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Discussion Starter #1
Well, thought I would post to say that I have an XR Classic test ride tomorrow. My carb'd UJM is having problems with starting and running in the cold. Will let you guys know what I think. Because I like to share :)

I am glad I waited though, Victory's Veterans Day Sales incentive is very nice ($2000 off for Vets, $1000 off for civy) and 3yr warranty on 2013s. The standard 1yr (only) warranty was one of the reasons that I had reservations.

Just test rode a Dyna Switchback yesterday so it will be interesting to compare.
 

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oil chaaaaaaaaaaaanges-pain sometimes.

Dyna Switchback. Made me think of the oil changes if you do your own. The Victory is very simple. I know the HD is much more envolved. I did an oil change on my wifes(get this) Yamaha Vino 125cc (scooter) today. What a pain that little thing was to do. The big o Victory is soooo much easier to maintane. Drop one drain plug, unscrew one oil filter. Install new filter, drain plug and new oil, so much simpler than a lot of bikes,even much smaller bikes. If you do your own work it is something to keep in mind, if you take it in to have it done then it may not matter. Which ever bike you go for enjoy the new ride,good luck.thumb up
 

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Well, thought I would post to say that I have an XR Classic test ride tomorrow. My carb'd UJM is having problems with starting and running in the cold. Will let you guys know what I think. Because I like to share :)

I am glad I waited though, Victory's Veterans Day Sales incentive is very nice ($2000 off for Vets, $1000 off for civy) and 3yr warranty on 2013s. The standard 1yr (only) warranty was one of the reasons that I had reservations.

Just test rode a Dyna Switchback yesterday so it will be interesting to compare.
Let me preface this by saying I like Harley touring bikes. I don't love them, but I like them. With enough money I could make a Road King a hell of a good bike and I love the look of the new one.

Last year I had the opportunity to demo a Switchback. I thought it was a complete piece of ****. It vibrated like hell at low rpm then around 55 mph in 5th it would smooth out only to start vibrating like hell again. The suspension wasn't awful, but not near as plush as the touring stuff and the handling felt every bit as vague.

Now for the good news. The XR you will test is an far superior bike to the switchback. But from the feedback of my riding partner, the bias ply front tire lacks the feel of the standard's radial.

Pitch those damn spoke tires and bias ply crap and put the standard rims and radials on it and you've got not only a great platform, but an all around sport tourer dressed like a good looking, traditional cruiser.

Enjoy tomorrow. You'll soon forget Harley exists.
 

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Enjoy your test ride and you can probably talk them down another $1,000 or so after the red tag and Vet discounts. XR's are not big sellers and one that has been sitting there for a year will probably sit for another year or so. I would see if they would let you trade in the soft bags for a set of black hard bags, more room and you can lock them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the feedback guys. I am looking forward to trying out the XR.

I was actually surprised by the Switchback. It was very maneuverable at city speeds. Unfortunately, I didn't try it out on the freeway. If it is still in the running after tomorrow I will. The vibrating was pretty extreme at idle! Riding-wise it smoothed out. The 103ci is pretty peppy in the little Dyna frame.

The big things I didn't like was how small the hard bags were (they went style over function). I don't think my laptop will fit in it. Also didn't like the 2-1 exhaust (it got hot even on my short demo ride). More tomorrow/later today :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Well, just got back from the test ride. I know it will probably piss some folks off but I am going to be honest - it just didn't blow me away. I am not ruling it out, but I need to think about it some more and take it out for a longer ride next week when I have some more time. I spent about 20 mins in town and 10 on the freeway. I had no problems low speed and it really shines on the freeway.

The big thing was the seating position that the bars put me. After about 10mins my left hand actually hurt. That's a first. Can the bars be adjusted in a bit more?

It also didn't help that the bike stalled out at a light and displayed "low oil." I know that's the dealer's fault but not conducive for first impressions.

I didn't have any of the common internet complaints people had with braking, clutch, transmission (finding neutral), etc. Also fit and finish was perfect, I didn't see any seams or wiring. I like the plastic chin guard. Exhaust and bags are very well done. Love the aux. lights! The bike just looks great.

But, some bikes seem perfectly balanced. The XR did not. I felt it took some effort to keep it upright. That may be because I am not used to it. It is a big bike. The motor didn't pull as hard as I anticipated. Probably unfair that I am comparing it to the 103 in a Dyna, but the Dyna oozed torque and very forgiving gear wise. Sound-wise and vibration-wise the Vic was far superior - quiet and vibration free at idle. Just enough growl at speed.

Anyway, I hope that you guys don't flame me. Just giving some feedback and wondering what you think. The bike definitely is worth a second look but I thought I would be coming home with it today.
 

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Rent one for a day or two.

Going to spend a lot of money on whatever you buy. Rent one and ride it like you own it or stole it. Do NOT be afraid to rev it. The engine is 4 valves per cylinder and likes to be ran up in rpm more than the HD. Also I own a XRs. I did find that the back wheel was not in alignment from the dealer, thus it was pulleying to one side, so I was always correcting it. The dealers(most of them) throw them together to get them out the door, they are not going to check the back wheel on every machine. One old HD guy I know rented the Vision for him and his wife for a day, he was very impressed, he is shopping. I really did not think I would like the Victory bikes and I went back several times for a few years on demo days, rode most of what they offered at the time. On the XR and XC the floor boards and controls are adjustable back and forth, good for this short legged guy. The air suspension rear shock is nice also. The hard bags lock and do hold a lot of stuff. I got the police style bag protectors also, already saved those expensive saddle bags. Yes my bike has fallen over, twice now, both times my faught, now that is out of the way, it should not fall over anymorewac. One of my friends just picked up a new Triumph Trophey, very nice, he seems very happy. Good luck on what ever you get and a rental for a day is a small expense compared to a bike payment for possibly 5-years.
 

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Purchase whatever makes you smile. I haven't heard any victory owners say that you shouldn't purchase that other brand because it's not a Vic. In the end if you purchase a Vic and don't love it then it's not worth ****.


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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks guys, I am going to try and take it out Tuesday for a longer ride and request they actually put oil in it. Feature-wise it has everything want except hard bags (they want full $ for hardbags no trade in).

Two questions:
1. Will the bars adjust in?
2. What RPM range should I be operating? I am thinking maybe I didn't rev it high enough.

Thanks!!

BTW, appreciate your guys' knowledge and cordiality. Other forums would not have been as kind when comparing brands :)
 

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I like my RPM's up around the 2500-3000 Range and you can wind it on up to 4,000 with no worries .. As far as Bar adjustment will let someone else chime in on that .. Sometimes I think want to go with the 2" pullbacks on my XC but it really hasn't made me uncomfortable the way it is so havn't made it a priority .. While I love my XC and most other Vics it is your money, and whatever you decide to Ride I wish you well ..
 

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Just like everyone else has said, buy what you like. These toys are not cheap and you should have no regrets after signing the dotted line. I test rode a bunch of big v-twins before I went with the XR and they all had more power off the line. The Vic does like the higher rpm's but I have never been super impressed with the 106 power wise. I am kind of tall and the Vic is the first bike I ever sat on that fit me without modifications so that was one of the huge selling points for me plus I got it cheaper than the other bikes I was looking at (T-bird, stratoliner, road king).
 

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On that 'low oil' light... when the engine shuts off that light comes on... because it is indicating low oil PRESSURE. it is not an oil level indicator. When the engine is not running, of course, it has no oil pressure...
 

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Thanks guys, I am going to try and take it out Tuesday for a longer ride and request they actually put oil in it. Feature-wise it has everything want except hard bags (they want full $ for hardbags no trade in).

Two questions:
1. Will the bars adjust in?
2. What RPM range should I be operating? I am thinking maybe I didn't rev it high enough.

Thanks!!

BTW, appreciate your guys' knowledge and cordiality. Other forums would not have been as kind when comparing brands :)
You should disregard the 'Lo Oil' message, all the Vic bikes do this when the ignition is turned on. It is not a sign of low oil level. Ask the techs there about it.

The bars will rotate up and down, giving you a little flexibility, but you will need to go with a XC bar if you want the handles closer to you.

It does like the higher revs compared to a H-D.

Hope the ride goes well, but I agree with the others...you gotta buy what you feel most comfortable on. I'm tall (6'2") and just felt like the XR fit me better than the other bikes I looked at.
 

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Thanks guys, I am going to try and take it out Tuesday for a longer ride and request they actually put oil in it. Feature-wise it has everything want except hard bags (they want full $ for hardbags no trade in).

Two questions:
1. Will the bars adjust in?
2. What RPM range should I be operating? I am thinking maybe I didn't rev it high enough.

Thanks!!

BTW, appreciate your guys' knowledge and cordiality. Other forums would not have been as kind when comparing brands :)
You can adjust the bars, but you will also need to adjust controls. As I recall, there is a dentent that must be ground down to make those infinitely adjustable.

You don't need to rev it to the moon to make it go, but if you want it to run at its best, keep it between 3-4.5k rpm.

The discomfort in your left hand makes me think the clutch may be the culprit. On Vics, these are adjusted to catch way out at the end of lever travel. This too can be adjusted a bit.

You might want to take an auto seat pad with you next time if you have one. The slight change in ergos may make a difference. Personally, I always ride with an Air Hawk and I'm not very tall. Just find the ergo triangle much more to my liking.

Your "unbalanced" comment was the most surprising. You Vic should come off the stand like a feather compared to the more top heavy feeling Harleys. Make sure you check the tires for proper inflation before your next ride. They should be near 40 psi.

I use mine to hunt sport tourers in the mountains and cops use them to ride around cones like they are on Trials bikes. There is nothing "unbalanced" about the machine.

My riding buddy did ride one of the LEs and he didn't like the feeling of it as well as the other touring Vics. The only reason I could think of was that the bias ply tire they put on the front of the LE doesn't play well with the radial in the back. I think as long as you stick with spoke wheels, you'd be stuck with that arrangement.

The good news is that there are a variety of wheels you could get to replace the spokes. And frankly, if you are going to use the bike for travel you'd probably want to. Changing an inner tube isn't something that is very doable on the side of the road.
 

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Well, just got back from the test ride. I know it will probably piss some folks off but I am going to be honest - it just didn't blow me away.
Yaah. I was underwhelmed the first ride I took. Afterwards I sat down at the kitchen table with a pad and ran up a list of wants and needs. Then I picked the "got to haves" and went back to look at the bike with list in hand. It did better when I sorted my issues instead of relying on a short ride. But that's just me.

I am not ruling it out, but I need to think about it some more and take it out for a longer ride next week when I have some more time. I spent about 20 mins in town and 10 on the freeway. I had no problems low speed and it really shines on the freeway.
Yup. I will tell you that the shine isn't what they tell you... ride one, you'll buy one. Really it should be "ride one alongside similar bikes, compare what you get for what you give, you'll buy one."


The big thing was the seating position that the bars put me. After about 10mins my left hand actually hurt. That's a first. Can the bars be adjusted in a bit more?
"Mr. dealer, I sure do like this bike but it just doesn't work for me ergonomically. What can YOU do to make this thing fit ME and my wallet?"


It also didn't help that the bike stalled out at a light and displayed "low oil." I know that's the dealer's fault but not conducive for first impressions.
Stalling has been talked about, especially on new bikes. Not for nothing but you are right. His demo rider shouldn't. None of them should. The good news is the issue is not a showstopper, but really? Sending a customer out on a gag and quit? WTF? The oil pressure light works. That's why it lit. That's a plus."

I didn't have any of the common internet complaints people had with braking, clutch, transmission (finding neutral), etc. Also fit and finish was perfect, I didn't see any seams or wiring. I like the plastic chin guard. Exhaust and bags are very well done. Love the aux. lights! The bike just looks great.
Frankly, I think the wiring is a lazy affair. They could have buried it better, made exposed routings more presentable and they need to hire designers with a less modular, more aesthetic sensibility. Some of the switches and controls are like, "yeah, that'll work. Good enough, make a bazillion of them and put them on everything." But, the paint is good and the fit up of components is spot on. If you can't find fault with the looks and you don't buy one you will find yourself defending the looks to friends who diss them and those friends will ask "OK, well why didn't you get one if they look so good?" Ponder that question. It's a good one.

But, some bikes seem perfectly balanced. The XR did not. I felt it took some effort to keep it upright. That may be because I am not used to it. It is a big bike.
That's not the conventional thinking but to each his own. Most bike rags and riders tend to focus on how well these cross bikes handle for such a big machine. But they aren't you and you know what works under your behind.

The motor didn't pull as hard as I anticipated. Probably unfair that I am comparing it to the 103 in a Dyna, but the Dyna oozed torque and very forgiving gear wise. Sound-wise and vibration-wise the Vic was far superior - quiet and vibration free at idle. Just enough growl at speed.
See above about riding with other bikes. Put a Dyna and a Vic together in just about any riding environment and if apples to apples results are driving your decision making, the outcome will be uniformly in the Vics favor, unless of course you are at a Wednesday night HOG fun run. I mean after all, it may be faster, more agile, more comfort, more bells and whistles and cheaper, but hey! it ain't a Harley. I only say this because I have two HD's collecting dust to compare to.

Anyway, I hope that you guys don't flame me. Just giving some feedback and wondering what you think. The bike definitely is worth a second look but I thought I would be coming home with it today.
It's good that you didn't.
1. Make apples to apples judgements based on knowing what you want, and what you need.
2. Make the dealer work for your business.
3. Ride various machines in comparable conditions and think about what they offer compared to each other and over the long haul.
4. Don't let some timeline dictate your decision. Deals are always out there.
 

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A Road king would be a better comparison to the XR than a Dyna. Is there a significant price difference between the 3. Also Vics don't start impressing until you start owning. Exhaust changes and fuel programmers with tuning really changes everything about the behavior on these bikes. Every time I pull in the garage after a ride my wife says I have a grin on my face like I never had before. I just say damn this thing is fun to ride now! Get the Vic and join the party Brother. cheers
 

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You can run radial tires on spoked wheels with tubes, no need to change wheels.

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You can run radial tires on spoked wheels with tubes, no need to change wheels.

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You'd think so since they run one on the rear, but both the Hard Ball and the LE run bias ply up front.

And there's still a good reason to change them. If you get a flat in BFE you'll fair much better with a patch kit and a compressor or even CO2 cartridges.
 

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Yes, it must be a cost thing to have the bias up front but a radial can be used, and yes good point there about the flat. There are companys that can seal spoked rims to run tubeless though if thats the look a person wants without the tube hassle. Me personally in the short 10 yrs ive been riding have never had a flat. My wife though, in the 500 miles she put on her 650 v- star, picked up a nail in the rear tire, fun times with the shaft drive!

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Yes, it must be a cost thing to have the bias up front but a radial can be used, and yes good point there about the flat. There are companys that can seal spoked rims to run tubeless though if thats the look a person wants without the tube hassle. Me personally in the short 10 yrs ive been riding have never had a flat. My wife though, in the 500 miles she put on her 650 v- star, picked up a nail in the rear tire, fun times with the shaft drive!

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I hadn't had a flat in years until I got the Vic. Picked up a big old bolt within a few hundred miles of owing the bike. Fortunately, I was able to pull that one out and it didn't penetrate the carcass. Within a few thousand more miles I picked up another one that did. I plugged it and ran the tire 11k miles without further issue.
 
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