If you like extremes, check out Victory's lineup for 2014: At one end is the sinister-looking, black-painted Cross Country 8-Ball without any chrome or graphics, and at the other end you have the flamboyant and exotically finished Cross Country Factory Custom Paint, which attracts crowds with an available Tequila Gold body paint and flame graphics.
Slowly, but surely, Victory keeps expanding its portfolio with an eye for youthful styling and fresh ideas. The brand makes a statement in the cruiser world with unique looks and thrills capped off by dynamic attributes. The Cross Country not only boasts a one-of-a-kind design, but also friendly ergonomics and a constantly improving engine and drivetrain.
Versatility defines the 2014 Victory Cross Country Factory Custom Paint
This wasn't my first time on a Cross Country, yet it continues to impress me with its easygoing and versatile nature. The aluminum frame, ultra-low centre of gravity, and nicely calibrated suspension make city and highway riding a charm, whether the road is slick or not. This bike displays rare poise for such a large bagger, even at higher speeds. Of course, the big fairing tends to get in the way when you ride through traffic and in tight spots, but it's far from the worst in its class.
Wind protection could be better, mind you: The small windshield may look pretty sleek, but it creates somewhat unpleasant turbulence at highway speeds. Luckily, the Victory accessory catalogue offers many optional windshields of varying heights to suit your body size. One that's 4-6cm taller than the original will probably solve this aerodynamic issue without compromising the look of the machine.
Ideal powerplant for the 2014 Victory Cross Country Factory Custom Paint
|The big fairing tends to get in the way when you ride through traffic and in tight spots, but it's far from the worst in its class. (Photo: France Ouellet)
As is the case with every other Victory, power comes from the 1,731cc Freedom 106 V-twin mated to a 6-speed transmission with overdrive.
This air/oil-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC engine with four valves per cylinder is a perfect match for the Cross Country
. It's flexible enough to re-accelerate smoothly at low revs, and performs best from 2,000-4,000 rpm ― all backed by the sweet mechanical pulsations of a V-twin architecture.
2014 Victory Cross Country Factory Custom Paint in a word: unique
The riding position draws little to no complaints. Thanks to a comfortable seat, and foot-rests that aren’t too far up front, you can stay on the road longer. In corners, the fairly generous ground clearance (by cruiser standards), tight rake, and not-too-wide tires help bring out the Cross Country's playful side. The brakes are powerful, yet easy to modulate, so you can slow down later and faster. ABS is there to rein you in should you get too carried away at the helm of this big cruiser.
Ultimately, the 2014 Victory Cross Country Factory Custom Paint is quite a unique machine even though it uses the same engine and drivetrain as its siblings. The subtler, more laid-back personality is perfect for light touring, while the striking style ensures everyone's jaw will drop in its wake.
|This air/oil-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC engine with four valves per cylinder is a perfect match for the Cross Country. (Photo: France Ouellet)
- Ideal engine-transmission combo for a bagger
- Powerful brakes with ABS
- Aluminum frame
- Predictable handling
- Smallish windshield creates turbulence around the head
- Passenger seat comfort is decent at best
- Hard saddlebags tend to rattle on rough pavement