Long-Term Bikes | 2012 Victory Cross Roads

Modifications to the Cross Roads have been nil this cycle; I’ve been too busy riding the damn thing to spend much time noodling around in the garage. When that rare weather pattern called “sunny” shows up around here, you don’t ask questions, you just GO, and I’ve managed to pile up enough miles this month to almost make up for the anemic mileage of last cycle. Stripping the X-Roads of all its winter junk was just what the doctor ordered too, and the bike finally feels like it’s hitting its stride. I’ve had non-cruiser riding buddies grab quick spins on it and grudgingly admit that the big Vic’s handling is superb on fast backroads (though they trashed its clunky shift action).

After some more long rides with the shorter shield I swapped in last issue, I’ve come to realize that the thing allows a ton of dirty air to swirl into the cockpit, especially at highway speeds. The turbulence is probably compounded by the fact that I’ve taken the lowers off as well, allowing gusts to come in from below, too. It doesn’t help that the Cross Roads handlebars feel like they’re yards away from the fork (where the shield mounts), making it virtually impossible to defend all the real estate in between from errant blasts. Regardless, I’ll still take the shorter shield—I’d much rather see over the plastic than through it.

The AirHawk seat cushion has also increased hindquarter happiness noticeably, and 200 + mile jaunts in one sitting are no longer the butt burners they used to be. I’ve taken to carrying the thing around with me, using it on my dual-sport bike, my office chair... even in the truck occasionally. It’s that good.

The big sore point with this bike remains the front brake setup; engagement is anything but enthusiastic, and the feel is as wooden as it gets, with only average progressive action on the 300mm discs. I’ve heard the hot replacement is a set of Z Plus pads, so I’m looking at sourcing some from Lyndall Racing Brakes. Stay tuned.