Polaris Industries Victory motorcycle division celebrated their 10th Anniversary in 2008 and entered their second decade of “The New American Motorcycle” production with significant improvements to their 2009 lineup of bikes in both the cruiser and touring categories. 2010 saw the addition of two new touring models – the Victory Cross Roads and Victory Cross Country. The Cross Roads bike served up hard sculpted bags, forward crash bars and a windshield, while the Cross Country cruiser substituted a fork-mounted fairing with a “shorty” windshield. As with all of Victory’s models, regardless of category, the bikes filled the bill as highly customized turn-key units right off the showroom floor.
For the 2011 model year, Victory chose to power all of the bikes with their 106 Freedom V-Twin – 1,731cc (106 ci) 4-stroke 50-degree SOHC, 8-valve Freedom V-Twin with electronic fuel injection, dual 45mm throttle body and split dual exhaust with crossover. The motor was mated to an improved and enhanced six-speed constant mesh overdrive transmission, capable of cranking out up to 97 horsepower, along with 113 pound feet of torque.
As part of the special custom lineup, the “Ness Signature Series” represented special edition bikes with custom Ness designs from three generations of the iconic family. Patriarch, Arlen Ness chose the Vision Tour for his 2011 custom palette, while son Cory selected the Cross Country to make over, and Grandson Zach picked the Vegas model to customize. Each specific Ness model is numbered and signed by its creator. My personal favorite for 2011 was Cory’s Cross Country bike which featured a Cory Ness engine cover, stunning custom paint work and Anvil-design 5-spoke alloy wheels.
The 2011 Victory Cross Country Cory Ness Edition sported a rich Sunset Red base coat accented by Blue and Black graphics on both fenders, the fairing, tank and hard bags. A center character line runs the entire length of the bike from the front composite fender, through the headlamp and fuel tank, and continues through the rear fender to the stylized “V” taillight and running light with a chrome trimmed “V” rear directional light assembly. The streamlined, extended tank also features a distinctive side sculpting, as do the contoured, composite, lockable hard side bags. The fuel filler cap is positioned to the right of the centerline of the otherwise uncluttered tank top – the only non-symmetrical styling cue on the bike.
The upscale Victory Cross Country is exceptionally pleasing to the eye even in its base form, and it is not as futuristic or radical in appearance as the larger Vision models are. Large floorboards are provided for the rider, with pegs for the passenger.
The 2011 Cory Ness Victory Cross Country rolls on Dunlop Elite 3 rubber — 130/70 R18 up front and 180/60 R16 aft mounted on Anvil 5-spoke alloy wheels. The suspension componentry consists of front 43 mm inverted cartridge telescopic forks with 5.1-inches of travel and a single rear monotube gas shock, with a cast aluminum, constant rate linkage swingarm providing 4.7-inches of travel. Bringing the Cross Country to a halt is accomplished by a conventional hydraulic system with forward dual 300 mm floating rotors with 4-piston calipers and a single 300 mm floating rotor with 2-piston caliper in the rear.
The seat is a low set (26.5-inches), comfortable one-piece affair ideal for vertically challenged riders, with a stepped up passenger pillion with a strap grip for the passenger. Dimensionally, the Cross Roads is longer in terms of wheelbase and overall length than Harley-Davidson’s Ultra Classic Electra Glide, yet it weighing in at 107 pounds less than the Harley thanks to the use of composite materials in the body work. The cost of the Cross Roads was also considerably less.
My test 2011 Victory was the Cory Ness Edition Cross Roads model. The base sticker was set at $24,999. Add $250 for California emissions, with some dealers charging for prep and handling at varied rates.
SUMMARY: The 2011 Victory Cross Roads Cory Ness edition displays an emotional and dramatically pleasing visual presence, with the styling cues rivaling the appeal of a custom Harley. All the angles and contours flow harmoniously, with the 106 cubic inch motor displayed in the frame as a jeweled focal point. The motor not only looks good, it delivered the mail with gusto. If there was a downside at all, the stock exhaust note, which is pleasing, would benefit from a little more thunder. On the plus side of that issue, it’s much less likely to offend neighbors when firing it up.
The riding position is particularly comfortable and well-balanced. The Ness Cross Country is a touring machine where everything works well from the handlebar and floorboard positioning to the well-padded seat. The suspension travel smooths out rough road surfaces for more pleasant riding conditions. The six-speed gearbox is smoother and quieter. The positive Neutral finder is a nice touch unless you actually don’t want to find Neutral, which unfortunately happened on more than one occasion. There’s plenty of power on tap with a very broad torque range if you want to minimize shifting gears.
During the national press launch, which took riders from the Gateway Canyons Resort (about 60 miles out of Grand Junction, Colorado) to Mountain Village, above Telluride for lunch (about 100 miles) and back. Riding along a river, through towering red cliffs provided a remarkably picturesque scenario. On the return leg, riding through thunder and lightning accompanied by a torrential and soaking downpour didn’t make for the most enjoyable ride I’ve ever taken, but the bike proved to be a stable mount, taking everything in stride.
In the final analysis, Victory’s new 2011 Cross Country Cory Ness edition provides a custom tourer right off the showroom floor in a lineup that now seems to be complete, with a wide selection of models that has something to satisfy every rider – at least in the Cruising and Touring categories. The company’s “Fuel It” tagline refers to fueling one’s passion for hitting the road on two wheels.
On The Fast Lane Car’s rating scale of:
• Buy It.
• Rent It
• Lease It.
• Forget It.
Buy It used if you can locate a willing seller for an impressive and comfortable custom Tourer or Cruising Bagger in one, or you can buy the latest 2013 Cory Ness Victory Cross Country as he has again chosen this model to customize.
Base Price when new: $24,999. / Price as Tested: $25,249.* est – dealer prep and handling costs vary.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2011 Victory Cross Country Cory Ness Edition
Base Price: $24,999.
Price as Tested: $25,249.
Engine Type and Size: 1,731cc (106 ci) 4-stroke 50-degree SOHC, 8-valve Freedom V-Twin with
electronic fuel injection, dual 45mm throttle body and split dual exhaust with
Horsepower (bhp): 97 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 113 @ 2,900 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed constant mesh overdrive.
Drive Train: Final drive – Carbon fiber reinforced belt.
Suspension: Front – 43mm inverted cartridge telescopic forks with 5.1-inches of travel.
Rear – Cast aluminum swingarm, Single monotube gas shock and swingarm
with constant-rate linkage and 4.7-inches of travel.
Brakes: Conventional hydraulic braking system with dual 300mm floating rotors and
4-piston calipers up front and single 300mm floating rotor with 2-piston
calipers in the rear.
Tires: Dunlop Elite 3 – 130/70 R18 front / 180/60R16 rear mounted on 18×3-inch /
16×5-inch 5-anvil-spoke alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 65.7 inches
Length Overall: 104.4 inches
Curb Weight dry: 765 lbs. (dry)
Fuel Capacity: 5.8 gallons
Seat height: 26.5 inches
0 – 60 mph: Not tested
Review by Arv Voss, Auto Impressions