I've been reading Inside Motorcycles, Canada's Source for Motorcycle News. Their February/March 2015 issue has an article that underlines the desperation of the American cruiser.
In it they describe the Victory Gunner as over-priced, unable to corner and smooth. They then go on to say, "...the Gunner is a bruiser, built to lurk about town striking fear into all those fancy Euro and Japanese machines."
If 'fancy' is code for motorcycles that can go around corners and out handle this 'bruiser' in every way, then I'll go with fancy. My tiny Ninja 650r with only 37% of the Gunner's displacement, and not even a full on sport bike will trash this 'bruiser' in any straight line competition, and it corners nicely too. It costs less on gas, less on insurance and looks fantastic. I'll bet it'll have less maintenance headaches too. So far, 'fancy' is looking pretty sensible.
I'm not sure what the Victory Gunner is bruising (other than its rider's tailbone), but Inside Motorcycles has managed to clearly highlight the desperate, reaching nature of the American Cruiser in one short piece. This 'bruiser' is a pretty boy who is designed to make its rider feel like a dude, but not ride like one.
I welcome this 'brusier' appearing out of the shadows and attempting to strike fear into my 'fancy' (and significantly cheaper) Japanese bike. I will be sure to reserve a little pity for the mediocre guy on the 'cool' bike who desperately hopes it's working for him.