My First Ride
Got rid of my BMW LT for a good price…I’ll miss the performance but not the long distance ergonomically friendly POOR foot position. Test rode a Vision on Wednesday buy it on Thursday…isn’t that what you are suppose to do?
Anyway…as I tell my friends about the change I tell them I went from a pretty technologically engineered product that handled better the faster you went (I believe it’s call the Autobahn)…to a “go slow hey look at me” bike. Since I just turned a half century old I will admit occasionally I will miss those times on the twistys when the youngsters on their “super bikes” couldn’t loose me…armrests on the back seat and all. But now I get to ride as long as I have fuel.
I found myself with this “dolled up” touring BMW built for these long romantic get away weekends and found that my destination better be within an hour because that’s all my left knee could take. And I asked myself what’s wrong with this picture…”a touring bike that is 2.5 years old with 8000 miles on it”? One test ride on the Vision and adios BMW.
So I got the SSG Premium and put 2.5 hours in on it in one sitting and could have gone all day if I didn’t need fuel…this bike will be heavily used. The first oil change (500 miles) will be done tomorrow and I’m going all weekend to somewhere in WI looking for old antique stores followed by some kind of adult beverage manufacturers’ tour.
When I picked up my bike, the dealer laughed when he heard me tell my better half that I was getting a “go slow look at me bike” (which she was all for) and he warned me that every time you stop somewhere they’ll want to talk to you about the bike. I thought yadda, yadda…I had the same thing with the BMW as I live smack dab where HD’s are churned out. But I really was off by only…say 1000 %.
I literally pull out of the dealer on Thursday which happened to be the start of this small event called “Harley Fest” 105 years…you might have heard about it…and get to my first stop light and have travelled a whopping 400 yards and while at the light, some kind of HD pulls up with his better half clinging to him on this postage size seat and she starts screaming at me! “Take me….Take me…my ass is killing me”…and I thought she was going to jump off the bike and onto mine. Not a good idea with my better half watching this in the car behind me.
This happened every where I went…I was cruising down some of our lovely country roads and staying away from Harley Hell this last weekend but there were a zillion bikes all out doing the same thing a good 50 miles from downtown….when I pulled over because my IPOD had locked up and I needed to reboot. I almost caused a three bike pile up at the intersection of “Hay-seed Way & Silo Blvd.” because all three of the bikes and passengers all had to stare at me while driving by. It was hilarious when the “Fair Maid” on the back of one of these Knights turned her eyes away from me and my Vision only to see her “knuckle head husband” was still staring at the bike…so with the cuff of her well placed hand to the back of his skull…he snapped out of it just in time to get the bike back on the road.
The last episode was when I had my 11 year old step daughter along for a “dusk time” ride…her first. We stopped to fuel it up and while we were filling up the island next to us hand a nice “cotton top” retired gentleman doing the same with his car. He looked up and just announced…”now that’s what I call a handsome bike, what is it”? I told him it’s call a Victory Vision and he responded…”Who makes it”…so without wanting to embarrass him by repeating Victory…I told him, an American snowmobile company by the name of Polaris…he said “ya right and if monkeys had wings” and we both laughed…but for different reasons…lol.
So there is no doubt people will love it or hate it…but they won’t take their eyes off of it either.
Now for my needs for improvement observations…not that this matters as it is what it is…but maybe you folks out their can offer some ideas to me.
$229 for a piece of plastic with two sided tape to vent away the heat seems a bit much which leads me to the question….(1) Is there a website that has a list of all the accessories for the Vision?
After having all 4 cylinder water cooled bikes and the BMW with its full plastic/vented shell around the engine…the engine heat is a bit much! Yikes…I heard HD people tell me their engine heat is still worse!
I got the Stage 1 pipes on it and the dealer will be putting on the rest of the goodies Friday:
Intercom, IPOD docking thing, bag liners for the trunks, taller windshield, and some kind of nice cover (I haven’t seen it yet). Don’t want the CD changer had it on the BMW but with the IPOD why?
I noticed the AM lower stations get disturbed by the engine which is annoying when trying to listen to the Badger game and question (2): what is the best air pressure setting to leave the shocks at for the most part…for occasion short time two-up riding that I can leave it at without losing the nice ride? The BMW had a handy hydraulic valve you adjusted in a couple seconds before and after two-up riding…any thoughts?
Any way…the “public, they know I’m a coming” because of the pipes…and “they can’t stop looking when I get there”…so I’m having fun! And you can’t beat that with a mallet.
Why talk about top end?
I continue to be amazed at the number of Vision owners that write and want to discuss the performance aspect of owning the most comfortable and unique looking touring bike on the market. There is another thread talking about the Dyno tests and Lloyds upgrades and getting another 20 hp, etc. and I personally don't get it...but it takes many different people to make this world go around so in the big scheme of things, no big deal.
I'm a half century old and have 2600 miles on my Vision I got in fall last year and love to dial it up and let it coast back down to legal and I think that's good enough to get my “Willie-tingling”. Got it up to 120mph in 5th coming off a little hill (big deal)...it felt like crap with that much wind pressure on the front end compared to a bike designed for it…but as I told my spouse when I got the bike "I just got the coolest go-slow-look-at-me ride on the planet".
So coming off of a 4 cylinder (500cc smaller) engine BMW LT k1200 that is 116 hp and 130mph (no problem) when the rev limiter kicks in at 8000 rpm and a hydraulic suspension that made handling at 100+ feel like you were in a slot car, and blhaa, blhaa, blhaa, and yadda, yadda, yadda...Dude’s & Dudette’s the machine was made for the freakin Auto Bond…
My Vision is still the most "bitchen-fun" bike I have ever been on or owned...period! Do I miss the performance of the BMW...yeh every once in a while...but big freakin deal because when I can't ride the bike for more than an hour because the European’s think that the proper riding position happens to have my foot behind my knee...and then my knee is screaming an hour into every ride....F-that! And then they have the nerve to call it a touring bike...I'd rather go slower...look great...and have everyone want to talk to me about my "mobile recliner" called the VISION!
Now that’s what I’m talking about…..
Oh yeh...if I need to have that near death experience...my 1986 Honda V65 Magna...weight like 500lbs...132hp...redline 10,500 (zero to warp 3 in like 5 seconds)...I can't even come close to dialing out the six speed gearbox because it's ridiculous fast that it almost becomes airborn after shifting into 5th...but it's a classic "Muscle Bike"...it still is a "Willie Tingler" big time.