The year is new and maybe you have the itch to browse for another bike. Even if you aren’t necessarily going to buy one, you’ll likely sit on a few and just see which one is as accommodating as it is beautiful. You are steadfast in the decision not to buy one and you’re strong enough to browse without being swept up in the moment.
We all know how this game of “just the tip” ends. You quickly learn that your resolve to wait a few more years (before buying another bike) is not nearly as strong as you initially pledged. You want to hold out for the right one, for the right timing, for the stars to align. This next one should be the one. It has to be special and you don’t want to rush into anything as you have done in the past. We get it… we’ve all been there before.
Unfortunately the frigid New England winters normally get the best of us and we need a diversion to get us through the depressing months. You just want something new to love… is that so wrong? You desire a fresh target of your undivided attention. You crave a new outlet for renewed excitement in an otherwise bleak period. But what happens when in your haste you chose wrong? You can’t undo a bad decision. Your hesitance is palpable because one ill conceived move born in a fit of misplaced enthusiasm and BAM! You’re in an unwanted multi-year relationship with little opportunity for annulment. You ponder: “have I searched enough for the right one? Am I seeing all that the world has to offer? Or am I once again retreating to the comfort of a known entity for fear of making a wrong decision with something new?”
Try something new in 2015!
In August Beantown Baggers had one of the most fun days covering an event in our publication’s history. Mom’s South in Foxboro, MA (http://www.momsouth.com/) led by Jason (Jay) Wheeler showed us around the shop and situated us on a round of test rides that blew us away. Why does this matter? They have over 450 motorcycles from Victories to Indians, to Harleys and everything else imaginable. Selection is key in finding a new bike and Mom’s has the variety to put your mind at ease that you haven’t looked enough before making a decision. [MUCH MORE BELOW]
New, used, lightly modified and fully custom bikes as far as the eye can see! Mom’s has an incredible staff of technicians including Matt who jacked up his Victory Hammer to 140 ponies and helped boost a customer’s Cross Country to 170 HP. If you’re worried about making the wrong decision on a Motorcycle you need to visit Mom’s! The selection, friendliness and knowledge of the team are impressive. Their building is not only massive but also actually very welcoming, clean and comfortable. Just take a look at the Indian lounge in the photos below. It felt like a place where I would sit down to have a glass of bourbon coupled with a fine Cigar (I asked but they weren’t completely comfortable with either suggestion). [MUCH MORE BELOW]
After perusing the front of the shop and seeing a classic Indian featured below, we were shown to an attached room that best resembled an airplane hanger completely filled with two-wheeled magic. Best yet was that when we sat on bikes there was more than enough room to get in and out without fear of scratching another bike sardined in the row. The staff was more than willing to fire-up bikes and let us hear the rumble in indoors. There is minimal fear of carbon monoxide poisoning in such a ginormous space, so let it rip! [MUCH MORE BELOW]On to the test rides.
We were given three bikes to ride (though they probably would have allowed us to test 100 if we asked).
The baggers for today would be:
1. Victory Cross Country
2. Indian Chieftain
3. Victory Magnum (released in the trade journals just weeks prior)
We started with the Victory Cross Country (fitted with a tourpack) and to be honest, none of us really enjoyed the bike. If you are judging Victories by this bike, ride a Magnum and you’ll gain an entirely different perspective on the brand.
The Cross Country lacked the torque to which we are accustomed on our Harley Davidson 103 and 120s. It handled poorly and was pushed around like a four hundred pound Triumph facing 40 MPH cross winds. At 75 MPH it felt unstable. At higher speeds it just felt downright dangerous. Now, this isn’t to say guys on Cross Countries don’t ride hard… just the opposite – they ride hard without a safety net because this bike just doesn’t feel right. We can chalk a lot of the issues to the bulky tourpack that acts like a sail but in general we couldn’t get off this bike fast enough. For the price it may be a good selection for some riders but it isn’t in the top 25 bikes that we would want to ride again. [MUCH MORE BELOW]
Moving onto the Indian Chieftain was a very pleasant upgrade. The bike has a full fairing (housing a useful radio) and smaller frame than a Harley Davidson Roadglide or Streetglide (just for sake of comparison). If you are 5’5” to 5’9” and looking for a bagger that is easy to handle, comfortable without modification and moves like a mofo, take this out for a blast! It may hurt in the wallet (at $22,900) but comes out of the shop completely ridable. This bike will look more than respectable outside your favorite fried fish spot in Plymouth without thousands in upgrades. Ride this – you’ll have fun and may end up an Indian owner sooner than you thought! [MUCH MORE BELOW]
The two things that stood out about this Indian were the torque and handling – both were notable and make me want to get back in this saddle for another spin. The one thing we didn’t like was the look of the over-blinged outer fairing but that could be improved by a little bit of powdercoating to subdue the plasticy look.
Finally we rode the Victory Magnum and this bike was just downright AWESOME! What a major improvement from Victory’s prior flagship bagger (the Cross Country)! The specs on the Magnum are incredible (read our review when the bike was first released). Now we were among the first to ride this bike and like it even more than we could have imagined. It was tight around corners, got up to speed in a flash, the rider position was near perfect (for my 6’1” hulking frame – I normally oscillate somewhere between 3% and 30% body fat for perspective) and even the radio sounded above average for a stock bike. I would absolutely ride this as my day-to-day bagger and never before have I really even considered Victory a brand that could compete with Harley. This day at Mom’s completely changed my perspective on Polaris (parent company of Indian as well as Victory). There is a real need to stay open to advances in motorcycle engineering – this day absolutely proved as much. [MUCH MORE BELOW]
Now that you’ve read this, we hope that your New Years search for something exciting will be a little more fun, a lot more complete and you find something worthy of a commitment.
A special thanks to Jay for the royal treatment that day in August – we can’t wait to make it back to the shop this winter! Also, we’ll bring the cigars if you open the Indian Lounge for smoking. [MUCH MORE BELOW]