Victory, a division of Polaris Industries, puts some fun and style in light touring adventures with the 2011 Cross Country
, a motorcycle that will happily take you from one town to another without the handicapping weight and top-heavy front that slow down traditional touring-only models. Here's a nicely equipped cruiser with a modern frame, lively powerplant and obvious panache.
Victory does not shy away from emulating the things that make competitors successful, which explains the similarities between its Cross Country and a certain domestic rival called Street Glide
. The looks and riding position say it all, even though the retro-style fairing hides some advanced technology and design that scream Japanese more than American.
|All the ingredients required for a pure touring motorcycle can be found in this sweet machine from Victory. (Photo: Philippe Champoux/Moto123.com)
With no ungainly radiator, bulky sides or unattractive wires and lines, the clean-looking, no-frills Victory Cross Country only gets first-grade components such as 3-valve cylinder heads that boost torque and fuel efficiency, a compact, electronically-controlled ignition and injection system, a 6-speed transmission that operates flawlessly, and a final drive that uses a silent, zero-maintenance belt. All the ingredients required for a pure touring motorcycle can be found in this sweet machine from Victory.
The heart of the Cross Country consists of a 1,731cc (106 ci) V-twin that produces 87 hp at 4,900 rpm. Surprisingly flexible at low revs, the engine allows you to cruise at under 2,000 rpm and, from there, it accelerates beautifully and without turning a hair. However, I found that it usually works best from 3,000 to 4,000 rpm.
Once you've picked the right gear, there's no need to play with the shift lever; the amazing flexibility I just told you about works wonders when you don't crank the engine up enough. Sound effects will obviously fade a bit, but the trills remain unchanged.
|The heart of the Cross Country consists of a 1,731cc (106 ci) V-twin that produces 87 hp at 4,900 rpm. (Photo: Philippe Champoux/Moto123.com)