Among the touring models the Kingpin Tour is the only bike that has a 100ci motor; the entire Vision line has the 106ci motor. Being roughly 75 pounds lighter than the lightest Vision, those 6 cubes don't make a noticeable lack of power. Victory claims the 100ci chain-driven, overhead cam motor pumps out 85 ponies while managing 106 lb-ft of torque. Power is transferred to the rear beltdrive via an overdrive six-speed transmission. Fuel management is handled by a closed loop fuel injection system that worked flawlessly from sea level up to the top of mountain peaks. No flat spots, surging, or any other fuel delivery anomalies were encountered. Spent gasses exit the right side of the bike via two-into-two headers connected to stylish slash-cut mufflers. The stiff chassis rides upon dual 18-inch silver Stingray wheels with suspension duties handled by an inverted fork up front and Victory's single, hidden, vertically mounted shock out back.
All of that added up to a ride that was controllable and relatively comfortable. The Kingpin Tour has a tight feel to it, that definitely adds road manners while cornering, but not plush. Vibration wasn't an issue at all, partly due to the tall gearing in Sixth gear. Dual four-piston calipers up front and a single two-piston unit on the rear clamp down on floating rotors and did a good job of stopping the 728-pound machine. Our only ergonomic gripe on the machine was the handlebars. The bend in the bars was reminiscent of the old H-D buckhorn bars that put your wrists at an awkward inward angle. Of course your mileage may vary. Base MSRP for the Kingpin Tour is $18,399.
After a couple of hours on the Kingpin Tour it was time to climb aboard the flagship Vision line. Continuing with the commercial success of last year's Vision, the Polaris team didn't do much to change the bikes. For 2009 there are four basic variations in the Vision lineup including two limited edition models: the Arlen Ness version and the 10th Anniversary Vision. If you didn't get your hands on one of the 99 anniversary models offered to the public, you're out of luck. They all sold out in seven minutes. Luckily for us, Victory kept one of the 100 produced and we got to ride it.
Not much changed from last year's debut of Victory's 106/6 V-twin. It's specially calibrated 106ci (1731cc) motor breathes through two 45mm throttle bodies feeding four-valve overhead cam (one per cylinder) heads producing a claimed 92hp and 109 lb-ft of torque. With the 6-gallon pannier-style fuel tanks located on either side of the neck area, the Visions have some nice range to them. Depending on your throttle hand, expect at least 200 miles per tank upward toward 250.
Victory characterizes the Vision Street as the "Complete Cruiser" and the Tour as the "Ultimate Luxury-Tourer." Other than the Tour's rear-mounted trunk (complete with speakers), both bikes are essentially the same. Both bikes have a very similar ride and feel. The trunk on the Tour didn't upset the handling in any perceptible way. Two full-face helmets could be squeezed into the trunk, which is nice to have on a trip. Additionally each bike can be ordered from the factory in different option and trim packages. For the Street, it's the base package or 'Premium' package. The Tour gets another option called Comfort. The Premium package consists of factory-installed options such as power windshield, heated seats and grips, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlight, and an assortment of chrome accoutrements. The Premium package adds $2,700 to the base price of each bike while the Comfort package ($500, Premium features minus the HID light and extra chrome) for the Tour is also available. Premium models feature billet wheels. Base models of the Street start at $18,999 for solid black, while the Tour begins at $19,999.