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2010 Victory Cross Country vs Stratoliner S

Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Victory Motorcycles has made a reputation for itself by daring to explore and expand the American V-Twin-powered
Both the futuristic-looking Cross Country and the art deco-styled Stratoliner S look at home in the trendy Costa Mesa district of Southern Cal.
Both the futuristic-looking 2010 Victory Cross Country and the art deco-styled 2009 Star Stratoliner S look at home in the trendy Costa Mesa district of Southern Cal.
cruiser and touring motorcycle segments. The creation of Victory Motorcycles itself was experimental, as its parent company, Polaris Industries, was already established as a manufacturer of snowmobiles and watercraft before it took on the task of developing motorcycles for the street. Polaris started out in the ATV realm in 1984, but wouldn’t introduce “The New American Motorcycle” until 1998. Since its inception, Victory has continued to create ripples in the industry and in 2008 created quite a stir within the luxury-touring market with the release of its futuristic-looking Vision Tour and Street models. It is in this spirit of pushing the envelope that Victory introduces its latest neo-styled cruiser touring motorcycle, the 2010 Victory Cross Country.

With its distinctive angular fork-mounted fairing, a sleek, sculpted tank with a raised spine, and unique foil-shaped crash bars made of forged aluminum, the 2010 Victory Cross Country doesn’t look like an old man’s bagger. Add a host of touring amenities like mondo-sized saddlebags, cruise control, and some of the longest stock floorboards around, and you’ve got a modern bagger that looks to sway a percentage of the market that might otherwise opt to buy Harley-Davidson’s classic-styled fork-mounted touring bike, the Street Glide. The fact that the Cross Country looks right at home whether you’re cruising Sunset Blvd. or chugging up I-5 should make it more attractive to the younger demographic that H-D is trying so hard to tap into.

Introducing the 2010 Victory Cross Country.
The 2010 Cross Country brings baggers into the 21st Century and has fresh styling that should attract a younger demographic than the standard cruiser crowd.

2009 Star Stratoliner S
Don't let the vintage styling of the Star Stratoliner fool you. At the heart of the big cruiser is a potent 48-degree V-Twin.
So when looking for an opponent to measure the merits of the new Victory touring motorcycle against, the 2010 Star Stratoliner Deluxe looked like the perfect candidate. Yamaha’s cruiser division, Star Motorcycles, has also been keeping its eyes on the market for what it deems ‘casual full dress touring’ machines, so it introduced its new cruiser-based touring motorcycle this year as well, the 2010 Stratoliner Deluxe. With a hard-shelled, fork-mounted fairing and hard saddlebags, the Deluxe was our first candidate when it came comparison time. Bad thing is, the most well-intentioned plans don’t always come to fruition, and no ’10 Stato Deluxes were ready when it became test time. But Star offered us the next best thing to conduct the test with, a 2009 Star Stratoliner S. The Strato S has its own touring accoutrements in the form of leather-covered hard saddlebags, a front windscreen, and a passenger pillion complete with a small backrest. Dynamically, from its big 1854cc engine to its aluminum frame and controlled-fill swingarm, the engine specs and the chassis dimensions of the Stratoliner S and 2010 Deluxe are the same.

Head-to-head, the 2010 Victory Cross Country and the 2009 Star Stratoliner S both feature air-cooled V-Twin engines with a comparable bore/stroke, both feature electronic fuel injection, have belt drives and dual disc brakes. They both ring in right at 800 lbs full of fluids and each has a single shock smoothing the ride on the backside. Enough in common to conduct a little cruiser comparo? We'd like to think so.

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2010 Victory Cross Country vs 2009 Star Stratoliner S
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h1of1   July 22, 2011 07:45 PM
Also I've seen alot of post about short fuel range and no low fuel light. Experienced riders will have no problem keeping track of fuel limits and knowing when the Fuel Low Light and Miles Traveled Indicator come on and starts counting. Just saying. 8)
h1of1   July 22, 2011 07:38 PM
Bought a new in the box Roadliner S with a OEM kit to turn it into a Stratoliner S spent turn key $13500. I can ride with any cruiser twin out there except V-Rod. Get 48 mpg on the highway, and love this bike a little less power than the V-Max I've been riding and still own for the adrenalin rush I need, but a much better ride. I like all bikes and have owned Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha. The big American bikes that my friends ride break and cost a lot to fix. Of all the bikes I've owned I've never done anything but tune ups oil changes and tires. I bought land as a investment I bought a Stratoliner because I wanted a dependable Motorcycle. And if Yamaha would put a V-Max motor on a Stratoliner I probably would have bought that. 8)
dsjr70 -Confused  September 9, 2010 12:10 PM
Why do HD guys always need to knock Victory's and why do Victory guys knock HD? They are both fine examples of American Motorcycles and they BOTH have their good and bad points....

In a word (well 3) grow up guys!
Boom Cheetah -Bwhaha  April 20, 2010 08:31 PM
This forum is cray-say...I luv it!!!
Boom Cheetah -Bwhaha  April 20, 2010 08:30 PM
This forum is cray-say...I luv it!!!
geo.g -horsepower  March 16, 2010 09:08 PM
what is the horsepower in the stratoliner
Ron Doe -HD lowrider owner now 2006 Stratoliner  March 3, 2010 05:36 AM
Had a 2005 lowrider and likeed it a lot but once i road a Stratoliner the harley had to go, dont get me wrong the harley is a great bike a lot of low end power but the Stratoliner has more and a much smother ride.In short it not always just for the resale i think it should be buy what you like.
JAYALLAN -BUY AMERICAN  February 27, 2010 07:02 AM
The VICTORY will go to the AMERICANS...
RJ -Star vs. Victory  January 20, 2010 06:28 AM
People didn't "get" the Star Liner when released back in '06 by Yamaha. I have to wonder what marketing approach Victory will use to make bigger splash? Frankly, I hope Victory scores a home run and succeeds as well as Star. It's the consumer that benefits from more competition and this also drives innovation. Unfortunately, the reality is many people don't look past the handle controls, gauges, and sometimes badge on a motorcycle to fully understand the technology in designs and miss out on many benefits.
Matt -rebel PMC  December 28, 2009 05:57 PM
I have seen some really good deals on Roadliners lately and have concidered going the Corbin route with the bags & flairing but I have to admit living in a rural area that small tank could be a bit of a deal breaker. Is it true there is no low fuel light on the Strata/Roadliner?
rebel pmc -startoliner vs hd  December 28, 2009 09:44 AM
Ok guys hear it is I own a 06 stratoliner and a 08 roadglide and I can tell you they are both great bikes. It really all depends on what you are doing with the bike that makes the differance. As far as power is concerned nothing beats cubic inchs and the strat wins that hands down. The strat also wins as far as handling goes. I have the corbin saddle bags and fairing on the strat so to get a back rest on the bike I had to go with a corbin seat whitch is a little hard so the roadglide wins as far as comfort goes. H.D. also wins as far as long distance riding goes mainly because of the fuel tank I can goes 200 miles on a tank on the H.D. and only about 135 on the strat. I love both bikes but if push came to shove the strat would be my choice if I could only keep one. Sorry H.D.
Woodman -Liner for sale  December 15, 2009 04:33 PM
I stopped into a Kawi/Star dealer today to look at the new Vulcan Voyager. Great looking bike made out of cheap plastic. Blah, it was on the top of a very short list. Now it is off the list.

They had a 2008 Roadliner Midnight, new for under $10k. $4000 off!
I could grab it and add a loaded after mkt batwing and hardbags for about $4k. Boo-ya , brand new loaded tourer for $14K!

Of course the Roadstar is paid for and runs great...
Big Ron -Street Glide/Road Glide vs Stratoliner Deluxe - The comparison that didnt happen!  December 15, 2009 11:12 AM
Unbiased comparison ---- HD Street Glide/Road Glide ($18999) vs Stratoliner Deluxe ($17500). ENGINE - The Liner wins, I have ridden a liner and the engine is fantastic and much stronger than a stock HD 96 inch. The speed limit is what it is but the liner can pass at will, something that cannot be said for the stock HD. They both use a pushrod air cooled engine but the liner is a beast and a pleasure to ride with on demand power. Given they both use a push rod air cooled engine it makes you wonder why the HD is so down on HP and torque. It is time for HD to improve on the engine. PRICE - HD wins; you get alot of extra for the $1500 dollars. On top of it you can negotiate the HD price. Yamaha dealers do not have as much room to negotiate unless the factory gives them some incentives or you wait to buy a 2010 in 2011. HANDLING - HD wins; yes I said it. Read the review of the Road Glide Custom. I have ridden them both and the new touring frame is outstanding. FRAME - Draw - yes the yamaha is aluminum but the bike isnt any lighter so there is no advantage. LOOKS- HD wins by far! While this is personal preferance the art deco, the sheet medal, the bags on the street liner do not match the style of the HD. INSTRUMENTATION - HD wins; the HD has a speedo, tach, oil pressure, air temp, volt meter they are all in the fairing so they are much easier to read. MUSIC - HD wins; Harmon Kardon stereo. FINISH - Draw; they both have great quality and chromed steel as opposed to chromed plastic. I prefer the looks of the HD but we are talking about the quality of the finishes. RESALE - HD wins. ACCESSORIES - HD wins. STOCK SEAT - HD wins; you will never have to replace this seat as it is very comfortable stock. Too sum it up if the motor is your deciding factor buy the Yamaha; If you look at the whole package and what you get for the extra $1500 buy the HD (Stereo, guages, seat, looks). The 96 inch engine can be uncorked with a slip on, air box and a power commander which are modifications that almost every body makes even regardless of the what you ride. If you want to be like the Europeans and are continually baffled by the Americans and there Love for cruisers than move to Europe, go purchase an ST and quit wasting your time trying to convince to buy an ST because our cruisers will never perform at the same level as your ST; really, no kidding, thats not new news to us.
Mike in WV -Response to Hal  December 15, 2009 05:59 AM
Hal...first of all...if you did read the entire comment you would see that I did test ride the HD's before I bought my Cross Country. As a matter of fact, I was considering an Ultra Limited with the 103 just because it had a little more hp and torque than the 96, but the bike was not a good fit for me. I'm not a HD hater...I like the look of the Softail Delux and the RK...even the Street Glide...but after riding the Harleys and making an informed decision, I easily choose the Victory. Most of the guys in my mc club ride HD and they all love their bikes. To each their own. My lashing out at HD was in response to the constant arrogance of people that think that HD gives them some kind of elite status. I am fortunate that I can afford to buy any bike I want...if I wanted an Indian, I would buy one. Sure HD comes out with a new design every now and then...and as is the nature of Capitalism, someone else takes the "basic" concept, and improves it.

As far as the guys leaving the HD shop and heading immediately over to the Victory dealer...I would challenge you to call Ron, the owner of Blizzards Custom Cycle and ask him yourself. I believe the customer's last name was Chapman and it was this past Saturday between 1:30 and 2:00. I never said they ordered the bikes...I said they wanted to know when the next bikes would be delivered. I offered one of the guys to take a test ride on mine if he wanted.

I agree with Cruiser. HD should focus less on their merchandising and more on their bikes. They should fire their design engineer and send their marketing guy to design school. He's the real genius behind HD.

As a VMax rider Hal, I'm sure you get tired of hearing the same lame ass comments about "rice burners". But we both know the truth in that the VMax and some of the other rice burners will smoke a HD any day of the week. I've owned a lot of bikes in my life and I loved everyone of them. I also had a reason for choosing the bikes I bought. My point here is that for all the hype, I've never been given a good reason to buy a HD over another bike. SAE vs metric doesn't mean crap...that's like arguing over gas vs petrol...it's exactly the same...just a different name!

As far as the comparison of the Stratoliner vs the Cross Country. I'm fortunate to have owned an 06 Strat that I really loved. I logged in a lot of miles on that bike and it did handle very well and it had all kinds of hp and torque...yes more than the Victory...but it also has a larger powerplant to supply that power. The bike was a little cumbersome at low speeds because it was so big...but it handled well at speed. My only real criticism in design was that at night, there was a nasty blue glare on the windshield from the speedometer. This is easily corrected by adding a shroud. Ultimately, I traded my Strat for a Victory Vision. I traded my Vision and Jackpot in for the Cross Country because I think it will be the best of both worlds...cruising and touring.

These forums are about bikes...so let's talk about the bikes themselves...good and bad. Slamming a bike just because it is metric indicates a person reluctantance to talk about real issues. If that's their best arguement...they should go back to the bathroom with their latest issue of American Iron and a box of tissue and fantasize about their favorite push-rod. lol

Peace out.
Woodman West -Streetglide sale  December 14, 2009 07:57 PM
You can say what you want about power, I rented a Roadking and rode it 2 up to top of Palomar last year, had plenty of torque. Of course if I tell my wife she weighs over 110 I will never get another bike!

Having said that, the only reason the CrossCountry or Stratoliner Deluxe exsist at all is because the Streetglide sells so well. HD sets the styling trends in the cruiser world and everyone else follows 5 years later.
Hal -Mitch-Screamin Eagle  December 14, 2009 05:49 PM
Mitch...you too? Maybe you and Mike in WV can hang out together at the Harley cafe' and make up stories together? DOES ANYONE ON HERE KEEP IT REAL?
Hal -Mike in WV  December 14, 2009 05:43 PM
Come on Mike! I ride a VMAX and a Honda CBR1000, but that story about you on your new Victory at the Harley cafe' and later seeing those guys at the Victory dealer ordering bikes is complete BS. I dont really dig Harleys or cruisers but I have mad respect for all bikers. If you are that jealous of the dudes on Harleys and you hate them that much...at least be honest and dont make up bs stories that only a dumb@## would believe. Love what you ride but keep it real dude!

Mitch -Screamin' Eagle  December 14, 2009 05:36 PM
Hey now if Harley didn't make so much mark up on its t-shirts & collectable pens I might be out of a job! But that said we refer to the Eagle kits as "Catch Up Kits" at work =D.
Cruiser -Mike in WV  December 14, 2009 02:37 PM
I like the "I stopped at the local Harley dealer to have lunch at there cafe. Man that's just it with Harley dealers. They sell everything but motorcycles. Ash trays, clocks, dog dishes, dog collars, pants, shirts, do rags, belt buckles and boots. Harley spends all there R&D money on that crap instead of improving there boat anchor bikes. I'll take my Cross Country any day. I looked at a Harley and the dealer was more interested in selling me a Screaming Beagle kit than the bike. I had to think there was something wrong with the bike the way he was pushing the Screaming Beagle kit. Now I know what it is ---- Horsepower. The Harley boat anchor motor just doesn't cut it.
Mike in WV -Milwaukee Moron  December 14, 2009 01:37 PM
Hey Mike...I test rode a Road King and an Ultra Classic...both of which seemed to lack power (down shifting constantly on steep grades) and the ergos were cramped. Now...if you're 5'9" or so they may fit you fine...but there is no comparison in comfort...the Cross Country wins hands down. I test rode both HD bikes before making any decisions...it just reinforced what a great bike Victory makes. Mike...what excuse or justification will you find for HD's lack of power...the quality of delivery??? What a bunch of horse shit! lol You are a moron. I'd be willing to bet you've never test rode a Victory...your HD lovin ass is too proud. HD is just not that great of a bike. Sorry HD...not impressed in the slightest. Oh...the pipes did sound nice...but I ride for the joy...not for the sound. Would a deaf person choose a HD for the sound? What difference does it really make? As far as the metric arguement...Mike...you really need to go back to school. The fact that a bike has parts made in metric units, not Standard American English (SAE)means nothing when it comes down to reliablility. While we're talking about this...now would be a good time to mention that HD is recalling 112,000 of their touring bikes due to a design flaw in the gas tank that can result in fire and explosions in a front end crash...way to go HD. lol Now let's address your "exclusive" comment. If you look up the meaning of the word, it means a rare group...there is nothing rare or exclusive about HD. No offense meant to Fords or Chevys, but HD is just like owning a Ford or Chevy..Everyone has one. I think you should be carefull in asking for a head to head comparison with the Cross bikes and the Road King or Street Glides...you would be the one embarassed.

Ultimately...I've test riden a lot of bikes and I've owned a lot of bikes. I can proudly say that I am the new owner of a brand new Midnight Cherry Victory Cross Country. I stopped at the local Harley shop to grab some lunch at their cafe and to check out the reaction to my bike. There was a constant stream of guys checking out my bike...a few of which I saw later that same afternoon at the Victory dealer asking when the next Cross bikes would be delivered. I was also advised as I left by a couple guys admiring my bike that one of the sales guys in the HD shop had said "man, I really wish he wouldn't park that thing right up front like that." What's wrong HD...is that the sound of a fat lady singing in your ear? lol

Peace out
Mike T -Go Victory  December 11, 2009 09:57 PM
Man the Cross Country was fun to test ride at the Long Beach Bike Show. Handled like a dream and I hated to have to stop the test ride. It sure beat the crap outta the HD Street Glide CVO as far as handling and maneuverability. The Stratoliner is just flat out FUGLY and you can't find FUGLIER bags on the planet than those. Yeah the Strat rides nice but ergo's count too. My next bike will be a Victory Cross Country after that test ride.
Angell -Say it ain't so...  December 11, 2009 06:23 PM
That was the best unbiased comparison you could do? Maybe you should have some of your co-writers look over your work...just sayin'.
HdBreeze -FYI  December 11, 2009 05:48 PM
I have been riding Ironbutt(1000 miles in 24 hours) and Super-Ironbutt(1200 miles in 24 hours) for 10 years. When I first started, there were maybe between 300 & 400 riders. It has since grown to over 2000 riders. The motorcyles of choice are the Harley Electra Glides, Honda Gold Wings, and the Harley Road Glides. After those three, there are some BMW LT's, Yamaha Ventures, Kawasaki Voyagers, and some sport tourers. This year, I seen 2 Victory Visions and a few Can Am Spyders. I only bring this up due to the overwelming negative comments towards Harley. My 2000 Road Glide has 176,000 miles, and has never been rebuilt. It has a 95" kit and SE211 cams that was installed as soon as it was uncrated at the dealer. The only issue it ever had was at around 7000 miles the rear rocker box gasket started leaking. It was repaired under warranty in one hour while I waited. Other than changing the oil every 5000 miles, tires and regular maintenance, it has never had any major repairs. Over the years I added chrome stuff, accessories, upgraded speakers, satellite radio, and a few years ago I added a Baker DD6 with a hydraulic clutch. A few months ago, I bought a 2009 CVO Road Glide. I planned on selling my other RG, but I couldn't bring myself to sell her. The 50's technology still works! lol I am not biased to one brand or another. In fact, I own two Japanese sportbikes, one is for track days and the other is for sport touring. I also have a 51 Vincent Rapide, and a 49 Indian Scout flat tracker that I rine in vintage races. It's all good! I just wanted to open some eyes. Keep the rubber side down!
Real World -HD Mike  December 11, 2009 01:50 PM
I'll bet ole Milwaukee Mike would dump that ole Harley if he could get his money out of it. Of course he probably has all the Harley crap like a HD decal on all his cars and HD dog dishes and HD clocks, belt buckles and a big HD tattoo. He would be too embarrassed to get rid of all that crap so he's stuck with it. Make the big sacrifice Mike. Sell all that crap and buy a modern motorcycle. You will be amazed with a modern bike with some real horsepower, comfort and handling.
GB -mlwaukee mike  December 11, 2009 01:57 AM
they didn't test it against an HD cuz they probaly wanted to use modern technology, not a 50 year old one. But john doe is right, this mag will never give Victory it's due.
Woodman West -style  December 10, 2009 07:40 PM
Personally, I would not calleither bike "Classicly or Vintage" style. Funky or goofy comes to mind.

Roadkings are classicly styled, that is why they sell so well.
Pat -Why?  December 10, 2009 02:07 PM
Just wondering, why didn't you compare the Yamaha to the Cross Road instead of the Cross Country? Or waited for Yamaha's new Stratoliner Deluxe to compare the Cross Roads to? Closer in price, ($17,490) and features. At least they'd be in the same class. And Mike, to say that HD is superior to Victory or the Metrics is laughable. Comfort and fit? Come on man.
Matt -Exclusive?  December 10, 2009 09:54 AM
Is owning a Harley (or any other mass retail brand) really an "exclusive club" anymore? I never really understood that mentality. The Dentist couple down the street from me just got a new Fat Boy cause they saw 'Wild Hogs' and thought it looked "yummy". They just payed the dealer and got one. No password, blood oath, club tattoos, or secret handshake required. In fact all they had to do was pass a credit check to get into that "club". =)
Ted Rusell -Bike Test  December 10, 2009 09:25 AM
I knew before I read the article, and if I were to bet I would have given a hundred to one odds that you commies would pick the yamaha. It doesn't matter the victory handles better .gets better gas milage'has more range. Has much more storage, has better gages. The engine is a little smaller so its going to have less power. But that only matters on an american bike. You commies have proved it over and over when you always picked the kawasaki nomad over the victory and Harley everytime without fail.It always produced less power didn't handle as well didn't get as good gas milage. but you always picked The metric bike. shame on you commies
Rob -metric vs, what?  December 10, 2009 08:20 AM
Hey mike, you do know that Victory is an American bike right? and I have to say their fit and finish is right on par with HD. As to the Stratoliner I haven't seen them in person so I can't say anything to their fit and finish but those metric bikes tend to have a very nice power delivery.
mlwaukee mike -metric vs metric  December 10, 2009 08:05 AM
This test should have comared them to a HD Road King or Elecra Glide Standard.

Yeah, those metrics seem to have mor HP, but it's the quality of the power delivery that counts in that respect.

Testing both against an HD in terms of comfort, or ergonomic fit against a Harley would really embarass those metrics.

In terms of overall value,...well the Milwaukee made product is clearly superior,...and especially in light of te retail costs.

And when you finally do make the decision to buy that Harley, you can be proud to be in that exclusive club of patriotic and traditional Americans owners (HOG).

Matt -No More Royal Star  December 10, 2009 07:31 AM
Phil, The Royal Star Deluxe has been discontinued.
phil -Yamaha  December 10, 2009 02:30 AM
They should have tested these beside the Royal Star Tour Deluxe. But I guess that would be tossing a hotrod in with the horses.
John Doe -Sing along with Bryan  December 10, 2009 12:03 AM
B.H. sings another review. Sounds like he doesn't know what he's sing/songing about either. His text comes out much better.
Mr. Harley,..Please step a way from the micraphone!!