2016 Victory Hammer 8-Ball Review
A drag bike for the street
It’s ok. You can admit it. You sometimes catch yourself riding your motorcycle from stoplight to stoplight pretending to be an NHRA pro drag racer. Clutching as fast as you can and banging up through the gears is always fun, but what’s even more fun is doing it on the right motorcycle. After much serious research, I believe I may have found that motorcycle in the Victory Hammer.
Right off the bat, the Hammer doesn’t conform to the usual format of a motorcycle that tries to be as many things as possible and fit as many people as possible so that it can be marketed to as many people as possible. Victory makes other motorcycles that suit the needs of the all-around rider (and the marketing department), but the Hammer series, the 8-Ball tested here and the newer S, is for a specific type of rider whose first add-ons aren’t going to be a windshield and saddlebags. The Hammer is a street cruiser that can take on any challenger at any stoplight or any local bike night.
Swing a leg over the 26-1/2″-high seat and the bike’s drag racer stance begins to make its presence known. The pullback handlebars require a healthy forward lean (even for my 6’1″ frame), while the foot controls are comfortably forward for cruising, yet still allow for a confident knee bend. It’s not quite the extreme clamshell positioning found on other muscle cruisers, but it represents the best of both worlds. Your upper body can tuck in confidently while your legs can rest practically ahead of you.
Although it’s not quite clear to the eye at first, the Hammer also rocks another key cruiser trait in that it’s equipped with passenger equipment in the way of footpegs and a back seat. Lifting the plastic café racer bump seat cover reveals the second seat. There’s no place to stow the plastic cover, so if you think you might get lucky, just leave it at home. And just like that, the purpose-built Hammer displays a dose of practicality as it becomes a two-up cruiser. Actually, a quick glance at Victory’s complete cruiser lineup finds the Hammer 8-Ball and S as the only cruisers to come factory-equipped with passenger equipment. The level of comfort on either seat isn’t anything to write home about, but that likely isn’t a top priority for the Hammer rider. The seat looks cool since it flows perfectly with the lines of the bike instead of appearing slapped on as an afterthought, and the comfort is plenty for typical riders.
Although the Hammer’s design follows that of fast straight-liners, the suspension and chassis were designed for the kind of twisty roads most riders like to spend time on. The Hammer, once again, is the only Victory cruiser to sport that killer inverted front end with 5.1″ of travel and superior rebound and damping abilities. And I just can’t get enough of the looks of a blacked-out inverted front end on a hot muscle cruiser.
For the full ride review, custom bike features, tech stories and more,
CLICK HERE American Iron Magazine issue 340
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