Slight variation here: XCT, not XR; sorry about that, i.e., some of this is irrelevant, but you might be interested in it (if you're not 100% sold on the XR vs. XC vs. XCT). And you didn't mention what model Valkyrie you have, so I don't know if we're talking the same thing.
I owned a Valkyrie Interstate, bought new in 2000 and sold in 2007. I put 45,000+ miles on it; my Valk gallery is here: http://www.billanddot.com/valkyrie/
I took delivery of a new XCT this March. I now have 3,000+ miles on it; my XCT gallery is here: http://www.billanddot.com/victory-xct/
Advantages of XCT:
- Much lower seat and CofG; one of the main reasons I sold the Valk was that I was having trouble keeping it upright at stops, backing up, parking lots, etc. I dropped it a couple times (foot on a pebble, foot slipped, etc.), and replaced a crashbar before selling it. With a 30" inseam, flat-footing the XCT is a pleasure.
- Much more flexible leg-placement, let-stretching, options. If you've added highway pegs to your Valk, you have two positions; on the XCT, you don't need these (unless you have exceptionally long legs), and can move your feet around.
[Those two were the biggies for me. I'm old enough that I'm collecting Social Security, and do a few multi-day two-up trips each year. I need a bike I can confidently hold up, one that I can stretch out on, one that my wife can be comfortable on, and one that can hold her clothes.]
- Low maintenance: no carbs to sync (for the rest of you, note that the Valk has six of them) or hydro-lock or float-bowls, etc., to replace; no coolant to change; no valves to adjust; no final-drive gear oil to change.
- The XCT - XR, too, I believe - has cruise-control built-in. Hey, that's important to me; I never got around to adding it to the Valk - it's a kludge, and a lot of work - but I did add it to my 650 Burgman (2007- 2012), and it was a lot of work and expensive.
- The XCT has slightly better air-management built in; if you're just talking about the XR, well, ignore this.
- The XCT has a better passenger backrest (I bought an Ultimate backrest - not seat, just backrest - for the I/S) and adjustable passenger floorboards (I bought aftermarket adjustable passenger mini-boards for the I/S).
Advantages of Valk:
- Much cooler engine, i.e., less heat on the rider. Been in a few traffic jams in hot weather on the XCT, and, man, if you're not moving, those low-maintenance, air-cooled, cylinders put out a lot of heat.
- World's smoothest bike engine (at least until the new Beemer straight six)?
- Both bikes have plenty of get-up-and-go.
- Both are smooth at highway speeds; at idle, the Vic 106 is absolutely not
an H-D-like paint-shaker, but it's no Valk, either.
- Both allow easy oil-and-filter changes.
- Both the I/S and XCT have plenty of storage for two-up trips.
- Both have pretty good clearance for lean-angles for twisties.
- Both have a touring range of around 200 miles; the I/S has about a gallon bigger tank, but the XCT gets better mileage (but takes premium, to the Valk's regular).
- Both require you to get the tank out of the way to change the air filter, fercryinoutloud. Boo.
- Both the I/S and XCT are - IMHO - fine looking bikes. Nice lines, you can see through them in the engine area.
mtworks mentioned the suspension, above, but I didn't. The suspension on the XCT is probably better than on the I/S; it's certainly more adjustable, with the analog air amount. However, on my I/S I had Progressive shocks out back and Progressive fork springs in front, so I don't really remember how good or bad the stock components were. They were, obviously, not great, or I wouldn't have replaced all the suspension components. I do remember that the fork springs upgrade was a significant improvement - better bump compliance and
less brake dive - and for very little money.