It was the late-nineties and the market was recovering from the wave of sportbikes and standards. Cruisers were getting into the mix as some riders dare to get American Muscle. These bikes were well known to have a questionable past (fake papers) for there wasn’t a legit dealer in sight. Japanese cruisers were ready and waiting for the hungry rookies who had to settle to the next best thing. It was a cruiser after all but deep inside was a yearning of wanting the real thing. It took more than a decade before these steel horses were finally in our shores.
Now riders finally have a choice in selecting these behemoths. They see it in the streets, in cafes, in the highways. A large number depend on visibility and the opinion of others. Only a few stray away from mutual admiration societies. There are riders who prefer to make their own mark. After all, didn’t you get a motorcycle to get away from it all?
What’s all the fuss with American cruisers anyway? The Japanese have nearly perfected that cluster along with its neighboring countries. The low rider stance, long wheelbase, facial hair, outstretched appendages, hot chicks, glittering chrome, leathers, an open face helmet and the attitude. But even with the right package, does it really deliver?
We can’t but help but look back. Why do we love cruisers? Because we see it in American culture. And since we have been exposed to that culture like it or not we are part of that culture. Or want to be. You can color your hair blonde or buy Levi’s but you will never be complete without an American Iron between your legs.
Available now locally are Harley-Davidson, Victory, and soon the Indian. These three brands alone is any biker’s wet dream. We are all quite familiar with the Milwaukee brand. Indian’s rebirth is expected to bring purists back while the Victory is the newest kid on the block. But looking upon the Victory Cross Country, its design and craftsmanship give the impression that they have been at it longer than the others.
Raising my leg over the huge comfortable seat, I wait for my body to adjust to its ergos. It is huge. I mean huge. I try to lift the bike up and I almost balked at the sheer weight of it. I forget this is American Iron where men as tall as trees and as big as boulders ride these. I immediately feel humbled by the bike’s mere presence. It’s beautiful from where I’m sitting but a look outside will make you see that engineers and designers never run out of ideas.
I kick it in gear and a thunk! is heard. It accelerates smoothly and glides like a limousine. I pick up speed that goes beyond the limit nary a wind blast and see the speedo hit 160kph in a matter of seconds. And I thought I was doing 80 only! This bike shields the rider from the drag, vibration and bumps. It actually makes you feel like you’re airborne. At this moment I felt like a Bagger is the only way to go.
The Victory Cross Country Tour weighs 345 KG (dry) and at its heart sits a 4 – stroke, 50° V – Twin engine with a displacement of 1731 cc. The engine’s power is routed to the rear wheel by means of a 6-speed overdrive constant mesh transmission with wet, multi-plate clutch.
Other features worthy of being mentioned include lockable hard saddlebags which offer 21.3 gallons of storage space (the biggest space any bike could offer!), 2-Up seating a long-range 5.8-gallon fuel tank, ABS and cruise control. The fairing hosts the easy-to-read instrumentation and the integrated audio system with dual KICKER Premium speakers. The volume level adjusts as you accelerate and slow down. Your music source could also come from your MP3/iPOD with an auxiliary cord supplied.
Me and Jana took a quick trip to Tagaytay for breakfast and ended up making a long trip. We took our time enjoying what the Cross Country Tour offered and I tell you: now I understand their claims of “For A Man Who’s Done It All” because that’s exactly what it’ll make you feel like. It’s like this motorcycle is a tribute to men and women who have achieved their goals and now want to take it easy yet showing the world it wasn’t a walk in the park getting there.
We stop to have our pancakes at Breakfast at Antonio’s and were disappointed with the day’s pancakes. I complain to the manager why the change in flavor and he explained they changed their flour supplier. He also mentioned I and a few other gentlemen also noticed the difference. Of course! I am the connoisseur of flip flops I said. But the funny thing is, I wasn’t agitated at all. On a regular day I would’ve raised hell but in this particular moment, I didn’t let it change my happy disposition. All because of what the Cross Country Tour has brought me.
The Victory Cross Country Tour has a sleek, stylish fairing that offers impressive weather protection. But a drizzle could hamper your vision. I suggest changing to smaller shields come rainy season. The tall shields protect you from all elements. You can even smoke your pipe.
Cruise control enhances your comfort, and Victory Anti-Lock Brakes give a rider greater confidence and peace of mind. Out on the open road, the automotive-quality cruise control lets you relax and enjoy the ride. With Victory ABS, when traction is compromised, the ABS immediately and automatically provides reliable braking to help you stop quickly and under control. Boy, this bike can stop!
The 106-ci Victory Freedom V-Twin delivers 106 ft-lb of torque, and it’s a smooth, efficient engine – counter-balanced and fuel-injected. The 6th gear overdrive of the Victory 6-speed transmission drops the RPMs and delivers the smooth ride you’re looking for.
The 26.3” seat height is the lowest in its class. But mind you, this height is alright for the whites. Us Asians have to be very mindful when we stop, park or turn. It’s a bit too demanding in the Philippine setting. As I’ve said before this is the biggest and heaviest bike I’ve ever ridden. You may know of the Goldwing and the Electra Glide and I’m telling you the Cross Country is a completely different experience. Prepare to fly.
The big specs:
- ENGINE TYPE – 4-STROKE 50° V-TWIN
- DISPLACEMENT – 106 CI / 1731 CC
- BORE X STROKE (MM) – 101 X 108 MM
- COMPRESSION RATIO – 9.4 : 1
- FUEL SYSTEM – ELECTRONIC FUEL INJECTION WITH DUAL 45MM THROTTLE BODY
- BATTERY – 12 VOLTS / 18 AMP HOURS
- CHARGING SYSTEM – 48 AMPS MAX OUTPUT
- COOLING – AIR / OIL
- DRIVE/DRIVEN CLUTCH – WET, MULTI-PLATE
- EXHAUST – SPLIT DUAL EXHAUST WITH CROSSOVER
- TRANSMISSION TYPE – 6-SPEED OVERDRIVE CONSTANT MESH
- TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE – CARBON FIBER REINFORCED BELT
- TRANSMISSION/PRIMARY DRIVE – GEAR DRIVE WITH TORQUE COMPENSATOR
- VALVE TRAIN – SINGLE OVERHEAD CAMSHAFTS WITH 4 VALVES PER CYLINDER, SELF-ADJUSTING CAM CHAINS, HYDRAULIC LIFTERS
- DRY WEIGHT – 760 LBS / 345 KG
- OIL CAPACITY – 5.0 QTS / 4.73 LTR
- FRONT SUSPENSION – INVERTED CARTRIDGE TELESCOPIC FORK, 43 MM DIAMETER, 5.1 IN / 130 MM TRAVEL
- REAR SUSPENSION – SINGLE, MONO-TUBE GAS, CAST ALUMINUM WITH CONSTANT RATE LINKAGE, 4.7 IN / 120 MM TRAVEL, AIR ADJUSTABLE
- BRAKE SYSTEM TYPE – CONVENTIONAL W/ OPTIONAL ABS
- FRONT BRAKES – DUAL 300MM FLOATING ROTOR WITH 4-PISTON CALIPERS
- REAR BRAKES – 300MM FLOATING ROTOR WITH 2-PISTON CALIPER
- FRONT TIRES – 130/70R18 DUNLOP ELITE 3
- FRONT WHEEL – 18 X 3.5″
- REAR TIRES – 180/60R16 DUNLOP ELITE 3
- REAR WHEEL – 16 X 5.0″
- FUEL CAPACITY (GALLONS/LITERS) – 5.8 GAL / 22 LTR
- GCWR – 1360 LBS / 618 KG
- GROUND CLEARANCE – 5.8 IN / 148 MM
- RAKE/TRAIL – 29.0° / 5.6 IN / 142 MM
- SEAT HEIGHT – 26.3 IN / 667 MM
- WHEELBASE – 65.7 IN / 1670 MM
- OVERALL LENGTH (IN./CM.) – 104.3 IN / 2650 MM
- COLORS – SUEDE TITANIUM METALLIC, SUEDE WHITE FROST, SUEDE BLACK WITH RED PINSTRIPES, GLOSS TITANIUM METALLIC, HAVASU RED WITH BLACK FLAMES, TWO-TONE SUEDE SUNSET RED OVER BLACK