Racer looking for a more relaxed ride - Victory Forums - Victory Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Default Racer looking for a more relaxed ride

Figured there had to be a victory specific forum out there and sure enough here it is. I've been riding for about 14 years on standards, sport bikes, sport tourers, dirt bikes, and dedicated track/race bikes. Lately me and my girl have been doing a pretty good amount of 2-up stuff including an annual ride to VT that covers about 800 miles over a 3 day weekend. We've done it on my 919 and my Futura and both managed fine but neither were all that great over time. So between that and a general desire to try something different I've decided on a big slow bike to add to the stable.

Originally I had been drooling over the Judge but the lack of a comfy back seat nixed that so now I'm looking at a Cross Roads. I'm hoping to take one for a test ride either this weekend or next and based on that will probably be pulling the trigger on one before the month is out.

Figured I'd dig in here a bit and see what I could learn about the bikes before I actually bought one though. At the risk of being the typical noob failing to use the search function I do have a couple questions that I couldn't find a specific thread about so please bear with me or direct me to the appropriate threads.

1) Every brand or model has it's own set of common problems and common fixes, it's just the nature of a complex machine to be imperfect. What should I expect with a new victory?

2) Beyond common issues, what are the common mods that either improve performance, reliability, or comfort?

Thanks everyone, I'm looking forward to throwing a leg over something a bit more relaxing than my usual rides and will be popping in more once I get one if it works out.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 01:54 PM
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1. I know this is hard to believe- and my statement may be incomplete- so stand by for more replies. These things rarely break down- and there are no mechanical, driveline, chassis issues with enough statistical significance to trigger any kind of "these are known for that" comments. You read of some flaky front fenders on the Vision, cruise control units might not be as weather- robust as they should be.... (mental gears smoking) transmissions are noisier than some bikes- nothing is actually wrong, but it prompts a lot of questions.... that's all I can think of.

2. I'm not much into mods, so I'll defer. LLoydz is top notch Victory engine builder. Most of the best vendors are right here on the forum, and too numerous to post about- just have a look.

2014 Judge(Havasu Red) PC-V - ATS(+4) - RPW Boom Sticks - HOHVM1-DR cams - Torque Tubes (dyno sheet) 1/4 turn throttle - OPT7 LED headlight kit - OEM bags, backrest, and W/S
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 02:50 PM
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as all Victory's are now sold with a 106 inch engine with significantly more torque than a comparably built Harley... I dont think you will be disapointed in the performance aspect of any Victory as compared to most other cruiser style bikes.. even my 92 inch engine has a hell of alot of "grunt" to it when i twist the throttle.

And the saddle bag storage space on the cross bikes is really impressive and probably enough for weekend trips.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 02:56 PM
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Cross Roads owner here with 4 years experience. Came from metrics with over 62 years of riding under me and never liked cruisers. Long story short; Victory made a cruiser that a cruiser hater can love in the XR. Very versatile bike, I use it for in town errands and road trips that take days or weeks. No problems; the extended warranty is a waste. So comfortable you'll need No-Doze. Huge bags. For 2 up, get the Lock & Ride passenger backrest and rack--no cheap but very useful and removable. Wind/rain protection is great, especially if the fork mounted wind deflectors are added.
So powerful, mods aren't required like on another bike make, but if you desire more, it can be had easily and cheap with Lloydz adjustable timing wheel. You can toss $$$ at noise, air filter, controller--nice, but not really required.
A lot to like; comfort, handling, dependability, power, contemporary looks, ease of maintenance, huge suspension travel, long floorboards, blah, blah, blah.

2010 Midnight Cherry XR. 7Jurock, Lloydz AF, ATS, AFR tuned VFCIII, IAV, and T-6 and locally repacked pipes = big smiles. SOLD to a dear friend, so it's still in the family."
2017 Spyder F3 Limited - keeps this old guy in the wind and riding with friends.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 03:15 PM
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Search Engine--Muahahahahah
Most are a pain at best an many are just a pain with no best

XBikes have been noted to have cruise/radio problems when they get wet. It is a well known problem, but sporadic enough that many haven't had it. Seems the cruise can be solved by packing the cruise link box (not a tech term) found by following the cable to the box under the tank. Mine has yet to have problems but some have.

Wiring is a bit of a paradox. It seems a little anemic but that is my opinion and not that of Vic. Pull the seat and make sure the wiring harness isn't being crushed. It can cause all kinds of headaches, BTDT, but is a simple rerouting and very sporadic itself.

A few quirks, some will make you scream, comfortable for me and my pillion after a seat swap (we never got along with a factory seat on any bike, knew it was coming right up front), enough power to get down the road. Don't get in to a tight situation until you get about 5K on the engine. They take a long time to break in, almost got creamed passing a car the first hundred or so miles.

Transmission is loud. I have yet to see a forum on just about any bike someone wasn't griping about the shifting. Spend some time with it, it'll come together and you'll get it quieted down. Seems reliable after the electrical problems were figured out. Did I mention to make sure the wiring harness wasn't being crushed? LOL

Good storage, good ergos for the most part, good enough to get me off a Goldwing and look over a Venture. Had both, loved the Venture and plan on having another some day.

Upgrades, well there are plenty to go with and probably cheaper than most to get somewhere with, so they are there if you think you need them.

I'm probably about as critical as they get with Victory. Was treated very poorly by my dealer and even worse by the company. I don't like being ignored. Never have been, and hold this against them. The weak link as it were. If you get a good dealer use them and let them know you appreciate them. They are your best friend or worst enemy in a warranty situation.

Still though it has been about the best rider I have ever been on. Responsive, good road manners, good brakes, (oh, change the pads on the front. Mine sere ok but the EBC HH are much much better), decent gas mileage for what it is, and very neutral in handling.

Happy Shopping

Some people go their whole life wondering if they made a difference, Marines don't have that problem.~ Ronald Reagan

2012 XCT, AFR+ Gen 4, Lloydz air filter. I don't equate noise with power.
I ride with the Force.

Last edited by Lostintexas; 04-03-2014 at 03:22 PM.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-08-2014, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses everyone. I'll be sure to keep my eyes open for wiring or cruise issues if/when I make a purchase. I had hoped to test ride on last saturday but when I called the dealer to ask about it the response I got was "if you want to come in and look at a few things we're here all day" me: "I know exactly what I want, just need to ride it and make sure it's actually something I like" them: "oh, well we might do test rides next weekend"

I get that dealers have plenty of tire kickers that just want a joy ride and don't plan on buying anything but still, offer to set me up with a test ride even if you make me sign all the papers first with the promise (written of course) to tear them up if I don't like it (and assuming I don't bin it).

Gonna give that dealer one more chance as I spoke to a different salesman than the first time I called. We'll see if the other guy is a bit more responsive but if not there's a couple other places I can call.

Short of a major issue I don't really care about warranties. I'm set up to rebuild everything on a bike except a gas charged shock, including motors and forks so I just do my own work.

Anyway, we'll see what happens this weekend. If I find a dealer that lets me throw a leg over and take one down the road I might just be posting up "my new toy" pictures soon. In the meantime I still have some wrenching to do on the racebike, and only 17 more days to get it done.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-14-2014, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I got my test ride in on saturday. Holy hell was I impressed. Granted I have pretty much nothing to compare it to having never owned a cruiser of any kind other than my girl's '83 shadow 750. I've also never ridden any form of cruiser (other than said shadow) for more than a mile or so. That said, I really didn't expect what I got from that XR. Incredibly easy to pick up, surprisingly agile for it's size, fanfreakingtastic ride quality - somehow striking a perfect balance between plush and controlled, great power, and comfy for both me and the Mrs.

We tested a 2011 used standard since the 8ball they had is still in the crate. After looking over our options (8ball in the crate, classic in the crate, used standard with 12k, used classic LE with 1900) we ended up going with a 2013 Classic LE. Used but only 1900 miles on it and immaculate. Has the chrome bag guard rails, chrome tri-ovals with correct map, and then all the standard bits and bobs. Not what I was really planning on but she liked the look of it more than the 8ball and I have to admit, once I saw the red and cream in person it definitely struck a chord with me. Not thrilled with the prospect of cleaning all that chrome but oh well.

When all was said and done we made a deal for the bike, a backrest for her, and a touring seat since we both found that to be a bit more comfy than the studded stock seat (though I will probably have the new seat studded to match the bags). Total cost is just about exactly what I was expecting to pay for the 8ball by itself (and would then have had to add a seat and backrest to). Left a deposit on saturday and will be picking up either Friday or Saturday of this week. Figures the weather all this coming weekend is supposed to suck so I probably won't get to play with my new toy for a bit.

Pictures to come once I take delivery.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-14-2014, 03:47 PM
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I did the same as you,buying a 2010 cross roads in feb. It is very comfortable once you get used to riding with your feet out in front of you. On the first few rides I would leave a stop and try to put my feet on the pegs under me and they are not there. Also at higher speeds the wind would blow my feet off of the floor boards. The fork mounted lower wind deflectors cured that. As soon as your bike is off warranty install loydz cams and air cleaner. You will be amazed at the difference. No special tools are required. Yesterday I was cruising behind a 1098 duc at 90 mph for miles. The bike is very stable and will still pull hard from there. Good luck with your new toy.

2010 cross roads
Lloyd's air cleaner
Timing wheel
DR cams
Thrush muffler
PC5 Dynotuned by Lloydz
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-14-2014, 05:55 PM
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I'm in a very similar situation. I've been riding sportbikes since my late teens, turning 30 in a week, and just bought my first tourer on Saturday. I picked up a 2013 Cross Country Tour, for exactly the same reasons you listed. The lady friend and I want to start taking long trips and visit family and friends out of state. Unfortunately, she doesn't appreciate riding on the back of my '05 GSXR1000 for more than an hour, and I can't handle it for much longer than that.

In regards to your original question on reliability -- not that I have much first hand knowledge yet, but I've been researching since June or so of last year and haven't encountered a single "gotcha" from Victorys. My family (father's generation) is filled with HD riders, and while they haven't had any serious problems, there have been a couple of eyebrow raising issues with nearly brand new bikes.

I was kind of uneasy (and still am) about riding such a big heavy machine in traffic, given how much less maneuverable they are in comparison to a sportbike (and how much harder they are to stop -- I can do stoppies with 2 fingers on my GSXR), but my plan is to drive even MORE defensively than I already do. By that I mean always expect everyone to not see you and to pull out in front of you, which if you are level headed odds are you already do anyhow. /ramble

Welcome aboard! Maybe we'll all end up at a rally somewhere .

2013 Bronze Mist Cross Country Tour [still stock :)]
2005 Blue & White GSXR-1000 [ECU flash tune w/2-step, -1/+3 sprockets]
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-17-2014, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Picking up the new girl day after tomorrow. I'm somewhere between terribly excited and totally ambivalent if you can believe that.

Part of me wants to go right this second, get the bike, and spend all weekend racking up the miles. The other part knows that I have 7 days (5 of which I either have work or other commitments to deal with) in which to finish getting my race bike reassembled before it's time to drop the visor and get back to work in the grids. Water, oil, body repairs, primer, paint, some wiring, and some plumbing all remain to be done before I can fully reassemble and make sure the thing actually runs. Nothing like a bit of preseason stress to get the heart pumping.

REALLY don't have time to give up half or more of my saturday to get the new toy but damn I want it in my garage already. So torn....
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