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 Victory Kingpin 8-Ball | PRICE: $13,999
Hard Parts

Victory's more modern (and larger-displacement) Freedom V-twin benefits from overhead cams, four-valve heads and an ancillary oil-cooling system for improved performance compared to the pushrod, two-valve, air-cooled H-D. Stout torque makes up for the lack of a sixth gear, though transmission action could be smoother and quieter.

Who's been raiding the sportbike parts bins? The 43mm inverted cartridge fork isn't adjustable, but is sufficiently sprung to resist dive and pitch even when worked hard. Same for the rear monoshock, affixed to a rising-rate linkage, which is both acceptably compliant and nearly impossible to bottom out.

Victory's steel-cradle frame is stiffer than Harley's-a good thing, as better brakes and more capable suspension at both ends encourage you to feed higher loads into it. The cast-aluminum swingarm is unexpected on a cruiser, and adds both to performance and perceived value.

The single four-piston front brake provides decent feel and is reasonably easy to modulate (even with a massive lever blade), though it's easy to overwhelm with such a heavy bike. A second front stopper (as on Victory's Hammer) would be welcome, though this would likely compromise the 8-Ball's bargain pricing.

Tech Spec
Engine type: a/o-c 50-deg. V-twinRear brake: Single two-piston caliper, 300mm discCorrected 1/4-mile: 12.68 sec. @ 100.26 mph
Valve train: SOHC, 8vFront tire: 130/70B18 Dunlop 491 Elite IITop-gear roll-on 60-80 mph: 3.05 sec.
Displacement: 1634ccRear tire: 180/55B18 Dunlop D417Fuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 44/32/41 mpg
Bore x stroke: 101.0 x 102.0mmRake/trail: 32.8 deg./5.4 in.Colors: Black
Compression: 8.7:1Seat height: 26.5 in.Availability: Now
Fuel system: EFIWheelbase: 65.6 in.Warranty: 12 mo./unlimited mi.
Clutch: Wet, multi-plateFuel capacity: 4.5 gal.Contact:
Victory Motorcycles
2100 Highway 55
Medina, MN 55340
Transmission: 5-speedWeight (tank full/empty): 686/659 lbs.
Frame: Steel backbone with twin downtubesMeasured horsepower: 76.0 bhp @ 5350 rpm
Front suspension: 43mm inverted cartridge forkMeasured torque: 93.1 lb.-ft. @ 2850 rpm
Rear suspension: Single shock, adjustable for spring preload
Front brake: Single four-piston caliper, 300mm disc

Fifty extra cc's and four more valves contribute to the Freedom engine's 7-bhp/9-lbs.-ft. advantage. Peak torque arrives at 2850 rpm-allowing us to sidestep the clutch for drag-strip launches-but falls off quickly past 4000 rpm (where power begins to level off, too) so there's no reason to rev it out.

A lower, narrower handlebar and shorter seat-to-peg distance make the Kingpin more comfortable than the Cross Bones, but that's not saying much. The seat is especially supportive, but even that can't protect you from a gynecologic riding position that transmits road shock straight up your spine.

By Aaron Frank, Bill Berroth
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