My journey with the Victory Cross Country Tour (XCT) began at Skagit Valley Polaris/Victory/Kawasaki in Mt. Vernon, Washington. Dan Jantz, owner of the dealership, and I spent a few minutes going over the basics of the controls, the dashboard functions, and how the cruise control and audio features worked. Dan had done a service on the bike, changing the oil and getting it ready for my three-week ride.
Design, Fit and Finish
As Wolfman Jack said, “as long as you got the curves baby, I got the angles,” and the lines on the Victory XCT are a mix of interesting angles and nicely integrated curves. The overall design is a combination of retro-modern, and I appreciate the bike’s form-following-function design. It is a decidedly American looking bike that incorporates a modern style with a high level of functionality and updated amenities.
The 2012 XCT comes in three solid colors; Black, Pearl White and Sunset Red. The test model was Victory’s Sunset Red, and the fit and finish on the bike was first rate. The red is a more cranberry color, with chrome accents on the engine and chrome exhaust pipes, as well as the headlight trim, turn signal stalks, bag latches and rear light assembly. The saddlebag latches worked easily and latched securely. Victory claims that the Tour has the most storage space of any stock motorcycle made, and the lockable hardbags are reported to be the largest available on a motorcycle. Coupled with the added trunk, a rider would not have a problem packing for weeks of travel. The hardbags used a combination push button latch with a key lock, and the trunk uses a rotating key lock flanked by two metal latches on either side of the lock. All the locks use the same key, but for consistency of design Victory might consider changing the locking system on the trunk to the button-lock system on the saddlebags, because they look good, work well, and seem a bit more secure, unless there is not a functional reason why the trunk lock is different. It’s a small point. The lower wind deflectors on the front of the bike incorporate chrome engine guards and a one-gallon storage compartment on each side. The left side storage compartment contains the iPod connector, and these compartments are very convenient for storing smaller items that might get lost in the larger bags. The front storage compartments use friction latches, and while they worked fine and closed with an audible click, but metal latches might give the compartment door a more secure feel.
The dry weight of the bike is 845 pounds, but the 26.25-inch seat height puts the rider well down into the bike’s center of gravity, keeping the bike from feeling top-heavy even in slow speed maneuvers. The shape of the seat itself—thin at front near the gas tank and wider further back where the rider sits, allows even riders of shorter stature (such as my-self) to get their feet firmly on the ground at stops, while having plenty of width and sup-port in the sitting position when riding. The seat is all-day comfortable, well padded with good lower back support, and whether on long rides or a weekend road trip, on interstates or backroad twisties, the saddle was excellent and comfortable in every riding situation.