A large displacement motorcycle sized for smaller riders…that's the latest hand dealt by Victory Motorcycles.
The new 2008 Victory Vegas Low takes aim at the shorter-inseamed crowd.
Though cruiser seat heights usually fit vertically challenged folks pretty well, their laid-back cruiser profile means handlebars or footpegs often hover just out of comfortable reach for shorter riders. If you've ever rolled on the throttle only to slide back in the seat, or found yourself practically sitting on the gas tank to ride, you will appreciate Victory's Vegas Low.
However, while offering more compact ergonomics it still provides big performance, sporting Victory's improved for 2008 Freedom 100/6 V-Twin engine. According to Victory, this powerplant, churning 85 horsepower and 106 foot pounds of torque, delivers more power than its predecessor while reducing noise and vibration.
Upon first look, little differentiates the Vegas Low from the standard Vegas. It looks like a big motorcycle and it is a big motorcycle -- not a pared-down version for little people.
Styling wise, the Low is similar to the Standard maintaining the sleek, flowing lines of the bike.
Now throw a leg over the Vegas Low and the differences become apparent. In fact, Victory literature states the Low's seat, at 25.2 inches, more than 1 inch lower than the standard Vegas. For comparison, Harley's lowest models are the Softail Deluxe at 24.5 inches and the Rocker at 24.5 inches.
At 5 feet 3 inches with a 29-inch inseam and short upper torso, Pam says, she comfortably and confidently reached all the necessary "important" places -- handlebars, the ground, the foot controls.
While distance to the foot pegs decreased 2.25 inches and the pullback handlebars reach is 2 inches further back toward the rider over the standard Vegas, according to the Pam, the bars still rise too high for her own personal comfort.
Scalloped side covers under the seat narrow the bike's width by 1.5 inches allowing an easier reach to the foot controls and the ground.
The Vegas Low is not a lightweight cruiser, tipping the scales at 651 pounds. However, its weightlessness surprised me when bringing it off the kickstand as the big 21-inch front tire didn't fight my efforts to right the bike. Massive torque makes running through the gears a fast and fun proposition, while the front 300 mm floating rotor with four piston caliper and rear 300mm rotor with two piston caliper brakes nicely lasso all that speed.
The Vegas Low offers only a solo seat (versus the standard's two-up saddle) but otherwise closely resembles its sibling, even in terms of wheelbase (66.3 inches).
Electronic fuel injection makes quick work of firing up the Vegas and it brings on a sweet rumbling symphony from the slash cut dual exhausts. Standard sized handgrips, reach to the clutch lever and standard clutch pull mean smaller hands have a more difficult time working the controls than you'd expect on a motorcycle aimed at the smaller riders' market. Maybe Victory's leaving room for upgrades on this bike in the future.
The front brake lever is reach adjustable for smaller hands.
The clutch, however, is not adjustable.
Shifting requires minimal effort from the toes and a clunk lets you know you landed into the next gear. The Vegas Low features a six-speed transmission with a new lower-ratio first gear for better low-speed drivability and acceleration, as well as a quieter, higher-ratio sixth gear for highway cruising. The revised Freedom V-Twin engine also features a laundry list of other improvements (visit Victory's Web site, link below, for details).
Pam says, "Riding the Vegas Low I found it offered a combination of strong acceleration, extremely light and neutral handling, and quick and surefooted stopping."
The solo seat still felt comfortable after a couple hours in the saddle. No hot spots here. The Vegas Low wears a conventional 43mm telescopic fork with 5.1 inches of travel up front, while in the rear wears a single, mono-tube gas shock with a pre-load adjustable spring offering 3 inches of travel (the standard Vegas offers 3.9 inches of travel). Despite the reduction in travel, the Low's shocks capably dampened any road harshness, never jarring me out of the saddle.
Indicator lights and speedometer are easy to see sitting above the forks instead of on the tank as with many cruisers, and the switches for the self-canceling turn signals, horn and starter don't require a gorilla-sized hand to reach.
Smaller-framed riders will surely appreciate the ergonomic comfort of this scaled-down size Vegas while also enjoying its powerful and entertaining engine. However I, with my smallish 6-inch long hands, found the non-adjustable clutch reach and clutch pull difficult making my hand tire easily.
For riders seeking a great, sexy-looking full-sized cruiser cleverly scaled down to suit their stature, Victory's Vegas Low could be the equivalent of hitting the motorcycle jackpot. For more information about the Victory Vegas Low, visit VictoryMotorcycles.com.
The Specs at a Glance: 2008 Victory Vegas Low
Displacement: Freedom 100/6 V Twin
Seat Height: 25.2 inches
Fuel Capacity: 4.5
Dry Weight: 651 pounds
Colors: Solid Black, Solid Midnight Cherry, Solid Boardwalk Blue
The Vegas Low makes it possible for experienced riders who don’t have the body size to muscle the more powerful cruisers, to enjoy the benefits a heavyweight motorcycle offers. No need to sacrifice power or the actual size of the motorcycle just because your body is smaller, shorter, or petite.