Tim and David Sutherland own Coastal Victory just outside of Myrtle Beach, and they must be doing something right. You don’t get to be one of the most successful Victory dealerships in the country while being based in a small market without reaching beyond local business. Tim says, “We were a used-car dealership back in ’04. The building we were in had extra room. We grew up riding bikes at the beach, so we started approaching manufacturers to see who was interested in us. Victory was a growing company willing to talk to us, as it needed a presence here. Now, my brother and I are in the top-10 Victory dealers consistently and in one of the smallest markets. We’re one of the biggest dealerships on the East Coast, too.”
A lot of that success has to do with their Victory custom parts line, Hot Vic: “We’re a dealer in Myrtle Beach,” Tim says. “We’ve been selling in-house customs for the last several years and gotten more and more people with more and more interest in custom Victories. Eventually, we felt there was enough support for an aftermarket parts company for individuals and dealers both. Now, we sell all over the world.”
This 2012 Victory Cross Country makes the case for their customizer kung fu more than my writing could hope to, though. The bike is a prime example of what they’ve been doing and continue to do for Victory riders all over the world—give them great custom parts to tailor their rides to whoever they might be. It was also a prototype machine for everything Hot Vic has made since, like the 26-inch front wheel.
You generally don’t see those on anything that’s not a Harley. Just like fitting the big rim to a hog, though, mating one to a Victory frame is no small undertaking. The Sutherlands had to cut the frame neck, add a Kewl Metal triple-tree setup, and even came up with an aluminum block for the chassis neck, all to make sure the Cross Country had the proper rake and trail to ride real nice.
That front wheel might be the star of this show, but it’s got a great supporting cast, too. Hot Vic’s fairing and the new fenders really clean up the Cross Country’s lines, sleeking it out in the process. Between the fenders, Hot Vic’s smooth saddlebags, and Rusty Nash’s inky black paint, this bike is one sexy beast.
It’s also a lot faster. Coastal Victory/Hot Vic turned the Cross Country’s Freedom motor over to KMC Powersports for a serious boost in the pony power department. What the gurus there did to the powerplant can be summed up in one word: Lloydz. KMC switched in several products from that company, including the cam, timing gear, and airbox. Tim Sutherland tells us the upgraded mill dynos out at 116 hp. John Chadwell made the sweet single-sided pipe you see here.
Although this bike was a prototype for the Hot Vic line, it’s a starting point, not the end. Sutherland says the parts line is still growing. Victory has taken note of it too. When I called him in Daytona for the interview, he was meeting with the company later in the week to talk about the good work he and his brother David have done for Victory owners looking for something more personal.