I totally agree on both points. Vic has some fantastic bikes out, and so does Star (Yamaha). The Raider has had my attention since it's inception. I've come very close to buying one three times now. Each time I've opted for the American bike. Harley twice, now Victory.
Yamaha is probably the best of the Jap bikes. They all seem to have great fit and finish and good styling to go along with it.
Traded my Yami Warrior on the Vic because it vibrated enough on my 80 mph commute that it put my hands to sleep. Other than it having too small a tank and requiring me to do several things on it to make it comfortable enough to be useful, it was a decent enough bike.
My wife compared riding it after riding the FJR to getting off the roller coaster and riding the model A cars at the amusement park. It really sounded agricultural with an aftermarket pipe.
It also had less ground clearance than the Vic and didn't handle as well. It did have far better brakes though.
The Raider had even less clearance than the Warrior, but it had long peg feelers that could be removed or ground down over time. The Raider's engine felt strong and sounded way better stock than the "blap blap blap" noise mine made. The Raider also seemed reasonably comfy in stock form, where the Warrior was an absolute nightmare.
In any event, the Vic is a better bike than either IMHO.
When I was looking a few years back I really considered the Kawasaki Mean Streak and then I looked at performance specs. With the research I found out I could buy the Mean Streak V-twin(1600cc?) or the Triumph Speed Master (865cc) and get better performance stock compared to stock. I also checked into the insurance cost, the Triumph won out. Had that 2006 Triumph Speedmaster for six years and 74K miles, great bike. I took one to many demo rides. Do like my Victory,but I do miss the little Triumph also,could not afford both. I did do quite a few mods to the Triumph and if I kept it, it would have cost me much more to make the engine even bigger for more power. Insurance was about 1/2 the cost of the Victory,but the engine was 1/2 the size also. The other big plus to the XRs is the wife likes it, she did not like the old Triumph.
I loved my royal star, i made her comfortable and friggin shiny I loved the rarity of the 4 piper. People saying nice Harley, im like look again radiator and 4 pipes lol. But I grew bored and wanted new and more power. I do wish I kept her thou