A big V-twin, ginormous rear tire, inverted front fork, and low-riding tail are the key ingredients of a muscle cruiser. While all Victory models use the same exact engine, they manage to provide different thrills. Case in point: The sporty and sinister-looking Hammer 8-Ball
is a stark contrast to the smooth and laid-back Cross Country
If you crave performance, you're in a for real treat
The signature 106 cu. in. Freedom engine delivers clean and convincing takeoffs. It's flexible enough to re-accelerate from as low as 1,500 rpm without complaining and sustain a strong push toward 5,000 rpm, just before the rev limiter kicks in. The sweet spot lies between 2,000-4,000 rpm, with a raspy growl serving as a non-stop exclamation point.
Much like its siblings, the 2014 Victory Hammer 8-Ball uses an adequately sized rear brake that's both powerful and easy to modulate. Up front is a 300mm disc with a 4-piston calliper. While ABS isn't part of the mix, the braking system is always super-sharp and rider-friendly; two fingers are all you need to bring the machine to a full stop over a safe distance.
Comfort? It's got that, too
|The signature 106 cu. in. Freedom engine delivers clean and convincing takeoffs. (Photo: Olivier Delorme)
The 2014 Victory Hammer 8-Ball offers as close to a perfect riding position as you'll find on a muscle cruiser. The front-mounted foot rests, comfortable seat, and superbly calibrated suspension quickly put you at ease and spare your lower back, effectively offsetting the bike's low profile. At the same time, you'll appreciate the pretty decent handling which the generous ground clearance (by cruiser standards) only improves.
The fork also does a nice job of soaking up the worst road imperfections while limiting nosedive during hard braking. The Hammer's only real flaw is a lack of docility in low-speed cornering manoeuvres, as the massive 250mm rear tire is reluctant to change directions -- but man, what a looker!
In true muscle cruiser fashion, both the transmission and clutch lever are manly to operate, which only emphasizes the rugged nature of this handsome American warrior.
Now for the verdict...
|The 2014 Victory Hammer 8-Ball offers as close to a perfect riding position as you'll find on a muscle cruiser. (Photo: Olivier Delorme)
Far from superficial and timid on the road, the 2014 Victory Hammer 8-Ball will make you feel alive and elated on any given day. Performance, character, and style combine to form a sleek, adrenaline-filled package that seasoned riders will rave about. Plus, with great value, they won't have to mortgage their house to enjoy it.
- Sporty suspension and dynamics
- Powerful engine with plenty of character
- Racy looks
- Attractive price ($15,999)
- Fat rear tire makes it less nimble at low speeds