The bobber spirit hadn't fully taken over the Victory lineup before the High-Ball
came in. The American brand's wildest cruiser delivers true vintage looks and superb thrills from the 1,731cc Freedom engine.
The 2014 Victory High-Ball offers a radical and striking riding position with classic ape hangers, forward-mounted footpegs, and a seat that's just 635mm high. The rider's head and upper body, of course, are completely exposed to the wind. Using some tools, those fancy handlebars can be lowered for more comfort, but you'll definitely lose style points in the process.
The hearty V-twin that motivates the High-Ball will never disappoint. With 20+ hp over its domestic rival, a fat torque curve, and no shortage of mechanical feel (without any unpleasant vibration), nirvana is always one twist of the throttle away. Sure, the Freedom 106 is a bit smoother than push-rod engines from the competition due to its single overhead camshaft with four valves per cylinder and balance shaft; however, acceleration is strong and relentless as the 6-speed transmission delivers beautiful shifts and never misses a beat.
Handling that surprises
|Sure, the Freedom 106 is a bit smoother than push-rod engines from the competition due to its single overhead camshaft with four valves per cylinder and balance shaft. (Photo: Olivier Delorme)
As one of the lightest models in the lineup (300kg), aided by an ultra-low centre of gravity, the 2014 Victory High-Ball handles surprisingly well for a cruiser. Low-speed manoeuvres are wonderfully easy, while the long wheelbase provides that important stability at higher speeds.
On tight, winding roads, the chassis proves remarkably neutral and easygoing. The High-Ball has absolutely no problem leaning over and around apexes, scraping the ground with the footpegs almost every single time. Despite its slammed profile, the bike's suspension is nicely calibrated and soaks up road imperfections with uncanny ability. It never bottoms out, even on severely damaged pavement. Finally, using the front (single disc) and rear brakes simultaneously produces safe braking distances, making up for the lack of ABS.
|using the front (single disc) and rear brakes simultaneously produces safe braking distances, making up for the lack of ABS. (Photo: Olivier Delorme)
Offering a no-compromise riding position, the 2014 Victory High-Ball perfectly embodies the bobber spirit while remaining a good everyday machine thanks to a comfortable seat, compliant suspension, and exceptional friendliness. In Suede Black livery with flames, devoid of chrome and pointless accessories, the High-Ball is a stunner.
- Great bobber looks (not too many compromises)
- Exemplary engine behaviour
- High-quality fit and finish
- Competitive price
- Riding position is not suited for the highway
- No ABS