Gentle giants: Victory Cross Country and Harley Davidson Street Glide

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Gentle giants: Victory Cross Country and Harley Davidson Street Glide
Jahn

Comparison test touring cruiser, Harley-Davidson Street Glide, Victory Cross Country

Compare Victory Cross Country and Harley-Davidson Street Glide.

+++ CORRECTION: Victory wins. +++ Powerful and casual, comfortable and luxuriously equipped: two touring cruisers, which represent the American philosophy of a high-displacement luxury liner.

Twice V2, but which one is more lively?

In mid-November, somewhere in the Allgau, shortly before Germany is covered with snow and ice. But this weekend, the world is still okay when it comes to motorcycling. Foehn blows warm wind down from the Alps. Its white crowned peaks seem within reach. Out and about on small and tiny streets where the villages are called Niemandsfreund or Grunkraut, Schauwies and Hubschenberg. It’s a great feeling how these two opulent US road cruisers suck through the narrowest strips of asphalt under them. Two two-wheeled space gliders with a clearly defined mission: to conquer hearts.

Both Harley-Davidson Street Glide, code-named FLHX, as well as their challenger Victory Cross Country are luxury liners in a very special class. Machines that can only be built in the USA. You don’t just drive anywhere with them. The landscape is received, enthroned behind cladding in kingsize format, here and there mounted on the handlebars. "Bat Wing", Bat wing has been the name of this shape at Harley since 1969. Protected by crash bars that could serve as underrun protection for trucks. King of the Road! The sub-revving, bubbling V2-displacement giants radiate a serenity that is transferred to the driver.

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Gentle giants: Victory Cross Country and Harley Davidson Street Glide

Comparative test touring cruiser
Compare Victory Cross Country and Harley-Davidson Street Glide.

Street Glide sounds a bit better.

In the engine room the mighty hearts pulsate, beat a bass-heavy pulse. Each around 1.7 liters displacement and around ten centimeters thick pistons that swing open in tower-high cylinders between upper and lower dead centers. You can feel every single beat, the metal heartbeat gets under your skin.

The Harley in particular, with its bumper motor proudly elevated to a stylistic element, carries the driver on the wings of tradition. For a good 90 years, the model “61” from 1909, Harleys have been spreading their cylinders at a 45-degree angle to the victory sign, now with 103 cubic inches, i.e. 1690 cm3.

Victory is cheekily wearing the "victory" even as a name, has been building motorcycles since 1997. Maybe not long enough for your own ego, because the founding year 1954 of the parent company Polaris, manufacturer of snowmobiles, is emblazoned on the wide 22.7 liter tank. Burden or chance of late birth? After all, a bigger, more modern, more powerful V2 fires here, pathetically "Freedom V Twin" baptized. Great freedom number two. With a cylinder angle of 50 degrees, 1731 cm3, camshafts above instead of below, chain-driven of course, four instead of just two valves in the heads, also operated by hydraulic valve lifters with low maintenance and air-cooled like the Harley.

Subtle differences that noticeably shape the feeling of the two individualists with the same basic concept. The Harley punches and pulses more confidently in the lower rev range. When stationary, the Milwaukee V2, which is mounted in cushioning rubber elements, causes the entire stem to shake. Powerful, the Harley comes from the smooth clutch.

Rich, bearish pressure from below. Subjectively, the Victory needs slightly higher speeds. In fact, it tears more on the easy-care toothed belt, pulls a little faster in the sixth, accelerates better. Side notes, because motorcycles of this type are not defined by their performance. Every 600 is much more dynamic, but worlds less relaxing. The V-engines only turn a good 3000 tours in the long sixth gears at 130 things. But now the cruise control has a break. It’s a shame that the Victory-V2, which is so cultivated below, vibrates ticklishly and annoyingly in the running boards from a speed of 4000 rpm, the balance shaft can no longer eliminate the vibrations. The hard pounding Harley is ultimately more good-natured. Their good vibrations are noticeable over the entire speed range as low-frequency pulsations, but they are never as annoying as those of the Victory above.

The transmission of the Cross Country acts roughly. It limes and hits, like the clutch, it needs a lot of operating force. And that where you have to switch it back earlier. The gear indicator in the lavishly equipped cockpit is hardly a consolation. One "Hoe trick" The Freedom-V2 does not have a standard feature, just as an extra. When switching, you miss the Harley’s rocker switch, which only shows sixth gear in the cockpit. Your Big Twin bubbles more poignantly, the exhaust sounds dull and full. In comparison, the Victory is more whispering. Harley clearly wins the sound rating. By the way, when loading the Victory suitcase you should note that the silencers heat up the inventory. Better not to store provisions there.

But here and now everything is okay. The mighty duo glides and swings serenely through lush green meadows and pastures. There is something when these huge gliders tilt in an inclined position, dignified straighten them up again and place them in the opposite direction. The Victory scores well.

Your modern upside-down fork and the air-assisted central spring strut carefully scan the asphalt relief. This chassis provides good information about the road conditions, has decent reserves on uneven ground and still offers considerable comfort. Compliment. In addition, there is considerable stability for this weight class, whether straight ahead or in an inclined position.

In curves, the thick ship remains neutrally on course. The aluminum bridge frame and, in contrast to the in-house muscle bikes, the narrow 180 mm rear tires help enormously in this regard. But the Victory technicians have also done their homework with regard to the chassis design. Even the lean angle is impressive. Street Glide’s running boards and kickstand used to give off sparks.
The Harley appears softer, less dampened, and develops more life of its own on bumps.

After all, she circles corners with more precise steering. Not a matter of course in view of the wide 130s installed here and there. The dresser suspension makes the Harley more prone to tumbling and less stable. In an inclined position it gives the pilot less feedback. Your Achilles heel (s) wears the Street Glide on the back. Compared to the E-Glide, shortened, air-assisted struts with just under 51 millimeters of spring travel hoisted the white flag early on. For comparison: The Victory spoils with a generous 120 millimeters. The Harley first hits the back and then comes out again too quickly.

You can do it on your own through the softly padded seat in the spine. You don’t even want to think about what happens with a payload of 243 kilograms. The clean Harley rear hops on lousy ground – it doesn’t have a conventional taillight, but crescent-shaped brake and taillights integrated into the indicators to the left and right of the fender. There is a clearance of just 70 centimeters between the saddle and the ground. Nevertheless, the sitting posture is more comfortable and casual than on the Victory. The legs rest at a right angle, the hands find their way to the ergonomically well-shaped handlebars by themselves. Because the Harley is also well balanced and has a low center of gravity, turning and maneuvering with it are surprisingly easy. As long as one can say something like that about a 374-kilogram stretch.

Just turn it around? Hui, hui, hui, that is much heavier on the much larger-looking, but seven kilogram lighter Cross Country because of the high center of gravity. Then it almost knocks the deer antler handlebar, model wheelbarrow, out of your hand. When driving, however, you can feel it a little close to your chest. Because it is stored in soft rubber, the feeling for the far front wheel is missing, especially when creeping.

The braking system of the Victory is absolutely great. It reliably brings the heavyweight to a standstill by the shortest possible route. The only drawback: There is no ABS like on the Harley. Not a good feeling on slippery roads when suddenly a tractor pulls out of a driveway. Everyday life in the Allgau. In addition to the advantages mentioned, the Victory can convince with other plus points: a 4,000 euros cheaper purchase price, for example, an on-board computer that can be operated from the handlebars, the inviting pillion seat and over five hundred pounds of payload. Can all of this make up for the missing ABS? The Cross Country, cut by star designer Arlen Ness, proudly wears this right down to the last millimeter, the V-shaped LED taillights "Victory"-Character. But the more modern design barely gives away the victory.

The knockout criterion with the Harley is the pillion rider. If you want to go on a cruise for two, you should avoid the Street Glide in view of the unstoppable sloping bread roll. But the next stop already puts everything into perspective. The Street Glide stands bright red and with a powerful voice. On the one hand, it looks as rustic as ever, but on the other hand it doesn’t have to explain its look. At the Victory, car windows are hastily lowered, onlookers flock to admire the even more powerful spacecraft: “What is that?” One thing is guaranteed to never work with the gentle giants – stop unnoticed. No matter whether here in the Allgau or anywhere else.

Scoring

engine
A question of interpretation and personal preferences. The modern Victory accelerates faster and pulls through slightly better in sixth gear. But that’s not really important. The hard and loud gearbox and the stiff clutch of the Cross Country are annoying in the long run. The gears on the Harley engage softer, and operated more comfortably via the rocker switch. Their coupling is also easier to dose.

landing gear
Victory advantage. The challenger’s more modern design pays off. Because the Victory lies “fuller”, remains more stable and relaxed, even when things get tough. In contrast, the softer Street Glide suffers extremely from the minimal spring travel at the rear. Especially with a pillion passenger, the struts hit mercilessly and also teeter. And the Harley touches down earlier in an inclined position. After all, it plows more precisely through the curves.

everyday life
Clear thing. or not? Only the Victory with its luxury seat is suitable for passenger operations. Although their rear running boards are mounted a little too high. The Harley is of little use to the almost equally high payload, just under five hundredweight. Because the seat roll that slopes backwards is more suitable as a torture pillow. In return, however, she simply embeds her captain in a more relaxed manner, holding out an ergonomically better shaped handlebar towards him.

security
No ifs and buts. If there is one type of motorcycle that needs ABS, it is this: immense weight, little feeling for the wide, distant front wheel, high rear wheel load. So it is criminal that Victory withheld this blessing from Cross Country. And ultimately gambled away the victory.

costs

Customer-friendly: Harley offers a two-year manufacturer’s plus one-year mobility guarantee. Victory counters the two-year manufacturer plus two-year mobility guarantee and decides the duel, also because of the lower price.

Harley-Davidson Street Glide


Jahn

Classic. Reduction to clear, smooth surfaces and "little" Ornament.

engine
Air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 45-degree V-engine, crankshaft horizontal, two chain-driven camshafts, two valves per cylinder, hydraulic valve lifters, bumpers, rocker arms, dry sump lubrication, injection, Ø 46 mm, regulated catalytic converter, alternator 585 W, battery 12 V / 28 Ah, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, toothed belt, secondary ratio 2.125.
Bore x stroke 98.4 x 111.1 mm
Cubic capacity 1690 cm³
Compression ratio 9.6: 1

Rated output 62.0 kW (84 hp) at 5010 rpm
Max. Torque 134 Nm at 3500 rpm

landing gear
Double loop frame made of steel, telescopic fork, Ø 41 mm, two-arm swing arm made of steel, two spring struts, adjustable spring base, front disc brake, Ø 300 mm, four-piston fixed caliper, rear disc brake, Ø 300 mm, double-piston floating caliper.
Spoked wheels with aluminum rims
3.50 x 18; 5.00 x 16
Tires 130/70 B 18; 180/65 B 16
Dunlop D407 tires tested

mass and weight
Wheelbase 1625 mm, steering head angle 64.0 degrees, caster 170 mm, spring travel f / r 117/51 mm, seat height * 700 mm, weight with a full tank * 374 kg, payload * 243 kg, tank capacity / reserve 22.7 / 3.8 liters.

Two year guarantee

One year mobility guarantee

One year warranty
Service intervals 8000 km
Colors red, black, silver,
different two-tone finishes
Price from 22,995 euros
Price test motorcycle 23 235 euros
Additional costs around 350 euros

Victory Cross Country


Jahn

Independent: curved shapes, corners and sharp edges characterize the Victory.

engine
Air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 50-degree V engine, a balance shaft, one overhead, chain-driven camshaft, four valves per cylinder, rocker arm, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 45 mm, regulated catalytic converter, 450 W alternator, 12 V / 18 battery Ah, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, toothed belt, secondary ratio 2.121.
Bore x stroke 101.0 x 108.0 mm
Cubic capacity 1731 cm³
Compression ratio 9.4: 1

Rated output 66.0 kW (90 PS) at 4900 rpm
Max. Torque 140 Nm at 3250 rpm

landing gear
Bridge frame made of aluminum, upside-down fork, Ø 43 mm, two-sided swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut, directly hinged, adjustable spring base, double disc brake at the front, Ø 300 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 300 mm, double-piston floating caliper.
Cast aluminum wheels 3.00 x 18; 5.00 x 16
Tire 130 / 70R 18; 180 / 60R 16
Dunlop Elite 3 tires tested

mass and weight
Wheelbase 1669 mm, steering head angle 61.0 degrees, caster 142 mm, suspension travel f / h 130/120 mm, seat height * 725 mm, weight with a full tank * 367 kg, payload * 251 kg, tank capacity 22.0 liters.

Two year guarantee

Mobility guarantee two years
Warranty two years
Mobility guarantee two years
Service intervals 8000 km
Colors blue, silver / black, black, red
Price including additional costs 19,490 euros

Victory Cross Country Visually not a copy, technically
modern, better pillion seat. Still, it’s not quite enough for
the victory promised in the name, with ABS it would look different.
Harley-Davidson Street Glide Well, who said it? A Harley wins a comparison test. Because it drives smoothly and is easier to control. And because there is an ABS on board.

Motorcycle measurements

One has it on top, the other on the bottom: more power. The longer Harley-Twin operates more beefy at low engine speeds, while the Victory’s “Freedom V2” offers more steam in the upper speed chamber. The torque curve for both is flat and bold, even above the factory specifications. From 2000 to over 5000 tours there are always more than 120 Newton meters. The seven kilogram lighter Victory translates a slight excess of power and displacement into slightly better performance. Both bikes achieve top ranges. 1 Power on the crankshaft.

Advantage Victory. The challenger’s more modern design pays off. Because the Victory "fuller" lies, remains more stable and relaxed, even when it comes to fat. In contrast, the softer Street Glide suffers extremely from the minimal spring travel at the rear. Especially with a pillion passenger, the struts hit mercilessly and teeter. And the Harley touches down earlier in an inclined position. After all, she plows more precisely through the curves.
Winner engine: tie
Winner chassis: victory
Clear thing. or not? Only the Victory with its luxury seat is suitable for passenger operations. Even though their rear running boards are mounted a little too high. The Harley is of little use to the almost equally high payload, just under five hundredweight. Because the seat roll that slopes backwards is more suitable as a torture pillow. In return, however, she simply embeds her captain more casually, holding out an ergonomically better-shaped handlebar towards him.
Winner everyday: Victory
No ifs and buts. If there is one type of motorcycle that needs ABS, it is this: immense weight, little feeling for the wide, distant front wheel, high rear wheel load. So it is criminal that Victory withheld this blessing from Cross Country. And ultimately gambled away the victory.
Safety winner: Harley-Davidson
Customer-friendly: Harley offers a two-year manufacturer’s plus one-year mobility guarantee. Victory leaves it with a guarantee.
Winner Cost: Harley-Davidson
Winner price-performance: Victory
Okay, both are not bargains, grade 4. But the Victory is 4000 euros cheaper

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