VICTORY HAMMER S LE (2014 - on) Review
At a glance
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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 & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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.
|Engine type||4v OHC 50 degree V-twin|
|Frame type||Steel tube double cradle|
|Fuel capacity||17 litres|
|Front suspension||Preload only|
|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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||160 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||-|
|Used price||£8,500 - £9,500|
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How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||88 bhp|
|Max torque||110 ft-lb|
|Top speed||140 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||12.98 secs|
|Tank range||200 miles|
Model history & versions
Limited Edition version launched in 2014.
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.
Owners' reviews for the VICTORY HAMMER (2014 - on)
No owners have yet reviewed the VICTORY HAMMER (2014 - on).