Pete Brissette of Motorcycle.com got to spend a week on Bike #1 of 100 brand new 2010 Victory Vegas LEs. He loved it.
First off, The Vegas LE dumps the standard 100ci V-twin for the more powerful Stage 2 106ci mill, which provides a generous 97 hp at 5000 rpm and 113 ft-lb at a lowly 2750 rpm. That’s 12 horsies more than the 100ci powerplant, and 10 ft-lb more, too. Victory claims that putting the 106 into the Vegas makes it the fastest Victory yet.
As you can see, the styling is updated a bit, too, dumping a lot of chrome and replacing it with black powder-coated trim. It looks like it has just enough, but not too much Arlen-Nessiness in the design. And, frankly, it doesn’t take a lot for there to be too much Arlen-Nessiness. He can go a little overboard with al the swoopy curves and what-not. The Vegas LE, though, looks to be about right in the design department, right down to the blacked-out, curved pipes.
In fact, my real quibble with Victory’s motorcycles is the shape of the jugs. They just look like somebody stuck two blenders on top of the engine. Technically, however, the air/oil-cooled, four-valves-per-cylinder, SOHC V-Twin is a thing of beauty.
The Vegas LE possesses lots of powerful, low-end grunt by virtue of the most potent standard engine Victory has made to date. Yet the LE is largely a standard Vegas model and so enjoys the better handling and steering provided by the standard Vegas’ 180-section rear tire versus the chubby 250 found on the Jackpot model.
So, it has the big power of the Jackpot mated with the standard Vegas’ good handling. The LE is the perfect blend.
I can’t argue with that.
Sadly, Victory is only making 100 of these, and I suspect they’ll all be gone quickly.
Motorcycle.Com has the results of their shootout between the BMW K1300S and the Honda VFR1200F. On paper the bikes are a really close match with the Beemer putting out 146.8HP and the Honda throwing out 146.4 HP. BMW has the edge in torque, though, with higher torque all along the rev line, except at the tippy top, and maxing out at 89.6 ft-lb compared to the VFR’s 82 ft-lb. The BMW hit max torque 700RPM shorter, too.
On the other hand, they write that the Honda is easier to ride, more maneuverable, more comfortable, and carries its weight better than the BMW. Both bikes sport about 5-gallon tanks, so neither one is all that impressive when it comes to touring range.
So, what’s the bottom line?
“Although the BMW may not have the utter refinement of the Honda, I wouldn’t be ashamed or regretful of having a K1300S in my garage if I’d purchased one and then later had the chance to ride a VFR1200F,” says Pete. “Furthermore, the practical techy options like anti-spin control, ESA II, etc, that have real-world application raise the K13’s’s price by only $1,800 more than the Honda’s, making a case for the BMW being the better value. Frankly, the BMW’s Premium Package option is simply worth the added cost over base MSRP, especially so if you amortize that $1,800 across the term of a loan.”
The price on the Honda is the kicker. For what you get for the money, I’d agree that the BMW is probably a better deal. You really do have to ride a BMW to really get how good the ESA is. And the BMW cruise control really is excellent.
I really wanted to like the new VFR a lot, but this 1st-gen model doesn’t seem to quite have “it” at the price Honda’s asking you to shell out.