Best bike I have ever owned and how can you go wrong with their current offer to return it if you don't like it!? Good luck!
Well, let's see. He could wait for that silly promo to end and hope the next one is like previous ones: 500$ in parts, $500 in accessories and a five year powertrain warranty or something along those lines. Then he could find out where the ride truck will be in his region and get a 1000 off coupon or he could hunt for a leftover 2012 or wait til September and take his pick from the leftover 13's at thousands off.
But besides the fact that you get no tangible benefit from the ride and return, it's a great promo.
Here's a couple of thoughts from a guy who got a Cross Country Tour last October.
I like the Heritage. It's the MoCo's unvarnished homage bike. But it's still a softail. Wide glide up front. You can't help but notice the handling dif in it and practically anything else. That said, it's particularly striking on a Cross bike because both are heavyweights, but one wallows and the other does not.
The hawg pulls stumps. The Vic doesn't. Since you have some rice history that probably shouldn't be an issue but for some, myself included, the Vic seems lacking out of the gate. It's a problem with the part between the seat and the throttle. More throttle, less seat.
This isn't a 45vee but it's a monster right from the factory up top and that's where the ride is.
You can put what, maybe four times as much stuff in a Cross Country as a Heritage. The bags are bottomless.
You can customize a Heritage all day. Not so much a Cross Country. Plenty of styling options but when it's all done unless you take a plasma cutter and an injection molding machine to it, it's going to still look like a Cross Country but with with some trick details. The Heritage, as with practically everything the MoCo sells can be transformed with bolt ons. If you just drop the cowhide off the Heritage it changes the whole bike. Do that to a Cross Country and it changes it too. It changes it into an unfinished bike that needs the bags put back on RFN. So, socket wrench customizing- point to HD.
If the purpose of engine building is power Vic gets the nod up to a point. You start with two base engines and dump the same cash into each one. The one that delivers a better scorecard for the investment is Vic. Now you reach a point where it gets to splitting hairs but for a streetable machine the Vic base mill gets point. I'm not even considering the Vrod when I say that. Pop never considers the Vrod, ever.
Bang for the buck. You never
have to pay MSRP for a Vic.
Haute coiture- Them walls at Vic are pretty bare. There's some clothing and trinkets but compared to the MoCo or Honda or well, anybody really Vic is light on doo dads. If you judge your riding experience by pounds of fluff then this ain't a good fit.
Potato potato- Nope, point Harley. If you need that song in your ear go to Milwaukee. Watch this board and you will read post after post from guys who keep throwing money and time at getting a "better exhaust note" (Really! I read that). It's not a Harley and if you want the Harley sound you got it on the Heritage and you will not get it on the Cross Country.
Metric/SAE- Again, having had metric bikes you probably come to this party ready to tighten up the millimeter stuff that's all over the Cross bikes. It's not a bad thing. I keep telling myself that but I'm all up in my SAE and I like my dollar bill and I know which little line is a 16th on my tape measure. It's a disappointment that standardization has befallen the American motorcycle. I still like the idea that if you want to ride an American machine be ready to pony up for the tools. The horse, alas, has gotten out of the barn on that nationalist sentiment.
Right side belt and oil filter at the back of the motor. These might be non issues to you but they speak to design consideration. Your Heritage will leave you stranded if you throw the belt. Game over. The Harley is going on the hook. It's not easy to place a new belt on the Vic but it is doable. That's a biggie to me.
When you change the oil on the Heritage it's a game of trying to outsmart gravity and an oil filter. Stupid placement and one that the MoCo is committed to and the customer is just going to have to deal with it. At least Vic did the math.
The long pull. One customization that is readily available on the Cross bikes is wind management. You have options on the Heritage as well but without knowing your riding habits I'm going to guess that you will be more comfortable over a long ride on the Cross bike than the Heritage. Not only from suspension input but buffeting is more controllable on the Cross. Not saying that out of the box it will meet your needs but there is a windshield for any size rider, and lowers, both hard and soft, that dramatically change how much energy you have to expend moving through space.
Fit and finish. Vic could have been the top dog of minimalist design. Without exterior pushrods and with a fully unitized motor/transmission design they are miles ahead of the MoCo in that department. Then they go and do silly, lazy stuff like plastic reservoirs and plastic covers over wire runs and ratty looking wiring looms all over hells half acre just cluttering up the works. It's pitiful. The MoCo does have years on Vic getting fit and finish down but Pop is saying that's an excuse not a reason. Vic has demonstrated some world class engineering and in Vic centrals Poindexter department they know full well that controlling the aesthetic is part of motorcycle design. Vic clearly has made the decision to let this part of the puzzle go. Easy point to HD.
Pros and cons aside, do it right. Ride the Heritage to the dealer (and do try to catch the ride truck. It's big savings). Ride the Vic and then ride the Heritage home. You will have your own apples to apples.