So What's it all Mean?
After putting some miles on each bike, ripping up the back roads of central Texas' Hill Country it's hard to say which bike I liked best. But I guess since I spend a lot of my seat time on a Road Glide, I would say I was more partial to the Cross Country. The stereo, cruise control, and info display in the fairing of the Cross Country is really nice. While I ride with earphones plugged into my iPod, it is good to know there are tunes available if I forget my iPod ((note - iPod accessory allows iPod stowage inside bag with operation via external controls on the bar and song titles displaying in the dash). The fairing is a really sharp looking piece, it's stylish and aggressive. As for handling, both dipped in and out of wide sweepers, tight S bends, and off-camber corners with ease. Maybe too easy, because the more I rode the more confident I felt in the turns which meant increasing my speed and pushing my limits, yet the bikes held their lines, tight from tire to tire with no shimmying or shaking from the backend. Acceleration and power is good; it's not going to snap your neck coming out of the hole but the 106ci Freedom engine will get you and your passenger and all your gear up to speed with ease. Shifting through the six gears was smooth and the overdrive Sixth really did make highway cruising much nicer. My one hang-up on the drivetrain is that is has somewhat of a hollow/tinny sound to it. I know the noise regulated stock exhaust makes a big difference with overall sound, and I have heard other Victorys with aftermarket pipes that sound really good. But from the saddle, with the stock setup this hollow sound just sticks in my head.
First there were the classic Buicks, Cadillacs, and Lincolns. Now Victory has staked its claim with distinctive rear lighting. This super-bright LED setup is found on both models.
First there were the classic Buicks, Cadillacs, and Lincolns. Now Victory has staked its c
Overall the bikes are pretty calm at speed, but being that the engine is a stressed member of the chassis there is some vibration that can be felt in the floorboards, but not so much that it becomes an annoyance. Actually one of the really nice things about the bikes is the extra long floorboards. They provide plenty of room to shift your feet around on long rides and are set up so that they don't affect the lean angle too much.
I like the versatility of the Cross Roads with the ability to quickly and easily remove the windscreen. However, I feel I would spend more time riding without the windscreen. I really don't like looking through windscreens and often feel that no matter how tall or short they are, I always experience some buffeting or the top of the screen often ends up right in my line of sight. If I am not on a bike with a fairing, I'd just rather be in the wind.
One of key points Victory wanted to address with these bikes was storage and making sure that for these to be true touring bikes people could shove a ton of gear in the bags. I will say that I did like the storage with both bikes, unlike the Vision's side opening saddlebags, which can be a hassle to deal with, the top opening saddlebags on both bikes were very easy to use and did hold quite a bit of gear.
Like I said, I enjoyed both the Cross Country and Cross Roads and really look forward to getting both in house so we can really put some miles on them and give you an even more in-depth evaluation.
Like a piece of skinless chicken, you can get a look at what's underneath all that fat.
Behind the shield. Personally I would probably ditch the Lexan windshield on the Cross Roads.
Behind the shield. Personally I would probably ditch the Lexan windshield on the Cross Roa