Motorman’s Road Test: 2011 Victory Cross Roads Core Custom

2011 Victory Cross Roads Core Custom

Victory, that other American motorcycle manufacturer, has no less than seven Baggers in their line for 2011.  Obviously, the Bagger market is still growing despite the fact that motorcycle sales in general have decreased significantly from years past.

With the Victory Cross Roads Core Custom, you get your choice of painted hard bags with a capacity of 21 gallons or leathered covered hard bags which hold 17.4 gallons.  Your choices of colors are crimson or black.  Next, you can choose to add a windshield or not.  You also have your choice of tip-over protection; either forged highway bars or classic tube style.  Out back, the bag protectors are perfectly contoured to fit either the painted bags or the leather covered pair.  All together, there are 48 custom combinations to choose from right at your Victory dealership.

The overall styling of the Cross Roads is stunning.  What’s more, unlike many other Baggers on the market, the Cross Roads doesn’t look like a copy of a Harley-Davidson; rather, its styling is reminiscent of Victory’s own Vegas model.  The sculpted tank and the way the rider’s seat is molded into the tank have become standard fair on most Victory models.  Out back, the deeply valanced rear fender with the molded in LED brake and run lights is a work of art in itself.  The elongated turn signal lights also look as if they came from an aftermarket custom catalog.  Up front, the fender is nicely shaped and really hugs the wheel.  Speaking of wheels, the ones pictured look like they should be a three thousand dollar option, but as a matter of fact, they are standard equipment.  Attention to detail is superb as is the paint and chrome quality.

The heart of the Cross Roads is the 106 CI air/oil cooled 50 degree V-twin equipped with a single overhead camshaft with 4 valves per cylinder.  The cam chains are self adjusting as are the hydraulic lifters.  The transmission is a six-speed unit with 6th being a true overdrive.  Final drive is via a carbon fiber belt.

Up front, the inverted fork provides 5.1 inches of travel—out back; the single mono shock is air adjustable and offers a whopping 4.7 inches of travel.  The riding position is directly upright.  The handlebars come back far enough that even short armed riders shouldn’t have to lean forward to reach the grips.  The rider’s seat is narrow at the front which helps keep the reach to the ground a mere 26 inches.  The seat is also very comfortable and offers excellent back support.  The huge floorboards allow lots of leg movement.

How does it ride?  Well, in a word, terrific!  The 106 motor puts out tons of torque and horsepower and it’s very smooth.  The six-speed transmission, revised for 2011, shifts as well as or better than any cruiser on the market.  The ratios are quite wide which means around town, 1st gear to 3rd gear are all you’ll need.  The handlebars turn quite far from lock to lock and that combined with an excellent lean angle means the Cross Roads is a very nimble motorcycle at low speeds.  I’ve heard from a reliable source that this bike U-turns in under 16.5’ feet.

Out on the interstate, the Cross Roads tracks as if on rails.  Once you kick it into 6th gear at 70 mph or above, the motor is barely above idle but there’s still plenty of power for passing with or without a downshift.  The Cross Roads is a bike that you can ride all day on the Interstate in perfect comfort or, with its nimble handling and quick acceleration, you’ll zip right past the city traffic with ease.  The ride is very comfortable and the handling is top notch.

You must take a closer look at the Cross Roads if you’re in the market for a Bagger.  MSRP starts at 14,999.00.  Head right over to St. Pete Power Sports and tell them Motorman sent ya’!

Copyright ⓒ 2011 Jerry “Motorman” Palladino

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