After Victory Cross Roads/Cross Country owners waiting for almost five years, Victory has finally admitted there is a problem with the right hand saddle bag latch and has issued a service advisory to correct the defect under warranty. The advisory number is VSA-15-01 A-D, it applies to all 2010 to 2015 Victory Cross Roads/Cross Country models with the hard saddlebags. To see if you have this problem you can visit your dealer and ask to have your bike checked, or wait until you get the letter recently sent to Cross Roads/Cross Country owners concerning the recall. The Victory letter gives clear instructions on how to check to see if you have the latch wear issue. I applaud Victory for stepping up on this, there are parts and labor to be paid for, if you multiply that cost by the number of bikes sold, they will be taking a substantial hit in the wallet. In some cases, if you have already paid for a pre-recall solution, you may be reimbursed for parts and labor by Victory, check with them for details. In my previous article “Solving The Victory Saddlebag Problem” I covered the issues with the right hand saddle bag, and offered some solutions, they were not perfect, but it was better than nothing. This recall should solve the problem once and for all. I do not know if Victory is making this repair on second owner bikes, so I am writing this as a mini “how to” and including part numbers if someone has to do the repair on their own dime.
I just recently had the recall service performed on my own 2012 Cross Roads at my local dealer Capitol Cycle. With more than ninety years in business Capitol Cycle just might possibly be the oldest motorcycle dealership in Georgia, no doubt, giving great service has helped keep them around all this time. They were kind enough to let me photograph some of the details as they did the work. Each side is estimated as taking about twenty minutes, I tried to stay out of their way and not slow them down, and as far as I can tell, I didn’t. Great service at Capitol, thanks guys!
This is my right latch prior to replacement, you can clearly see the damage to the latch. If you look close you can see the rubbed spots from the misalignment leading into the actual wear area.
I was surprised at the amount of parts involved. I thought maybe at most there would be a new latch striker and latch housing, but there was much more. Victory went all out on this recall, not only are they replacing the right side parts, they’re replacing the left as well! Cool! Included in the parts is the “Saddlebag Lock Alignment Kit,” Victory PN 2881595, striker, PN 5335316, and the latch housing, PN 7082111. You get all new bumpers, bolts, screws, etc., only the lock is reused.
The first step of course is removing the old latch housing and striker. This is best done with the bags mounted on the bike, just make sure not to drop any parts.
I don’t know if the housing and striker are new, I have not checked the part numbers against the old ones, they certainly seem the same.
The alignment kit comes with new bolts to mount the latch housing with, two plastic washers, a thicker gasket for the housing, and what looks like a more substantial lid bumper. These parts are available separately, the lid bumper, PN 5521814, saddlebag lock seal, PN 5814357, and washers, PN 7555798.
At first I was confused about the plastic washers, I thought they were some type of additional gasket, but they are actually shims. (I really should read the directions before setting up a shot.)
The washers change the angle of latch housing slightly, causing it not to fit flush up against the saddle bag lid. The new thicker gasket fills in the gap and keeps the latch area sealed. Removing the old housing and installing the lock in the new housing is pretty straight forward, one thing you should be careful of, the lid handle is plastic, and the threaded parts are brass. I would be very careful tightening the housing bolts, Victory gives the torque specs in inch pounds, that should tell you something. The instructions recommend removing the washers to change the housing alignment if things don’t line up right off. I’d be gentle at all times, steel going into brass is just asking for trouble, especially if you have to remove and replace more than once.
You might not want to watch the next step, it requires drilling larger holes in the saddlebags, but don’t worry, it’s not that bad. The bags are removed, placed on a soft surface, and a 1/4 drill bit is used to open up the existing holes.
This gives you some room to move the striker around and make adjustments. This is a fix similar to elongating the holes in the striker as suggested by Witchdoctor.
If you are worried about the larger hole not being covered, don’t be, it’s just fine.
The instructions say to slide the right hand striker full forward before tightening, and to slide the left hand bag striker to the rear. Once everything is bolted up, there’s nothing left but making the adjustments to get it right. After that, the lid bumper is installed, there are two positions for the bumper, with audio, and without, totally different, so follow the directions for your application.
The Victory instructions are pretty clear and easy to follow, right up to the point where they suggest checking for “binding or interference” between the latch and striker, they make no mention on how to check. Mine seemed to work just fine on the first try, so I didn’t worry too much about it, since I trusted the person doing the work. Just as a precaution I did coat the areas where it might rub with a silver marker, knowing that if it did rub, it would leave a mark.
Three hundred plus miles later, no marks, and no lid rattling, so I think it’s all good. Thank you Victory!
Words By: Terry Cavender
Images By: Terry Cavender