- The Big Easy
- Wind protection and rhythm
- Brakes, ABS, fuel consumption, driving experience
- Technical data Harley-Davidson – Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide
- Technical data Kawasaki – Kawasaki VN 1700 Voyager
- Technical data Triumph – Triumph Rocket III Touring
- Interview – Torsten Zimmer, Sales & Marketing manager Victory Germany
Comparison of super cruisers
The Big Easy
How does the American cruiser monster Victory Vision Tour compare to the competition? A trip across the Swedish island of Gotland surprised not only with a magnificent landscape, but also with answers.
On Gotland you have the opportunity to try out a Victory Vision Tour under optimal conditions ??, wrote our colleagues from MOTORRAD Sweden. ?? And so that the American doesn’t feel so lonely, a Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide, Triumph Rocket III Touring and the new Kawasaki VN 1700 Voyager are also driving for comparison. ?? Sounded tempting. Three weeks later, the four-person test team and photographer are on the second largest island in the Baltic Sea, which got its name from the Germanic tribe of the Goths, who later set out from here to found great empires.
The starting point of the tour is the Hanseatic city of Visby in the north-west of Gotland. Three machines poke their way out of the harbor with a dull rumble. Three? Yes, conceptually and in terms of sound technology, Victory, Harley and Kawasaki are close together? the three manufacturers rely on two-cylinder engines with six-speed gearboxes and toothed belt drives. In contrast, the Triumph has an in-line three-cylinder, five gears and cardan drive. And while the trio growls, grumbles and thuds, whistles, hums and hisses the mighty 2.3-liter pot from England. But the Rocket is not only acoustically out of the ordinary. It also does it optically. Because the Vau-Trio can theoretically also be featured in daily newspapers under the heading of mobile living rooms, whereas the Triumph is almost spartan: high pane, two side cases with 36 liters of storage space ?? That’s it. Although Triumph offers a lot of accessories to pimp up, it would not even come close to the opulent equipment of the competition, such as seat heating or cruise control.
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Comparison of super cruisers
The Big Easy
Kawasaki among themselves. In addition to two side cases, both offer opulent topcases that can even accommodate two helmets. They also fit into the Victory’s, but their cases are very small. The theoretical loading capacity of the Vision Tour, on the other hand, is sensational: 256 kilograms can be stuck on the Victory. That’s a hundredweight more than the Harley can load. The Kawasaki, on the other hand, frowns: 180 kilos are allowed? that’s what two adult passengers weigh without their holiday luggage … It’s the day before the big rain is about to fall, the weather forecast is more than modest. Gusts of wind sweep across the island, the thermometer hangs at 14 degrees ?? which bike is the most homely?
Wind protection and rhythm
Neat: space, seating comfort, sound. Unfortunately a lot of chrome-plated plastic. The Kawasaki VN 1700 Voyager offers the best pillion space and wind protection and also shines with really good brakes.
In terms of wind protection, the huge Kawa sets standards. Expansive fairing, highest disc in comparison, leg protection ?? only in the car is it even more protected when traveling. This is followed by the Victory, whose disc is electrically adjustable in height. A clear advantage over the Kawasaki, by the way. When it rains, visibility is badly impaired, especially for small drivers, due to the formation of droplets on the windshield. Disadvantage of the Victory: The driver sits far back, far from the window. This creates strong turbulence. The Harley rider also struggles with them. And depending on your height, the pane stops at eye level (restricted view through the edge). The Triumph offers an almost unprotected experience. Here the driver’s legs get the wind from their feet and there is a lot of turbulence behind the window. By the way: The windshield can be dismantled in a few simple steps … The wind is Gotland’s constant companion. He combs the branches of the trees to the east and brushes the grain, which writhes in the sun like an animal with shiny fur. Endless straight lines invite you to idle, the landscape drips past like in slow motion and significantly reduces the motorcycle experience to the engine.
Long straight, let it run and – trowel out! The team was allowed to blow deep into the tube early in the morning. And then continue.
Despite similar drive concepts from Harley, Victory and Kawasaki, there are fundamental differences. The Japanese rely on water cooling, while the Americans both still rely on the traditional airflow cooling. Harley, for example, is the only manufacturer in the comparison to use only two valves per cylinder, which are also controlled via push rods, rocker arms and hydraulic valve lifters. Anachronistic? Might be. However, the experience for the driver is more important than the technical solution. And that’s where the Harley leads. By lengths. The 45-degree Vau shines with a creamy, smooth throttle response and practically never chokes. Even if you chug through a town at 1500 rpm in long overdrive and pull the gas. Have you ever stood next to an old Lanz Bulldog when the ignitions were practically hiccuping? Harley’s 1,585 cubic vau flirts with similar entertainment. Its oscillating mass appears gigantic, the hammering of the mighty pistons is always present. Nevertheless, the pulsation when driving is so beautifully dampened, as if the engine were encased in a rubber block. The good vibrations are just as incomparable when idling.
Vision Premium Tour Comfort – the complete name, almost as long as the machine.
In this discipline, the competition is not nearly enough for the Harley-V2. This drive has an exciting way of conveying power and a good mood despite the slightly smaller displacement. Although it weighs 413 kilograms and has only 82 hp, in contrast to Kawasaki and Victory, you never get the feeling of being underpowered. With the Voyager, this can be explained on the basis of the data: 73 hp and over eight hundred pounds of weight without the driver and luggage. Hmm … But with the Victory, which is specified with 94 hp and 385 kilograms with a full tank, the lower weight and the increased power should actually make itself felt. Unfortunately, during the Sweden tour, neither the dynamometer nor the scales were available to check the Victory’s factory specifications. Let’s stay with the driving experience: the Vision and Voyager engines lack the casualness with which the Harley makes low-speed gliding a maxim. Both the 55-degree Vau of the Kawa and the 50-degree Vau of the Victory have a little harder time when the gas is opened at 2000 rpm. Although the 1731 cc Victory drive turns willingly, it looks rough and vibrates strongly from 3000 rpm. And the 1700 cm³ Kawa engine seems overwhelmed with the weight of the Voyager dress, the pounding from the engine room could also be interpreted as a cry for help.
Looking for female co-drivers for the pillion test – as soon as MOTORRAD Sweden had formulated their wish, the four girls Catharina, Tintin, Kristina and Emmelie from Club MC Diva got in touch and assessed the opulent seating furniture.
Anyway, engine room ?? on no bike is the expression more appropriate. Switch? Krooonnk, clack! When changing gears, one sees in the mind’s eye the ship’s diesel-sized shafts and gears that sweat muscle men push into one another. And apparently there is plenty of air in the Kawa gearbox, because the housing acts as a gigantic resonance body: passers-by are really frightened when they put in the first one at the traffic light. It has a certain entertainment value. The Kawa engine feels most comfortable at medium speeds of around 3000 to 4000 rpm, then does not appear stressed and can transfer this well to the crew. And the triumph? The Rocket drives in its own world. 2.3 liter displacement, 107 hp, 209 Newton meters of torque. Does your car have that much too? In short: With the British bolide you can roll around the island almost at idle and also tow a 40-ton truck. No problem. The three-cylinder has only two small weak points: The throttle is stiff. Emotionally, this takes some of its power from the drive. And you are always looking for an overdrive while cruising? Because the peak of the torque mountain is only 2000 tours, so to speak just above idle, you actually never want to leave the low-speed range. We turn into Gotland’s interior and follow small streets lined with colorful houses, the owners of which obviously all have lawn mowing as a hobby. Nobody has to be afraid of roaming moose here. There is no such thing. The only animals that could cause sudden brakes are Gotland sheep. A small, robust breed that is also emblazoned on the island’s coat of arms.
Brakes, ABS, fuel consumption, driving experience
Black Beauty: the American way of comfort. The seat cushion for the driver is ultra soft, the sound from the Harman Kardon stereo system is great. The switches on the Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide are also easy to use.
In the event of sudden sharp braking, the Kawasaki driver would have the best cards. The newly developed composite brake with ABS is top notch. A strong step on the pedal is enough and the load anchors so vehemently, as if you were stopped while cycling through suddenly emerging mud. Also vehemently, but not so sure, the Triumph brakes. The British are the only ones to do without both ABS and composite brakes. An anti-lock braking system would make sense here: the front and rear brakes shine with their comparatively powerful bite. Unfortunately, there is no exact feeling for the blocking limit. The brake metering is a little better on the Victory. The Americans also use a compound brake, but forego ABS. Only the Harley, whose ABS regulates roughly, is really disappointing in terms of deceleration. All you have to do is step a little harder on the brake pedal, and the anti-lock device intervenes and the brakes apply. It doesn’t even need a bump. The same applies to the front stoppers: if you pull the lever vigorously, the load plunges strongly and the softly coordinated fork locks. Now a few more small bumps in the floor and the ABS releases the brakes.
Fortunately, critical situations are spared on Gotland. Only empty tanks after around 230 kilometers? the Triumph already warns with a flashing tank light ?? for an interruption of the contemplative cruising tour. Gasoline consumption is close together: At 6.2 liters per 100 kilometers, the Harley burns the least. Triumph and Victory need 0.3 liters, the Triumph around half a liter more. Solitude hovers over the narrow, winding roads in the interior of Gotland. Depressing and liberating at the same time. Here the Coen brothers could shoot the sequel to their classic film Fargo. Here we find out how handy five hundredweight can be. Theoretically, newcomer Victory has the best prerequisites on this point. The Vision weighs the least and has the greatest freedom from lean angles. In fact, she can be ?? first in motion? also act easiest. However, the steering behavior is marred by the very high 23-liter tank placed around the steering head. And when turning you need very long arms. In addition, the driver‘s seating position is very inactive, he sits very far back. Feels like wheelbase: ten meters. Japanese motorcycle builders would produce an entire frame from the material of the wishing rod-like handlebar.
Stopover at the Rute bakery in Larbro, which makes probably the tastiest bread in Sweden.
In contrast, the Harley embeds its pilot close to the handlebars and can also be driven quite directly. Changes in direction are surprisingly playful despite the crowd. The Triumph struggles with its extremely flat steering head, an ultra-long wheelbase and large caster? handy is different. It requires a strong hand when turning. The only thing left is the Kawasaki, which cannot hide its mass in any maneuver, but ultimately goes where the pilot wants. However, he should be experienced. So overall a successful debut for Victory? Except for a few shortcomings in the processing quality (rattling and rattling when driving) and the rather inactive seating position, the new one surprises. Above all, because it naturally accommodates leg lengths between Danny DeVito and Dirk Novitzki. It remains to be seen whether the Germans will also get used to the design.
Technical data Harley-Davidson – Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide
Air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 45-degree V-engine, two chain-driven camshafts, two valves per cylinder, hydraulic valve lifters, bumpers, rocker arms, dry sump lubrication, injection, Ø 46 mm, uncontrolled catalytic converter, three-phase alternator 650 W, battery 12 V / 28 Ah, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, toothed belt, secondary ratio 2.06.
Bore x stroke 95.3 x 111.1 mm
Cubic capacity 1585 cm3
Compression ratio 9.2: 1
Rated output 60.0 kW (82 hp) at 5200 rpm
Max. Torque 129 Nm at 3500 rpm
Double loop frame made of steel, telescopic fork, Ø 41 mm, two-arm swing arm made of steel, two spring struts, adjustable spring base, double disc brake at the front, Ø 300 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 300 mm, four-piston fixed caliper, ABS.
Spoked wheels with aluminum rims 3.00 x 17; 5.00 x 16
Tires 130/80 17; 180/65 16
Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1625 mm, steering head angle 64.0 degrees, caster 173 mm, spring travel f / r 117/76 mm, weight with a full tank 413 kg, payload 204 kg, tank capacity / reserve 22.7 / 3.8 liters.
Two year guarantee
Service intervals 8000 km
Colors black, various two-tone finishes
Price 25,655 euros
Additional costs around 350 euros
Technical data Kawasaki – Kawasaki VN 1700 Voyager
Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 55-degree V-engine, crankshaft lying transversely, two balance shafts, each one overhead, chain-driven camshaft, four valves per cylinder, rocker arm, dry sump lubrication, injection, Ø 42 mm, regulated catalytic converter with secondary air system, alternator 655 W, battery 12 V / 18 Ah, hydraulically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, toothed belt, secondary ratio 2.250.
Bore x stroke 102.0 x 104.0 mm
Cubic capacity 1700 cm3
Compression ratio 9.5: 1
Rated output 54.0 kW (73 hp) at 5000 rpm
Max. Torque 136 Nm at 2750 rpm
Double loop frame made of steel, telescopic fork, Ø 43 mm, two-arm swing arm made of steel, two spring struts, adjustable rebound stage damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 300 mm, double-piston floating caliper, rear disc brake, Ø 300 mm, double-piston floating caliper, composite brake, ABS.
Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 16; 4.50 x 16
Tires 130/90 16; 170/70 16
Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1665 mm, steering head angle 60.0 degrees, caster 169 mm, suspension travel f / h 140/80 mm, weight with a full tank of 406 kg, payload 180 kg, tank capacity 20.0 liters.
Two year guarantee
Service intervals 6000 km
Colors silver / black metallic
Price 17,995 euros
Additional costs around 180 euros
Technical data Triumph – Triumph Rocket III Touring
Images: comparison of super cruisers
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Technical data Victory – Victory Vision Tour
Air / oil-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 50-degree V-engine, one overhead, chain-driven camshaft, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, Ø 45 mm, alternator 368 W, battery 12 V / 18 Ah, hydraulically operated multi-disc Oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, toothed belt.
Bore x stroke 101.0 x 108.0 mm
Cubic capacity 1731 cm3
Compression ratio 9.4: 1
Rated output 69.1 kW (94 hp) at 4500 rpm
Max. Torque 148 Nm at 3250 rpm
Bridge frame made of aluminum, telescopic fork, Ø 43 mm, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, directly articulated spring strut, double disc brake at the front, Ø 300 mm, three-piston floating calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 300 mm, double-piston floating caliper, composite brake, cast aluminum wheels 3.00 x 18; 5.00 x 16
Tire 130 / 70R 18; 180 / 60R 16
Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1670 mm, steering head angle 61.0 degrees, caster 137 mm, suspension travel f / h 130/120 mm, seat height 673 mm, weight with a full tank 385 kg, load 256 kg, tank capacity / reserve 22.7 / 3.8 liters. Guarantee n / a.
Service intervals k. A..
Colors black, red, blue
Price around 20,000 euros
A question of taste: Kawasaki offers the best price-performance ratio. But also an enormous amount of chrome-plated plastic. Harley-Davidson remains true to itself, offers a top drive, the best vibrations, and also shines with good music sound and high value retention. Triumph is surprisingly spartan and sporty even in the super cruiser profession. And the Victory is exciting, eye-catching, robust, daring. Just different. A real asset to the market.
Interview – Torsten Zimmer, Sales & Marketing manager Victory Germany
? Mr. Zimmer, Victory is expected to be launched in Germany in September. How is the dealer network structured?
! We start with twelve base dealers in the big cities. These are not Polaris dealers who are more familiar with ATVs, but pure motorcycle dealers who are already linked to other brands.
? Which Victory models will be available in Germany??
! It is expected that the entire product range (see www.polarisindustries.com) will also be offered in Germany. The entry-level models are available from around 12,000 euros. The fully equipped Vision Tour you have tested will probably cost around 20,000 euros.
? In Sweden and the USA, Victory offers a five-year unlimited mileage guarantee…
! At ten years old, we are a comparatively young company, but we are fully convinced of our products. The granted five-year guarantee dispels the skepticism of many potential customers. However, it has not yet been decided whether we will offer a two or five year guarantee in Germany.
? Was the Swedish model driven in the test identical to the one that will soon be available in Germany?
! The homologation for Europe and the Euro 3 regulations will not take place until autumn this year for the 2010 models. All machines that are currently being sold in Europe correspond to the American specification, have been converted accordingly and approved for individual acceptance.
? Why do you think that the German market still needs a motorcycle brand?
! Victory is an exciting brand that represents a completely new lifestyle. Our motorcycles are high-quality, exciting premium products that differ from other products of this type in terms of their high level of comfort and ease of handling. We are confident and hope to be able to sell 200 to 300 units in Germany in 2010.
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