The addition of the 100/6 engine to the ’06 Kingpin and Vegas families makes a good drivetrain even better. The Kingpin Deluxe pictured here comes equipped with a windshield, saddlebags and backrest.
Here’s something the crew in Wyoming cooked up, demonstrating their fertile minds. This ultra-custom features a double-A-arm front end, a chopped rear end, and dual nitrous tanks.
Duke leaving Polaris’ Wyoming, Minnesota, facility on the fat-tired Hammer, resplendent in its attractive “Nuclear Sunset” color option.
MCUSA had been invited to Minnesota to sample the 2006 Victory lineup on the bikes’ home turf. Let me tell ya, riding in Minnesota is nothing like my SoCal home. Even though there wasn’t more than a mile or two between houses during the majority of our ride, I’m sure you would pass more nearby dwellings in just five minutes on SoCal’s 405 freeway than I did all day on our Victory ride. It was a rather bucolic setting for such thunderous bikes.
The greenery surrounding Polaris’ Medina facility had become pockmarked with twinges of amber and red in the leaves, and the morning air was crisp as I chose my first mount for the day. I gravitated toward a Kingpin Deluxe, not only for the protection offered by its windscreen (the standard Kingpin is naked) but also because it was the one existing Victory model I’d not yet ridden.
For 2006, all Victorys except the Touring Cruisers receive the refined and powerful 100/6 Freedom engine that debuted in the Hammer. With its 100 cubic inches of thrust and six-speed transmission, the 100/6, says Smith, “revamps our core product of the Vegas and Kingpin.”
Indeed, the Kingpin immediately feels more muscular than the 92 cubic-inch Vegas we’d ridden before – credit the bump in displacement from 1507cc to 1634cc. The air- and oil-cooled motor is quieter than before thanks to a new chain-driven oil pump and a quieter helical-cut (instead of straight-cut) primary drive gears. Although the motor is less noisy than previous, the Kingpin I was on exhibited a ticking sound similar to a maladjusted valve. Throttle response was excellent, though I have to wonder why in this day and age a fuel-injected bike needs an enrichener lever for cold starts like the Victorys.
In motion, the Kingpin is a peach. Its steering/chassis geometry is the most neutral in Victory’s lineup, aided by “normal” sized tires, a 180/55-18 out back and the Hammer’s front. The Kingpin also ate up bumps much better than I anticipated, as its 43mm inverted cartridge fork and relatively generous 3.9 inches of travel from the single shock out back kept wheel movement under control.
(After the official press ride, I took a Kingpin Deluxe up to Canada to run it through its paces. My full impressions will be shared in an upcoming bike test.)
Our first stop along the ride was at Polaris’ high-tech New Product Development Center in Wyoming, MN. Costing about $35 million, the new tech center is the single largest investment in company history. Inside you’ll find the latest equipment and technologies being employed to build, test and develop new products, including a dyno cell in which temperatures can be varied from 20-120 degrees F and simulate up to a 90-mph windspeed, computers running finite-element analysis and computational flow analysis, and a chassis post dyno that can simulate 200,000 miles of use in just 19 days of 24/7 abuse.
Suitably impressed and with a belly full of lunch, I select a Hammer for my next riding stint. The idea here was to reacquaint myself with a familiar bike before hopping on the new Jackpot. We like the Hammer for its bad-ass demeanor, in no small part contributed by that nearly 10-inch-wide Dunlop out back.
However, it must be said that tires that wide invariably have some inherent dynamic shortcomings. They are affected greatly by road camber, so riding on uneven pavement is always an adventure, and they (and their wide wheels) are as heavy as several bowling balls, resulting in compromised rear suspension action.
Switching from the Kingpin to the big-bottomed Hammer, I immediately noticed the harsher rear suspension – it’s fine over smaller bumps, but the shock gets overwhelmed by bigger ones. Steering response is much more leisurely than the Kingpin because of that fat rear tire, and the Kingpin also feels livelier under acceleration. Its bars and pegs are a bit of a stretch for smaller riders like me, but overall it’s a bitchin’ machine.
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《2006 Victorys Ride & Factory_2》由单点日志原创提供！