VICTORY HAMMER 8-BALL (2010 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The Victory Hammer 8-Ball is basically a lower-seat, cheaper specification version of the Hammer muscle bike. It still has the same gutsy motor, but instead of twin front brake discs it has a single caliper and rotor, plain black paint instead of the more upmarket finish usually seen and the suspension is lowered front and rear to drop the seat 17mm. The footpegs are further back to suit short riders too. The result is a loss of ground clearance and braking capability for the £1000 saving.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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
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.
|Engine type||8v DOHC air-cooled v-twin, 6 gears. Belt drive|
|Frame type||Steel cradle|
|Fuel capacity||17 litres|
|Rear suspension||Preload only|
|Front brake||300mm disc, 4-piston caliper|
|Rear brake||300mm disc, 2-piston caliper|
|Front tyre size||130/70-R18|
|Rear tyre size||250/40-R18|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||40 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||-|
15 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||92 bhp|
|Max torque||113 ft-lb|
|Top speed||115 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||140 miles|
Model history & versions
2010: New model
Victory Hammer: The standard model. Muscle bike with 240-section back tyre and lurid paint for 2010.
Victory Hammer Sport: Lighter wheels, all-black chassis detailing and hot-rod paint finishes make the Sport model the one to have if you can stretch to the price.
Owners' reviews for the VICTORY HAMMER (2010 - on)
3 owners have reviewed their VICTORY HAMMER (2010 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
Done 1000 miles and fitted a stage one slip on exhaust kit, it now sounds like it should. Cracking the throttle at traffic lights produces a wide grin and lets all traffic know you're there. Servicing is very reasonable because intervals are now 5000 miles, there are no major services and current rates are £160 a pop. I'm surprised this is not publicised more. The ride is firm well controlled and comfortable. Pegs grounding early is a cruiser trait that sportsbike fans need to get their head around and accept. The only things I would like added is a fuel guage and a second front disc. It is a bike that is otherwise difficult to fault. Fit and finish are excellent compared to other bikes in this class and overall although not a cheap bike it represents good value for money.
Had the bike a week, only managed about 200 miles so far because of the weather but I'm very pleased. The motor is a peach with plenty of lazy power to give serious shove in any gear and there are enough vibrations to give some character without becoming uncomfortable. The gearbox is very precise and and easy to use with 6th giving 60 mph at about 2000 rpm. The intruments are all contained in the one chrome covered unit, giving an clean unfussy look that I like. There is a digital rev counter and you can scroll through this with the odometer and trip by use of the headlight flasher type switch on the left bar which is a sensible and convenient. There is a gear indicator and a clock with the usual idiot lights included withing the dial also. It's a shame a tank guage wasn't included in the scrolled displays instead of just a fuel light. Handling is excellent for this type of bike just needing a bit more counter steering than a roadster type bike, this is good considering that 250 mm rear tyre. Being 6'3" I am swapping the foothangers for standard Hammer ones to give me the important 2" extra legroom. I'm also swapping the handlebars for Dragbars because it's no fun hanging on with bent arms on the motorway. The build quality seems top notch and I'm hoping to have a long association with this bike to prove it.
Had bike for a year, never worried about single front disc, brakes fine. Does tend to ground cornering too fast but you get used to that. Previously had the Vegas 8 ball and prior to that a string of Kawasaki cruisers. Love the bike.