Solving The Victory Saddlebag Problem

Occasionally motorcycle manufacturers build bikes with minor defects in design that they are slow to, or in some cases, never correct.  Sometimes it is left up to aftermarket manufacturers, or the motorcycle owners themselves to solve the problem.  A case in point is the current issue with the Victory Cross Roads/Cross Country right hand saddlebag lid.  This problem has two related symptoms:  First, the saddlebag lid rattles, and, second, there is an issue with the latch wearing through to the point where it fails.

victory cross roads saddlebag latch failure
Wear damaged latch.
victory cross roads saddlebag latch failure second view
As you can see from where the damage is it’s also slightly off center with the receiver, making it more prone to rubbing.

This is caused by the latch rubbing against the latch receiver.

victory cross roads saddlebag latch failure latch receiver
Latch Receiver Wear

So far Victory has not addressed this issue, even though the Cross Country/Cross Roads line has been in production for a few years now.

I’m not saying what I’m offering here is a total fix for the saddlebag latch problem, but, at the very least, it’s an improvement.  When this issue surfaced, I started looking at the bags on my Cross Roads, I hadn’t even noticed the latch was wearing.  What had me curious was why one side had an issue but the other didn’t since they were identical.  I noticed that the bumper on the right-hand bag was deformed and collapsed inward more than the left, and wondered what caused it.  What I came up with was that the saddlebag lid struck the edge of the right saddlebag at a different angle.  This caused the bumper to collapse because it hit the exact place where the bumper already had a crease in it.  Add in the weight of the lid falling “downhill” into place, and the bumper never stood a chance of retaining its shape.

victory cross roads saddlebag latch failure left hand saddlebag bumper
Left hand saddlebag bumper showing the crease.

I could have just replaced the bumper with a new one and it would be fixed for a little while, but in a very short time I would have the same problem all over again.  These things really should be made of solid rubber, but I’m guessing they are nothing more than some automotive trim that was already in manufacture and cut to fit.  So my idea was that if I could introduce some type of filler to the inside of the bumper it might hold the latch away so it wouldn’t rub, and at the same time stop the rattling.  I just happened to have some gas line in the garage, and, as luck would have it, it was only slightly larger than the opening in the bumper.  It was just what I needed, and people wonder why I never throw anything away!

victory cross roads saddlebag latch fix gas line
Never throw anything away.

After lubricating the gas line with a little ArmorAll it slipped right in.   Some trimming with my side cutters and the job was done.

victory cross roads saddlebag latch fix
The Fix

After a few trial closings and openings, it seemed like the latch was clicking shut easily, and there was no lid rattle.  If I pull up slightly on the lid, I can feel the receiver contacting the bottom of the latch, pressing down slightly I can feel it touching the top, so my best guess is it’s in a neutral position, and neither touching top or bottom. (Let’s hope.)

Is this a permanent fix for the latch wear situation?  Maybe, perhaps it’s a combination of this and the Witchdoctor’s elongated receiver.  Right now, I’m just going with this fix, only time, and a few thousand miles will tell if that’s all that needs to be done.

Update:  Victory has finally released a fix for the saddlebag latch issue.  Go to your dealer and mention Victory Service Advisory VSA-15-01 A-D, release date July 15, 2015, it covers the Cross Roads/Cross Country models 2010 to 2015.  Just had mine done and it works!  Here’s the details.

Words by:  Terry Cavender

Images by:  Terry Cavender

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3 thoughts on “Solving The Victory Saddlebag Problem

  1. Terry, take a crayon and coat the worn area on the potmetal latch. After riding the bike for 100 miles or so, check the area where you used the crayon. It will quickly tell you if the striker is still contacting the latch.

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  2. Thanks for the suggestion Giles, I did something similar. I used a silver magic marker to coat the wear area on the latch, that way if there was any rubbing it would leave a black mark on the silver. I went for my Sunday ride today and covered about 280 miles, I checked when I got back, and no black mark so far.

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