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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Its Harley Bike Week in Myrtle Beach and this morning I road the CTX down to the local Victory/Indian dealer where they were giving demo rides. First up was a 2015 red Victory X-Country Touring. Big bike with a huge fairing. I was looking through the windshield, I kind of liked the forward foot platforms but you had to lift your foot up to shift or hit the brakes. The suspension was better than the CTX but surely not plush. Shifts were really clunky. The v-twin engine was pretty well damped but you could still feel it firing. Upper and lower wind protection was nearly complete and that made for a really hot ride. Next up was a 2015 Indian Roadmaster. This felt smaller and the suspension was more plush. The engine was also much smoother. However, the rear brake really sucked. I had to almost stand on it to get the bike to stop. The windshield was adjustable but it had an odd glare that made it not so useful when all the way up. Again, the wind protection was too good and I fried. There was a strange front end response when I hit cracks and ridges in the road. I started to wonder if the front tire was low. There were both cool bikes and I'm glad I got to ride them. However, when I climbed on the CTX and rode off, I noted the following. The CTX is relatively nimble. The engine is incredibly smooth and so is the transmission. The brakes rock. I rank these three as follows: CTX 1, Indian 2, Victory 3. Of course I'm biased but at least I collected data.:smile:
 

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Having ridden the other two in the past two years while owning a Vic Kingpin, I agree with your assessment.

I have never liked the Xcountry, not the controls, not the engine compared to a V4, not the weight. I thought that the Vision handled better, but was way too heavy.

I rode a Chief when they first came out. Comfortable, big Vwin, but also too heavy.

Every time I ride my CTX, I smile.
 

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Interesting, I think my next bike will be the Victory Cross Country - Suede White Frost. I have had the Harley's which I enjoyed, but the ride was not that smooth on the Street Glide, at least for touring, but I did enjoy the big twin rumble.

I ride with a lot of other Victory riders, and they seem to be a great bike. One of the guys traded his Victory in on the new Indian Road Master and he traded it back in on a Victory Magnum X after 11 days! He was ROASTING with the engine heat, which is a common complaint with the Road Master and everyone is trying to figure out why the Victory lowers on the Cross Country tour, which open A LOT WIDER, were not modified for use on the Indian Tour Master? The lowers don't open that much.

Polaris did the same trick as Harley does, and that is make the bikes "showroom nice", but leave a lot to be desired as far as seats, comfort, and exhaust sound. Since the average Harley bagger goes out the door with over $2,100 in accessories AVERAGE, this is the same marketing ploy Polaris is getting into with the Indians. Make them look great on the showroom, but make the ride bad enough that you want to put a Stage 1,2, or 3 kit on, backrest on the street glide is something like $600, pipes...I think those can be $700 relatively quickly :)

You are right on the CTX 1300, in that it is much more nimble than the heavy V-twins, and I find it tracks very well in strong winds. I think with the engine shift aft, and the rake/trail seem to have it track great when the winds are from the side. I have ridden the bike in 45 mph crosswinds, and although I had to wrestle the bike a little bit, it really wasn't too bad.

For sure the transmission is a lot quicker and is slick compared to the big V-twins that are on the market. It is why I can usually take these bikes in performance, because I will pin the throttle and pre-load the shifter, snap the throttle off the stop for a second as I grab the next gear, and it seems the faster we go, the better the CTX seems to pull, probably due to a lower drag coefficient (Cd).
 

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Thank you guys for your Victory road test comments!

Makes me feel a lot better now that I have the CTX. I had been seriously considering the Cross Country/Road and then the new Scout.

You guys reconfirm comments I had been reading about the engines, clunky shifting, etc. I'd forgotten about engine heat!

The Victory baggers do have some neat design features compared to Harley, like the aluminum frame, upside down forks, adjustable foot boards, etc. but I'm glad I got the CTX.

Mahalo,
Huladog
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A few more points on this comparison. I hope I didn't come off too negative on these two bikes. They were both pretty cool and I instantly caught the big v-twin vibe. In retrospect, comparing them to the CTX is probably like comparing apples and flowers. The Victory x-country tour costs about $21K; the Roadmaster lists for $28K!!! Huge premium over the CTX. That weird front end feel of the Roadmaster was noted on several other reviews. I honestly don't know why major motorcycle manufacturers can't get the front suspensions to work right. And finally, I never really considered the heat factor when choosing a motorcycle. But the air flow on the body was a huge difference between the CTX and these two baggers. I guess I know now why many bagger riders here in SC wear a t-shirt, shorts and flip flops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
And finally, finally..... My neighbor the seasoned motorcycle mechanic summed up my test experience as follows. "The engine on your CTX is a hundred times better than the engines on those baggers. You'll get 70,000 miles before needing any major work."
 

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Interesting, I think my next bike will be the Victory Cross Country - Suede White Frost. I have had the Harley's which I enjoyed, but the ride was not that smooth on the Street Glide, at least for touring, but I did enjoy the big twin rumble.

I ride with a lot of other Victory riders, and they seem to be a great bike. One of the guys traded his Victory in on the new Indian Road Master and he traded it back in on a Victory Magnum X after 11 days! He was ROASTING with the engine heat, which is a common complaint with the Road Master and everyone is trying to figure out why the Victory lowers on the Cross Country tour, which open A LOT WIDER, were not modified for use on the Indian Tour Master? The lowers don't open that much.

Polaris did the same trick as Harley does, and that is make the bikes "showroom nice", but leave a lot to be desired as far as seats, comfort, and exhaust sound. Since the average Harley bagger goes out the door with over $2,100 in accessories AVERAGE, this is the same marketing ploy Polaris is getting into with the Indians. Make them look great on the showroom, but make the ride bad enough that you want to put a Stage 1,2, or 3 kit on, backrest on the street glide is something like $600, pipes...I think those can be $700 relatively quickly :)

You are right on the CTX 1300, in that it is much more nimble than the heavy V-twins, and I find it tracks very well in strong winds. I think with the engine shift aft, and the rake/trail seem to have it track great when the winds are from the side. I have ridden the bike in 45 mph crosswinds, and although I had to wrestle the bike a little bit, it really wasn't too bad.

For sure the transmission is a lot quicker and is slick compared to the big V-twins that are on the market. It is why I can usually take these bikes in performance, because I will pin the throttle and pre-load the shifter, snap the throttle off the stop for a second as I grab the next gear, and it seems the faster we go, the better the CTX seems to pull, probably due to a lower drag coefficient (Cd).
As a Victory Vision owner since April 5th, 2008, with nearly 80K miles on my bike, I can say for certain that the vast majority of touring riders who purchase either the Vision or the Cross bikes (Cross Country, Cross Country Tour, Cross Roads) are happy with the performance that comes stock with the bike as the only stock Harleys which can barely keep up are the 110 ci CVO bikes. There are some Victory owners who do the whole cam, tuner, high flow air filter and exhaust mods but those are usually the people who don't put more than a few thousand miles on their bikes every year. Victory did decide to to away with a lot of the stock chrome as the trend these days seems to be going for the blacked out look (hence the additional blacked out items on the CTX Deluxe) but they kept all of the convenience features which have made the brand popular with those who want and American made V-Twin but do not want a Harley.

As far as dependability goes, if you cruise the Victory forums you would see that Victory owners are getting the same kind of reliability and longevity from their bike as Honda owner do with quite a few owners posting accumulated mileages well over 100K without any major malfunctions. That has been my personal experience with my Vision, my bike has never been in the shop for a mechanical problem and the only time it was in the shop was for a recall on the right side gas tank seal (there are 2 three gallon gas tanks with a crossover) and when my audio system bit the dust (vender issues on the 2008 and 2009 Visions), otherwise it's been just routine maintenance.

To try and compare any multi-cylinder motorcycle with a V-Twin based bike is never a fair comparison as all V-Twins will have some engine vibration at some point in the normal operating range. The CTX is definitely different from my Vision but I love both bikes for what they are.
 

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I concur with Richard's opinion. When I was looking for a two-up motorcycle, I planned to buy a Vision. The missus liked the back seat the best, it was the most comfortable of the big machines, and I knew from experience anbd fellow riders that Vics are very reliable.

When management changed her mind on co-riding again, I decided to stick with my Kingpin. Until I heard the siren song of the CTX. The rest is my history.
 
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Interesting, I think my next bike will be the Victory Cross Country - Suede White Frost. I have had the Harley's which I enjoyed, but the ride was not that smooth on the Street Glide, at least for touring, but I did enjoy the big twin rumble.

I ride with a lot of other Victory riders, and they seem to be a great bike. One of the guys traded his Victory in on the new Indian Road Master and he traded it back in on a Victory Magnum X after 11 days! He was ROASTING with the engine heat, which is a common complaint with the Road Master and everyone is trying to figure out why the Victory lowers on the Cross Country tour, which open A LOT WIDER, were not modified for use on the Indian Tour Master? The lowers don't open that much.

Polaris did the same trick as Harley does, and that is make the bikes "showroom nice", but leave a lot to be desired as far as seats, comfort, and exhaust sound. Since the average Harley bagger goes out the door with over $2,100 in accessories AVERAGE, this is the same marketing ploy Polaris is getting into with the Indians. Make them look great on the showroom, but make the ride bad enough that you want to put a Stage 1,2, or 3 kit on, backrest on the street glide is something like $600, pipes...I think those can be $700 relatively quickly :)

You are right on the CTX 1300, in that it is much more nimble than the heavy V-twins, and I find it tracks very well in strong winds. I think with the engine shift aft, and the rake/trail seem to have it track great when the winds are from the side. I have ridden the bike in 45 mph crosswinds, and although I had to wrestle the bike a little bit, it really wasn't too bad.

For sure the transmission is a lot quicker and is slick compared to the big V-twins that are on the market. It is why I can usually take these bikes in performance, because I will pin the throttle and pre-load the shifter, snap the throttle off the stop for a second as I grab the next gear, and it seems the faster we go, the better the CTX seems to pull, probably due to a lower drag coefficient (Cd).
The CTX and the VIctory are two Different Machines . I would hands down take the Vic CC over the CTX As a former owner Of a CC I will take that clunk of the positive shift over the meek shifting CTX and the backlash of the tranny/ driveline. Quicker sifting??? don't get that especially if you are "snapping" the throttle between shifts. I'd already be in the next gear and on the throttle. As far as winds, I was on my CTX today on the highway and noticed that minor crosswinds and vehicle turbulence would throw the front end around,does not make for a comfortable feeling.Figure it is possibly to do with fairing design.
Oh, by the way , as far perfomance , I know my Kingpin will out accelerate my CTX. CtX may have higher top end but who is driving up there anyway? :smiley-party0005:
 

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As a Victory Vision owner since April 5th, 2008, with nearly 80K miles on my bike, I can say for certain that the vast majority of touring riders who purchase either the Vision or the Cross bikes (Cross Country, Cross Country Tour, Cross Roads) are happy with the performance that comes stock with the bike as the only stock Harleys which can barely keep up are the 110 ci CVO bikes. There are some Victory owners who do the whole cam, tuner, high flow air filter and exhaust mods but those are usually the people who don't put more than a few thousand miles on their bikes every year. Victory did decide to to away with a lot of the stock chrome as the trend these days seems to be going for the blacked out look (hence the additional blacked out items on the CTX Deluxe) but they kept all of the convenience features which have made the brand popular with those who want and American made V-Twin but do not want a Harley.

As far as dependability goes, if you cruise the Victory forums you would see that Victory owners are getting the same kind of reliability and longevity from their bike as Honda owner do with quite a few owners posting accumulated mileages well over 100K without any major malfunctions. That has been my personal experience with my Vision, my bike has never been in the shop for a mechanical problem and the only time it was in the shop was for a recall on the right side gas tank seal (there are 2 three gallon gas tanks with a crossover) and when my audio system bit the dust (vender issues on the 2008 and 2009 Visions), otherwise it's been just routine maintenance.

To try and compare any multi-cylinder motorcycle with a V-Twin based bike is never a fair comparison as all V-Twins will have some engine vibration at some point in the normal operating range. The CTX is definitely different from my Vision but I love both bikes for what they are.
Well stated!! Ever notice the V4 vibrations in the foot pegs on the CTX? and why they have the foam handle grips. Have had my 2004 Kingpin for 7 years and yes very dependable. What's the word?...... Bulletproof ... That goes for the tranny too . Love that "clunk" of the positive shifting tranny! LIke the shifting feel So much better than my CTX .. you know your in gear.
:smileygarden_de_ban
 

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I rode the Victory cross country last year along with an Indian Springfield. I thought they were both excellent machines and really enjoyed the experience. I am so utterly happy with the CTX though. A lot of great bikes out there!
 
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