Victory Cross Country Tourer: Fast, Comfort, Agile and Smooth

 VICTORY Cross Country Tourer LARGE-sized motorcycle tourers from the various manufacturers such as Harley-Davidson, Honda, Indian, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Victory and Yamaha are usually intimidating to the eyes due to their huge overall size particularly if you have never rode one before.

The bulk of such tourers raises the question of “whether one could ever control the motorcycle given their size” as compared to the non-tourer type.

That was precisely the question we were asking ourselves when Harmony Fabulous Sdn Bhd – the sole distributor/importer for Victory Motorcycles wanted us to review the Cross Country Tourer. Its sheer size alone was pretty much intimidating, to say the least despite the years of experience in riding various motorcycles ranging from kapchai, scooter, naked sports, sports tourers, adventure bikes and sportsbikes.

“Don’t worry, I can assure you the Cross Country Tourer is very easy to handle and within a short time, you can master its handling like a veteran,” said Christopher Chin, the general manager.

With those assurance in mind, our reviewer rode the Victory Cross Tourer back home upon collection as it was already evening. It was an exciting ride as the Cross Tourer gets to experience riding in the motorcycle lane, either Kesas or the Federal Highway’s.

We took the Cross Country Tour into the Kesas bike lane as it was easier to access than Federal Highway’s but the “adventure” was close to being stiff initially as there were plenty of kapchai riders plying the route as it was during the evening rush hour. The Cross Country Tour didn’t take up an entire car parking lot either despite its size, only 1/3 of the area. That also explains the ease it could navigated the bike lane along Kesas.

Prior to the big test, there are certain facts about the bike – for starter, it has the most cargo space of any motorcycle in the world. Its trunk, saddlebags and two front storage compartments provide a total of 155.5 litres of storage space. Whatever you want to bring, go ahead as the Victory Cross Country Tour has plenty of room.

The Cross Country Tour has adjustable passenger floorboards that will keep your pillion happy and real comfortable when on the road. These floorboards can be set in any of three positions over a 2-inch height range of adjustability, and they can be adjusted at a 10° angle for optimal comfort too.

The Victory Anti-Lock Brake System on the Cross Country Tour provides riders with a peace of mind in all riding conditions. When traction is compromised, the ABS immediately kicks in and automatically provides reliable braking to assist the rider in stopping the Tour quickly and safely.

Once you’re out on the open road, you can also activate the cruise control to enjoy easy, relaxed cruising. This automotive-quality cruise control is easy to activate and set, and it reliably maintains the desired speed. To de-activate it, simply press “Off” or engage the clutch or brake. However, we prefer to ride the Tour with its cruise control off, and let the human factor decides its handling as well as cornering ability.

Riding it on the PLUS highway is a breeze, and true to what Chin has assured us, the Cross Country Tour really did handle very well and smoothly – even better than most conventional motorcycles we have reviewed previously.

The routes after the highway were old twisty roads that stretched from Tampin to Gemencheh and Rompin towns, which has several fast S-Curves in-between them. To our surprise, the Cross Country Tour negotiated those S-Curves smoothly and stability to the extent it could achieve a speed up to 160km/h while performing the task. Part of that was due to the size of the bike and the precise stability from its combined front forks and rear shock absorber suspension that produce zero wobbling nor chatter effect.

As for the fuel consumption, it is quite respectable for a tourer given its size. Its 22-litre capacity gives the equivalent of nearly 290km per tank load, which is on par with most bikes featuring a 17-litre version.

Make no mistake, the Victory Cross Country Tourer is meant for touring from one state to the other, in a very comfortable and reassuring way. It is not intended as a bike to use for the trip to the nearest convenience store for a newspaper, snacks or soft drinks. Another positive aspect of riding the Cross Country Tourer is you will have less accelerator-happy motorists eager to drive out of a T-junction whenever you are approaching when riding this motorcycle.

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Engine: Liquid-cooled, SOHC, 4-valve per cylinder, 4-stroke V-Twin
Capacity: 1731cc
Compression Ratio: 9.4:1
Transmission: 6-speed
Bore & Stroke: 101 x 108mm
Fuel System: Electronic Fuel Injection w/dual 45mm throttle bodies
Fuel Capacity: 22-Litre
Seat Height: 667mm
Suspensions: Front – 43mm inverted telescopic forks; Rear – Single,
mono-tube gas, cast aluminium, constant rate linkage, air
Brakes: Dual 300mm discs (front); Single 300mm disc (rear)
Wet Weight: 384 kg
Sales Price: RM188,800 non-OTR, +RM11,328 for GST

Text and images: Philip Chong