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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The last 2 weekends my Bonnie has been brawling with my buddy's Victory. Last weekend we did a 120 mile run through everything from a 4 lane parkway to twisty mountain roads known as "goat trails" . My buddy is an aggressive fast rider. Long story short, the Bonneville with a few basic mods gave a great account of itself. Kept up and then some. Lay down over the tank and let the rpms come up and my Bonny could (could) hit the ton easy on a long straight and the right side of the gauges could possibly (possibly) have gotten some use. :)

The conversation afterwards was more about how the Vegas could not keep up on the s curves. I told my buddy - do not follow me into the turns, go at your own pace. So while I am sure it is not really all that, the Bonneville, ridden hard more than keeps up and is very impressive.
 

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I don't care for the Vegas, that balloon back tire is stupid. But! I do like the Eight Ball, I think I could almost see myself on one if I were so inclined (reclined?) to look at a cruizer.

How does the straight line acceleration of the Bonnie compare to the big Vic?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You would think the Vegas would blow the Bonny away, it does on paper for sure. But that doesn't seem to be the case in real use. Off the line of course the Vegas gets the jump. But in passing cars for instance on a two lane, laying over the tank and keeping the rpms up seems to make all the difference. The bikes seem about the same.
 

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The last 2 weekends my Bonnie has been brawling with my buddy's Victory. Last weekend we did a 120 mile run through everything from a 4 lane parkway to twisty mountain roads known as "goat trails" . My buddy is an aggressive fast rider. Long story short, the Bonneville with a few basic mods gave a great account of itself. Kept up and then some. Lay down over the tank and let the rpms come up and my Bonny could (could) hit the ton easy on a long straight and the right side of the gauges could possibly (possibly) have gotten some use. :)

The conversation afterwards was more about how the Vegas could not keep up on the s curves. I told my buddy - do not follow me into the turns, go at your own pace. So while I am sure it is not really all that, the Bonneville, ridden hard more than keeps up and is very impressive.
^^^ Good story ! My stock 05' Bonnie Black easily hits 90 mph, at which point, if I lay flat over the tank or "tank it" as we called it in the old Country...she'll steadily climb up to 110 mph ( or at least that's where I chicken out ) I say it's stock, but it does have the one modification ;Triumph off road pipes and jets supplied with them installed at the Triumph dealer..I don't know if the T.O.R's actually add crank HP but the butt dyno and sound effects say they do !

Ride Safe all.
 

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The Vegas does have a huge stonkin motor, but it is a huge heavy bike too. I'll stick with the Bonnie, thanks!

Thanks for the report, I'm sure the Vegas is a nice bike and it's good to see these real life comparo's, the magazines are so full of fluff and bs.
 

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I've owned both. I sold my Vegas for the Bonnie. Two things made me sell the Vegas...horrible forward controls and weight/handling. Its a raked out bike that is a slave to fashion. The motor is its centerpiece and stonking is a great discription. Mine was modded a bit and very fast...Stage 1. A bonneville can blow a Vegas away in the twisties. I am not too surprised that a lightly tuned Bonny can almost keep up with a Vegas in a straight line. If it is a combo of straights and curves, I like the Bonnie's chances. Sweat...yours maybe faster straight away. The Jackpot btw is the one with the fat back tire.
Cheers,
George
The great custom bike builder Jesse James said it best. Big back tired choppers are dead. Done to death. They are not fun motorcycles to live with day in and day out....why you see all the big dogs for sale. They are beautiful however...some are and some are fast. I would prefer a standard for riding more than 10 miles.

I don't care for the Vegas, that balloon back tire is stupid. But! I do like the Eight Ball, I think I could almost see myself on one if I were so inclined (reclined?) to look at a cruizer.

How does the straight line acceleration of the Bonnie compare to the big Vic?
The 8 ball is a Vegas without the chrome...only with 5 speed versus 6 speed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A couple of other points. The vegas was killing my buddy's hands, I suppose with the vibration. And his seat was killing him. I was moving around on my bike and had no vibration so I felt fine. I guess I am surprised the Victory does not just completely blow the Bonneville away. It has a huge motor, something like 1500 cc. And yes George, you are right, when the road is a combination of curves and straights the Bonneville does very well.

Not a great picture but it does show the Victory behind the Triumph.

 

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I don't care for the Vegas, that balloon back tire is stupid. But! I do like the Eight Ball, I think I could almost see myself on one if I were so inclined (reclined?) to look at a cruizer.

How does the straight line acceleration of the Bonnie compare to the big Vic?

Same bike, Sweet. The 8 ball is a blacked out Vegas. Same tire sizes. You might be thinking about the Jackpot with the huge rear tire.

I have ridden alot of Vegas' and with a stage one kit they pull like a mofo and are damn fast. Stage 2 kit and they are in the stupid range for a bike that size. They are one of the most beautifully built bikes on the planet. They use great parts and the fit and finish is incredible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Calliway,

Sorry to disagree but I wasn't that impressed with the finish on this particular bike. Its a 2003. The pegs have a hint of rust on the bolts, the clear coat is flaking off the fork, the fake air cleaners on the sides of the engine just look , well - fake and you can see the brackets holding them on, again a hint of rust on the brackets. Say what you will but my carbs are not fake and they are not rusty.

Its okay, but not great. There are a lot of details that you could say are impressive. Chrome grips, etc. My T100 has nicer paint but honestly a HD puts them both to shame with the finish.
 

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Geez that's not good. Up here in Canada most bikes don't see bad weather because they are in storage over the winters so I don't see stuff like that.
 

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I also owned an 8ball and Biker7 is right, it is a heavy handling bike, but the twin is VERY sweet, bulletproof. Mine also had the stage 1 kit, and I installed the Santa Rosa black ceramic coated pipes back when they first came out. She definitely jumped up and bit when needed. Compared to my Bonnie, I don't know, is there really anything to compare? They are different beasts in their own right...
 

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There have been a handful on here that owned a Victory and a couple with a Vegas. Pretty unanomous that all prefer the Bonny. The Vegas is a bit of a beast...almost 100 ft-lbs of torque and heavy. It didn't have enough tire patch up front relative to its weight and there was no lean angle because it was penned to be low and raked out...a poor man's Big Dog. It kicks you in the back where it hurts because you can't help but slump when riding forward controls. I did a lot to my Vegas to make it more comfortable and at the end of the day it couldn't be transformed enough for my taste. There is a reason why many who ride heavy cruisers use a driver seat rest. The look and sound and power of the bike is its strength. Riding it for more than 15 miles or so and I was looking to get off. A kick though and I had fun with it.
This is the best review I have read about the bike from a guy who really knows motorcycles:
http://www.motorbyte.com/mmm/pages/2003/62/review62.htm

Lastly...there is a major gulf in motorcycle savy between the guys on this forum and the VMC. I am not putting them down but the newbie cruiser guys are just that. The guys on this forum have overall more experience... many of whom grew up like I did riding the early standards and weren't weened on fat rear tired raked out 700# motorcycles who believe that size matters. ;) It does...only in reverse.
Best,
George
 

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Good post George. The vegas is sense bike. I like the look and the sound but agreed not the best balance of ride and comfort.

Hence why I own a Bonneville.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I didn't want this to be a Vegas bashing thread. I was celebrating the fact that the Bonneville, which is often maligned even here for lack of power, did very well. It was more comfortable and plenty fast to run with a more powerful and more expensive bike.

I think its meanningless numbers like "top gear roll on acceleration" that don't really show the reality of riding with your friends on Sunday afternoon. I was taching it up pretty good and "tanking it"(love that expression) and it was doing great. The bike goes.

And beyond that the confident quick handling, overall balance and predictabilty don't always translate as well in a magazine test but in real life they are very important. Same thing for having a seat that lets you move around instead of locking you in. Its a big advantage but how do you measure it? Same thing for the tank pads, I feel like they are almost like a second set of handlebars for my knees..

I actually got distracted when following the Vegas because those huge pegs looked like they were going to drag in the turns so I kept looking at them.
 

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Don't think anybody is bashing the Vegas. It kind of is what it is. It is a choppesque poseur bike of sorts...goes like hell in a straight line and makes great sound doing it...kind of heavy pro street bike :) The Bonny is much better balance and also doesn't have quite the nth degree grunt in a straight line. I learned a long time ago things "on the street" are very different than on paper as you correctly state Sal. I used to ride with a friend of mine who had a little warmed up Sporty 883. I could eat him in the straights and he would kill me in the curves. Overall, he may have been quicker than the Vegas on the "street". That's why preoccupation with horsepower...again on the street is a bit of a waste IMHO...and why incidentally many long time motorcylists come back to the Bonny which has a bit less power than some of the very fast bikes out there. At the end of the day it doesn't matter on the street in particular...at the track perhaps. The other dynamic worth mentioning is the rider. A top rider on a Vegas would likely give anybody here a hard time on the street as the rider in my experience many times trumps difference in motorcycles....again on the street. I could more or less live with the modest handling of the Vegas and even the weight but not the riding position or the seat which I had modified on my bike and wasn't enough...also put a couple of different handlebars on it. The precursor to the Vegas was the SC which was like a big cruiser sport bike on steroids...with early incantation of the Freedom motor that many have felt which is stout. It was a big cruiser like the Vegas with a bigger front tire and a bit less bling but came with mid controls. Many including me mourned its passing. Harley tried the experiment of offering mid controls on the V-rod...enter the Street Rod. It didn't sell. Guys who want to pose on fat rear tired big high horsepower cruisers want the OCC big wheel look of feet forward. Thats what sells. Motorcycling is morphing however and I believe you will see more standards like the Bonnie come into vogue. They are much better bikes to ride. Jesse James said the fat tired chopper is dead and he would know having made a bunch of them.
George
 

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T.E. Lawrence quote, very nice. I just noticed that Sal. Do you know how he died? He owned about 7 Brough Superiors and he died riding the one a fellow writers wife bought him.

Could you imagine if your wife bought someone a motorcyle?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Calliway
Yeah, isn't that a great quote?
I didn't know that - but if you know much about Lawrence, you know she wasn't his type Her hubby had nothing to worry about. :)

George,

you wrote- "the rider in my experience many times trumps difference in motorcycles....again on the street. "

Good points. Appreciate your insight. Hopefully you have some miles on your new bike by now.

I'm a marginally better rider than my buddy on the Vegas, as he doesn't have much time with the Vegas yet. But we are close enough in abilities (allowing for caution) that you could consider us equal riders. The bikes are clearly very different. Being able to carry a bit more speed into turns with some trail braking is a big diff, my buddy reports he is a bit uneasy pushing his small front tire.
 
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