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2007 Victory Motorcycles Part 1: The New Models

What's there for women?

Story by Genevieve Schmitt, Photos by Kevin Wing
1/19/2007


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I've been following Victory Motorcycles since the company started in 1998. Five years ago, Victory went through a management change with the new General Manager Mark Blackwell promising to introduce at least one new, significant motorcycle each year. Bikes like the Vegas and the Jackpot made huge waves when they came out winning awards for their styling, performance and handling.      

The Hammer S, the Kingpin, and the Kingpin Tour.
The Hammer S, the Kingpin, and the Kingpin Tour.

Now, in its ninth model year, the company billing itself as "The New American Motorcycle," comes full circle offering a variety of motorcycles to suit the needs of every cruising rider. Here are the 2007 motorcycles with a spotlight on the ones I tested.

New for 2007: Kingpin Tour Quick Review
The Kingpin, introduced in 2004, is one of my favorite motorcycles because it's so easy to ride. It lifts effortlessly off the kickstand and feels and rides so much lighter than it is. Ergonomically, it fits my 5-feet 6.5-inch frame perfectly right out of the crate, that's why I like it so much.

The Kingpin Deluxe (no longer available) with its windshield, saddlebags, and floorboards made the Kingpin even more appealing because I require comfort when touring. Imagine my delight when I heard the Kingpin is now available in a long-haul touring version this year with the addition of a roomy top box (big enough to fit a full face and half helmet) giving me more reasons to take this bike on a long ride.    

Standard accessories on the Kingpin Tour include the top box, saddlebags, windshield and lower deflectors, fender trim, touring passenger seat with backrest, and passenger floorboards.
Standard accessories on the Kingpin Tour include the top box, saddlebags, windshield and lower deflectors, fender trim, touring passenger seat with backrest, and passenger floorboards.

The first thing I wondered was how the extra weight of a rear top case (which is leather to match the saddlebags and both are lockable) would effect the low center of gravity feeling I love so much about the Kingpin. Would the bike feel top heavy now? It weighs a hefty 736 pounds. Uprighting it from the kickstand, the bike felt no different to me than the Kingpin Deluxe. I couldn't tell the top box was there.

The top pack on the Kingpin Tour is not easily detachable like some accessories are these days. A few bolts need to be unscrewed to take the pack off, but since I hardly felt it in my ride, I wonder why someone would want to take it off anyway.
The top pack on the Kingpin Tour is not easily detachable like some accessories are these days. A few bolts need to be unscrewed to take the pack off, but since I hardly felt it in my ride, I wonder why someone would want to take it off anyway.

Out on the road as I leaned into the corners and swept through the twisties, the Kingpin Tour handled all of its weight with ease never rendering a feeling of uneven weight distribution. While this is one of the heaviest motorcycles I've ridden, it feels the absolute lightest. For women, how a bike's weight feels is so important. Women don't want to muscle a bike around, on the road or in a parking lot. At slow speeds, they don't want to "feel" the weight of the bike. The Kingpin Tour feels just like its stripped down cousin -- a streamlined, low center-of-gravity motorcycle.

There&#39;s minimal engine vibration riding the Kingpin. And the suspension is smooth due in part to the inverted cartridge-type forks in the front allowing the bike to glide over uneven pavement. Genevieve is wearing <a href="http://www.womenridersnow.com/pages/REVIEW_Feel_Like_A_Bombshell.aspx">Icon Bombshell chaps.</a>
There's minimal engine vibration riding the Kingpin. And the suspension is smooth due in part to the inverted cartridge-type forks in the front allowing the bike to glide over uneven pavement. Genevieve is wearing Icon Bombshell chaps.

The Tour boasts an extremely low 26.5-inch seat height, low enough for riders with shorter inseams. The saddle is not too wide so you won't lose precious leg inches in the spread. The handlebars are angled in close to the rider thanks to two-inch risers. Large boot-length-sized floorboards offer plenty of resting area for the feet.

The heart of all Victory Motorcycles, the proprietary Freedom V-Twin 100 cubic inch motor.
The heart of all Victory Motorcycles, the proprietary Freedom V-Twin 100 cubic inch motor.

The bike is powered by Victory's Freedom V-Twin 100 cubic inch motor (that's 1634cc) with electronic fuel injection. There is a sixth gear overdrive, which is nice when you're riding up around 70 to 75 mph and want to lower the rpms by kicking up a gear. I would have liked a little more power at the bottom end of each gear. Not sure if all the weight has affected the get-up-and-go of the bike. I recall this same motor having plenty of zip off the line in Victory's slimmed down cruisers like the Vegas and the Hammer.

Performance type Brembo brake calipers are used on the Kingpin Tour.
Performance type Brembo brake calipers are used on the Kingpin Tour.

My seat time was limited on the Tour, (so many more features to evaluate) so I've arranged to spend all summer on it and deliver a more complete report.

Specs at a Glance: 2007 Kingpin Tour
Displacement: 1634 cc
Seat Height: 26.5 inches
Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gallons
Dry Weight: 736 pounds
Colors: Solid Turbo Silver with Firemist Clear, Super Graphite/Pearl White, Pearl White/Boardwalk Blue, Solid Black
MSRP: $17,999

WRN Recommendation
Most touring bikes can be a lot of bike for the average woman to handle. The Kingpin Tour, while it provides similar storage capacity and engine power as most comparable touring cruisers, feels a lot lighter and is easier to handle than most. Any woman considering trading up to fully dressed motorcycle should spend some time looking at the Kingpin Tour. Better yet, take it for a test ride. That's what sold us on the bike.

New for 2007: Hammer S Quick Review

A very noticeable feature of the Hammer S is the smooth flowing lines.
A very noticeable feature of the Hammer S is the smooth flowing lines.

Wow, what a powerful, muscle bike. Is there such a thing as a muscle bike? I rode the Hammer when it first came out in 2005. Strong, meaty, muscular is the only way I can describe it. The S version comes with a sporty, aggressive riding position -- feet forward, arms forward, but not too forward like drag bars. They're just more forward than the regular Hammer. It wears the same beefy 250mm tire as the Hammer, the largest size tire I'm comfortable riding. Any bigger and you're fighting the bike around the corners. It's just no fun.

The Hammer S -- S standing for super sporty ? comes with striking red and black paint accented with a blacked out engine, bars, mirrors, and gauges; the Performance Machine custom wheels are powder-coated red. Seat height is a low 26.4 inches. The saddle is a bit wider to accommodate the fat rear tire, so you may lose about half an inch in leg length on either side.    

The sporty rear fender of the Hammer S is cut high to show off the big 250mm tire. By the way, I&#39;m wearing leathers made by Icon -- the Bombshell chaps and the Tuscadero jacket and gloves.
The sporty rear fender of the Hammer S is cut high to show off the big 250mm tire. By the way, I'm wearing leathers made by Icon -- the Bombshell chaps and the Tuscadero jacket and gloves.

I enjoyed my short ride on the Hammer. A quick twist of the throttle and the bike takes off quickly and sharply. Despite the fat tire in the back, which can sometimes make a bike lumber though the turns, the Hammer S glides effortlessly, a testament to Victory's superb handling - something I've found to be true for all Victory models.

Stopping is strong and exact thanks to a sportbike quality braking system. Two floating rotors up front with 4 pistons, and one rotor in the rear with two-pistons squeeze the bike to a stop. It's a fun bike to ride; it's a lot of bike to ride, but fun none-the-less.

Specs at a Glance: 2007 Hammer S
Displacement: 1634cc
Seat Height: 26.4 inches
Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gallons
Dry Weight: 672 pounds
Colors: Solid Turbo Silver with Firemist Clear, Super Graphite/Pearl White, Pearl White/Boardwalk Blue, Solid Black
MSRP: $19,749

WRN Recommendation
The Hammer S is one of those motorcycles that will have people thinking you had custom bike built. It's striking and beautiful, plus, it's a limited edition, so not everyone will have this motorcycle. If you want a bike that draws a crowd and you can handle riding a beefy motorcycle (i.e. you've got some experience under your belt) then this bike is worth checking out.      

To read part two of this article outlining what we think of the other Victory models, click here.

Visit VictoryMotorcycles.com for more information.      

Related Articles
Motorcycle Review: Victory Vision Tour/Street
2007 Victory Motorcycles Part 2: The Rest of the Lineup


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