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Discussion Starter #1
For the past 15 years I have been a loyal BMW K series customer. I have never considered owning anything else, until now. I've put some rather silly mileage on to the K1600GT I purchased new in February this year. By Christmas, It'll more than likely be over 45,000km. Since my local dealer is an idiot who has done his best to treat me like a second rate customer all year, for the first time, I'm looking at a replacement brand of bike. The local Victory dealer has just about sold me on a Victory Cross Country Tour. I've never ridden a big V twin any real distance and have no idea what to expect. I'm hoping to take up the offer of borrowing a Cross Country Ness for the weekend to find out. I know compared to the GT's 6 cylinder engine, it'll be down on power, but then most things are. I'm not expecting the same level of refinement as the big Bavarian either, but some how that doesn't seem to matter. The Tour has almost all the toys I'd expect on a touring bike, seems like it will have the weather protection I want, and more importantly, is more than $10K cheaper, so I have plenty of money in the budget for new Farkles.

My main concern is the reduced fuel mileage that the Victory seems to have. From my reading, I'm only looking at around 300km to a tank. I'm use to getting more than 500km to a tank. As I like to ride from horizon to horizon, this is my main concern, however if it rides nicely and is just as comfortable, I might just for the first time choose image over substance - no offence. Maybe a 5L fuel can is the cheap option?

Other than mileage, I ride at night a lot and I know nothing is going to come close to the active HID that I have now for light, but how is the Victory at night? Should I consider something like a set of Clearwater lights from the outset?

I'm really looking forward to an extended test ride. The Victory may just have about won me over.
 

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Test Ride One .. Won't take you long to decide if it's right for you .. 300 km sounds about right for Fuel Range .. Lighting could be improved but an easy fix .. Power and Handling is Excellent for what it is ..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm not expecting to throw it round like a 600 sports bike, although to be truthful, I didn't expect to be able to do that with the GT, but I can! ;)

I've had a nagging feeling it was time to slow down a little for some time. I lost a ride buddy that didn't quiet manage a corner about a month ago, so sports tourer to cruiser seems like it might be the time to happen. I've ignored gut feelings in the past to my peril.

Earlier this year I did an awful lot of tight twisting mountainous roads that the GT excelled at. Simply drop it over in to a corner and use the torque to snap it up and out of the corner. I'm guessing floor boards are going to stop this kind of riding? (I don't have chicken strips) I'm being a realist, I'm not expecting a Cross Tour to handle like my Star ship. I doubt there's much on the road that can hold a candle to the GT, but again it's also $10k cheaper and probably cheaper to service and run. I'm not expecting to chew tyres up every 8500km either.

I've decided I'm going to take an extended test ride this weekend.


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WOW, For starters it will be completly different than what you are used to. It handles about as well or better than any cruiser, BUT, you will lose lean angle. No problem for someone who can ride well. I haven't dragged a floorboard without setting out to do it yet, and have done some things that had the GPS on the back slapping me on the side of the head. Tourque, well it has it, but it will be much lower than what you are used to, around 3-4KRPM. It can be juiced for a decent price if you want, and a timing wheel is cheap and easy to install and will help a lot. Gearing seems a bit tall to me, but that could just be me.
Comfortable, but a more relaxed stance, not the HP or giddy up of the BMW, but more than adequate to haul my big butt, momma's cute butt and the kitchen sink in comfort if wanted.
Weather protection is good, wind protection is excellent, gas mileage should be a bit better than you are thinking, but 200 miles 322km is going to be about it depending on your right wrist.
I have the HID from the factory on the 12, but there are ways to get around it to an extent and I feel aux lighting is a must. Be carefull the wiring system is a bit fragile in some ways. Not sure why, but it seems that way. YMMV
I don't feel you'll really be trading form for function, but it depends on the function that is important to you. Many put a lot of long rides on them, and after two BB1500 rides (1500 miles in 24 hours), I have to say it is very functional.
A good rider, comfortable(subjective), smooth a bit grumpy, not real refined IMHO, but sometimes refined is over rated.
Test ride one and try to get a good one in then decide if it is for you.
Happy Shopping
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This is what I want to hear. So far my usual "wing man" has held me back to around 1000-1100km a day, but I have plans to do a SS1000 the week after Christmas on my own.

I didn't realise there has a HID option, I'll be ticking that box. A fast moving Kangaroo doesn't give you a lot of notice before attempting to become pet meat. I learned a long time ago, out of town there is no such thing as too much light.

It also sounds like the torque might be similar. I can currently pull smoothly from 900 rpm in 5th gear no problems. 3/4 of the GT's power and torque is available at 1500rpm. All my BMW's have been ridden on torque, using the motor to throw them around rather than an arse cheek over the side of the seat weight throw. I'm feeling much better about riding the Cross Tour, hopefully this weekend. Maybe it won't be quiet so foreign.


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Discussion Starter #6
I just discovered that Victory is offering a 5 year unlimited kilometre warranty at the moment. Based on my current mileage that'll be over 250,000km or 155,000 miles.

Starting to wonder why the heck I didn't buy one of these this time last year?


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Hey Brick

I just took my 2013 Victory Judge from Sydney to Phillip Island and back to see the MotoGP, a six day ride about 3000 km.
Although for two days at the Island we did not ride, just watched the races and drank plenty of beer etc.
In fact we drank plenty of beer every evening, as you know motorcycle touring can be thirsty work.
I have the factory quick release saddle bags on my Judge and bought a Street Ex shield (for $200, good value) for the ride.
I went with five mates, riding a Guzzi a Ducati and three BMWs including a K1600.
We went from Sydney to Gundagai then inland to Tumut and Corryong, then day two to Bright then over the mountains at Mt Hotham, fair bit of snow around but lucky for me good sunny weather, and then to Omeo, Sale and then the Island. Back pretty much the same way but at Corryong we then went over the Alpine Way to Thredbo and from Thredbo to Cooma and then from Cooma to Nowra, including about 50 km of dirt road,then to Nowra.
Now that was a pretty good ride.

I can say on the straight that I was the fastest accelerating bike, I had it up to 180 kays on private road but did not take it over that.
Throughout the twisties, there were many, I was not the fastest, but I was pretty much always in sight so to speak.
The Judge has foot pegs not floorboards but it is relatively low.
I scraped the exhaust a lot scraped away the hero bolts from under the pegs but had a lot of fun doing so.
And it is sort of a safety feature when you scrape because it scrapes relatively early and reminds you not to go really mental.

OK the Judge is not the touring bike you are looking at but remember it has the same engine.
At the Island you know there were about 10,000 bikes, I had a lot of attention and interest from other bikers.
For one part of the ride we ran into an outlaw motorbike group about 50 Harley's all riding in their "colours", most with illegal exhausts, I rode with them for about 50 km in their midst, ha ha they were all looking at me - who is this new guy? But I was faster than most of them if I wanted to be, that was pretty good fun if I am honest.

So mate they are good bikes they are fun and I was not sore at all after the trip, I had a saw wrist but no sore back or shoulders, very comfortable enjoyable ride. I am 55 years old and I almost felt like a kid again, they are good bikes for the soul.



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This is what I want to hear. So far my usual "wing man" has held me back to around 1000-1100km a day, but I have plans to do a SS1000 the week after Christmas on my own.

I didn't realise there has a HID option, I'll be ticking that box. A fast moving Kangaroo doesn't give you a lot of notice before attempting to become pet meat. I learned a long time ago, out of town there is no such thing as too much light. Mine was factory, and 12 was the only year they did it. WTF?! there is a guy here that sells HID kits, and he is straight forward it seems.

It also sounds like the torque might be similar. I can currently pull smoothly from 900 rpm in 5th gear no problems. 3/4 of the GT's power and torque is available at 1500rpm. All my BMW's have been ridden on torque, using the motor to throw them around rather than an arse cheek over the side of the seat weight throw. I'm feeling much better about riding the Cross Tour, hopefully this weekend. Maybe it won't be quiet so foreign. You won't be pulling anything from900 RPM on a Vic except 1st gear. The thing idles at 900 +/-. Keep it around the 2500 to 3500+ range. These enginess take a long time to break in. If you find it really lacking, that could be part of it. You will also have to shift more. Coming off a Goldwing, that was something I had to think about for a week or so.
The first time I wanted to pass a car, I ended up in limbo with the wife asking what was up. All I could think was "what a mistake, this thing is gutless", well it has improved dramatically, or I got used to it, and at about the 5K mark it started growing some shoulders.
Short of 10K miles mine seemed to fall off around 4-4500 RPM, after the 10K mile mark it is still pulling.


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Hope this is helpfull. Enjoy the test ride!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I rang up this morning and booked my test ride. I'll pick up the shop Cross Country Ness on Friday afternoon and drop it back Monday morning. I've been told to treat like it's mine, so I've got a planned 220km run each way for lunch on Sunday. I'll throw the Boss Lady on the back Saturday morning and do a cafe run with her. If she's comfortable, then it's a much easier sell.

The more I read and compare, I'm now thinking that rather than the Cross Country Tour, for the difference in price, it might be easier to buy the Vision instead. It has the same luggage space as my K1600GT, which is more than enough. I've got use to linked ABS brakes, so that's a bonus. It has all the toys that I expected on my GT. The only thing I'm not sure about is the audio system, just how flexible it is for connecting other devices? The BMW is terribly restrictive. I still haven't worked out how to add a CB radio with out replacing the entire intercom system with an after market one.

So far I'm just about sold. This weekend will be interesting to say the least.


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Discussion Starter #10
So I picked up a Cross Country Ness for the weekend last night. I've done about a 100 miles so far. Despite the fact that if the K1600GT is a scalpel, the Ness is like an 8 inch paint roller. A favourite corner close to home, that I push my BMW found at 80kph I touched down at a mere 50kph. That was the wake up call and I started riding more relaxed. The more relaxed I get, the more I'm enjoying it. I've decided that other than having two wheels it has nothing in common with my normal bike, so I won't compare it anymore. For the rest of the weekend I'll judge it on its own merits.

I have a 220km run each way for lunch tomorrow planned. If I feel fine when I get home tomorrow afternoon, then I'll be making enquiries about a new Vision on Monday. I guess a big day in the saddle will be make or break the deal.


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Brick,

With regard to your lighting concerns, go to VictoryHID.com and check out their product line. I'm fully kitted out with their gear and am quite satisfied.

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Discussion Starter #12
I'll have a look at this, thanks.

I just returned the Cross Country Ness to the dealer after riding all weekend. I hate to admit it, but the BMW felt awful to get back onto. I seriously liked the Victory. Compared to the BMW, it feels so much more relaxed, yet can deliver when asked. It's cliched, but the BMW is an awesome piece of mechanical engineering, a truly hi-tech example of motorcycle porn. The Victory has much more feeling and emotion involved in riding it. It doesn't feel like you need to tame it first, it wants to be your friend.

Depending on what numbers the dealer comes back with, I'm going to look at one of the 2013 runout Vision Tours.


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airred up

Brick remember you can add air to that rear shock on the X bikes. This can gain you a little more clearance for corners. Also check and make sure the tires have enough air, it is easy to ride around with them low on air which does not help the corners. I never thought I had drug my XRs until the other weekend when I changed my front tire. I found I had hit the front right of the spoiler/cooler cover somewhere along the way. For big bikes they do handle good. Caught myself staying with a friend on a twisty road when he was riding his new Ducati Monster 1100. I realized after a bit what I was doing, was getting tired, and back off, still got there just a little later than him, ha,ha.thumb up
 

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Short n' Sweet

Like the publicity blurb says "Ride One and You'll Own One"
flew to Melbourne to buy my 2010 Vegas, rode back thru Sale, Eden, National Prk, around Sydneys ring road then up the Gosford expressway and threaded my way up the east coast.
Modified my riding style from my GPZ900R Kwaka , but basics are the same, in wide out close, and slow in fast out, AllGood!
Gruntwise its got big hairy balls.
and against my old '73 Yam 650 that went to partly fund the Victory well comfort plus!!!
Done 2000 kays coming home the longish way and 3 weeks into ownership Im almost 4000 klicks up on leaving Melby!
I'm off for a ride!
 
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