I first rode Victory bikes more than five years ago, when General Manager Mark Blackwell had just finished replacing the unfortunate looking first generation models with delectable new ones, while adding more technology to the air & oil cooled V-Twin, and improving the quality of components and assembly of the bikes.
|The Cross Country is up there in terms of style and room for two. Speaking of which, we loved the roomy side bags and the easy to open covers. (Photo: Philippe Champoux/Moto123.com)
And guess what, that statement and the newest Victory product reflect the same attitude and progress today, with the Minnesota giant having announced two new touring models in late 2009, the Cross Country and Cross Roads, both milestone models from where I sit, more so in my eyes than the “unusual” Vision line.
Victory lent me a 2010 Cross Country
machine during my extended boondoggle at Daytona Bike Week 2010, enough to let me confirm my already favourable impressions of the machine, based on looks and ancestry.
And by the way, Victory readily admits that the Cross Country is aimed directly at the Harley-Davidson Street Glide
, something that is easy to see when you compare the looks of both machines. Coincidentally, the Cross Country also resembles another Street Glide imitation, the 2010 Yamaha Stratoliner Deluxe
. Victory and Yamaha are not ashamed to imitate what works with the competition – the gloves are off!
The 106/6 – Still crazy air cooled after all these years!
From day 1, Victory had a winner with their 100/6 engine and drive train: no ugly rad in sight, a clean design for the cylinders and base, no big bulge on the clutch side, no unsightly wires and tubes everywhere, compact three-valve heads, a well programmed electronic ignition-injection system, easy-to-use clutch and six-speed gearbox, and silent and maintenance-free belt for final drive.
The latest version of the 1,731cc (106cid) engine produces 87.5 rear-wheel hp @ 4,900rpm, and 99.7lb-ft of torque at 3,900rpm. This generous, vibration-free performance is on a par with the smoothest metric cruisers, with only the storming 109s from Suzuki feeling stronger at the top end. But since cruisers spend their whole lives below 3,000 rpm, the Victory shines and keeps up easily with the very best touring bikes out there.
|Victory led the way with the 1998 92/5 engines in terms of clean looks, with no undue wires, tubes, or bulges. As you can see, "What looks right is right" still applies today. (Photo: Philippe Champoux/Moto123.com)