On a weekend ride with my wife as passenger, she reported that the seat, the backrest, and the footrest position (which is adjustable) were very comfortable. She commented that she would like to see the inclusion of passenger hand holds on the sides of the seat, to allow a passenger to use their arm and shoulder strength as well as the back muscles to keep upright.
Maintenance and Cleaning
The easy accessibility to the oil filter and the Allen head drain bolt makes the prospect of changing the oil a simple procedure. Easy removal of the saddlebags on either side of the bike by rotating two retaining clips inside of each bag makes maintenance functions for the back wheel area (accessibility to the valve to check back tire air pressure, the drive belt tension and wear, and brake pad wear, etc.) an easy addition to routine clean-up. Changing the air filter requires the removal of the gas tank, which, according to the Victory Service manual, looks somewhat complicated, so as the air filter is something that only requires changing once every 10k miles, consider having the dealership change the filter when you bring it in for scheduled service that you are not likely to perform yourself.
While I found the XCT to be a truly stellar motorcycle, as with any new model there are usually a few items that can be considered for improvement. As the XCT I tested is a pre-production model, it may be the case that some of the items listed below are already being addressed by Victory. That being said, these are the areas that I thought could use some improvement, and are listed by what I considered to be their order of importance.
The Gear Indicator on the dashboard does not always read accurately. By design, there is no gear indication displayed when clutch is disengaged (the lever is pulled in), as would be the case when stopped in traffic. This is one of the more important times to know what gear the bike is in, and not having it display at stops would be one of the times when it is most convenient. Also, when letting out the clutch during downshifts, even at speeds below 40 mph, the indicator would sometimes display 6th or 5th gear before settling on the gear the bike was actually in. Finally, when pulling away from a stop, the indicator would sometimes show the wrong gear for a few moments for before indicating correctly. While admittedly starting from a stop in a gear other than first is an operator error, if the gear indicator says 1st gear, then displays 2nd, then 3rd (which actually happened) then the gear indicator system needs to be refined, because the error was partially based on a rider trusting what the display read. Victory needs to come up with a change in this system that will display the gears properly at all times. Not having a gear indicator at all puts the onus fully on the rider to know what gear the bike is in, but having an indicator that does not always read accurately or when the clutch is disengaged causes a confusing situation for the rider.
In several days of hot weather riding, with temperatures ranging from the upper 80s to the lower 90s, the bike did generate an uncomfortable amount of heat from the left side of the engine and onto my leg. When the ambient temperatures dropped to the upper 60s and low 70s the problem was less apparent, but still present. Victory may want to do some investigation to find a way to better duct the heat away from the rider on the left side of the bike.