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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, new to the board...

I currently ride an '05 Harley Davidson Nightrain and love my bike. We are going to become empty-nesters in couple of years and cannot picture ourselves in an RV. But we ride the Softail together whenever we get the chance. The idea of getting a touring bike to travel and visit children and grandchildren has become something we are keen on. Being a Harley owner I of course went and looked at Road Glides and the newer Electra Glides. I'm no HD sycophant though, I'm constantly amazed at the Motor Company's dated technology and insistence on dated philosophy (for lack of a better term). I'm glad to see that HD is improving their technology for the '14 Electra Glide and the Road Glide is supposed to get some of that in '15 or '16. I've seen Victory bikes on the road and admire them, but haven't paid them much attention.

So anyhow...

As I am looking at touring bikes, I happen on a series of Youtube videos from some Victory dealer about the engine design of Victory motorcycles. The design seems much more technologically modern and/or well thought out. I've looked at the Victory models and like the looks of the Cross Country Touring. It's still cold here, so I haven't test rode either bike, but I hope to when it warms up. I figure I probably won't get a good answer about Victory from my HD friends, so I've joined here to learn about them.

Concerns. Well even thought the technology is more up to date, that doesn't always mean quality control is. I know what the problems with Harleys are, and sometimes people stick with the devil they know over the one they do not. What are your general impressions of the quality of Victory bikes. So far all I've heard from my HD friends is about "all that plastic". Another concern is the dealer support. Victory obviously doesn't have the base of dealerships and aftermarket parts that HD has. What have been your experiences with break downs on the road and dealing with Victory service departments?

And final question for now, is there anything you wish you knew before you bought your Victory. I'd especially like to hear comparisons from people that have, or had a HD so I can get an idea of what you find different. Since I already have an HD, it gives me a base of comparison.

Thanks.
 

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Welcome to the forum. I believe that there will be members here who rode HD's in the past. I was looking at both HD's (Road King) and Victory's (XR & XC) when I landed on my Cross County (XC) this past summer. Loving the bike so far!

Are you thinking about the Cross Country Tour (XCT)?

Good luck as you make your decision. Welcome again to the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Welcome to the forum. I believe that there will be members here who rode HD's in the past. I was looking at both HD's (Road King) and Victory's (XR & XC) when I landed on my Cross County (XC) this past summer. Loving the bike so far!

Are you thinking about the Cross Country Tour (XCT)?

Good luck as you make your decision. Welcome again to the forum.
Thanks for the welcome, and I'm thinking Cross Country Tour. They look good in videos, I've looked at a 15th Anniversary close up, but not a real good look.
 

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I have a 05 King Pin and just love the bike .Have driven a few H.D.s and was never impressed with the power or the brakes .I felt very cramped riding the H.D.s being I'm 6'4''although the bikes looked great. That said the only costs have been oil, filters ,brake pads ,and too many rear tires . The bike has never seen the inside of any repair shop I do all the repairs myself .Granted the aftermarket for the Victory line is lacking greatly compared to H.D.s but that hasn't stopped me from doing a few of my own modifications.
Just test drive one before you decide ,your the one that will have to live with your final decision . Oh and if your better half is planning a lot of time in the saddle make sure she is along for the test ride.
 

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Been riding American iron since Nixon.
Still got Harleys in the shed.
Bought this red bike because I won't give the MoCo any more cash. They got enough of mine and ruffled my feathers with their silly corporate BS one too many times.
Not just spite though. I knew Polaris was going to start building Indians and figured since some asshat stole my Indian and the insurance company was kind enough to send me a check I would spend it on a Polaris product until the new Indian got going. I spent it on a Vic thinking that I could get a trade for the new Chief whenever it came out. Well that new Chief is out.
I'm keeping the Vic. Not to say that I won't add the Chief to the brood, but this plastic bagger is just fine. I don't know what to tell you about dealer networks and whatnot. I need to clip my toenails from time to time but I don't have any more idea of how many pedicurists there are than I do Vic dealers. I don't have much use for either dealers or toenail emporiums.

Here's some of the complaints about Victories.

Speakers are too small.
Shrader valve is not in the most convenient location.
You got to get down on the ground to air up the back tire.
Oil light stays on a few seconds after you shut the bike down.
Key location worry that it will scratch the cover decal.
Got to be just so with the gas pump nozzle or you have to pump slow.
Bike doesn't sit solid on a jackstand unless you shim it.
The antenna is too long.
The windshield on the Cross Country is too short.
The windshield on the Cross Country Tour is too tall.
The Vision windshield is just right.
Some peeps get so mad that the factory says oil change is 5000 miles. A lot of these fellas been doing them since back when they were 2500 mile interval and by gawd if 2500 was good enough for a V92 it's good enough for a Cross bike.
Sometimes, now I hope your sitting down when you read this, sometimes there's a little line of oil seepage at the primary gasket. Not a drip or a trail, but oil actually on the outside of a Victory motor. I've even heard of peeps having to actually tighten them bolts some.

Don't let my sarcasm fool you. There is issues that a Harley guy can't help but see, particularly fit and finish stuff. But, it's a fistfull of reliable balls and you can't help but think that the MoCo has been feedng you the short end of the stick in power, reliability, handling and comfort.
 

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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 ****; 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.
.
 

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I forgot to mention the Lloydz timing wheel. That would be a must have mod too.

My dealership took care of a few issues I had with the XC during the first year. That was the last time I let them do any work on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys for the replies. I realize some HD owners are brainwashed. But then I take that as they are happy. One of my favorite quote about motorcycle choices:

“The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.”
― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

So if they have a good feeling about their bikes, they can be happy. For me, this touring bike is going to be about not having to visit a repair shop while on long trips. I'm hoping the quality of the bikes match their engineering.

I've sort of wondered about the plastic comments. It seems to me that it is a comment made in ignorance by someone that hasn't actually touched one. I've also heard that HD is great at chrome finish, except that I've always felt there is way too much chrome on most of their bikes, hence getting a Night Train.

I've been sort of baffled by the MoCo. For a long time they said synthetic oil was a waste of money. Until they started selling their own brand of synthetic oil. Then it was the only thing you should use. They also poohoo beter transmission oils and think that ATF will ruin a primary. The HD primary chain tensioners were archaic, they said aftermarket auto adjusting were a waste of money. Until the MoCo started making their own auto tensioner which was so poorly engineered it causes more problems than it fixes since it can never release tension. But at least they now thing automatic chain tensioning is a good thing.

And everyone knows that HD stands for Hundred Dollars.

I love my local HD dealer, it is like going to your favorite bar. And the HD network of dealers is nice to have around. I've been by the local Victory Dealer and it isn't the same vibe. But I've got a friend that rides a Goldwing (he use to ride Harleys) and he pointed out that at 100,000+ miles with his GW he hasn't missed that support because he doesn't need it. So I have a suspicion that the HD fans' objection to a lack of dealer support is more of a smokescreen than an actual issue. If you build a bike that doesn't break down much, you don't need it. But if you build a bike that can have an odball issue ever 25k-50k miles you better have free coffee and a nice place to hang out for your owners.

I attached a picture of my ride. I love my bike. If I had my way my wife would get her own ride and we would ride together on our own bikes.
 

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... 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. ...
In case you're wondering, these are the videos BBob is mentioning... Grab some popcorn and enjoy:





 

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Discussion Starter #11
He comes across as a salesman, but he makes some good points. Some HD "problems" are a little exaggerated. But you gotta wonder if Victory can come this far in only a few years, why does the MoCo take so long to change anything. Of course the answer from my experience is HD fans hate change. Most of the ones I know won't even acknowledge that the V-Rod is a HD motorcycle.
 

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Sarge, I'm going to come at you from a different perspective. I have been riding over 63 years and have had a lot of brands under me. I have no brand loyalty--that's a form of blindness IMO. I buy and ride what works for me at the time and I buy for the long run, keeping bikes well over a dozen years, so quality and dependability are as important to me as handling and comfort.
I have been a cruiser hater for all the decades I have been a rider. Nothing about a cruiser did I like. But cancer and I guess I have to admit, age demanded I get a lower seat height and CG if I was going to continue riding. I was not going to give up handling and lean angle sufficient to carve the twisties. I tried many cruisers and they all confirmed my dislike for them. Yes, I even gave the Road King a try--no thanks.
Then Victory came out with the Cross bikes (this was late 2009) and the first thing I noticed was a passenger seat an adult can be comfortable on...hmm, what else did they do that's not cruiser-like? Almost 5" of suspension travel front and rear, inverted cartridge forks, long floorboards, contemporary engine design, single oil drain plug, easy to change drive belt, huge hard cases...the list goes on and on.
Not having a large dealer network, and wanting to tour long distances, I was curious about the dependability, so I got onto the forums, as you have. No one had posted anything about mechanical problems and that continues to today with only one exception, which was kinda suspicious. So I went on a test ride that took in miles of twisty back roads. This cruiser hater was immediately very impressed, so much so I ordered one. The dealer asked if I wanted the extended warranty and even though it was a good one at a bargain price, I passed. He agreed with my decision, saying I'd just be throwing money at him as all they see Victorys in the shop for are accessories and routine maintenance. That holds true to this day. They have yet to get a breakdown job.
My 2010 Cross Roads is one of the very first and after almost four years, all has gone very well. It seems that Victory built the cruiser that this cruiser hater can love.
Oh! That recommendation to install the Lloydz adjustable timing wheel is an excellent one. It lets out a lot of the horses the EPA corralled and its only $142. I also recommend switching the front brake pads to EBC HH. If Ma Vic is still using what they did in mine, those will improve brake performance dramatically.
Good luck which ever way you decide to ride...this from an old Swabby.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Good perspective for sure. The lack of break downs is something I've heard about, though I did find one guy on Youtube that had two Victories (is the plural Victorys or Victories?) and claimed they both broke down bad.

Something else I hear is the bad resale value of a Victory. I'm not buying a bike to sell it. But I will tell you something I have found: I can hardly find a used one for sale around here. I can find all sorts of low mileage Harley touring bikes. That tells me that despite the concern of resale value, there isn't much reselling going on for the Victory. If you need to sell a bike every 2 years that might be important, but I hope to keep it (if I like it) for a long time.
 

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I too came to this Forum before actually purchased a Victory .. While those Videos do make some points the way he puts it across leaves a lot to be desired in salesmanship .. I rode HD 40+ years and won't even say might not go back to it .. But with the results I have with Victory riding 2 of them now .. Even parting with my FXR4 for a Kingpin that fell in love with, is highly doubtful I do go back .. Just Never say Never .. You are making the right choice with a Cross Country Tour, all the options are well worth the little extra it costs you .. That is the only regret I have with my XC is that didn't spend a little more and get the Tour Model .. Otherwise all I have done is Ride and Enjoy both of them ..
 

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In response to Sarge's post #13, the introduction of the H-D Rushmore line has played havoc with H-D used and trade-in values. Since I keep vehicles for more than 10 years, regarding resale value, as a person recently infamously blurted, "What does it matter?"
 

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Since I keep vehicles for more than 10 years, regarding resale value, as a person recently infamously blurted, "What does it matter?"
Actually Ric , it was " What difference does it make" .... Spoken by a true douche bag .....:D
 

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Actually Ric , it was " What difference does it make" .... Spoken by a true douche bag .....:D
My bad! How could I ever have gotten such a meaningful quote by one of our truly revered statesmen so wrong?:crzy:
 

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I'll be the goat on this one. RICZ hit the nail on the head for pretty much all of his post though.

14 HD Ultra is a lot of bike for not a lot more cash. I'm talking the traditional, not the waterhead. It has power that I didn't expect, a ride that is well mannered, an impressive lean angle. It has lined bags with removable luggage. Upgraded radio with Bluetooth, fly by wire, ABS (don't remember if linked), improved passenger comfort, electrics that don't freak out when wet, silky transmission, etc., etc.
Engine may be same old, not here to argue that.

Vic engine seems better and more thought out and is of a more contemporary design. Some Vic owners talk like they invented the wet clutch and cam chain design. I guess it is new to many, but hardly new. The transmission is smooth except N-1st is you take the time to learn how the bike wants to shift. If not it can take it. ABS on the Vic was a 1980's flashback, but for some reason has improved or I just don't engage it often, but worth checking out because it can distract you if you aren't expecting it.

Electrical problems have landed mine in the shop for more time than 4 previous bikes with close to 500K between them, but finally seems straightened out. (Admittedly this left a very bad taste)

What you do get is about as fine a rider as I've been on. Agile, spunky and inexpensive enough to upgrade. I find mine fine as is, but some want more. A lot of folks don't let the engine break in for what ever reason, but at 5K it is becoming what it will be. At 10K mine was still going through noticeable changes, so that could be a lot of it as tradition says 2-3 thousand is plenty to break it in completely. I don't find the "fast" or "torque monsters", but never found an air cooled twin all that anyway.

The only real gripe I have ever had with HD is the dealers. To date that is my main gripe with Victory (yes I believe the dealer was most of the problem getting things taken care of on mine). More to choose from with HD, but if all are close to the same, I'll pass. Vic dealers that are good are very good, FWIW. You probably won't need one after the first few tweaks are done anyway.

Probably rambling and making since to only me, so good luck, happy shopping and give it a try to see if one is for you.
 

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Sarg I am Marine who has been on bikes all my life in short the XCT I have now is more superior than any cycle I've ever tried to tame. You will never turn back. You will be able to go as many miles as a tire will allow. Comfortable and confident that you won't break down. I hate workin on stuff anymore.
 

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Sarg I am Marine who has been on bikes all my life in short the XCT I have now is more superior than any cycle I've ever tried to tame. You will never turn back. You will be able to go as many miles as a tire will allow. Comfortable and confident that you won't break down. I hate workin on stuff anymore.
Shucks, I coulda said that, except I'm ex Navy.cheers
 
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