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Discussion Starter #1
So I went over to Loxley, AL this morning for a Victory Demo Day. I wanted to try out a Cross Country (XC) and/or Cross Country Tour (XCT) and got to ride both. From what I understand, these are not dealer bikes, the bikes travel around the country and you can tell because some of them have scratches and scuffs and one rider dropped a Boardwalk on the first ride of the day.

For the ride as a whole, all I did was show up, sign a waiver, and produce my driver’s license. There were only four of us for the first two rides so we walked outside, got a safety/route brief, then hopped on the bikes we wanted and followed the salesman around a preplanned loop. Once I was done I walked inside and thanked everybody. They asked me a couple of questions about what I liked and didn’t like and that was it. No pressure to buy anything, no talk of price, just, “Thanks for coming out today. Stop by whenever you’re ready.”

Stock, both the XC and XCT were perfectly comfortable for me. The handlebars were in a good position, the floorboards were roomy, and the seat was comfortable. It didn’t have as much lower back support as my Corbin but still was nice. We didn’t have many curves but I tried to hang back and toss them around when I could and the handling was pretty impressive. No swinging wide or lane incursions. Very smooth with a nice plush ride. The power was nice and smooth through the whole range. I never felt like I had to hang on for dear life but a good twist got the bike moving in a hurry. I tested it out from a stop sign and accelerating through 70mph in third gear I decided to ease off the throttle. I was only able to lug it significantly in sixth gear at lower rpm. On that note, 70mph in sixth was 2700-2800rpm and 70mph in fifth was around 3100rpm. I never messed with the cruise. The radio on both sounded great even at 60+mph. The controls made sense and were easy to reach with my thumb.

Anyway, the first bike I rode was a stock blue XCT. Great looking bike. Didn’t feel too heavy getting it on and off the stand. It had lowers with adjustable vents, adjustable wind deflectors on the fairing, and a windshield that came up to about the top of my head. The engine in this one was a little strange but I attribute that to being a demo bike and this specific bike because the XC didn’t do it. When I rolled on the throttle hard, it sounded and felt like someone was hammering on the engine. Initially it turned me off but after trying a different bike without that “characteristic” I got over it. This is the bike that I originally thought I wanted.

My second ride was a black XC with Stage 1 Victory tri-oval exhaust. The sticker showed that was a $1000 option but they did sound nice. Another looker. I was behind someone who rode this bike on the first ride and it had a good sound without being obnoxious. Anyway, the XC had a shorter windshield, no trunk/top box/top case/whatever you like to call it, and no lowers. I ended up liking this better than the XCT. As much as I like the fairing, I felt like I was in a bubble on the XCT. With the XC I could still feel like I was more “in the wind” if you will. I know that on the Tour model you can open/adjust the lowers and wind deflectors to get more or less wind on you so that’s something I’ll keep in mind as I keep thinking about what I want next. Of course with the shorter (chest-ish high) windshield came some buffeting but not a deal breaker. The radio sounded good on this bike even without the two trunk speakers that the XCT has. Victory has a quick release passenger backrest which was on this bike. It looks similar to the wide Cobra pad and doesn’t detract from the look of the bike.

Both bikes had toe only shifters. My only real complaint with them was the brake pedal. Maybe I’ve just gotten used to the big car sized brake pedal on my bike but these were noticeably shorter, to the point that I had to press my foot against the brake pedal lever to be able to reach the pedal. It’s actually a peg, more like a shifter. Probably replaceable and maybe not even an issue for some people.

So, in summary, I went there lusting for the XCT and came away liking it but now favoring the XC (with tri-oval exhaust). I like them both but I’m not sold that this WILL be my next bike. I won’t be selling or buying for a while but I’m starting to do my research now. The good news is that I’m reasonably sure that if I found a good deal on either model I could buy it and be perfectly happy. But, I still have some other models to test out first.



 

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Nice write up!

I have tested the XCT and the Vision. I really like the Victory line-up.
The dealer network lacks something to be desired though. There are two dealers within 100 miles of me (in a major metro market); I wouldn't buy a bike from either.

I know when people see the Vision for the first time, it usually doesn't make much of an impression; but that is a VERY cool(enjoyable) bike to ride.

The Vics are air/oil cooled and the engineering is great for performance. But, I took a XCT out on a 100+ day, and the thing was HOT. At stops I had to sit with a "wide stance" or my legs would cook. In FL that is something to consider.

I actually have a spreadsheet at home with several tabs comparing everything between the Voyager and the XCT. It wasn't an easy decision but for me the Voyager won by a hair.

You finish by saying you have some other models to test; I would definitely recommend giving the 1700 Kaw line a look.

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The dealer network lacks something to be desired though...I would definitely recommend giving the 1700 Kaw line a look.

Scott
That's one of my concerns with Victory. We have two dealers within an hour of me right now but I don't expect to be here more than a couple of years. Places I could move next aren't so well equipped.

The 1700s are in my list along with a Road Glide, a Concours 14, and maybe some sort of dual sport or adventure bike.
 

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I know the dealer closed up that was near me. I am not sure where the next one is at. I can get parts from a place not to far but shouldn't need many of them if new. Maybe with better economy they can expand more.
 
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