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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My wife and I recently returned home from a 10 day trip from the Seattle area to Estes Park, CO and back. This was our first long trip on our 2013 XCT. In the past, we traveled on a 1600 Vulcan Nomad which served us well. I thought I would share my thoughts after having a chance to really put the new ride through its paces.

First, the load handling capabilities of the bike are fantastic. As you can see from the photo, we had the thing loaded down. Both saddlebags were carrying Cee Bailey liners loaded to the hilt with our personal clothing and sundry items. The HD Premium luggage rack also hauls a load as my Dekker Supreme bag was packed full of gear as well.

I really appreciated the cruise control and the vents in the lowers, as well as the XM radio, which believe it or not we could still hear pretty well even with foam earplugs and 3/4 helmets. That made for some relaxing riding through long stretches where your only real concern is wildlife as there are so few cars.

The wind management on this bike is fantastic, but the RAIN management.....not so much. We got our first (and only) rain test coming south on Hwy 93 out of Missoula, MT heading for southern Idaho. As we crossed Lost Trail Pass, low clouds were spitting pretty good as we kept on truckin'. The cut-out area in the center at the bottom of the shield allows for water to pour in through there like an open ditch....gurgling up in your face and completely covering your gauges and dash. Being used to the exceptional protection of my Nomads large windshield and lowers, I found the design of the XCT to be poorly thought out in terms of rain protection. We spent about an hour or so in rain on this trip....I cannot imagine spending an entire days ride in the rain on this bike. I think the answer is to put some sort of louvre in that space that you can close in a rainstorm, then open again once it clears. My mind is still churning on ideas in that regard.

Mileage.....what can I say. Since most of our riding was long, continous, higher-speed runs, we were able to get the most out of our fuel consumption. What I found especially pleasing was that while riding two-up with at least 50 lbs. of gear, I continually took less fuel at every stop than my buddy who was riding solo on his Vulcan Nomad. I attribute most of that though to the fact that the XCT has a sixth gear where the Nomad does not. Still, if he took 3.7 gallons at a stop....I would routinely take 3.1. My mileage varied between 37 mpg's while facing a stiff headwind, to 50 mpg's riding at high altitude, two-up with no gear. Overall, we usually got between 43 and 46 mpg's.

Seat. Before we left on the trip I had my seats, both rider and pillion, custom fit and upholstered at Rich's Custom Seats in Kingston, WA. Well worth every penny as my bum was very comfy throughout the trip and made a huge difference in our ability to enjoy the ride without thinking about butt pain....:).

Power....again, what can I say. I was nearing home when the biggest test of the trip came before me. Coming out of Yakima on I-82 heading towards Ellensburg are two long, steep (7%) ridges you must climb back to back....and they are brutal. My Nomad hated climbing those...even riding solo with just with an overnight load. With the XCT, two-up, loaded to the hilt, running on 87 octane fuel (I love that)...as we approached the first hill...I ran it up to 76mph GPS speed in sixth gear, hit the cruise control and waited to see what happened. I was blown away as the bike never lost even one mile per hour and flew up that hill with power to spare! I knew right then I had chosen the right bike....cheers.
 

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That was a great review, thanks for sharing. Too bad about that rain and the way the XC fairing handles it. Fortunately, you only had an hour's worth. Lucky that. Now for my questions:
What is the material made of in those inserts on your seats? I've had seats done by Rich's and he's the Master in that field.
You're running 87 octane? No pinging? Does she run as well as when using premium? What mods have you done?
I know those hills north of Yakima very well as I have done them many times in a variety of full size vans loaded to 10,000 pounds. Radar detector on, check for cops, pedal to the metal, make a run for it and still doing a creep near the top.
I hope you had a good trip other than that hour of rain and were able to bag a ton of Colorado mountain passes. Although, one of my favorite passes is closer to home--Lolo Pass on Hwy12 in Northern Idaho.
 

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Great review! I had planned on making that same trip this summer, but from Portland but had to postpone it for next summer...

As for rain management, you may wish to consider the Madstad bracket and a different windscreen. A lot of us have had great success with ours in both rain or shine. Just completed a 500+ mile trip to eastern/central Oregon where i got rained on several times and was impressed with the rain management provided by the Madstad.



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Discussion Starter #4
That was a great review, thanks for sharing. Too bad about that rain and the way the XC fairing handles it. Fortunately, you only had an hour's worth. Lucky that. Now for my questions:
What is the material made of in those inserts on your seats? I've had seats done by Rich's and he's the Master in that field.
You're running 87 octane? No pinging? Does she run as well as when using premium? What mods have you done?
I know those hills north of Yakima very well as I have done them many times in a variety of full size vans loaded to 10,000 pounds. Radar detector on, check for cops, pedal to the metal, make a run for it and still doing a creep near the top.
I hope you had a good trip other than that hour of rain and were able to bag a ton of Colorado mountain passes. Although, one of my favorite passes is closer to home--Lolo Pass on Hwy12 in Northern Idaho.
The blue inserts are real leather, but faux alligator. I was shocked Rich had anything in stock to even come close, but he knew right away that he had something. Once he rolled it out against the saddlebag, we knew we had a winner. What's really cool is how different light really makes a difference in how it looks. You can see in the photo below of my wife and I at the top of Colorado's Trail Ridge Rd. how close it match in the sunlight! Rich certainly is at the top of his field...I was amazing watching him work as he personally sewed all of the upholstery on my seat.

As for fuel, I run 87 octane with no issues or pinging whatsoever. I never noticed any difference from the 92 to be honest (other than the price). First I dropped to 89 for a few tanks, then tried the 87 as a buddy runs that in his '13 XCT as well. It runs like a raped ape on 87....two-up and fully loaded, right up those monster hills out of Yakima! If I'm gonna buy the "good stuff" now...it's gonna be a well aged Anejo...thumb up. As for mods (I assume you mean engine mods) I only have a high-flow air filter, Witchdoctor VooDoo Series HP mufflers with a factory Stage 1 re-flash of the ECM.

We had a great trip....hit some really hot (108) temps in Ogden and Boise on the return, but we somehow survived! Can't wait to roll Big Blue cross-country again on the next trip....cheers!
 

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Gonna hafta try regular gas in mine and see what results. It shouldn't be a problem what with only 9.5 - 1 compression ratio.
If you are ever in the Portland area, the Welcome Mat is out. I'm going to attend the SoundRider Rally n the Gorge at the end of the month, you might want to check it out at soundrider.com. Highlight of the event is a day at the Maryhill Loops Road--included with the registration fee. Lots of clinics and seminars too--kinda like MC 101 there at the Skamania County Fairgrounds in Stevenson.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Gonna hafta try regular gas in mine and see what results. It shouldn't be a problem what with only 9.5 - 1 compression ratio.
If you are ever in the Portland area, the Welcome Mat is out. I'm going to attend the SoundRider Rally n the Gorge at the end of the month, you might want to check it out at soundrider.com. Highlight of the event is a day at the Maryhill Loops Road--included with the registration fee. Lots of clinics and seminars too--kinda like MC 101 there at the Skamania County Fairgrounds in Stevenson.
Awesome....I'll have to look into it. We are gonna hit the Sun and Surf Rally in Ocean Shores at the end of July for a couple days too. Thx for the open door....same works up here as we have several extra rooms for fellow riders!

I put a Cee Bailey dragon on my XC, it takes that gap out entirely, spent a lot on time in the rain recently, not bad at all

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Do you have any pics? That sounds interesting. Can they do a custom size? I have a 12.75 7Jurock shield that is the perfect height.
 

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Awesome....I'll have to look into it. We are gonna hit the Sun and Surf Rally in Ocean Shores at the end of July for a couple days too.
Too bad we can't be two places at the same time. :D
 

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Awesome....I'll have to look into it. We are gonna hit the Sun and Surf Rally in Ocean Shores at the end of July for a couple days too. Thx for the open door....same works up here as we have several extra rooms for fellow riders!



Do you have any pics? That sounds interesting. Can they do a custom size? I have a 12.75 7Jurock shield that is the perfect height.
I think it starts at 7" and goes up to 16" in 1" increments, love the flip at the top, barely any buffeting


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I'm surprised about your problems with rain management. On my 2012 XCT I shut my lower and top vents when I hit hard rain and I am pretty dry. What little water that comes through the opening in the windshield is nothing more than enough to wet the inside of the shield a bit.
 

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Great write up on a great motorcycle. I've been caught in the rain 4 times with my CCT and am very impressed at how little water makes it way onto me. The backs of my hands and water coming over the oem windshield and blowing onto my helmet face shield. No problem what so ever with the opening on the bottom of the oem windshield. I do need to cut mine down though as it's about 3" too high for me. I average very similar fuel mileage as well.
 

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If you decide to come east you have a spot to lay your head at my place in Mary Land. Some great riding out here..
 

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Good write up ! I love my National Cycle 13 inch V-Stream windshield. You might too - Can't imagine it being any better protection than it is right now..

If you want to meet / sit behind it - I will let you know when I ride over from Spokane to Seattle/Arlington area (after recuperating from recent Hernia surgery) PM with your Cell Number. I am very familiar with the Everett area.
 

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I have to agree with everything Kris said except rain. I ran into none. I too have a 2013 XCT (Bronze Mist) and met Kris in Estes Park CO. I too packed double and loaded the Cee Bailey's to the limit! I averaged 44.1 MPG's the entire time and hit 50mpg's 3 times.

Kris and I both came from Kawasaki Nomads "1600" and can't believe the power difference. These Vic's are Beasts!! I'm not a racer anymore but every ride I led I had to slow way down (remember I'm packing a passenger!) because the "other" brand couldn't keep up.

Made that evening's moonshine even more tasty!!cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Good write up ! I love my National Cycle 13 inch V-Stream windshield. You might too - Can't imagine it being any better protection than it is right now..

If you want to meet / sit behind it - I will let you know when I ride over from Spokane to Seattle/Arlington area (after recuperating from recent Hernia surgery) PM with your Cell Number. I am very familiar with the Everett area.
That sounds interesting. Do you have any pics of it mounted on your steed? Thx! I love my 7Jurock shield....it is the perfect height for me at 12.75". I think the easiest fix of all will be to just shove a rag down between the top of the dash and the windshield cut-out if I do have to ride through rain. That will at least keep it from coming through there like it does.
 

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That sounds interesting. Do you have any pics of it mounted on your steed? Thx! I love my 7Jurock shield....it is the perfect height for me at 12.75". I think the easiest fix of all will be to just shove a rag down between the top of the dash and the windshield cut-out if I do have to ride through rain. That will at least keep it from coming through there like it does.
Here ya go....
 

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The Victory XCT is one touring machine. I just got back from a 3000 mile trip. One of the days was almost 800 mile.

The Trip Home from the Or/Ca Gathering

I'll second the Madstad windshield bracket. It's a must have. I've been in a couple good downpours and only about 10 drops went under the shield. Once it went under, it followed the airflow up and over my head.

Here is a picture in the rain.



As you can see in this picture, there is a major gap. The air follows the contour of the windshield along with any water (inside or out).



I have the klockworks flip. Get Madstad's shield. It will flow even better.



As you can see, black is beautiful and faster.



Here is our bike loaded down with a dry bag (sleeping bags) and the tent on top.

 

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The rain protection on the XCT has been a little disappointing. I talking about the really heavy rains. I've thought that the problem was that I'm sitting farther back from the shield than I do on my Royal Star Venture. On the RSV I tuck in behind the shield. On the XCT even at highway speeds it seems a lot of rain comes down between me and the shield. I feel the shield is just too far away to tuck in behind.
I've run a few tanks of 87 octane (only when 91 isn't available). I can't say that I've noticed any difference. Beginning to consider running more 87, but doubt I will. 91 octane is now $.40 a gallon more than 87. On one recent fill I paid $.84 a gallon more for 91! Starting to feel like I'm getting ripped off.
 

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Bruce, maybe this will make you feel better. When home, all of my fill-ups are at a station that sells pure premium (no ethanol) at $4.99/gallon. Am I getting ripped off? Maybe, but I'm not going to have alcohol related problems.
So many have posted that they have tried regular gas with no negative results. I'm tempted to try that too. A little Star-Tron will counter the bad stuff.
 
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