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I had a chance to attend the International Motorcycle Show over the weekend where I could get some time looking over the CCT. I think I visited the Victory area 5 times! In comparison, I felt the HD Ultra was a good comparison model. I liked the CCT very much, but some of it made me feel like I'd be settling over some other manufacturers.

I am curious about thoughts on some of the what seems to be issues with not well thought out "completeness" of the CCT. Things such as the switch pods and wires that hang down from the molded parts of the throttle and clutch bar ends. Or the rear brake master cylinder and reservoir that are in the open. The rear brake pedal that felt flimsy and loose. The exposed clutch end where it goes into the transmission. And the front "grill" that looks like it was an afterthought to cut it with a jigsaw to make room for the exhaust pipe.

I know these may be minor, but it seems like Victory did not put forth the the effort to complete these properly and leaves the bike feeling somewhat like these were afterthoughts added on or left undone to get the bike into production. At least these should have been addressed on later model years.

The HD on the other hand was very "complete" and everything seemed to fit with what I would expect for a $23k + motorcycle. I realize there is a huge difference in $'s available for product development between these two companies, but to me these could be a deal breaker.
 

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I agree with you to a certain extent. A Road Glide Ultra was my other choice. I went with the Vic after a long test ride on each, back to back. Also, I have a good friend who owns a very good indy HD shop. That combined with my previous HD experience help me choose.

The HD offers the best paint and chrome in the business. Very robust materials and attention to detail. However, their design is still poor in some areas. We still have cam chain tensioner issues, a poor oiling system, excessive blow by at sustained highway speeds, and sufficient vibration to make all the stuff that fit when new, fall of the bike as you tool down that stretch of 50 highway in Nevada. The isolation of the motor and suspension make vibration apparently go away while you are riding, but it's there.

Knowing all this did not keep me from considering the HD. It's a very complete touring solution, no doubt. And the above issues are easily fixed, but costly. After spending 23-25k on a HD, I'm not eager to spend another 2.5 to 5 k on fixing it in the first year or two.

I think the Vic has a far better mechanical design in so many areas, and that was more important to me than finish.
 

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There's an old saying; Beauty is only skin deep.
 

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to me it comes down to two things,something you can ride
and rely on,or something you can polish and admire the
shiny bits..:crzy:
 

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Some I agree on and some is just taste.

There are some shortcomings on the XCT, most of them aren't what you mentioned. The controls is a black eye. They are iffy as to the ergos and weatherproofing. Speaking of that, the weatherproofing is iffy on some. I haven't had problems, but the cruise, radio switches have been a point of concern when water hits them. There have also been reports of condensation in the weather head on the radio itself. Not all have issues, but they are out there.

The brake pedal is a matter of some hot topics, however, it works well and really is a solid piece. Some have noted play in the levers for the brake and clutch and it is a cheap fix, but shouldn't need to be. No problems in that department for me either.

The reservoir, well it is just what it is. Not sure where HD puts theirs but the Vic is easy to service, and it does need service every year or two, and really a non issue for most. In fact Victory is a VERY easy to service bike as compared to almost anything out there. If you don't like it dress it up and roll on, same for the cam tension bolt covers.

The clutch, well there is a cover for that too, but I think on a high price machine it should have been hydraulic. I am not really fond of it and think it is kinda cheezy but it makes for easy service so not all a loss.

Not sure about the grill. I guess since I don't notice it, it isn't a problem for me. Besides it is hard to see from the seat, so no worries. LOL

Paint is a bit soft when new, or was, and some have griped about that. Wiring really needed to be a notch heavier IMHO, but guess it is adequate.

Latches are old school and work well. Wish it had a central lock for all the bags, but oh well no real biggie.

If the HD is what you want, go for it. I'd be on one if the math wasn't so fuzzy. I'm on the fence if I will have another Vic, mostly because of my dealer. Wait!! The dealers are the reason I don't own a HD,,,,,,hmmmmm.

Victory's are about as good a rider as I've ever been on. My last 3 bikes were 2 Ventures and a GW, so I have ridden some good ones. It has some really concerning potential problems, but none that I've dealt with yet.

Happy Shopping
 

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L-I-T: well said.
 

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The reservoir, well it is just what it is. Not sure where HD puts theirs but the Vic is easy to service, and it does need service every year or two, and really a non issue for most. In fact Victory is a VERY easy to service bike as compared to almost anything out there. If you don't like it dress it up and roll on, same for the cam tension bolt covers.
A couple ears back, a forum member put out these reservoir covers. I don't remember who it was and I haven't seen these pop up since. Maybe someone would like to step up to this plate?
I have since lost the cover as it was glued on the OEM cap and apparently the glue did not hold. But the OEM cap looks just fine, so the sleeve part is all one really needs. I think the sleeve affords protection from rock hits too.
 

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...snip...

The HD on the other hand was very "complete" and everything seemed to fit with what I would expect for a $23k + motorcycle. I realize there is a huge difference in $'s available for product development between these two companies, but to me these could be a deal breaker.
Oh, heck, I'll chime in.

About fit and finish, I mostly agree.

It's all what you're looking for in a bike.

After visiting Vic dealers and the Vic area at the NYC show a couple of years, I actually grew to like the Vision. When it first came out, I thought it was too Buck Rodgers for my taste. However, when I compared the room in the Vision's topcase and -- especially -- saddlebags with the XCT, well, THAT was a deal breaker for me (and so I bought the XCT). When I do multi-day trips with my wife, we need all the room we can get. I suppose I could buy a trailer for those trips, but I don't want to spend that money just yet. My point? Deal breakers come in all kinds of flavors.

I owned a Valkyrie Interstate for seven years, and spent a couple of thousand on aftermarket shiny bits. And that's out of my system now.

I ride all sorts of Harleys every year at Americade (which is less than an hour north of where I live). I really like the fact that HD lets you take the bikes out on your own for the demo rides (except for the V-Rods). And I have a Harley dealer about five minutes from my house. (A Vic dealer is about 20 minutes away, but I bought my XCT about 160 miles away -- different story).

However, I never felt really comfortable on an HD. I'm not a big guy -- 5'9", 30" inseam -- but I felt cramped on even the biggest Harleys. The floorboard length is way longer on the XCT. I know, you can get highway pegs, but I don't need to on the Vic, and so my feet are never that far away from the controls.

If you do your own maint, having to put oil in two places on the HDs could be a deal breaker. The Vic is great for DIY maint... except for the fuel filter and air filter.

Handling and ground clearance is much better on the Vics. If you're a fan of serious twisties, that could be a deal breaker against getting an HD.

IMHO, Harleys are more finished and polished, and have better paint. The Motor Company has had a long time to perfect that stuff, and it shows. They've had a long time to perfect their engines, and it doesn't show. Go figure.

I'm not particularly fond of the cables and switchgear on the Vics, or of the rear master cylinder, or how you add air to the rear shock on the XCTs. Or Vic's dropping the HID for the '13 and '14 XCTs. Or how you can't bring the bars back on an XCT using just risers. Or the slop in my shift lever; I bought new OEM sleeves for that a few weeks ago, and will put them on before riding season starts for me.

But after two seasons and 18,000+ miles, the XCT has been stone cold reliable for me, and handles great on the highway and in the twisties. And has a very low C of G and let's me easily flat-foot it at stops; those are the primary reasons I got rid of my Valkyrie after seven seasons, i.e., that was yet another flavor of deal breaker.

So, yes, you're right, the HDs probably do a better job in the fit-and-finish department. But in order to come up with a deal breaker, you have to ask yourself what's critical to you in a bike, how do you use it, and so forth. If it's fit-and-finish, hard to go wrong with a Harley.
 

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I had a chance to attend the International Motorcycle Show over the weekend where I could get some time looking over the CCT. I think I visited the Victory area 5 times! In comparison, I felt the HD Ultra was a good comparison model. I liked the CCT very much, but some of it made me feel like I'd be settling over some other manufacturers.

I am curious about thoughts on some of the what seems to be issues with not well thought out "completeness" of the CCT. Things such as the switch pods and wires that hang down from the molded parts of the throttle and clutch bar ends. Or the rear brake master cylinder and reservoir that are in the open. The rear brake pedal that felt flimsy and loose. The exposed clutch end where it goes into the transmission. And the front "grill" that looks like it was an afterthought to cut it with a jigsaw to make room for the exhaust pipe.

I know these may be minor, but it seems like Victory did not put forth the the effort to complete these properly and leaves the bike feeling somewhat like these were afterthoughts added on or left undone to get the bike into production. At least these should have been addressed on later model years.

The HD on the other hand was very "complete" and everything seemed to fit with what I would expect for a $23k + motorcycle. I realize there is a huge difference in $'s available for product development between these two companies, but to me these could be a deal breaker.
I think Harley is hard to beat when it comes to fit & finish. But, you only told us the things you found on the Vic. We all want to be proud of our bikes but there is more to it than fit & finish. Nothing on the Ultra? Except for the VRod, all Harleys look like classics that they have looked like for many years. Look at where the oil filters are located and why you have to slop oil over the Harley engine everytime you change it. They have had a lot of years to come up with a better design that that. The price of oil changes. Engine issues...
Bottom line - we are still looking for the perfect bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks everyone. All very good comments and it sounds like what I was seeing is in many cases what it is. The Victory could use more attention to detail, but is nonetheless very functional and an excellent motorcycle.

I was hoping that the show would confirm my decision to purchase a leftover 2013 using the $1k show special off of any Victory. I guess I'll have to wait until warmer weather so I can rent a new CCT and a HD Ultra to see which is the right bike for me.
 

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I've had Harley's for 36 years. 3 of them. A 77 Shovelhead, a 97 bagger and a 05 roadking. I loved the roadking. I am also not one to let my bike sit in the garage much. It had 3,000 to 4,000 dollar in performance mods in it. It went very well (for a Harley). Between the 3 bikes the total mileage is between 300,000 and 400,000 miles. My stock XCT would kick it's ass bad. Both in a straight line and in the corners.

If you are a rider, the Victory is for you. If you are a posser HD is for you.
 

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Harley has a century more motorcycle manufacturing savvy under its belt than Polaris. There really is no excuse for the MoCo to be criticized for fit and finish. They wrote the book on what is The American Motorcycle. For that reason alone curb appeal is a foregone conclusion.

Victory clearly is the product of a powersports manufacturing sensibility. It's unlikely that you are going to run into folks with big V's tattooed into their arms. Polaris has marketed to a buyer that flips open the garage door and decides which type of machine he is going to ride today. That ethos is evident in the product choices. Smooth, at your fingertips, reliable power with a bunch of bells and whistles, but from Polars wheelers to road machines there is always something going on that experienced riders will argue should have been done differently.

Victory is not the giant killer, but it never was going to be, not pitting motorsport against motorcycle. Except for fielding a sweeping model line up that counters just about everything Harley offers (two notable exceptions, Vrod and Vision notwithstanding) Polaris has not made a concerted manufacturing effort to go toe to toe with Harley. Things are designed and implemented and then punched out model after model, year after year and they work, so what if they are not the best china. Everyday dishes are just fine and peeps can put them in the dishwasher. Well, Harley gets it that it IS fine china that some riders want. It can be fragile, hard to keep up, and not any better at holding a burger than clayware but they have got to have something that looks impeccable in the hutch, and more often than not they want something in the hutch that they can brag on to other folks who have fine china in their own hutches.

Now enter Indian. I still don't see how the one fits into the greater scheme of things at Polaris. Indian appears to be the rarest of motorcycle manufacturers, an emotionally charged icon breathed life into by a soulless, calculating machinery manufacturer. But Indian looks like it can do fine china. How well or for how long fine china can hold up in a house that was built on everyday dishes is anybodys guess.

If it's plain old power, utility and reliability you look for in your two wheels, then Victory has got it gong on. Not saying there is no beauty in the beast but it's like you date the one sister because she's got a pin up bod and a starlets face, then you realize that she's a bitch but her sister looks pretty good too and is a sweetheart.

If uber fit and finish are essential to your ownership experience, rethink Victory or be prepared to do it yourself. Not only does Victory not rise to Harleys standard, Polaris shows zero inclination to go that extra mile with these machines. Indian is Polaris' wildcard and the more comparable marque to go head to head with HD. Will they be the Saturn in Polaris divisional lineup and be allowed to chase fit and finish to the Nth degree? Will Indian go that extra mile to satisfy the fine china folks? Problem with that is, look what happened to Saturn and look what happened to Indian. Maybe Vic is spot on in the motorsport approach. Maybe there is only room for one Harley Davidson.
 

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If it's plain old power, utility and reliability you look for in your two wheels, then Victory has got it gong on. Not saying there is no beauty in the beast but it's like you date the one sister because she's got a pin up bod and a starlets face, then you realize that she's a bitch but her sister looks pretty good too and is a sweetheart.
Haha...This paragraph had me rolling on the floor!
 

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I always like Pop's views, agreed with or not, they are fun and with rare exception, well though out. Maybe always and I just don't get all of it. LOL

I agree. If Vic wants to go head to head with the MoCo, they are losing in most categories.
If they just want to be "Them", well they need to educate their dealer network on how to sell the product and stop trying to compare with "the other guy". It seems futile in some cases and very optimistic in others.
OK, well who then? Honda? nope. Kawasaki? Maybe IMHO Kawasaki is their own worst enemy. Yamaha? Good luck, although Yamaha and Suzuki don't offer some of the higher end rides with luxo touring for some folks taste. Can you say "Bring back the Venture Yamaha?"
Vic can stand on its own and stop the comparisons. They need to start. They have a lot of learning to do IMHO, but they are still relatively new. Some think they are the end all, some just the end. However enough are mddle of the road, and can be held on to and a great base to build on. Just do it right. Offer a good product. The engines are good, the transmission is good, (don't think so? Look at all the whining about transmissions for other brands), beyond that, well it can be lackluster. Most works, some needs improvement and dissing the folks that bought your product won't make it go away. Spend a few bucks. Your bikes are about the most expensive on the road for what they are, so the margin of profit should be there. Vic made it this far by being reliable and cost effective. Losing any of that reputation can be a deal breaker and some of the later offerings seem to be going that direction.
:soapbox::soapbox: OK off of this thing. Cheers
 

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I previously rode Japanese cruisers, mainly because of financial reasons. Honda builds a nicely put-together machine, a good bit better than Kawasaki does. But both had plastic fenders and just generally felt inexpensive in many ways. Not bad, wouldn't even say "cheap", but Vic is a far cry from either of those manufacturers in fit-and-finish, I believe. Well, maybe not such a far cry from Honda, the upper-range cruisers and Wings of course are very nicely put-together. But a hell of a long ways of Kawasaki, I can say that with some conviction.

L-I-T, your assessment of Kawasaki I think is spot-on. In the last couple decades they've done a fine job of getting in their own way in the cruiser market with the Vulcan line. The axed the EN500 in '09, which was a stone-cold reliable, inexpensive entry-level cruiser capable of hanging with much larger bikes thanks to its snappy Ninja engine and 6-speed transmission. They also axed their big gun, the VN2000, which has garnered a remarkably loyal following. They brought huge tech innovations to V-twins in with the VN750, if you stayed ahead of maintenance issues like cam chain tensioners and QA issues like improper final drive assembly. The VN800 offered a little less innovation and a little more reliability. The 1500 has a spotty history at best with its plastic oil gear issue in early models. And the VN1700 has suffered a plague of complaints due to dissatisfaction with the throttle-by-wire, ECM issues, heat issues. You don't hear much about 1600, they fly below the radar. Not a lot of complaints, but I guess not a lot of sales either. Only thing that stood out with them was the Mean Streak not quite filling the "power cruiser" role it was designed too. Also add in almost every Kawasaki twin seems to suffer from a weak charging system for some reason.

Kawasaki's shining star in the Vulcan line is the VN900, which is fairly priced, big, roomy, comfortable, and available in 3 trim lines. It's also bullet-proof reliable and not bad to look at despite plastic fenders and the tail of the Custom looking a bit...unfinished. Big gas tank, big-bike size...sadly, medium-bike power. The 900 feels like a grown-up twin till you roll down the slab. Then you notice. Good bike tho, I rode one for 3 seasons before getting the XR.
 

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HERE WE GO AGAIN WITH ANOTHER "IT AIN'T AS PURTY AS A HARLEY" THREAD!

As a rider of Harleys for about 10 years, I will say they have their place. However---that place is no longer my garage. If fit and finish are more important than style and performance, then HD is for you. Personally I got tired of the $250 every 5,000 miles for the service. Now I do my own oil changes and ride.

I will ask one question---after you quit looking at the paint, clutch, and switches, did you bother to actually RIDE a Victory???? ;) Seriously….just asking…….

Most who choose Vic do so because of the ride and not the paint. Just sayin:D
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for taking the time everyone to post cheers

All very good feedback, but the one comment that really got me was "If you are a rider, the Victory is for you. If you are a poser, HD is for you."

That about sums up why I ride my current bike. It's not pretty to most (09' Kawasaki Versys), but I bought it and have enjoyed it because of how it handles. And did I mention no maintenance to speak of? Great motorcycle!

So no, I don't want to be a poser and would prefer a reliable bike that is "different" in the crowd like my Versys, and performs like a motorcycle should when I get spirited through the twisties!

I think you all answered my question and have helped me to make a decision. Now if only I could get my hands on a 3-D printer I could take care of some of the issues in the OP myself :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
HERE WE GO AGAIN WITH ANOTHER "IT AIN'T AS PURTY AS A HARLEY" THREAD!

As a rider of Harleys for about 10 years, I will say they have their place. However---that place is no longer my garage. If fit and finish are more important than style and performance, then HD is for you. Personally I got tired of the $250 every 5,000 miles for the service. Now I do my own oil changes and ride.

I will ask one question---after you quit looking at the paint, clutch, and switches, did you bother to actually RIDE a Victory???? ;) Seriously….just asking…….

Most who choose Vic do so because of the ride and not the paint. Just sayin:D
Sorry for the duplicate post :eek: But where I live there is no riding until April/May and I was planning to purchase w/o the benefit of a test ride as I have done in the past. This is just a lot more money to spend than I have before on two wheels.
 

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Sorry for the duplicate post :eek: But where I live there is no riding until April/May and I was planning to purchase w/o the benefit of a test ride as I have done in the past. This is just a lot more money to spend than I have before on two wheels.
There is no need or excuse not to test ride Victory before you make a purchase. From Victory's web site you can schedule a demo ride appointment without having to leave the house.

Tech23
 

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I'll chime in, and give you my "How I arrived at Victory" story.

It started for me like everyone i suppose.. I just needed a bigger bike. 95% of all my riding is 2 up and as much as i enjoyed my little M50 (800cc) bike, it sucked on the highways especially under load with me, the wife and gear.

I was at a MC rally and the "Local" (a mere 2 hour ride away) Vic dealer was doing demo rides. Long story short.. what the hell.. I signed up and was in love by the first turn. The cross bike is about 200 lbs heavier then my little m50 but i couldn't feel the weight.. But I wasn't ready sign on the line. I couldn't get the idea of a Harley out of my head. Lucky enough for me the local dealer (a 5 minute ride) had a "test our metal" ride day set shortly after the rally. So off we went to test ride a road glide(top of my list), and a street glide.
I actually rode the Road and street glide, the vrod, the Forty Eight, the Fat bob. :)
There was no comparison in rides.. the Vic blew away the Harleys in comfort, handling, power, brakes, and seat of the pants feel. I ordered my XC the next day. Now, that's just me.. my point.. take a test ride, and remove any doubt. Good luck with your purchase.
 
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