Hello, all! Curious as to your opinions and feedback on my "dilemma": I'm relatively new to the motorcycling world, having only been riding for 3 years. I started out on a small 125 scooter, moved up to a Suzuki Burgman 400, and for the past year have been on a Honda Shadow Aero 750. I've put about 6k on it this year. I'm ready to move up again, and have narrowed my search to essentially 3 bikes: the Harley Softail, the Victory Kingpin, and the Triumph Thunderbird.
Over the past couple of weeks, I test-rode a Softail, as well as a new Kingpin. I liked both, and while I think the Softail has the ultimate "look" for a cruiser (what can I say...I'm a sucker for flared-fenders and whitewalls!) I favored the Kingpin's ride. I'm looking for "used". The Softail is way at the top-end of my $$$, so for value and ride, I'm leaning towards the Victory.
I've also done a test-ride of the Triumph America. I basically liked it (although I wasn't keen on the handle-bar position) but I think after a year or so, I might be in the same position as the one I'm in now, which is a search for more "cc's". My problem is, I can't find a used T-bird to test-ride! I'd love to be able to round out my comparison-study, but the only thing available to me locally is a new Storm, which may be a bit out of the budget, as well. (a dealer in PGH has a used T-bird, but I can't get him to call me back!) So.....I'm curious if there are any Victory riders out there (or ex-Victory riders, as the case might be) who can offer up some comparison-insights of the T-bird vs the Kingin? Thanks!
I own a 2010 T bird with abs and a 2010 victory vegas 8 ball. I have exactly the same miles in both bikes so i can give you a real opinion on both. Let me start by saying that I love both bikes the same but both of them are very different. ( here we go )
suspension_ T bird is smother and better for passenger load
vic- is stiffer and dont ride as well with a passenger. but nice and rigid for the twisty roads of northern california.
Breaks__ T-bird.the abs has never work properly and it had a recall on a part.
the abs light comes on all the time and if you get your tire changed they will
mess the abs again.
the break levers are so big you really need a hand full to change gears and
to stop. it gets very tiring if you are in traffic. I live in nyc and san francisco
so I've tested both bikes in both places. Only once I deployed the abs and it
was in the city wet roads and I think it worked fine.
Vic-- simple breaks,they work fine when you need them and the bike is so
much lighter that I feel more confident than on the T bird.
Ergonamics_ hands down the victory is the winner this bike feels like a sofa with wheels,
easy on the body and its easier to handle in ANY environment.
Handling_well here is the kicker, the T-bird feels better on the fast long turns but less stable while the victory feels better on the tight turns of northern cali but rougher.
the Tbird has more clearance so you can lean deeper but the victory center of gravity is lower so you'll feel more in control, for me that means faster! ;-)
POWeR-- oh boy! bottom Tbird Top victory I red line both bikes all the time. Hard.
Maintenance- since I got my Tbird its been in the shop a few times more than the victory
2 times for abs and still not working good
2 recalls one for abs and one for a bolt.
1 break pads change. only after 6000 miles (one more than the victory)
and the never anding coolant leak. yes! you heard it here... NEVER ending.
although it doesnt change the way the bike runs IT SUCKS when you have to wash the bike because of it or when you pull over next to friends with HD and explain that nothing is wrong with your bike its just crying a bit cuz they are too slow.
all this and while the tbird was at the shop my Victory has only been in for regular maintenance.
the battery on the Bird seems never to get charged, I had to change it already after been outside in the cold winter in ny. yes you guess it both bikes were parked in the same place and the Victory battery still good and gets charged every time after Every ride, by the MOTOR.
Passenger confort— hands down the Tbird. the passenger pegs on the victory are in a stupid place. the tour seat on the bird is perfect, my wife feels really good back there
the sissy bar is stiff and she feels secure and relax.
on the Victory— not good. no space between the passenger and the driver, so you will get the head bud that we all love. and the victory tour seat is good for the driver but not good for the passenger. Victoy doesnt love my wife.
luggage—— t-bird wins. no more to say.
I know this has been a long one, but this has been my experience with both bikes I could say more but i think I painted the picture right. I love both bikes and both come with me every time am in NYC or San Francisco so you know I love both of them. I hope you can find your answer and happy and safe riding.