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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

  • July 27, 2011
  • Gabe Ets-Hokin
  • Victory Motorcycles

New for 2012: Victory Cross Roads Classic LE and Cross Country Tour

2012 Victory Cross Country Tour

Cross Country Tour

Cross Country Tour

It’s new-bike season already, and Victory is joining the fray with two subtle revisions of its already very good touring models. The Cross Country is now supplemented with the Cross Country Tour and the Cross Roads gets a limited edition version, the Cross Roads Classic LE.

The Cross Country Tour is a loaded dresser with some improvements that should make the Victory traveling experience even better. The sound-system equipped, fork-mounted fairing gets a new venting system with adjustable louvers to control airflow directed at the rider’s body and legs. There are also new fairing lowers that provide more wind protection, a taller windscreen, and big locking storage compartments complete with a 12v power outlet for your portable electronics and other items. The Lock n’ Ride trunk (which is color-matched and mounts easily and quickly without tools) introduced last year is also standard. Heated grips and seats, adjustable passenger floorboards and HID lighting are some of the luxury features that the Tour offers over the standard Cross Country. MSRP is $21,999 for black, $500 more for red or pearl—a $3,000 premium over the standard ride.

Cross Country Tour Fairing Storage

Cross Country Tour Fairing Storage

The Cross Roads Classic LE gets numerous cosmetic touches. It gets special paint and graphics, custom-stitched seat and saddlebags and wire wheels. It also sports a light bar, saddlebag rails and fender bumpers for some extra chrome touches. Each one will be numbered for that extra bit of exclusivity, but the basic setup is the same as we’ve reported before—106 cubic-inch six-speed motor, sand-cast aluminum chassis and great handling. MSRP is $17,999.

Cross Roads Classic LE

These changes should add up to an even better tourer, and address some of the nits we picked when we tested the Cross Country against the Harley-Davidson Road Glide. How much better? We’ll find out next week when we go to Utah to ride the 2012 Victory lineup.


  1. David Cunningham says:

    I’m in the group that seems to feel there’s way too much tin on the Victorys. I love to say that I want one but I am just turned off by the extra square yards of tin. I dislike the so called classic Harleys for the same reason. I dislike floorboards and while fairings are okay, I want them small. But my real interest lies in quality. I own 2 ’06 Dynas and an ’02 Beemer (R1150GS). The finish quality on the Beemer is 10 times that of the Harleys. I have yet to get a speck of rust or a blemish in the coating on the aluminum on the Beemer and the Harleys have far fewer miles and already show extensive rust on the back side of chromed parts, pitted aluminum and failing finishes everywhere. I like clean bikes and the looks of my Dynas but I hate the crappy quality of everything about them. The Beemer is by far the better of the bikes and has excellent ABS, better handling and it is faster and more powerful…but it sits too high and the seat makes my arse hurt. Somebody please talk to me about how a Victory compares. How about a clip somewhere on the web of how a Victory sounds? Can’t find one anywhere. The Beemer ABS (remember it’s 10 year old technology)is outstanding and does the Victory even approach this standard? Are there aftermarket parts that would eliminate all that extra square footage of metal on the Victory? I’d love a tourer that had some more naked lines but I am fed up with the lousy finish and quality of the Harleys and I think the Beemer K series offers a better tourer. I’d really rather buy American though. Can anyone offer me some links to the info I am seeking?

  2. Bikendad says:

    Some of you haters crack me up. Anything other than Harley styling is bad and anything like Harley styling is a wannabe copy cat. Here’s another news flash, Ness has nothing to do with the styling of Victory’s bikes, they are designed by Michael Song. Yes, Ness does add some of his accessories and paint to jazz some of them up and put his name on them for a special version of such model. My Cross Country draws a crowd and rave reviews everywhere I go and there’s usually several Harleys you can’t tell apart sitting right there.

  3. Matt says:

    The Cross Country Tour has been rumored for at least a couple of years now but I have to admit I wasn’t expecting all the extra touring features like ABS, HID, Heated grips/seats, adjustable foot boards, etc! In fact I think it’s taken the Vision’s place as Victory’s new flagship tourer. The bold design will no doubt annoy traditionalists but it’s at least nice to know for every body that the myth of having to pay a large mark up to buy American is no longer the case.

  4. RBEN says:

    fugly cruisers LOL… I guess that’s why I just bought a new H-D Wide glide.VICTORY NEEDS GET OVER THE ARLEN NESS LOOK. It is totally butt ugly or me and my friends just do not get it. I really thank if Victory would come out with something a little more retro with wire ( spoke ) wheels and loss some of that custom crap thy would do allot better. and sale more bikes. Just my 2 cents.

    • harryfxr says:

      You and your friends don’t get Victory styling but you do get the term fugly? Really? If you think something is that awful looking then why sugar coat it just say it like it is.

    • mechanicuss says:

      I just dont get it. They have a good chassis/motor/brakes, but they insist on the garish Ness styling. Get rid of the whole rear-end of this obamanation and start over. Swoopy space pods and giant 59 Caddy styling is just fugly – you’re right rben, fugly. The fairing is also funky/fugly. Why the fashion statement? Get rid of the starship enterprise crap – heck, source out the memphis shades fairing for crying out loud.

      Oh well, they wont do it, they prob have a 20 year binding agreement w/Ness and are forced to use his stuff…. sad….

    • Mike says:

      There are a few riders that do not like the same boring styling year after year…. a 2011 Harley big tour bike looking the same for the last 60 years.

      We buy what we like and works/fits us the best and frankly the test rode the Harley Road King revealed few if any superior areas over other big tour bikes and specifically the Victory Vision that we test rode.

      Styling is all in the eye of the beholder, but on every ride we go on including our club rides on the Vision…most of the bikes are Harleys, yet at gas stops, the Vision gets more attention and interest and far more people stop over to ask about Victory and our bike. I agree the design of the Vision totally different than anything in the big tour bike market segment…….I for one like that.

      For the bagger market segment the Victory models have a nice traditional look in my view…..I dont see the big design difference between the Victory Cross Roads and the corresponding Harley there…so I guess it is natural you/some here/anywhere would not like this Victory style either.

      And by the way at the big winter bike shows the Harley booth area is normally 4 times larger than the Victory……..yet seems to get only 25% of the traffic. Lots of traffic in the Victory booth with people wearing Harley Ts and all. Like I said there are people that are tired of the same old, same old designs over the last 75 years.

      I wonder what those complaining about the Victory styling will have to say when Polaris introduces the all new Indian……guess that design would be too retro/traditional……for those where only the Harley 60 year old styling works. Time will tell.

      Finally, every motorcyclist should be proud of Polaris and Victory for introducing their motorcycle line and the results over 10 short years.

      • RBEN says:

        Mike you make some good points. BUT Harleys 60 year old styling works very good. All you have to do is look at the sales numbers H D out sales everybody even Honda and has been doing it for years. One more thing I rilly thank what dose it for H D riders is how a bike makes you feel when on the bike. H D just has that old bike look but with modern stuff like EFI that works well. A friend says he wants to like the Vision but every time he goes to look & ride one he says he feels like hes in a seen on the Jettsons.NOT A GOOD WAY TO FEEL. LOL.

  5. HolyHandGrande! says:

    I really like the 2012 Cross Roads LE and well all the Cross Roads for that matter. The LE is way better looking IMO. What is up with that fugly protruding deadlight on everything? Arlen Ness has to go. He is the only thing pulling down Victory.

    The Highball is totally cheesy but it looks better than the over the top Vegas models (except the 8-ball which is actually pretty good looking less the funky wheel).

    I wish Victory would more traditional (like the Cross Roads LE) on all the bikes. The Hammer S is way over prices now that the Vrods start at $15K or $16K with ABS.

    My money would go to the CrossRoads – much less expensive than a RoadKing but in line with the Dyna Switchback but in my opionio better looking than the Switchback. I would have to kill the headlight and get some bars to replace those horrible beach bars but other than that – Victory is looking better every year.

    Bad – Ugly bars, headlight and switchgear. Still too much plastic. Too many visible wires. Arlen Ness Cheese

    Good – Motor, power, its different, value.

  6. Ken says:

    All nice bikes, but way too over-stylized.. Need softer lines.. hard angles and points look dated quickly. I wish they made a slightly more classic looking Cross Roads. It doesnt have to be a knock off or an anti-knock off.. just a soft edge, well built, clean looking moto..

    Ken Springhetti

    • Foogunheimer says:

      Agreed. Way over designed and will look dated before it’s time. Too bad Victory has such an untalented design department. If they want to catch Harley (and they do) they will have to hire a new designer to pen bikes the make people want to buy them. Otherwise, they will continue to sell a few bikes to people with low aesthetic standards.

  7. Dannytheman says:

    I truly like the Victory look and feel! The engine is tight and vibration free. I do not like the transmission, to noisy for me. I don’t like the way the ad ons seem to fit on the handlebars. Like some others I have demo’d their bikes for an entire day to get the true feel, or best you can at a 12 mile at a time run.
    Victory is a true Harley wantabe bike and probably Harleys only true competition. This will keep Harley on their toes. Competition is good for consumers.

    But right now, I am sticking with my Harley. But I will keep a close eye on Victory.

  8. Bill Pollack says:

    I spent a full day last year, when the Victory demo truck came to town, riding various Vision, Cross Roads, and Cross Country configurations (and re-rode some at Americade this year). I liked them all, a lot. I’ve also spent full days at Americade riding various H-D dressers and baggers, and for my money the Victory models easily come out on top. The Victory engine: A) is not a paint shaker at idle like the H-Ds (but yes, some people – female passengers? – may like that, and yes, the H-D engines do smooth out above idle); B) seems to me to have more usable power. In terms of handling and ergos: C) I’m average size (5′ 9″, 30″ inseam), but I feel trapped into one position on the H-D seats (yes, I know there’s an aftermarket out there – just sayin’); D) those class-leading lonnnng floorboards on the Victory models are very nice for repositioning feet (no need, IMHO, for highway pegs); E) more ground clearance for twisties on the Victories, and longer shock travel; F) the hard bags are the Victories hold more (even more than on the Vision models, which have strangely convoluted side storage).

    Of course, if you’re not a “cruiser guy” type of rider, all of this is irrelevant, and to each his own, ride your own ride, your mileage may vary, more power to you, why are you even reading this page, etc. Me, my legs are going forward, as my age goes up (I’m now collecting Social Security): I rode a BMW R850R for three years, then a Honda Valkyrie Interstate for seven, and now a Suzuki Burgman 650 Exec for the last four years. (Smirk if you will about that “scooter,” but both Motorcycle Consumer News and my own Garmin got 101 MPH on the Burger, MCN clocked it at 7 secs for 0 – 60 and 15 sec. for the quarter mile, it has great weather protection, you can move your feet around, excellent handling [15″ front wheel, 14″ rear], ABS, electric windshield, and plenty of storage.) I averaged about 8,000 miles per year on each bike.

    In terms of maintenance, I like both H-Ds and Victories. Not personally needing or wanting superbike power, I’m more than willing to trade power for maintenance ease. Both lines have belt final drive, no coolant to change, hydraulic valve adjusters, no or minimal tupperware to remove for sparkplug and oil-filter changes. So that’s a wash. (And that’s where the Valk – air filter, for example – and Burger fall way short – plugs, for example. Motorcyclist had a write-up a few months back, where they told how it took two hours to change the headlight on a Honda NT700V, because of all the tupperware removal required.)

    Regarding ABS on the Burger, when I bought it I thought I could take it or leave it. Having ridden with ABS now for four years, I really like it, and it’s now almost a requirement. I’m not ashamed to state that, or think I’m less of a rider, etc.; actually, I think it’s a sign of progress, to have your views evolve… ya know, live and learn, right? If you haven’t routinely ridden for a few years with ABS and you snicker at it, I recommend that you reserve judgement. Now, I understand that ABS is available as an option on a few H-Ds. Good. ABS on all Victories? Better. Also, I’ve read that the H-D ABS is somewhat “pulse-y” as a result of the smallish sensor ring (which is a result of styling concerns, which hide it), so the nod goes to Victory here.

    I’m looking for a new ride, somewhat just for the heck of it and also because the Burger comes up short for long two-up trips: not enough power for my tastes two-up and poor passenger leg and feet options (which is virtually impossible to change) are the major problems. My wife likes the passenger accommodations on the GoldWing, which, in both our opinions, nobody beats. Unfortunately, the Wing comes up short in all those other aspects: feet positioning, tupperware, maintenance, higher seat, etc. (It’s a great bike, if it fits your needs, i.e., I’m not trying to knock it.) So, I’m looking at the both the Roads and the Country (without the trunk – too much high-up weight), both with the passenger backrest option (and passenger boards, not pegs, on the Roads). I figure I can add a T-Bag for two-up vacations. If you don’t have that top case on the Country, and if you just have the standard Roads with hard bags, they look very nice and very normal, i.e., there’s not the polarizing Buck Rodgers style associated with the Vision series.

    Unfortunately on all of the above, I’ll probably have to wait for the current car payments to end before I get anything new.

    And that’s my story.

    • MikeD says:

      Thanks for sharing…i enjoyed reading your “story”…(^_^ )

    • Mike says:

      Hello Bill

      Thank you for your comments…..results always trump other comments.

      I would like to address one aspect of your post. Goldwing and the Cross Roads and Cross Country.

      Neither of these two bikes are made to compete with the Goldwing…..the Victory Vision does. My wife and I tested 20 plus bikes and by happenstance went over to the Victory Open House when the factory demo truck was there to get free hotdogs and eats ofcourse. That test ride on the Vision ended the search……this bike fit us the best of any we had tested before and now we have one.

      On the Vision styling…no look alike for sure….but people walk right by Goldwings and Harleys to talk us about our bike all the time. Here is a pix of ours in all black

      and people walk by Goldwings and Harleys all the time to talk to us about it…styling not being an issue.


      The Vision does not have the mechanical precision of the Goldwing…….so lets start there, but in the end to us it has more…….a soul……..unlike a sewing machine and we liked this in comparing the two bikes.

      I have been verbally attacked by talking heads that have never rode the Vision and even in some cases a Goldwing for buying a Victory or the Vision but my wife is happy…..and I am happy…….and for the record there are advantages the Vision has over thet Goldwing ….some that matter to me are as follows:

      1. Floorboards: Being a sport rider for decades I never wanted floorboards for our tour bike. Reality is due to my age I adjust my feet position every 5 miles or so on the Vision and 18″ floorboards have allowed me to ride long distances in comfort as with the Goldwing that fixed footpeg would have been an issue

      2. Adjustable Windscreen: Like the long floorboards a seemingly fluff accessory for the talking heads and I thought the same thing. After 10k miles on the Vision I can tell you that in the heat of summer I often adjust the windscreen down in traffic or going through towns and the comfort this provides is amazing……then at speed put it back up.

      3. Seats…..we found the seats more comfortable than the Goldwing for us……fit is a very personal thing, but do not assume that everything on the Goldwing is superior to everything on the Vision or any other big tour bike…..though many that have never rode the Vision or any other big tour bike love to repeat this myth. The front seat height on the Vision is also 3″ or so lower.

      4. Vision has 6 speeds……the Goldwing has 5.

      5. There is something about a that 106ci big twin motor in the Vision that no four or six cylinder can duplicate……low rpm ….which makes the riding seem more at ease…….hard to define and something I never thought was possible before buying the Vision.

      6. YES……unlike most Goldwing owners/advocates…. I have a list of things I wish the Vision would do better, but we are happy with the Vision and I just wanted you to know that most Vision owners feel the same way. The point is there is no one bike that is totally superior in all respects…..credibility starts there.

      Good luck in your bike search and please take a test ride the Vision. I went to the Victory shop for the open house free hotdogs…..ended up with a Vision and am so happy it all ended up this way and this ended a two year search for the best bike for us. My point is maybe your wife and you test ride one ….and go from there.

  9. Mr. Mike says:

    I think Victory manufactures a very compelling interpretation of the cruiser design pattern that in many ways surpasses the Harley-Davidson archetype.

  10. jim says:

    If they would build something other than cruisers and cruiser-based touring bikes I’d take a second look.

    • Ruefus says:

      If Ducati would build a full-blown dresser, I might take a look.

      Oh….wait….that doesn’t fit, does it?

      • Foogunheimer says:

        Honda offers tourers, cruisers and sportbikes, so why not Victory? Why is Victory set on only making fugly cruisers? They would get a lot more respect if they branched out and developed a new motor and start making exciting bikes instead of these over styled boat anchors. For cry’in out loud, how hard can it be for a big company like Polaris to branch out a build a real motorcycle?

        • Mike says:

          Results: Victory makes great motorcycles. Styling is crisp, clean and often other riders stop over to talk to us about our all black Victory Vision…..and in the process walk right by every Honda.

          You want the most exciting bike Honda has introduced in decades ………the DN01 will suit you fine and most on your planet.

  11. MikeD says:

    Wouldn’t mind owning a Cross Country Tour…wouldn’t pay for it tho…too much Coin for nothing that seems out of this World.

  12. Foogunheimer says:

    VICTORY – The king of gaudy.

  13. steveinsandiego says:

    i tend toward the basics. mrs sinsd doesn’t ride, so i don’t need a tourpack, or a back seat for that matter. i can also do without the fairing lowers, radio, CD (included?), cruise, etc, etc. sorry to see that the 8-ball vision is awready hist’ry; altho’ i’m not ready to lay down $18K for a bike, it was my favorite among the vict’ry line.

  14. Tom Shields says:

    I like Victory’s styling overall. It’s a unique spin, and their bikes are easily distinguished from the rest of the V-twin crowd. They’re much more attractive, IMO, than the “Harley-on-the-cheap” styling that the Japanese manufacturers employ on their lower-end cruisers.

  15. kpaul says:

    Get that girl in the picture a full-face helmet!!!! 🙂 I must be getting old I am attracted to that black Cross Country Tour picture. Attracted to bagger cruiser. OMG 🙂 I would still take an original silver V-Rod but the Victory bikes have style. Plus ABS is standard. I predicted that would happen but folks said I was nuts. Where are those guys now? 🙂

  16. Leo says:

    When it comes to Victory I’m more of a Vegas and 8 Ball guy. The sharp points on these accessories just don’t work (for style). That said the Cross Roads Classic LE is looking promising but I wouldn’t pay a $2000 premium for the paint job or fancy stitching. Just need to remove that headlamp visor (sorry Arlen).

  17. ripple54 says:


    All the Victory touring bikes in 2012 have ABS as standard equipment.

    Vision, Cross Country and the Cross Roads.

  18. mike says:

    According to Victorys website, ABS will be standard this year on all touring bikes.

  19. Steve says:

    I want to like Victory’s but… for me, there are way too few dealers & limited network… There’s a Harley dealer everywhere…
    I’m not a fan of Arlen Ness… styling too angular… bars are like tillers…
    engine looks way too tall… like the Indian Powerplus..I’m sure it’s higher tech than HD but I still prefer more proportional…

    I like the suspension at both ends… & the engine output is good….
    I prefer hard bags as well…. the LE has soft bags…

    I agree with MGNORGE above… on all this site, posters are very polarized… but on Sunday rides & meets, all the varities of bikes & riders seem to get along fine…. that’s been my experience..

    Ride what you want or what you can afford… but RIDE!

  20. ABQ says:

    Count me in as one that has always liked Victory’s styling. But, I’ve never riden one yet.

  21. MGNorge says:

    Seems like there’s no middle ground around here. You either count yourself as one of us or you’re the enemy! It’s like this on most every board there is. Shame. Why can’t the vocal few undeerstand that we do not all have the same tastes? What a world that would be!

  22. Ruefus says:

    Not bad. I like the Cross Roads.

    Cue the cruiser/air-cooled V-twin/styling bashers in 3….2…….