Voluminous hard saddlebags, a robust fork-mounted fairing, class-leading power from Victory’s Freedom 106/6 V-Twin, sure-footed and confidence-inspiring handling from a stout but lightweight cast-aluminum frame, generous-for-a-cruiser air-adjustable rear suspension travel and sharp, distinctive styling lines have all added up to a winning combination for Victory in the Cross Country.
New for the Cross Country Tour are plastic lowers hugging a tubular crash bar in place of the Cross Country’s stylish open castings. Not only do you get generously sized storage compartments—the left with an iPod/iPhone connection to the integrated audio system plus a 12-volt outlet—but Victory’s clever air-management system.
Swinging doors allow you to close off the flow to the area behind the lowers or admit either some or a lot of air for cooling. Somewhat counterintuitively, the wide-open setting actually makes you hotter because the flow picks up hot air off the engine. Your shins are cool but the backs of your thighs bake. I found that just cracking the vents was best for hot days. Closing them puts your legs in almost still air. Amazing.
The bike offers a high-intensity discharge headlight that Victory states is four times brighter than a standard halogen light, and lasts 10 times longer. We now tend to carry cell phones and GPS, and for charging such devices, the Tour offers three 12-volt plugs, one in the dash, a second in the left glove box and a third in the trunk.
As superb as the new CCT proves on the open road, there are items on the wish list. First, the standard cruise control is less than smooth, particularly when riding in gusty winds. Next, the trip computer proved a bit optimistic on the bike’s range, in part because the fuel gauge is highly non-linear; it sits on Full for a long time then chews through the rest of the capacity quickly.
If you’re really burning fuel at Boeing rates you’ll also notice the gentle high-speed weave that every CCT on the launch exhibited above 100 mph. (Admittedly an unlikely cruising speed for the expected Tour customer.) Lastly, the 5.8-gallon tank is just big enough. Several times, I stopped for fuel before I was ready for a break.