Welcome back to the Find of the Month, where we share some of the cool bikes we find for sale on autoTRADER.ca. This month, we’re checking out a 2014 Victory Cross Country for sale in Guelph, Ontario.
Once upon a time, dinosaurs walked the land, the continents hadn’t yet separated, and there was a boom in V-twin motorcycle sales. Hard to imagine, but it really did happen back in the 1990s, and with Harley-Davidson unable to keep up with demand, others aimed at getting a piece of the action. This Victory Cross Country is the last vestige of those days, a machine that shows the tail end of bygone glory days.
Maybe we should put it with the other fossils at the Royal Tyrrell Museum?
Here’s the backstory of this machine. Starting in the ’90s, there were several attempts to compete with the MoCo for the American cruiser market, including a short-lived run by a reborn Excelsior-Henderson and pre-Polaris Indian. And there was Victory, which started manufacturing motorcycles in Spirit Lake, Iowa, in 1998.
Polaris founded Victory to build a better V-twin, and in many respects, the end result was success. Owner satisfaction was generally high, the machines had a good reputation for reliability, and fit and finish were usually good.
But on the business side, things weren’t so hot. Victory sales were never a threat to any other manufacturers, and in 2017, Victory was shut down by Polaris, after issuing the following press release: “Victory has struggled to establish the market share needed to succeed and be profitable.” By this point, Polaris had bought Indian and decided to stake its future on that brand instead.
Victory owners were bitter their beloved brand had been abandoned. Some of them had dropped significant coin on their bikes and now, they were orphaned by the mother company. In the last years of its existence, Victory was producing some seriously flashy, expensive machines, the kind of bikes you’d like to have dealer support for.
One of those machines is the Cross Country, a model that debuted in 2010 with a 1,740 cc engine. The air/oil-cooled V-twin made 92 hp and 109 lb-ft of torque, which was pretty respectable for those days, although now it would be reckoned a bit anemic in the big-bore cruiser world. The bike also had a six-speed transmission and belt final drive.
This was one of the first really high-end bagger models the American manufacturers built—handlebar-mounted batwing fairing, floorboards, butt-dragging seat, 80 litres of luggage capacity and most importantly for the boulevard poseur, a kicking sound system. So what if there was only 120 mm of suspension travel? Your neighbours could hear you coming a block away, even if the engine wasn’t running!
With a 383 kg dry weight, they might also feel the ground shaking long before they saw you. This is a heavy, heavy bike.
Toward the end of its run, this was the sort of machine that Victory was best-known for, particularly with the high-end paint job that this machine has. It doesn’t make your machine any faster, just as chrome never gets you home, but it makes for a fine-looking bike, with attention to detail. Overall, the styling is futuristic, not retro, and even now, almost 10 years after the machine debuted and four years after this model was sold, it’s still not dated visually, although it certainly doesn’t have leaning ABS or anything like that, and doesn’t have the power output of newer V-twins.
This particular machine has relatively low mileage, with 11,005 km on the odometer. It’s getting harder to find these machines in low mileage, so if you really want a Victory, you might want to give this a good look-over. This one’s for sale at a dealership, which can be a good thing, depending on your perspective. It means someone has probably checked it over and the machine isn’t likely a ticking mechanical time bomb.
On the other hand, it also means a higher asking price. These were never cheap bikes to begin with, and this particular machine carries an $18,299 price tag in the ad. That’s a lot of dosh for a bike that will be five years old by the time you get it out next season, and $18,000 can buy you a pretty nice brand-new bagger if you want it. But if you think a Victory Cross Country is the machine for you, it’s not like they’re making any more of them.
Check out all the pics that go with this story!