Little Red Riding Vic Part Four

Welcome to part four of the the Little Red Riding Vic article series.  This will not be as much of a “how to” article, only two chrome bolt-on accessories will be installed.  You might say that it’s more of an update, and visual review before moving on to the more technical work of installing a Dynojet Power Commander and Autotune.

One of the most easiest improvements you can do to a Victory is to change out the accent covers on the primary and right side.  There are more and more choices being added by accessory manufacturers for Victory, so shop around to find the right look for you.  I chose the Arlen Ness “Finned” covers the quality is good, and they held up well on my previous Victory.

ness finned derby cover
Ness “Finned” Derby

Installing the clutch side cover is easy, just two screws and it’s off, then the new cover goes on with the supplied allen head fasteners.

arlen ness finned clutch cover

I think this is a huge improvement over the stamped aluminum stock cover, it looks more substantial.  As easy as the primary cover was, the right side takes just a little more finesse to remove.  The stock right side cover is held on with an adhesive pad.  Removing it is similar to removing the DOT reflectors mentioned earlier in part two of this series.  The difference is that you cannot get dental floss behind the cover to start the alcohol soaking in. Take a thin bladed screwdriver and very carefully slip it behind the cover and pry out to get it started.  It should not take much pressure, and be careful not to damage your chrome.  Once the alcohol soaks in, it should come off easily.

arlen ness victory right side finned cover
Putting the right side in place.

After the old one is removed, clean off any leftover glue and install the new cover.  It is also held in place with an adhesive pad.  The alignment is provided by a groove machined into the back that fits a corresponding bit on the engine.  I recommend keeping the part pressed in place overnight to insure a good bond, a shop towel stuffed between the cover and brake pedal works great.

The next addition is what Victory calls “tip over protection,” back in the day we called them “crash bars.”  I had two reasons for installing these, first, they bike looks incomplete without them, and two, I planned to buy the covers that went over them for cold weather riding.

victory cross roads tip over protection bars
Victory “Tip Over” Bars

The installation is straightforward, just three bolts, two at the top, one in the bottom.  First remove the rubber cover over the top mount.

victory cross roads tip over protection bars installation
Rubber Cover
victory cross roads tip over protection bars installation top mount area
Cover Removed

Once the covers are off, that will expose two plastic inserts, remove them with pliers.

victory cross roads tip over protection bars installation top mount area removing plugs
Removing the plugs.

You are almost ready to install the bars.  There are rubber covers that must be slipped over the bars before bolting them on.  Spraying a bit of water on the bar will let the cover slide easily over the bar.

victory cross roads tip over protection bars installation top mount rubber bar covers
Get it wet.
victory cross roads tip over protection bars installation slipping on rubber bar covers
Slip it, slip it good.

And it should look like this, don’t screw up and put it on backward like I did the first time!

victory cross roads tip over protection bars rubber bar covers mounted
The right way.

Before bolting it up, put some anti seize on the threads to prevent dissimilar metal corrosion.

victory cross roads tip over protection bars anti seize on bolt threads
Just a little on the threads.

The lower mount hole is steel, there was a bit of light rust going on, so the anti seize should help with that.

victory cross roads tip over protection bars rusty mount hole
Lower mount area.

Start the bolts in the top with your fingers so you don’t cross thread them.

victory cross roads tip over protection bars top mount bolts
Starting the bolt.

You won’t be able to do that with the bottom, it’s recessed, just run it in lightly with your socket wrench.

victory cross roads tip over protection bars bottom mount bolt
Bottom Mount

Then you tighten it all up, there were no torque specifications provided by Victory, so I tightened them until it felt “right.”  Remember, you are screwing the top bolts into aluminum, so don’t go all “Hulk” and strip the threads by over tightening.

victory cross roads tip over protection bars mount bolt s
Just “feeling it.”

The last step is slipping the rubber cover in place, and it’s done.

victory cross roads tip over protection bars mount bolt cover

This was how it looked at this point, tachometer, side covers and tip over protection mounted.  There was nothing to installing the hard bags.  I went to my Victory dealer when they came in, and it was a easy swap, they are held on with two quick release fasteners.

victory cross roads left rear view
The bags look great.
victory cross roads left side full view
Left side view.

You might notice I still have the neck area stickers, I forgot to remove them, they’re gone now.

victory cross roads right tank view
Right side, nice lines.
victory cross roads right side full view low
Low angle view.
victory cross roads right side engine detail view low
The finned cover looks good.
victory cross roads right side high view
Full view right side.
victory cross roads rear high view
victory cross roads tachometer speedometer rear high view
The speedo and tach, looks better with two.
victory cross roads front low view
The Front
victory cross roads right side full view
The right again.

So far I am pleased with the way things turned out, it looks just like I thought it would.  Stripped of all the stickers, decals, and DOT junk, the lines are smooth, and the color is fantastic.  The hard bags are everything I hoped they would be, they look fantastic, and can hold my camera bag with room to spare.  These shots were made September 2012.  (yes, I know I’m behind)  Since then I have had a chance to buy the tip over protection covers, they work very well in cold weather.

In part five of this series we will be installing a Dynojet Power Commander V and Autotune.

Words By:  Terry Cavender

Images By:  Terry Cavender

18 thoughts on “Little Red Riding Vic Part Four

  1. I love what you are doing with the bike…it’s giving me so many ideas for mine. I’m working on a handlebar project and if possible once it’s done I will send you pics. You should try go with handlebars next.


    1. Thanks Shannon, handlebars are on my list as well, the stock ones leave something to be desired. It would be great to see what you have done, pictures are always welcome!


      1. I guess that didn’t work for attaching a pic, but at least it takes you to the image. In a way it’s better because there a more views of your bike to see. Great looking bike Shannon, care to share who made the bars, and how they are working out for you? They look tall, did you have to extend your wires and cables?


      2. I got the bars from fmb choppers The guy does a great job with the bars and I love them. Exactly the look I was going for and get a lot of compliments on them. Yes they are tall…about 17 inches from the bottom to the highest part of the bar. I did not have to change anything but the riser. I went with a 1 in riser and top plate from because i think the stock risers are just butt ugly. Might be hard to tell in the pics but there was plenty of wire left over. Matter of fact I cleaned it up a bit by ziptying the wires to the bar. I originally bought a longer steel braded brake line but that didn’t have to be replaced either. Was the single best thing i have done for my bike in the looks department lol. Glad you liked them.


      3. What I would really like to do is change out the headlight for a big round one…just where I would put all those wires underneath the hood of the bullet headlight


      4. I’m guessing the same place they were in the bullet headlight, in the shell, there’s really no place else to put them. Just a heads up for you on this, in your current shell you have two light bulbs with a single filament. Most of the “big round” headlights use a single bulb with dual filaments. What this means is you will either have to search out a headlight that uses two bulbs, or monkey around with your wiring to adapt it to a single bulb light. In addition, if you go the two bulb route, make sure it uses a H11 bulb, or you will have to convert your wiring harness plug to the new bulb style. This is just my personal opinion here, but, why change the headlight? To me the “V” headlight style is a Victory signature, you can tell it’s a Victory coming at you by the shape of the light. If you change the light, it will just look like everything else on the road.


      5. Wow thanks for the info! I had no idea of all the details involved and your explanation has really got me psyched about trying out a new headlight. Once I get time and do it I’ll let you know how it went.


      6. I would look very carefully at the light you are going to choose and how it will sit. How it’s placed can make or break the look of your bike. Please let me know how it works out.


  2. Thank you for the time and effort it took to do all this. You made it very easy, even for a mechanically challenged person like myself, to understand the process of the installations.
    And BTW,… your bike looks sweet with everything you’ve done so far. Nice job!!
    Thx again,


    1. Thanks Steve,

      I have more articles coming up dealing with adding performance parts. Thanks for the comment about my bike’s looks. I like things clean, nothing too complex, besides, Victory did a great job with the styling, why should I muck it up?


      1. I agree with you about the styling that Victory has done. The Victory line of bikes is great,… especially for being in the bike arena for such a short time (14 years?).
        Currently I have a 2013 Cross Road LE. I should have gone the same route you took and found a 2011 or 2012 Cross Road,… new or used. But I saw this bike on the dealers floor and fell in love at first sight.

        BTW,… I discovered that heating the labels with a hair dryer really makes them a lot easier to pull off.

        Keep the articles coming,… I need all the help I can get 🙂 I’m definitely mechanically challenged.


      2. Dude, you spent some bucks! I almost ended up with a red and silver Cross Country myself, I can understand the temptation. But, I have been riding without a windshield all these years, and I liked the Hardball, but not the price, so I went with cheap and naked. (kinda like some of my past girlfriends) I can honestly say using the hair drier makes me a bit nervous because it softens the paint. You would be freaking out if the paint lifted with the sticker!


  3. Hey Terry, I love what you’ve done with the bike. When we last talked I told you about the trip out west I was taking. I just got back from that trip and it was one helluva ride. We hit the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Vegas, Death Valley, Yosemite, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Mammoth Lakes, Shoshone Falls, Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. We did over 5700 miles in 12 days and the Cross Country performed flawlessly.


    1. Hey thanks Shane! I remember our conversation, I’m glad you had a great trip! I was thinking about you the other day when I was riding past your office, and I was wondering how your trip went. I’ll be coming out soon with part five of Little Red Riding Vic, and we will cover installing a Dynojet Power Commander and Autotune module. After that, exhaust selection and installation. Let me know when you get ready to make some power mods, I’ll be happy to help.


    1. Part five is one of the more technical parts of the project, so it’s taking longer. When installing the Dynojet Power Commander Five and the Autotune module, there is more to it other than just bolting it on. While the instructions are clear, it is the tuning tricks that are key, understanding how the Autotune works, the AFR maps, accepting the first trims, setting your “cruse zone” for good gas mileage, etc. I wanted to make sure I documented those steps so that they were clear and understandable. Sure, you can just hook it up, and be done with it, but the real performance comes from understanding the tuning process, and applying it correctly. I want the readers to benefit from what I learned during my process of working with the Dynojet install.


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