Victory offers the stylish-looking Kingpin model, a veritable stretched-out American cruiser which apart from looking good also has a thing or two for performance and comfort. Built for the long haul, this cruiser offers a low seat, stretched out riding position and the Victory Freedom 100-cubic-inch V-twin mated to a six-speed transmission to back the engine up when the going gets tough.
First produced and marketed in 2004, the first Kingpin was fitted with a fuel injected 91.96 cubic inches V-twin SOHC four-valves engine and a five-speed gearbox. The belt final drive was also there from the first moment. Also, the stretched-out cruiser look is what contributed at the model’s individualization.
A year later, the engine’s fuel injection system was upgraded to a 44mm throttle bodies Electronic Fuel Injection system.
For 2006, the engine had gone up to 100 cubic inches and a sixth gear was added to the already efficient gearbox. To mark this update the maker offered a whole lot of paint schemes from which the customers will choose: Black, Indy Red, Supersonic Blue, Super Graphite over Turbo Silver, Sedona over Stone Beige, Silver over Black with Cosmic Flames, Pearl White over Stone Beige with Cosmic Flames.
In 2007 we witnessed the Kingpin being painted Black, Turbo Silver with Firemist Clear and Multicolored. But what’s most important for 2007 model year is the addition of the Kingpin Tour to the lineup. This last model came with a windscreen, topcase and sidecases.
2008 brought yet another model, the Kingpin 8-Ball. What sets this new bike apart is the blacked-out body paint, engine, wheels and bars.
Its Japanese replica is the Honda VTX1800R, a timeless looking machine that features classic, deeply valanced fenders, cast aluminum wheels, staggered dual exhaust with mako-style muffler tips, wedge-shape mirrors and as many chromed elements as possible. But apart from the fact that these two look much alike, Honda’s engine gets enough close to the Victory’s in order to prove being a great competitor. A fuel injected 1795cc liquid-cooled 52-degree V-twin; SOHC with three valves per cylinder engine has never disappointed anyone, did it?
Also taking part at this fuel-injected battle is the 2008 Road Star. The Star is definitely an impeccable looking bike with the cruiser look that everybody got used to, but now that 2008 brought fuel injection to the 102-cubic-inch air-cooled 48-degree V-twin; pushrod OHV, four valves per cylinder engine, it can be set up against the best in the business.
But when it comes to big classic cruisers featuring valanced fenders or not, there is no way not to mention the new Suzuki Boulevard C109R. This machine, like all the other ones mentioned, is characterized by the timeless classic look, but its centerpiece is the 109-cubic-inch engine fitted with fuel injection system. The greatly powered and imposing Boulevard C109R is indeed a competitor for the Victory and for any other big bike that considers itself a cruiser.
With the Kingpin Victory managed to create another daring looking motorcycle on which the Freedom engine will make a damn good impression. It has the largest fenders I’ve seen on a production motorcycle and the fact that it is American justifies everything.
Built around the engine, the stylish gas tank with its smooth and clean lines introduces us to the wide and low seat. It is known that when it comes to cruisers, the V-twin must look imposing and yet stylish just how the one on the Kingpin does due to its displacement and chromed cooling fins. Also chromed are the 18” wheels, the forks, the headlight cover, the instruments, the headlights and mirrors, virtually everything that could shine brightly did exactly that. Even more examples would be the swingarm, rear fender ornaments and signal lights covers.
Color options for 2008 are Black, Midnight Cherry, Supersteel Gray and two-tone Sands Metallic/Black, Black with Flames.
Riding a Victory Kingpin is always an enjoyable experience due to the bike’s great accommodations and strong-pulling engine. But until we get there, I must say that its appealing looks will have people turn their heads so I hope you’re used with the curious if planning to swing a leg over it.
Start the 1634cc 50-degree V-Twin and the strong exhaust note will instantly charm you while waiting for the engine to get up to the functioning temperature. Shift first and after noticing that no loud noise is involved you’ll be on your way, slowly but steady. The Kingpin requires a bit of practicing until relatively fast take offs will be made, but the very firm clutch will surely help when it comes to that. Otherwise it will tend to tire your fingers if using the bike elsewhere than on the open road where it belongs.
Ergonomics are top notch as well as the seat’s firm feel, allowing the rider to spend as much time on it as it desires. Personally, after 200 miles I didn’t felt beaten at all and although it doesn’t look like, I’ve ridden the worst and the Victory is far from being among those bikes.
The Freedom engine has left me with an awful good impression as it delivers impressive amounts of torque from down low. It is practically built for that so the throttle will be widely twisted until a higher gear will be required. Also, the bike doesn’t require a downshift when intending to pass, but I always do so and I made no exception now.
What I most enjoyed on it was the way it handled. Even at relatively high speed (60 mph), the Kingpin goes steady around the corner and despite the 180 mm rear tire (which doesn’t bother any cruiser buyer anyway) it values the chassis’s abilities properly. Twisted roads are its specialty, but it is always good to keep in mind that cruisers aren’t your best friend when fast approaching a corner. Going slow in and fast out will surely help your understand.
My ride wasn’t bothered by every bump that the road had to offer as the suspensions equipment if highly effective and tuned. Even in the city, when passing over speed bumps, it didn’t become a pain in the…soul and you should take in consideration the riding position. Even though the handlebars are oriented towards the rider, his feet will still be heading forward and that is not that nice when maneuvering the Victory at slow speed. Its 676 lbs won’t be felt at every corner and a skilled rider will easily make the eight go away as speed is always the solution.
The single front disc proves effective when riding solo, but when a passenger jumps at your back, you have all the chances to crave for a second front disc. “Use the rear brake too” I always suggest, but even so the bike will seem like it needs more.
Victory has always produced awesome performing motorcycles and I like to consider the Kingpin is a culmination of this manufacturer’s success.
Marketed for a suggested retail price going as high as $16,399, the Victory Kingpin is situated right on the line between expensive and decent.
It definitely stands for performance, handling and reliability and all of these features will bring smiles on the future owner’s faces as well as it did in the case of the test rider which got a feel of it recently. Experience for yourself and you’ll get the point.
Engine and Transmission
Engine Type: 4-stroke 50° V-Twin
Cooling System: Air/Oil
Displacement: 100 ci/1634cc
Bore x Stroke: 101x102mm
Compression Ratio: 8.7:1
Valve Train: Single overhead camshafts with 4 valves per cylinder, self-adjusting cam chains, hydraulic lifters
Fuel System: Electronic Fuel Injection with 45mm throttle bodies
Fuel Capacity: 4.5/17.0 U.S. gallons/liters
Exhaust: Staggered slash-cut dual exhaust with crossover
Oil Capacity: 5.0qts/4.75ltr
Charging System: 38 amps max output
Battery: 12 volts/18 amp hours
Primary Drive: Gear drive with torque compensator
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Transmission: 6-speed (5-speed on the 8-Ball version) overdrive constant mesh
Final Drive: Carbon Fiber Reinforced Belt
Chassis and Dimensions
Front Suspension: Inverted cartridge telescopic fork, 43mm diameter, 5.1in/130mm travel
Rear Suspension: Single, mono-tube gas,cast aluminum with rising rate linkage , 3.9in/100mm travel, preload adjustable spring
Front Brake: 300mm floating rotor with 4-piston caliper
Rear Brake: 300mm floating rotor with 2-piston caliper
Front Wheel: 18x3.0in
Rear Wheel: 18x5.0in
Front Tire: 130/70B18 Dunlop 491 Elite II
Rear Tire: 180 55-B18 Dunlop D417
Length: 99.5/2537 in/mm;102.9/2614 in/mm-Kingpin Tour
Wheelbase: 65.6/1666 in/mm
Seat Height: 26.5/673 in/mm
Ground Clearance: 5.8/148 in/mm
Rake/Trail: 32.8°/5.4/138 in/mm
Dry Weight: 676/307 lbs/kg; 670/304 lbs/kg-Kingpin 8-Ball; 741/336 lbs/kg-Kingpin Tour
GVWR: 1234/560 lbs/kg
Apart from the simple Kingpin, the one which features the classic cruiser look, the American manufacturer also offers a year old and a brand new model as alternatives to potential buyers who intend crossing the States or simply have no weaknesses for bling.
Victory Kingpin Tour
Practically a simple version (even the colors are the same) fully equipped with windshield, luxury-touring seat with passenger backrest and an impressive 22 gallons carrying capacity, this is the ideal machine for Victory fans who have passed the “wind in you chest” days and look for comfort while soaking up hundreds of miles during the normal weekend trip. MSRP is $18,399.
Victory Kingpin 8-Ball
This model is actually a brand new introduction and addressed to the rebels out there who still search for a comfy machinery with loads of torque and mean looks. It easily sets apart from the first two models as it is painted entirely black including engine, wheels, bars and mirrors.
The only mechanical difference between it and the simple Kingpin is the fact that it features a five-speed gearbox. Price is $13,999.
You don’t have to be a bad boy (or girl) to ride one, but it will definitely look and feel like one.