The standard and S-model Hammer are relatively useful through the bends. The Hammer 8-Balls’ chassis is equally capable, and more manageable at low speed, but the lower chassis calls time on fun very early – the pegs can be scraped doing u-turns. It’s a serious limit on what can be done. The single disc has less feel too. If you feel the need for the lower seat, you have to accept you can’t ride it through turns so hard.
Unlike Harley-Davidson’s pushrod engines, Victory’s DOHC 1731cc twin is a modern feeling engine. It sits in a happy middleground between the characterful but crude Hogs, and the smooth but anodyne parallel twin of the Triumph Thunderbird. There’s just enough thudding vibes to give it a bit of character, but it’s happy to rev hard to its redline without rattling the fluid out of your spine. 90-odd bhp and 113lb-ft of torque is serious shove.
One of the key attractions of Victorys, especially next to H-Ds, is the build quality. There are very few nasty or crude details, and paint/metal finishing is to a very high standard. Reliability issues are almost unheard of – the odd niggle, but nothing more than you’d expect from any manufacturer.
It’s an expensive bike – but there’s a lot of metal, a lot of engine and a lot of road presence. But unless you really need the lower seat height and can’t stretch an extra £1000 for the standard model, the ground clearance and braking sacrifice isn’t worth it. Find a Victory Hammer for sale
Insurance group: 15 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.
The 8-Ball is the cheaper version of a simple bike, so you get very little. There’s no rev counter, you get one less brake disc, and there’s very little else to it. There’s pillion seat under the cowl, but it’s barely worth mentioning, let alone using. It’s a muscle bike: buy a tourer if you want loads of features and gadgets. Compare and buy parts for the Victory in the MCN Shop.