Dashboard and Rider Controls
The XCT uses white faced analog gauges for fuel, speed, tachometer, and electrical system displays. The gauges are large, easy to read, and positioned just below the windshield at an optimum angle to the rider, and every gauge can be easily read with just a momentary glance from the road. Between the speedometer and tachometer is a panel of warning lights that include oil pressure, engine temperature, a low fuel warning lamp and the cruise control indicator, among others. In the center of the dashboard below the engine warning light panel is a digital information display area. The display has a large digital gear indicator, with digital clock and ambient temperature display flanking it on the left and right (respectively). A toggle switch on the front (forward facing) side of the left handgrip changes the digital odometer below the gear indicator to seven other displays: two trip odometers, average fuel economy, average speed, fuel range left in the tank, current fuel economy, and an elapsed time indicator. Holding the toggle switch for a few seconds resets any of the displays. Below that is a large rectangular display for the audio system, with integrated AM, FM, Weather Band, or iPod music selections (Satellite radio is also available). The handgrip heater control is just to left of the audio display.
The wealth of information available and the ease of use of the audio and information systems is excellent. It’s impressive that Victory managed to engineer a system that gives the rider this much information by using only three intuitive switches below the left handgrip (which match the cruise control switches below the right handgrip) and a toggle button on the front side of the left handgrip. Victory has also carefully considered menus and functionality for the audio and information systems: the most used functions of volume, mode, and station tuning are the primary choices on the button, while menus for treble and bass controls, front to read fade, iPod menu control, etc. are placed in secondary modes. Within minutes of using the system, it becomes intuitive and does not require taking your eyes off the road. It is a lesson in simplicity, excellent ergonomics, and ease of use, while still offering an abundance of useful information to the rider.
I also found the handlebar and handgrip position ideal. The handlebars are very well spaced, with the angle of the handgrips as it relates to the rider (the rider’s triangle) to be a very easy and natural reach. Score another one for Victory.
The foot controls are designed so that the rider (or a service person, although relocating foot controls is a fairly simple procedure) can make adjustments to the shift and footbrake positions, moving them forward or rearward to three different positions spanning two (2) inches. The shifting and footbrake mechanisms are self-contained in a track that is above and follows the angle of the floorboards, and are held in place with an Allen head bolt. To move the controls, remove the bolt, move the foot controls along the track to the desired position, and reinsert the bolt to hold the foot control in its new location. The brake pedal was easily adjusted, but a problem was encountered when repositioning the shift mechanism, as the shift rod did not have the sufficient adjustability to set the gear change lever at the correct height off the floorboard. This required a quick return visit to Skagit Valley Polaris/Victory, where Dan replaced the shift rod with a shorter one. Adjusting the front brake and the clutch levers on the handlebars by loosening the Allen screws and rotating them to a comfortable position makes setting up this bike up for a rider’s specific requirements a generally easy proposition. The front brake lever is also adjustable with a rotating knob that sets its position from the handgrip. Other motorcycle manufacturers would do well to make note of Victory’s elegantly simple solutions to make rider controls adjustable to allow the motorcycle to better fit the rider.