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.