To the Catskills & Back on a 2004 Victory Kingpin


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How easy is it to ride 400 miles in 7 hours? Piece of cake on my Victory Kingpin. Heading out from the Maryland Base camp, I was greeted with 90 plus degree temperatures. It was Mississippi hot and humid too. I decided to remove the lower wind deflectors and my soft leather lowers I had on my highway bars. Now I would get some direct air flow. Albeit it felt like I was in a dryer. I contemplated removing the main windscreen, but decided that for such a long ride, I would benefit by keeping it in place.

First things first, I checked the tire pressure, checked my oil. The Victory Kingpin is oil cooled so no worries about overheating. The thing that I was most worried about overheating was my butt. I still had the stock Victory seat on the bike and was concerned that on such a long ride, this would prove to become unbearable. This fear is based upon my Kawasaki motorcycle purchases. It seems Kawasaki puts on the most uncomfortable torture inducing seats known to man. Maybe these bikes are designed for the smaller Japanese riders. But us manly Americans want comfort and do not appreciate a seat that slams our jewels into the fuel tank every time we hit a bump.

Well, I digress. Let's put this fear to rest since the stock Victory Kingpin seat proved to be one of the most comfortable seats I have ever had on a motorcycle. Note, that the stock Victory Vegas seat is notoriously uncomfortable. Not sure why since the Kingpin and Vegas are pretty much identical motorcycles. With the bike passing its checklist, I was ready to prepare myself and head off.

I started out slow, topped off the fuel tank, and set my trip meter. On the Victory Kingpin there is no fuel gauge. So I tend to know it is time to refuel when I put approximately 160 miles on a full tank of gas. I stuck mainly to two-lane roads. Heading up old route 97 through Howard County, Maryland. Riding into Westminster and on up into Pennsylvania. Passing through what is left of the rapidly disappearing farm land, through some small towns in Pennsylvania. I decided to take breaks every hour. This coincided perfectly with my arrival into Gettysburg, PA - Excellent place to pull of and rest. There is even a Harley shop to checkout. Mind you, there are not many bikes on display. It seems the new Harley Davidson dealership business model is to sell clothing and Harley hats for your dog. You go Harley. Why you are selling Harley Doggles, Victory will out perform and outsell you.

After my break and back on the road, the Kingpin is performing flawlessly and I feel really comfortable on the bike. As I pass through the dreaded Harrisburg, Pennsylvania I hold my breath. The Harrisburg area has some of the most congested and dangerous roads in the nation. They totally suck and I hate that I chose this way to get up top the Catskills. Nevertheless, I survive the bypass. I take a much-needed rest at a roadside stop in Linglestown, Pennsylvania. The birthplace of one of the greatest Americans ever born, James E. Noss.

No the fun part of the journey begins, I start to enter the mountain region of Pennsylvania on Rt. 81 headed up to Honesdale. I jump onto some two-lane roads and enjoy the sunny day and scenery. The bike is running flawlessly. It truly is all about the journey.

As I approach the Poconos, I enjoy the smell of the mountain pines as I pass the ski areas. I pull into a pit stop right off the turnpike exit. Lots of travelers complimenting me on the Victory Kingpin. What do you say in these circumstances? I bought it, I wish I would have thought of designing and making it, but I simply spent my twenty thousand and took her home. But I graciously accept the compliment.

Now back on the road I remember a Victory shop I want to visit that is on my route to the Catskills. It is Baer Victory in Honesdale. A beautiful little town with loads of Power sports stores. I stop into Baer, say hello and buy me a T-shirt to commemorate my visit. I am only 1 hour away from my destination in the beautiful mountains of the Catskills. The remaining 60 plus miles were the most beautiful. Hardly any traffic, beautiful scenery, and a great motorcycle.

My next to last pit stop is in Hancock, New York. A sleepy little town that time forgot. I have another 30 minutes to go. Heading up to East Branch and onto route 30 towards Downsville, New York. I cannot say this enough, these roads and the scenery are by far the best I had ever seen. It was a little disappointing to know that I was nearing the end of my journey. But the cabin and the 4-wheelers need to be ridden as well.

The Kingpin did great, no problems and it was a very comfortable ride. I was not sure or numb. I had to ride back in a few days and was looking forward to the return trip. Bottom line, the Victory Kingpin is a very good motorcycle – reliable, comfortable, and just plain fun.


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