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Victory Hammer Review 2005 – 2017

Victory Motorcycles offered a unique alternative to those somewhat conventional Harley Davidsons. In contrast to the Harley models from the late 1990s and early 2000s, Victory distinguished themselves by including more aggressive styling and modern technology on their bikes.

The Victory Hammer is a great example of a performance cruiser that embraced Victory’s philosophy on producing a good, modern motorcycle. 

It boasts inverted forks, twin front disc brakes, a large, rumbling fuel-injected engine and an aftermarket exhaust. 

Oh, and it also has that beast of a rear wheel just in case people didn’t quite realise what the Hammer was all about.

The Victory Hammer was created in 2005, as a successor for the V92C series. Before its final version was introduced in 2016 it underwent a number of minor tweaks and variations.

Victory Hammer Variants

2005 Victory Hammer

The original Victory Hammer was introduced in America in 2005 and it arrived in the UK late that same year. With a 6-speed transmission and a modified version of Victory’s second-generation 1,507cc V92 V-Twin Freedom engine, which was standard on the Vegas, the Hammer’s first engine debuted with 1,634 cc.

  •  Engine size          1,634 cc
  • Engine type        Four stroke, 8-value, SOHC, air and oil-cooled V-twin
  • Gearbox              6-speed manual
  • Max power         88 bhp / 65.6 Kw @ 4,500 rpm
  • Max torque        149 Nm / 110 lb ft @ 2,500 rpm
  • Fuel capacity      17 litres / 4.49 US Gal
  • Seat height         673 mm / 26.5 inches
  • Wet weight        324 kg / 714 lbs
  • Top speed           120 mph / 272 kph

2007 Victory Hammer S

The Victory Hammer S had a significantly sportier design and appearance than the standard Hammer. With stunning Performance Machine Gatlin wheels and a huge 240-section tire on the back, it is almost totally gloss black appearance made the Victory Hammer S one of the flashiest performance cruiser available at the time. 

Brakes were updated to Brembo calipers with braided steel brake lines. All other equipment remained the same as the original Victory Hammer.

2010 Victory Hammer 8-Ball

The Victory Hammer 8-Ball is essentially a lower-seat, lower-spec variant of the Hammer muscle bike. It still has the same robust motor, but instead of twin front brake discs, it has a single calliper and rotor, plain black paint instead of the more customary gloss black, no rev counter, and the suspension is lowered front and back to lower the seat by 17 mm to 654 mm (25.75 inches). 

To accommodate short riders as well, the foot pegs are set further back. The £1000 savings is offset by a loss of ground clearance and braking power.

It was one of the few bikes in the Victory line-up that continued to have a 5-speed gearbox.

2012 Victory Hammer 8-Ball Specs

The newer and more dependable 1,731 cc Freedom V-Twin engine and 6-speed transmission were added to the 2012 Victory Hammer 8-Ball model. All other equipment remained the same as the 2010 Victory Hammer 8-Ball.

  • Engine size          1,731 cc
  • Engine type        Four stroke, 8-value, SOHC, air and oil-cooled V-twin
  • Gearbox              6-speed manual
  • Max power         97 bhp / 70.8 Kw @ 5,300 rpm
  • Max torque        153 Nm / 113 lb ft @ 2,600 rpm
  • Fuel capacity      17 litres / 4.49 US Gal
  • Seat height         654 mm / 25.75 inches
  • Wet weight        318 kg / 702 lbs
  • Top speed           120 mph / 272 kph

2014 Victory Hammer S LE

Victory offered the Victory Hammer S LE (Limited Edition), the sportier version of the “standard” Hammer S for a £1,000 extra. With a more rearward foot peg, a somewhat different handlebar position to match, a distinctive white paint job, and an individually numbered, commemorative aluminium plaque on the top yoke. It also included the more current 1,731 cc Freedom V-Twin engine, which debuted on the Victory Hammer 8-Ball two years earlier.

2016 Victory Hammer S Gen 2

The new version of the Hammer S gets the upgraded engine of the previous models along with all the bells and whistles the original Hammer S offered.

2016 Victory Hammer Review

A large V-twin with 153 Nm of torque and 97 horsepower, the engine is Victory’s 1731cc Freedom V-Twin. An air/oil cooling system, electronic fuel injection, and four valves per cylinder all work together to give you a lot of power when you need it without having to wait. 

Using a reinforced belt drive, a manual six-speed transmission quietly and easily transfers power to the rear wheels.

A single, mono-tube gas, cast aluminum unit with rising rate linkage makes up the rear suspension. This works fine when you ride on smooth, beautiful roads, but as soon as you encounter potholes, dips, and ruts, it fails at its one task, and you’ll likely find yourself weaving around the worst offenders to protect your spine. 

Performance cruisers appear to have a recurring trend in this regard. Although they lack any adjustability, the front inverted forks are far superior to their counterpart at the back because they can effectively absorb road irregularities.

The Hammer’s brakes are excellent; the bike can be stopped quickly from speed thanks to its dual 300 mm disc brakes and four-pot calipers. They prove reliable, robust, and showed no indications of fading even when driven hard.

During construction, Victory worked closely with Dunlop on the enormous Elite 3 rear tire. All bikes rely on air pressure to maintain tire profiles, but the Hammer is particularly vulnerable to underinflation. Any surface other than smooth roads results in the bike’s poor tracking. 

The thing’s shear breadth causes it to pick up every high point, low point, and other irregularity on the road, which causes the back of the bike to move more than you’d like. The front tire wants to go wide because it resists the first tip-in, but by the time you can pull it over further, the bike has already veered off course.

The front tire itself is a better option since its 130 mm section tire complements the Hammer’s forks and brakes nicely, providing excellent feel and feedback when you test the boundaries of the bike’s handling.

The minimalist foot controls have a well-placed, practical layout that fits the Hammer’s aesthetic. The mirrors and levers both work well. The seat is ordinary, tiny, and feels quite hard after a short ride in the saddle, however it does include a removable passenger cowl.

Among the many Hammer’s positive qualities, its appearance is the highlight. Although design is usually a matter of personal preference, it’s difficult to dislike the Hammer’s aggressive styling; its low, chiselled posture, alluring curves, and visual touches.

The bodywork is incredibly traditional and it’s red with black speed stripes superimposed were common on hot rods in the 1950s and 1960s. It’s blacked-up exhaust and engine block stand out because the polished edges of the cooling fins compliment the body further if that was even possible. 

In the cruiser category, appearance and image are crucial, and the Hammer has both in spades thanks to its aggressive, yet classic, style. Every ride with the Victory Hammer S is an occasion filled with heads turning.

2016 Victory Hammer S Spec list

  • Engine size          1,731 cc
  • Engine type        Four stroke, 8-value, SOHC, air and oil-cooled V-twin
  • Gearbox              6-speed manual
  • Max power         97 bhp / 70.8 Kw @ 5,300 rpm
  • Max torque        153 Nm / 113 lb ft @ 2,600 rpm
  • Fuel capacity      17 litres / 4.49 US Gal
  • Seat height         673 mm / 26.5 inches
  • Wet weight        318 kg / 702 lbs
  • Top speed           120 mph / 272 kph

What Happened to the Victory Hammer S?

The Victory Hammer S replaced the V92C series in 2005 and went through several variants until 2017 when owners Polaris discontinued production of Victory Motorcycles in Jan 2017. 

Despite the high quality and modern designs and equipment, Victory was unable to win over customers’ loyalty and devotion the way Harley-Davidson had. By acquiring and resurrecting the Indian Motorcycle brand in 2011, Polaris found a solution to this issue. 

When it became evident that Indian could more effectively compete with Harley on an emotional level, Polaris determined that its production capacity and resources would be better allocated to the Indian brand, and as a result, Victory Motorcycles ceased production. Polaris did commit to produce spare parts for ten years for existing Victory owners.

Buying an Original Victory Hammer

The Hammer was one of the more well-known Victory models in the UK, but because they were rather uncommon, there aren’t many of them available for purchase. Finding an original model is difficult, but they cost around £5,000 if you can find one. 

The latest variants (from 2012 onwards) with the 1,731 cc engine are far more prevalent, and you can find them for between £8,000 and £9,000. 

The final bikes off the assembly line in 2016–17 cost over £10,000. This might seem like a lot, but the Hammer S versions, which originally sold for £13,995, are highly prized by their devoted followers, which helps them maintain their residual prices.

 This 2016 Hammer S is for sale with less than 7,000 miles. It is in excellent condition with and aftermarket exhaust. Very rare in UK. Selling for £10,995.

Compared to the UK, the US second-hand market has a significantly wider selection of motorcycles for sale. Because of this, the costs are lower; an original model can be purchased for less than $5,000.

Is the Victory Hammer a Good Investment?

The Hammer will undoubtedly become a sought-after piece of cruiser history. Since Polaris, the parent company of Victory, stopped manufacturing new machines in 2017, finding a good-condition model that is also close to new will become increasingly difficult, almost impossible. 

However, Polaris has promised to provide replacement parts for them until at least 2027, and realistically, I can’t think they would walk away from a profitable spares market, nor would aftermarket suppliers.

With all of this in mind, right now would be a great time to get a Hammer or perhaps a different Victory model. Their worth will rise over time as their rarity does.

Verdict

The mad brute of the Ducati Diavel is the only performance cruiser that has ever piqued my curiosity. However, there’s something about the Victory Hammer, especially the most recent S model with its aggressive styling, that truly appeals to me. 

It had the sense of a true underdog tale that regrettably fell short against the might of Harley Davidson. This draws me to the Hammer even more, and I’d definitely think about purchasing one as an investment because I firmly believe that its value will soar over the ensuing years.

If you’re not interested in making an investment but are searching for an authentic American Performance cruiser that is distinct from the standard Harley models and goes as well as it looks, consider a Victory Hammer; you could very well be pleasantly surprised.


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