300mm disc with two-piston caliper does an adequate job of getting the 645-pound (dry) Vegas
to stop. Again, as is the case with
most cruisers, you may need to
use both to get you stopped from
The Vegas also gets the same
43mm conventional fork up front
(with 5.1 inches of travel) and rear
mono-tube gas shock in the back
with pre-load adjustability (and
three inches of travel). We found
the rear suspension a bit harsh
on our daily commute when hitting sharp-edged bumps, though
not bad enough to have a chiropractor on speed dial.
The bike works well overall –
as a daily cruiser, commuter and
a weekend-ride-it-to-the-water-ing-hole warrior. It’s plenty stable
in a straight line and is more than
capable of attacking the twisties.
But most people who buy
cruisers chose one over the other because of the way they look.
Ness started with a good-looking
motorcycle and for the most part
he made it better. Or at least
For starters – and the part I
liked the most about young Ness’
work on this one – is the paint.
The result is a suede finish with
Ness’ custom graphics that re-
sults in a flat color that’s black
without really being black. If that
makes any sense. Check this
off as one of the 10 things I liked
about the look of the bike.
The second Ness touch comes
via the use of titanium metallic
paint on the frame and swingarm.
Again, I like the matte finish and
it goes well with the rest of the
bike. Score that in the positive
Ness added a handlebar
crossbar to the bars on the Ve-
gas. It’s a black/chrome combi-
nation and I could take it or leave
it. Go ahead and throw it in the
plus column since I’m in a cheery
old mood today.
The Vegas comes with a
21-inch front and 18-inch rear
wheels. On the Ness model they
are billet and black and look the
part. Again, a plus.
I’m not much for mirrors that
come to a point, as the teardrop
shaped ones on the Ness bike
do. Although I’m not sold on the
look, they at least work well. I
could even see things behind
me. A real plus. But since we’re
talking “customs” here, let’s call
this my first negative.
My biggest complaint on the
Ness Signature Vegas comes
from the “Holeshot Billet Handgrips.” Although it’s not the thing
to do when critiquing custom
cruisers, it’s hard to sometimes
not completely look past the nonpracticability of having chrome
and billet handgrips. For starters, there’s two misnomers here:
One, there isn’t much in the way
of grip offered by the grips; and
you might not get many holehots
with your hands off the bars. Maybe young Zach thought we wore
rubber gloves. I also wasn’t fond
of the clink you get every time the
(First) The 106 cubic-inch
Freedom engine V-twin that
powers all the Victory cruisers
gets a bit of the Ness treatment
as well. (Second) We liked
the paint. (Third) The cockpit
is simple and Ness added a
crossbar to the handlebars.
(Fourth) We weren’t fans of the
Holeshot Billet Handgrips. The
pegs match, but work better.