Monday, May 23, 2011


Well I finally found my way into the realm of VICTORY MOTORCYCLES!!!

I just purchased a new 2011 Victory Cross Country model which is only the second year of this models existence. The Cross Models - Cross Roads and Cross Country are termed XR and XC by native "Vicsters" and are based on the VISION forged aluminum frame and sport the latest 106 inch, 97 horsepower V-Twin Freedom engine. Hook all that up to a 6-Speed transmission and you are gonna find some fun on the roads someplace... fast!

Victory Motorycles are produced by POLARIS INDUSTRIES and they have hit another home run on their latest design setup yet again. Polaris is doing a great job with their new bike designs, their collaboration with the Ness group of guys, (Arlen, Cory and now Zach too) has definately given them a design advantage over the "straight and narrow" ideology of Harley Davidson. I think that once Arlen Ness got involved with the motorcycle engineering teams at Polaris it was a match made in biker heaven. The new and the old coming together and the results coming out of that relationship are pretty incredible.

I really fell in love with the Kingpin and a Hammer model back in '08 when I first rode them up in Oregon for a test ride, and my best friend bought a KingPin Tour model. I was impressed. When the XC came out it was a no brainer for me!... I needed a large bike with leg room length and HD just wasnt changing theirs in any way for long legged people. The HD Streetglide (HD/SG) was a bike I had ridden thru Glacier Park and although it was nice, it wasnt comfortable without having highway pegs that I could stretch my legs out on.

The XC has floorboards that are about 14" long and I can put my feet under me, in front or stretch them out to just my boot-heels and straight leg it without taking my feet off the boards. This was my main comfort reason for buying this bike. Then being lighter than the HD and able to carry more cargo, well thats a big plus too for me. I also found that the 106 inch motor versus a 96 inch motor as the stock offerring included in the MSRP was a huge VICTORY advantage. HD wants about an extra $5,000 for the 103 inch and up to $10,000 for the 110 inch motor options making a Streetglide CVO MSRP at $35,000!!!!! yea incredible... I know. And the bike and motor design are 20 years old!

I had a chance to ride the XC thru some pretty demanding terrain (Berryessa Knoxville Rd.) the past weekends and although parts of this road didnt allow for very high speed riding it did require some very demanding changes in speed and manuevering ability throughout the ride. Conditions changed constantly with speed, shifting and braking and the XC handled it great. The rear air suspension and inverted front was a big advantage to what would have been back wrenching on a HD/SG. The rear suspension is a mono-tube gas shock with constant rate linkage that reacts like a dirtbike. it has air assist for extra loading. It is very comfortable riding on these crappy CA roads!

Once onto the good portion of roadway outside of NAPA county, it was easy to roll on/off the throttle and spend some good times traversing through the sweepers in 4th and 5th gears. The torque is well suited to using one gear and finding your way through the turns nicely. In the tighter areas I found the constant downshifting messed with the EFI brain and it stumbled a bit, but after I learned to STOP riding it like a Harley that problem quit happening. Harleys require 'rapping the throttle before every downshift, the EFI does not like that!!!!

You can lean this bike hard into corners and it feels very light, it pulls (throttles) hard out of the corners with a very light front end but doesnt feel like its getting away from you, it feels very well grounded at all transitions from decel back to accel, in downhill or uphill situations. The braking is excellent with dual 4-pistons up front and a single 2 piston on the rear. Braking is very forgiving, must be ABS(?) because I was on it hard a few times and worried that it was gonna lockup, but it never did!

Stereo sounds great! and the seat is countoured enough to keep you in the right place. What more could I ask for? just some more time on it!