Now in its 15th year, this Medina, Minnesota, based company is (like the newly reborn Indian) a division of Polaris Industries, and the bikes are assembled in Spirit Lake, Iowa. The Cross Country’s air/oil-cooled, 50-degree V-twin engine displaces 106 cubic inches (1,731cc) and is a staple across the Victory line. Unlike the other two bikes in our test, its V-twin has four valves per cylinder, but like the others it’s counterbalanced for smoothness. The motor is set into a two-piece, sand-cast, hollow aluminum frame, which is part of the reason the bike tips our scales at just 794 pounds, the lightest in our group. The fact it peaked at 84.9 horsepower, the highest in our test, explains its sprightly performance.
With its distinctive styling reflected in the angular lines of its fairing, tank and saddlebags, the Victory is no me-too cruiser. It was intended to compete head-to-head with Harley-Davidson by taking a different approach to the lucrative big V-twin market. That approach has generally been to offer a bit more performance and handling, with a more youthful style, and the fact that it’s still here after 15 years is a testament to its quality and performance. It rides on a 43mm male-slider fork, with an air-adjustable single shock in the rear.
The Cross Country offers a sound system with many bells and whistles. Frankly, because we regard such systems as frills rather than the main reason people would buy these bikes, we merely comment upon them but do not elaborate on their many features.
The particular Cross Country we’re testing displays the Factory Custom Paint option, which raises its price from $18,999 for the standard Cross Country to $20,999. Some Factory Custom Paint versions are available at additional cost with flames. If you would like your Victory equipped with lowers and a trunk, ask for the Cross Country Tour.