warranty: 24 mo./unlimited mi.
Clutch: Wet, multi-plateFuel capacity: 5.0 gal.Contact:
Harley-Davidson Motor Co.
3700 W. Juneau Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53201
Transmission: 6-speedWeight (tank full/empty): 726/696 lbs.
Frame: Steel backbone with twin downtubesMeasured horsepower: 70.0 bhp @ 5200 rpm
Front suspension: Springer leading-link forkMeasured torque: 84.2 lb.-ft. @ 3200 rpm
Rear suspension: Softail, twin shocks
Front brake: Single one-piston caliper, 292mm disc

The Twin Cam 96B is unlikely to impress in any acceleration contest, but it's an agreeable powerplant with ample low-end power that builds steadily all the way to redline. A lower first gear and closer-spaced six-speed transmission help the Cross Bones keep the Victory within sight on the street.

You're a slave to fashion on the Cross Bones, with a mini-ape-hanger handlebar defining a riding position that looks badass and literally becomes a pain-in-the-ass as the miles pass by. The tractor-style saddle is as comfortable as it looks, and is adjustable one inch fore and aft to counter a long seat-to-peg distance.

By Aaron Frank, Bill Berroth
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