VICTORY HAMMER S LE (2014-on) Review

Published: 11 November 2014

Big, bad cruiser with loads of grunt

VICTORY HAMMER S LE (2014-on)

Big, bad cruiser with loads of grunt

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The base Hammer S remains an appealing package that’s enduring well, hardly showing any signs of its age. It’s a crisp, clean, grunty American musclebike and an appealing alternative to the ubiquitous Harley. Its blacked-out powertrain is as bad-ass as they come and is a pleasure to blast away from the lights. Its styling somehow reminds of the re-invented Chevy Camaro or Ford Mustang, old school brought up to date rather than the gawdy chrome and heritage of some rivals. And it’s all beautifully done in a chunky, solid kinda way: the paint is thick and gleaming; the switchgear beefy and effective; there’s no flab, no mess. For £12K+, if I couldn’t face a Harley and wanted something younger and meaner, I’d be more than happy.

 

I’m just not convinced, however, that I should spend a further grand for this version. Yes, I’d probably prefer the riding position for UK roads, but it’s not a massive deal. And yes, the reflected cache of that aluminium placque and limited edition status is nice. But I’d probably be happier still if I had a few more bells and whistles, maybe from Brembo or Ohlins, for my money, too. Without them it’s a nice bike, but pretty much a special in name only.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

It's a massive cruiser with limited ground clearance, so wehat do you expect? Actually for a big old bruiser it's not bad.

Being less laid back the rider feels more ‘in’ the machine, slightly more forward canted, more aggressive even. But let’s not kid ourselves: this is a subtle distinction. The enormously fat 250-section rear tyre combined with the long wheelbase, raked out forks and 18-inch front wheel still adds up to a bike that’s barely more nimble than a stretch limo. Whatever Victory’s intents this is still a great big barge of a cruiser, a machine that far prefers straights to switchbacks, not a sprightly sports hot rod, On the whippet-like MT07 I’d ridden the day before I felt I could hit any apex and steer to within an inch. On the Hammer I’d be lucky if it was within a yard.

Engine 4 out of 5

The Hammer S LE - uses the same motor as the standard Victory Hammer - and there's not much wrong with that.Loads of low-down grunt and a rumbling V-twin can't be bad.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

This is a beautiful motorcycle with great attention to detail. The chrome and paintscheme is fantastic. It's a lot of money, ut you do get an amazing level of finish.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

A 13 grand bike can hardly ber described as good valuer and it's hard to justify the extra £1000 over standard Hammer, but you do get a lot of bike for your buck.

If you wanty something different - not a Harley - you won;t be disappointed with the Hamme LE.

Insurance group: 17 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

 What you get for your extra £1000 over the price of the stocker (the LE is £13,995, the standard S £12,995) is this: revised, more sporty, more rearward footpeg position (the ‘S’ has full-on, feet forward ‘Highway’ pegs, the LE slightly more conventional versions); a very slightly revised handlebar position to suit; special plain white paintjob plus an individually numbered, commemorative, aluminium placque on the top yoke. Our test bike, incidentally, was number 043 of that run.

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Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2014
Year discontinued -
New price £13,995
Used price £9,800 to £10,000
Warranty term 2 year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £88
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 88 bhp
Max torque 110 ft-lb
Top speed 140 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.98 secs
Average fuel consumption 160 mpg
Tank range 200 miles
Specification
Engine size 1731cc
Engine type 4v OHC 50 degree V-twin
Frame type Steel tube double cradle
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 673mm
Bike weight 301kg
Front suspension Preload only
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake Dual 300mm floating rotor with four-piston caliper
Rear brake 300mm floating rotor with two-piston caliper
Front tyre size 130/70 x 18
Rear tyre size 250/40 x 18

History & Versions

Model history

Limited Edition version launched in 2014.

Other versions

The Victory Hammer S came out in 2007. Before that there was the first Hammer - out in 2002.

There's also a Hammer 8-ball.

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