Victory says sales are up 20 percent, year-over-year, for the last three years! And while the iron is hot, the Minnesota-based company keeps firing off new models, the latest of which is the 2013 Boardwalk. Built on Victory’s benchmark 106-inch Freedom V-Twin and steel-tube-frame platform, the Boardwalk is aimed directly at Harley-Davidson’s Softail Deluxe. With gangster whitewalls tucked beneath full-coverage steel fenders and a wide beach bar to showcase one’s sculpted backbone to best effect, this one’s for urban profiling more than serious traveling, even though it’s worthy of both.
You would have to work pretty hard not to have fun riding around hilly back roads or the bumpy, twisty roads on Boardwalk. The fat Metzeler whitewalls—a 130 front and 150 rear on 16-inch spoke wheels go along well with the program and allow a good amount of lean angle before the floorboards start to augur in. Don’t worry that the 300mm front brake’s not so powerful, because the rear 300mm brake hauls the Boardwalk to a standstill very easily. It just takes a little getting used to.
Boardwalks counter-balanced engine bolted solidly in place, feels like a structurally sound platform whose on which it’s 675 dry weight is easy to maneuver thanks to it’s wide beach bar. The Freedom 106 has a pretty easy time moving that weight around too, with Dyno runs revealing 96 foot-pounds of torque at 2920 rpm and 81 horses at 4810 rpm. Even warmer days like we had this past summer don’t bother the 1731cc V-Twin , thanks to the hefty five-quart oil capacity and a big oil cooler located ahead of the crankcase.
Housing those super wide beach bars does mean at higher speeds you enter into an aerodynamic grudge match, 65 mph registers a nice, relaxing 2400 rpm on the digital tach that lives with a clock and other functions. Crank it up much more and you will be visiting the dealer for one of their are accessory Lock & Ride windshields. Also available for the Boardwalk models are saddlebags and sissy bars, not to mention heated grips and cruise control. And should you decide this bike won’t be just a “Boulevard Baby” the new enlarged, 4.7-gallon gas tank should give the bike considerable cruising range.
Victory continues its quest for heavyweight supremacy, which means a new model every six months. In keeping with the brands “Take-the-fight-to-Milwaukee” posturing, there’s even a bold new logo on the Boardwalk sporting a big red “V” to let people know what kind of motorcycle that was that just went by. Retailing for around $15,499 in Solid Black and around $15,899 in Solid Pearl White ($250 more in California), the Boardwalk is a legitimate and less-expensive competitor for Harley’s Softail Deluxe.