2012 Victory Cross Roads | Long-Term Bikes

**2012 Victory Cross Roads
** MSRP: $15,999 ($17,349 w/cruise, ABS and paint)
Caretaker: Cherney
Measurements: 5 ft., 7 in./160 lbs./30 in. inseam
Odometer: 7599
Miles Since Last Issue: 1339
Average fuel mileage: 42 mpg

It’s that time of year again, and Victory has begun recalling its 2012 test units in preparation for the rollout of the new 2013 bikes. In fact, it looks like the base model Cross Roads (what I’ve been riding), won’t be appearing in the new lineup, which is probably why Victory wants it back so soon. So I figured I’d wrap up my long relationship with the exceedingly competent Cross Roads much the same way I began it—with a long ride.

But this journey back to Victory’s Southern California’s fleet center was going to have a small wrinkle, unlike the 16-hour, 1000 mile Butt Burner I’d done at the beginning. This time, I’d be gingerly hauling The Missus—who’d never done a tour of this magnitude before—on the pillion all the way down to L.A. (no Dear, I don’t mean to imply that you’re a wrinkle. Or even that you’re wrinkled. Uh, never mind). That meant I had to promise the moon and deliver the stars for three long days, keeping throttle hand in check and suspension settings plush, or I’d never hear the end of it. My cold sweats were for naught though; through it all, the ‘Roads delivered, supplying Mrs. Cherney with spacious and comfy back-area accommodations, a smooth ride and plenty of storage space (only after I whittled my worldly possessions down to a t-shirt, skivvies and sneakers). In fact, over the entire 1000 miles, she continuously marveled at just how much room there was back there. Long story short, the trip was a smashing success, and I’ll be sad to bring her back. The bike, I mean....

After the 1000-mile jaunt though, the rear Dunlop Elite 3 tire was pretty much toast. I’m bummed I never got around to trying out some new skins, but even more troubling is the fact that I also never had the chance to swap in new brake pads for the ridiculously meek stock ones—I’d heard EBC’s Double-H units were the hot upgrade, and I was looking forward to experiencing some improved feel up front.

I also felt the bike burned through oil more than normal; recommended change intervals are 5000 miles, and I’ve had to top it off three or four times with a couple of quarts within 1000 miles of a service (well past the break-in period). Luckily it’s an easy task. Other than that though, the big Vic has been rock-solid throughout, and it’ll be sorely missed around here.