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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Victory Cross Country vs. H-D Road Glide

I am another of the group of new riders shopping for bikes. I've got some great interaction with both Harley Dealers as well as the Victory dealerships. The Harley dealer is near where I live but the Victory dealer is near our beach place so that's about an even balance.

Both dealers have been super aggressive on pricing so that I can buy a blue XC without the trunk for the same price I can buy a RG Custom in the Sedona Orange. Needless to say, in order to do this the HD dealer had to be a bit more aggressive than they would be with someone else who didn't already have #'s in hand for their competition.

Since I won't have my MSF until the end of the month, I have not yet had the chance to ride either bike so this is more of a "paper" analysis at this point.

Everyone says that the RGC will hold it's value better (+1 Harley). The XC simply "looks better" in that it is more modern and not the "same-ole, same-ole"(+1 Vic). Even so far...

The '11 XC has the 106 engine and the newer transmission. The RGC has the 96 engine (+1 Vic)

But the RGC can be upgraded to a 103 engine (even) which also has a "keyless start" similar to my BMW (+1 HD). They market this as a "security feature" as it also prevents anyone from being able to drive off with your bike without the key within 6 feet (+1 HD). The other "feature" you get with the power pak is the ABS brakes (+1 HD) for an extra $1,500 (Discounted) which makes the PowerPak is the same price as the trunk option for the XC (+1 Vic). Cruise control is an additional $300 option on the HD but included on the XC (+.25 Vic as Cruise is not really a feature I care much about and could always be added later)

Yes, a trunk can also be added to the RGC but it doesn't come with the intercom or the rear-seat audio controls in the RGC and the cost increases would bring the RG Ultra into the picture instead. Then the bike goes from being mostly a "lowered custom" to more of an old daddy tour bike (taller with balance issues) which I (don't think) I really want since 95% of my riding will be solo (wife works in hospital so even getting this bike is not something she is looking forward too and she will likely not ride other than a trip around the neighborhood).

Victory has 3.99% financing and 5 year warranty for peanuts (+1 Vic). Not certain there are ANY financing deals on the HD much less extended warranties available. I generally don't buy extended warranties but would consider one on this bike.

My plans are to ride both after the MSF and make a decision. Based on what I have read so far, I expect that the XC will handle better 99% of the time (due to a lower center of gravity) but that the RGC will handle better in that 1% of critical time that may be the only time that matters (ABS saving my life due to not locking up the wheels) being a new rider.

An extra $1,500 for the ABS/Keyless & 103 engine seems like a no brainer but I think I prefer the XC instead but may regret not getting the ABS while I have the chance. I'd be interested in what others who may have recently had the same decisions have done and why.

Undecide in NC..:crzy:
 

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Study the resale values, and you will find that the great resale of HD is a myth. With the exception of the SE line HD has a higher percentage of loss model to model

Niether the 103 or the 110 make the same level of rear tire power that the 106 makes

Victory does not have to turn to bandaids such as cutting cyl's at idle to prevent overheating

Replacing a belt on the HD pays 5 hours labor, and requires removal of the outer primary, flywheel, clutch, and ineer primary

Vic pays around 2 hours, and requires moving the mufflers, and front belt cover

Vic has one oil, HD has three, and the HD has prolly the dumbest placement of an oil filter EVER

All that said I'm not a hater. Love my 55 Pan, and am building a Flat Side Shovel now. Real HD's have iron cyls!!
 

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Wow, no one can say you've made a snap decision on this one.

Both are nice bikes, but since I just bought the Cross Country, I may be partial. I'd say it will come down to which one you feel more comfortable on. I'm 6'4" and there's just no comparison for me concerning room on the Victory. Most people think of Harley as being a "Big" bike, but I always feel sort of crunched up on one. As for the brakes, I've owned a number of motorcycles and never had one with anti-lock brakes, so I guess you don't miss what you've never had. Other than that, all I can add is that the Cross Country is comfortable to ride, handles well and has good power - And I chose one over a H-D.

visionjohnny posted a good video on my introduction thread - it may help. Not sure I added it correctly, but here it is...

http://www.victoryforums.com/showthread.php?t=4979

Good luck and I'm sure you'll make the right choice for you.
 

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I suggest before going any farther to test ride each. I do not mean a 20 mile ride. If renting is available rent each for at least a day. Tell them if ya like it your buying it. They will or I have always had the rent $$ taken from the price.
A short ride does not qualify as a test on a new to you bike, not for me anyway. This will give ya time to get the feel of each, the pros and cons that You like or dislike.
 

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I suggest before going any farther to test ride each. I do not mean a 20 mile ride. If renting is available rent each for at least a day. Tell them if ya like it your buying it. They will or I have always had the rent $$ taken from the price.
A short ride does not qualify as a test on a new to you bike, not for me anyway. This will give ya time to get the feel of each, the pros and cons that You like or dislike.
Renting is good advice. For a couple of years we might have had more rental miles than miles on our own bikes. We live near Chicago and spent a lot of time (months) flying to warmer places and renting various HD models from Eaglerider. Having said that.........I love my XR and money played no role in the decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks or the feedback

Yep, test rides are in the future after May 1st (MSF Class). I am "average" height and weight (5'10" & 200lbs) for a 48 year old fart cheers so either bike seems to fit me well so far. The Vic is a longer bike so one would normally think that would make it harder to manipulate for a newbie but you can tell simply by sitting on them in the showroom that the Harley has a higher center of gravity and the seat itself is 1.5" higher than the one on the XC so I suspect that the Vic will be an easier ride for a guy like myself. I have also seen the videos of turning in a parking space for the XC. A buddy of mine already owns a Vision but I don't think he has ever riden a Harley so he can't really compare the rides (yet). Yes, I do plan on dragging his arse along for most of these demos as that will give me a "seasoned" (read older fart) opinion in addition to mine and might be the first time he rides a Harley (I will caution this forum that he has always wanted a Screaming Eagle so there is a minimal risk that he could decide to "go over tot he dark side" even while I am buying a XC) :ltr:

I've already consumed the online videos and am a member of about 6 other online biker forums (Victory and Harley). The video is interesting but may not apply to the newer HD engines as HD has addressed many of the issues the older engines had and anything I bought would be under warranty for the next 5 years after which I could buy a new toy if I wanted so the warranty/service issues are cancelled by buying new. I have decided that I will not buy anything older than a '09 Harley should I decide to reconsider used but will go back to an '06 Victory in that same process.
Keep the comments coming. I THRIVE on information overload :D
 

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Just to enlighten you a tad here. KevinX is widely considered in the Victory Community as the authority on Victory motorcyles. On top of that he is a great all around mechanic including HD.

As Kevin stated the 106 puts down a lot of horsepower and if thats not enough you can always upgrade to a Lloydz engine kit. If I'm not mistaken you can upgrade to a 116CI.

Also I do believe that the upgrades HP dollar against HP dollar is less expensive for the Victory.

On top of that the Lloydz engine upgrades are just as bullet proof as the stock engine.
 

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I am "average" height and weight (5'10" & 200lbs) for a 48 year old fart cheers so either bike seems to fit me well so far.
So you're a 48 year old fart - what does that make me at 74?!? Been riding 59 years and hundreds of thousands of miles, so I think I may have some sage advice for a newby rider. Both bikes might be a handful for a first timer. The fact that you are fixated on ABS tells me of your uncertainty. If I were you, I'd buy a lighter used bike and get a lot of experience under your belt. Better to crash that than almost $20 grand and 800 pounds of new, fancy bike. Practice over and over the braking skills you will learn in the rider course, then decide if you want ABS. A skilled rider can stop in less distance, did you know that? I passed on the extended warranty cuz Vics are too damn dependable to blow money on one. Why do you think it was so cheap? You'll spend a ton more $$$ getting a Harley to come anywhere near XC standards. The first time you hit a bump on that Harley with its 3" of rear suspension travel and you compress a few vertebrae, you'll wish you got the XC with almost 5" of travel. And the list goes on. But first, crawl before you run child.
 

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well all good information and true but I might add I just got my xc and I did look hard at the hd and xc demoed them over few times til wife got tired and said well just buy it, I think you would like either bike and hd have improved but the tour pack on the xc comes of 13 seconds and leaves a clean bike the hd quick release leaves rails and is a pai that coming from hd riders. My wife I didn't think she would ride as much as she does women you never know with xc I have both tourer and in 13 second I have a cruiser bagger and they look both good with or without tour pac almost like 2 different bikes.I think the vics handle better thumb up.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
So you're a 48 year old fart - what does that make me at 74?!? Been riding 59 years and hundreds of thousands of miles, so I think I may have some sage advice for a newby rider. Both bikes might be a handful for a first timer. The fact that you are fixated on ABS tells me of your uncertainty. If I were you, I'd buy a lighter used bike and get a lot of experience under your belt. Better to crash that than almost $20 grand and 800 pounds of new, fancy bike. Practice over and over the braking skills you will learn in the rider course, then decide if you want ABS. A skilled rider can stop in less distance, did you know that? I passed on the extended warranty cuz Vics are too damn dependable to blow money on one. Why do you think it was so cheap? You'll spend a ton more $$$ getting a Harley to come anywhere near XC standards. The first time you hit a bump on that Harley with its 3" of rear suspension travel and you compress a few vertebrae, you'll wish you got the XC with almost 5" of travel. And the list goes on. But first, crawl before you run child.
Thanks for the details. Although I did not mention the rear travel, I had internalized it from the web review comparing the two (as well as the Star bike that is not in my choices). The only REAL reason I would buy the warranty is for the transferability of it to the next owner (thinking in the terms of a CPO-equivalences).

I may have more confidence in my abilities than this brief thread alludes. The logic of the larger bike is that I simply have ZERO interest in the smaller bikes. I did originally consider a Jackpot due to the look and the ability to buy a nice used Cory Ness one under $10K but for the type of riding and my style, it would not make sense. In short, if I had to buy a 800 bike first, I would never ride.

I am fairly athletic and was previously a college athlete who performed at national levels in a physical sport so I have no doubt I could easily handle anything given time. And I have all the time I need to get use to the bike. If I lay a $20K bike down a few times I will cringe but I'm not going to be worried about the pennies I am scraping off the chrome in the process. My buddy with his Vision flopped his down a time or two so I already know that is simply part of the process.

One question though about the price comparisons. I know it's not the case with most but I can buy the Harley Road Glide Custom or the XC both for the same $17K (neither with ABS). Aren't those comparable bikes from the two alternatives? The lower Harley HP is not an issue for me at this time and seems to serve most just fine over the years. Many bikers have said that I am crazy but to be honest, I don't think I will ever take the bike over 80MPH. I'm looking for a nice, laid back touring bike that can take it's time to get to highway speeds. I agree that HP may be important to avoid an accident so don't get me wrong, the additional HP of the Vic could come in handy. I just don't have it as a priority in my list of objectives. If I want to go zero to sixty in 3.6 seconds, I'd go back to tracking a Lotus.

I do expect to accumulate a lot of knowledge during the training sessions and one thing I will be doing is locking up the brakes on purpose to see how the bikes react. Once I understand those dynamics (and engineer by trade), I would like to replicate some of that on the full sized bikes but not certain how to do that (ethically) on demo rides. The riding training is at the Harley dealership I have a good relationship with and the manager will work with me on demo rides after the certification. The Vic dealer has the Fuel It trailer coming next month so I can hop on a few Vics at that time so I should have the ability to fully ride both. If I discover that I am "uncomfortable" with both bikes, I'll reconsider adjusting my expectations.

I might also have another option most beginners do not.... My buddy with the Vision also has a Concourse in the garage that he rides every once in a while. I have a feeling that if I wanted to swap bike with him so that I could practice, it would not be an issue. In fact, I'd probably even offer to let him ride mine while I "played" on his for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Study the resale values, and you will find that the great resale of HD is a myth. With the exception of the SE line HD has a higher percentage of loss model to model

Niether the 103 or the 110 make the same level of rear tire power that the 106 makes

Victory does not have to turn to bandaids such as cutting cyl's at idle to prevent overheating

Replacing a belt on the HD pays 5 hours labor, and requires removal of the outer primary, flywheel, clutch, and ineer primary

Vic pays around 2 hours, and requires moving the mufflers, and front belt cover

Vic has one oil, HD has three, and the HD has prolly the dumbest placement of an oil filter EVER

All that said I'm not a hater. Love my 55 Pan, and am building a Flat Side Shovel now. Real HD's have iron cyls!!
KevinX - I've been reading your threads and am trying to gleen as much of your sage advice as I can. I have noticed that the HD resale values are not what HD owner would have you believe. Unfortunately, that actually makes the decisions harder rather than easier. Not in regards to new vs. old but in the fact that I can buy a used HD for less than I thought was possible. I am a sucker for auctions and/or buying people out of "what they owe" on other toys (boats, cars etc) and I have already had some interesting options come my way for a few used HDs super cheap (under $10K) but I've decided that I am only willing to consider the road glide series after the frame change (2009). I've actually found a few under $15K but for a $2K premium, I'd buy new. Now, if someone comes along and needs to "get out from under" their 2009 or 2010 Street or Road Glide HD for $12K....I might be tempted to go to the "dark side"..:cool:
 

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So you're a 48 year old fart - what does that make me at 74?!? Been riding 59 years and hundreds of thousands of miles, so I think I may have some sage advice for a newby rider. Both bikes might be a handful for a first timer. The fact that you are fixated on ABS tells me of your uncertainty. If I were you, I'd buy a lighter used bike and get a lot of experience under your belt. Better to crash that than almost $20 grand and 800 pounds of new, fancy bike. Practice over and over the braking skills you will learn in the rider course, then decide if you want ABS. A skilled rider can stop in less distance, did you know that? I passed on the extended warranty cuz Vics are too damn dependable to blow money on one. Why do you think it was so cheap? You'll spend a ton more $$$ getting a Harley to come anywhere near XC standards. The first time you hit a bump on that Harley with its 3" of rear suspension travel and you compress a few vertebrae, you'll wish you got the XC with almost 5" of travel. And the list goes on. But first, crawl before you run child.

Ric, I think this is the first time I've disagreed with you but hey that's what makes life great, differences in opinion.

I feel you should buy what you want and learn on it. Thats what I did with my JP. I had maybe an hour of ride time before taking the MSF course then purchased Porti right after the course.

Saying that, I took her to the college and practiced on the course there every chance I got and treated the bike with a lot of respect for what it is. A two wheeled, invisible to cagers with no protection machine.

Even now 5 years later I still ride like I'm a ghost and respect my bike.

Practice, practice practice!!

As far as a warranty goes. These are mechanical beings meaning they can break and from time to time there have been Vics that have had some problems.

Personally I would much rather have the warranty so just in case something happens 3 years down the line I wouldn't be standing in the dealership with a $2000.00 invoice saying, I wish I had purchased the extended warranty.
 

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So, I'll extend some advice and leave it to you what you wish to take from it. Ha ha! I have to side with RicZ

First off, no shot here intended, but you mention you were a college athlete and that you're 48...so that's over half a life time behind you. I'm guessing it's dropped off a bit? lol I've seen people start out with a V2K (Vulcan 2000cc) and I've seen people start out with a Ninja 250. Anyone can start on any bike and live to tell about it. I've seen new riders go down on bikes of any size. And I've seen them have no drops until years down the road (pride before the fall, most often). There is no magic formula to keep the shiny bits up when you're starting other than making sure you're comfortable.

And you mentioned the engineering aspect. The problem is that most of the "dangerous" situations on a scoot occur at speed. And there are many things on a bike that are counter-intuitive to how you've been driving since you were 16. No amount of thinking/researching will help you in these situations. Only experience will (i.e. the lot practicing)

The point of something more "manageable" isn't to prevent dropping a bike...that happens to everyone at some point. It's the learning curve. It's much, MUCH steeper on a bigger bike. And it's not just the size. There's the brakes, the weight, the different suspension set up, the extra power, etc, etc, etc. For those who want a bigger bike for style and comfort purposes, one I always heavily recommend is a Vulcan 900. You can pick them up used pretty cheap. They're the same size as a full sized cruiser and handle great. I actually steal Crysti's from time to time just because it's a really fun bike to ride! While it's obviously not as quick as the bigger ones, unless your riding people who go full out all the time, she's never had trouble keeping up, including freeway runs at sustained speeds around 80MPH.

Plus, this route gives some time for a nice, used Vic or HD to show up with lots of those expensive goodies already on it since they aren't worth 50% once used. ha ha!

So, that's my .02c. Keep the change. ;)
 

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Another way to look at things is the XR has a roughly 1:7.5 ratio for HP/TQ to LBS. To get that, you need to be something equivelant to a $50,000 Chevrolet Corvette. Riding isn't the same as driving and how many people think it's a good idea to hand a new rider the keys to a Corvette?
 

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Drive both bikes and just get the one that fits you best and forget about the $$$$ . If you try to talk your self in to one and you might find it with a dead battery .
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Keep the guidance coming guys. I appreciate it all.

Even though I am older, I am still quite active playing USTA 4.0 level tennis, golf, swim laps & even still dive some (I also dove in college from 1 & 3meter platforms). I do realize that there are only two kinds of riders. Those that have laid their bikes down and those that are GOING to lay their bike down. I am actually starting to see if someone has a late model bike that they need to "get out of their payments". About 2 weeks ago I found a '06 Hammer that had only 7K miles on it where the guy simply wanted out of his payments so it was something like $6,500 but at that time I had pretty much decided that I wanted a touring bike rather than a Hammer. Besides, the larger rear tire on the Hammer would have been harder to ride (as I understand it).

I see a number of used King Pins (including one in Raleigh) that I can buy under $8K so maybe I'll give those a harder look after I have done the riding certification.

As far as the "Corvette" analogy goes... There are a LOT of grey haired and balding guys in their 50's riding around in Florida at 12.1MPH so you can drive even a 600HP car at senior citizen speeds if you want too. I do understand that the more powerful bikes may be a bit more touchy so I am "planning" on learning to control them but won't know for certain until the class and then the demo rides. Perhaps I am naive but I am more concerned about the weight and the center of gravity more than I am about the power. If you don't want to go fast, just turn the right wrist a bit less, right?

If I discover that I am not smotth applying power or controlling the bikes, I could decide to step away from buying a bike. However, I am still looking forward to the process.
 

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ndabunka, As you can tell by my sig I've had both. I've had a 2005, a 2009 and two 2010s, I've got in excess of 70,000 in seat of a RG. One thing that has not been mentioned is the ride of the Victory. I spent literally thousands of dollars trying to make my RG not jolt your insides so much it hurt. I told my wife I was thinking about quiting and I've been riding 40 years. Then I test road a Victory and it was actually a revalation if you will. I didn't have to quite, this thing actually had a suspension that worked. It took the bumps and the potholes without jarring your guts out. Needless to say I sold the Rg and bought the Vic. There is a downside though, I can't keep my wife off the thing. She loves it. I look in the rearview mirror and she the most relaxed I've ever seen hear on a motorcycle and that inludes the goldwing. You will not have to modify the Vic to take on an on ramp which I did with my RGs in order to feel secure. There is nothing worse than not having enough power to get out of a situation. Test drive both and you will see. I loved my RGs but after I drove the Vic is was easy to move on. My wife would freek out in a curve,the RG would grind the asphalt, absolutly screw with her head. This has not happened one time one the Vic and I've tried . I love the Vic as you can tell and I've actually been riding HDs since 1983, I would need a sig a mile long to list em all.
 

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good point on the ride . a rg custom has streetglidge shocks and that wont compair . the vic rides better and some how corners like a cat
 
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