his article was originally published in the June 2003 issue of Motorcycle Cruiser. It was a perfect summer night in Los Angeles, even if it was the beginning of February. Our mission was just supposed to be to move the new Victory Vegas and the Harley-Davidson Deuce to where they were to be photographed the next day, a 20-minute ride. But the night was balmy and traffic was light. A bit of cruising seemed in order. We were, after all, forced to ride America's two premiere cruisers, bikes that apparently aim at the same target, so we decided to make the most of it. Both the Deuce and the Victory push style to the forefront and flaunt the same sort of look. Narrow bikes with 21-inch front wheels, both strut sexy lines that suck in eyeballs and have similarities that beg comparison. Though the Vegas has the advantage to knowing how its competitor plays the game, we weren't going to bet against the Deuce, consistently one of our favorite cruisers, one that is much more satisfying to simply ride than such a highly styled bike has any right to be. We pushed the bikes out of the storage area, and fired them up. With fuel injection on both engines (standard on the Victory, optional on the Harley), this is just a matter of punch and play. Hit the starter buttons and both idle immediately. We pulled on our helmets and gloves, and both were ready to go. Instead of setting off toward the freeway, we headed for the Sunset Strip. In the concrete canyon on Wilshire Boulevard, we could hear muted echoes reverberating as we powered up LA's nearly empty main street. It was enough to get our blood up, but the volume was low enough that we didn't feel the need to throttle back to be civilized as we turned north on a residential street to reach the Strip. A few minutes later we rolled into Hollywood. Traffic was heavier here, with cruisers, club-goers and Sunday-night insomniacs out in force. This is probably where the line, "Cars crawl past all stuffed with eyes" from the Doors song was conceived. Everybody's here to be seen, but everybody's looking too. The two machines would face their first big trial here, and both passed, because everybody, even the weary-looking hookers, turned to look. But when we had to stop in front of a line waiting to get into the Whiskey, you could tell which bike was getting more and longer looks. Men point and women smile, more of them at the Vegas. Maybe our unit's red paint just looks more beguiling in the street lights' hollow glow, but it seems pretty clear that Victory, whose first bike couldn't catch an eye in a crowd of motorcyclists even before any of them had ever seen one, has gotten it right this time. As we'd hear again and again, the Vegas is a stunning-looking motorcycle. Sure, the optional billet wheels on our test unit help, but there is plenty to please the eye. New, more shapely fork sliders embrace the 21-inch front wheel that defines these bikes. Several pundits said that they preferred the front end of the Deuce because it looked longer and lighter, in part because it's capped with a headlight that's smaller than the big two-bulb reflector beam of the Vegas.