Long termers: Alternative thinking

Published: 11:19AM Apr 6th, 2012

I guess you could ask what would make a guy in his mid-20s go for a bike like this? Funnily enough, I’m asking myself the very same question.

Long termers: Alternative thinking

The Victory definitely isn’t me. It doesn’t quite fit in with my persona. In fact, on paper, this bike would be the last bike I’d ever go for.

I’m not into tassels, I hate Meat Loaf and I’ve never grown my hair long. Yet here I am having chosen something that looks like it’d be at home in a Whitesnake video. So why? Maybe the answer lies with wanting to try something a little different. Like tasting food you’ve never tried before, this is one of life’s great opportunities to discover the unknown.

Who knows, maybe I’ll round up this season so passionately taken by the whole cruiser thing that I’ll find myself owning more pairs of chaps than a Village People tribute act... only time will tell. But right now my focus is on getting the most out of this bike. No stones will be left unturned and few roads will be left unridden. I don’t expect this bike to set the world alight with its performance, but I do have expectations for it being a comfortable, reliable workhorse (although whether you can class a bike north of £15,000 as a workhorse remains to be seen); the kind of bike that’s perfect for cruising around on at weekends with all but the kitchen sink rammed into the two, huge leather panniers that come fixed to the stern of
the behemoth.

Maybe I’ll let the missus come too. Not such a bad idea on this bike because I’m thinking that we could have some pretty decent mini-escapes together; providing I can afford the fuel that is. At this stage, I’ve only done a couple of hundred miles on the bike, but it seems reasonably economical. I’m going to reserve judgment though until I’ve really got a feel for how thirsty this large (with a capital L) motorsickle is.

Physically, she’s a big one (the bike, not the missus), the Cross Roads tips the scales at 388kg dry and has an overall length of 2652mm.

Let’s be honest, while the big twin should be good on juice, it’s not to be forgotten that the engine will be hauling around over half a ton when we’re out two-up and fully laden. Another aspect of the Victory I am interested to see how I get on with is the limited ground clearance. By nature and nurture I’m an old racer so this bike’s 148mm ground clearance is going to take some getting used to – I sense plenty of sparks made while I reprogramme the brain to stop the dragging.

I suppose all that’s left is for me to get out there and get practising.

Let’s rock. With not much hope of going like a bat out of hell...

Rider:     Bruce Wilson
Bike:     Victory Cross Roads
Price:     £15,495

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