We all want to leave our mark on the world around us. From building a business to building a family or even building a motorcycle, there’s undeniable pleasure in putting a dent in posterity. And for Chris Duncanson, owner of this handsome Victory Cross Country, there’s no better platform for personalization than an American motorcycle.
“I’ve been riding for more than 30 years,” says Chris. “This is my ninth bike, and I’m keeping this one forever!” For good reason, too. After bouncing back and forth between baggers and choppers, Chris found himself wanting more flexibility no matter what he was riding. It’s an understandable point of view. Lifelong riders like Chris know that it’s almost impossible to find one machine that can tackle everything the road demands: comfort for the two-up long haul, practicality for short hops around town and the power and handling to put a grin on the rider’s face. But that’s exactly where customization comes in; so with a sense of balance in mind and a healthy respect for the fundamental hardware, Chris set out to make his Cross Country the perfect beat-all, do-all bike.
While the styling influence of Arlen Ness endowed the Cross Country with sharp, engaging lines that led Chris to be the first person in Florida to own a 2010 model, there was still room for functional and visual upgrades. First up was making the bike worthy of two-up touring as well as short jaunts. To this end, Chris has a taller windshield, a removable trunk and cushier seat on hand for cruising with the wife, but leaves them at home when he’s riding solo.
In the engine room, after bigger bumpsticks, a D&D exhaust with custom tips and proper tuning, the Victory mill now pumps out enough power and torque to move the bike with authority when loaded up for two and follows through with real vigor when it’s time to cut loose solo. “I want to be able to get up and out of the way, and it does; it moves,” he said. “It’s the best of both worlds.”
But Chris had balance in mind from the beginning, so aesthetics weren’t forgotten either. A tasteful application of custom touches from the Arlen Ness catalogue adds flair, like the mirrors, bars, floorboards and grips. And the finishing touch? A limited-edition 23″ engraved Ness front wheel. “Now that I extended the rake on it and put the big 23″ wheel on, it feels like I’m riding a chopper again,” he said.
Modified fork trees keep the suspension geometry in line. Fork boots along with knee bumpers from a Triumph tank add classic cues. “It was the last thing I did to the bike, and I really think it brought the bike together,” Chris mused.
And while this Victory might not be the kind of custom that turns the bike-building world on its head, it’s tastefully and subtly done. More to the point, the bike is well ridden, and if you don’t ride your motorcycle then you’re so far out of balance you might need your equilibrium checked. So hats off to Chris and his Cross Country; may the roads be smooth and the details appreciated!
See more images of Chris Duncanson’s Cross County Custom and other bikes from Daytona Bike Week 2014 at www.IronTraderNews.com and www.facebook.com/IronTraderNews. (Tell ’em THUNDER PRESS sent you. They’re friends of the publication.)