Howdy Sarge! Glad I poked my head in on this thread. I am a 33 year Harley ridin' veteran. Navy vet too but that's another story. I traded my Night Train in on a Jackpot but in 3 months talked myself into trading it for a Cross Country (XC). They didn't have the tour model in '11 when I got mine so made it into one later.
The technology and power available from the 106 is amazing with just a few basic changes most people with a garage and handy with a wrench can do. The most difficult is the cams but even that isn't all that difficult. An experienced wrench can do it in a few hours. Anyway, like the HD, the EPA has forced a detuned motor to be sold to us. Unlike HD though; we don't need to completely rebuild the engine to make it both reliable and powerful. A Lloydz air filter, Power Commander V with Auto Tune, cams, a good breathing set of muffs and you will be pulling 108/108+ of tq/hp.
If you are into eye candy; things have come a long way in just the last 3 years.
I don't remember the last time I heard of anyone breaking down. Not saying it doesn't happen, it must, but it's rare.
About the only thing I miss from riding Harley's is that certain sound from the pipes. Victory gets close but it has a steady thrum rather than the miss in there to set it apart like HD does. That is neither good nor bad. It just is.
If you switch to Victory be prepared to listen to some smack from your Harley ridin' friends. Some more than others. Some will not understand at all. If you tell them the truth, that you wanted a better made American bike, they will look at you like you're a space alien. No need to ask me how I know.
When I'm asked why I switched I just tell them I was ready to upgrade. That makes them mad but usually shuts them up. Just sayin'. If they push the point I just tell them I was impressed with the higher percentage of American made parts on the Victory's. That definitely shuts them up. Then, if it's one of those really die hard HD guys who thinks if it ain't a Harley it ain't shit; I tell them I ride alone a lot and wanted to be able to leave the county without worrying about breaking down.
I switched because I was looking at putting 5 grand into the Night Train to make it run the way I wanted it to. I was having trouble with the trans having some slop so I thought I'd just take a look at Victory. I rode the stock Jackpot which had the power I was looking for then found the 5 videos online about the differences in motors and kinda got mad at MoCo for selling a sub par engine at a premium price to where I had to add 5 grand and completely rebuild the engine just so it would be what it should have been from the factory. I had an FLHT at the time too. I traded the JP and FLHT in on the XC and have been happy ever since. Even picked up a good used Kingpin I love ridin' too and I never worry about breaking down or burning oil or leaking oil. They just run and run. I change the oil, tires, batteries, and add gas. That's it. Well; besides the usual maintenance stuff like changing fork oil and lubing a few spots like the cable ends. I like to keep the belts lubed with a teflon spray to cut down on wear and belt squeal.
I wanted to ask about the people who say the Victory's have so much plastic. They don't have any more plastic than HD's in my experience. Maybe they are thinking of the Honda Fury. It has plastic fenders and other spots that would be steel on a Vic or HD.
If I were you I would also take a look at the New Indian. I'd sure like to own one.
My last two big twins... I sometimes wish I could have kept them but I knew they would be money pits in the long run.