When the Hammer was first introduced, riders complained about the bike’s tendency to straighten out early in a corner and this required a little bit of effort to compensate, making the first models not so appreciated when it came to handling. So when I found my way on the 2008 model year this is what I first wanted to see. The sinuous back roads on which I started riding were perfect and if the Hammer was to make a good impression, this was the perfect time. I must say that this claimed power cruiser now features very responsive steering and leaning it seems the easiest thing. You can easy scrap the pegs on the asphalt and your ride will become a great experience.
After 10 miles of leaning, accelerating, then braking and yet again leaning, I was feeling like a new born so I have to give the needed credit to the ergonomics of this bike. The V-shaped bars are at quick reach, the seat is low and the pegs are damn relaxing. I also spent some time on the Hammer S and there things are even better. Handlebars are pulled back even more and despite the sporty impression that it gives, it is actually more relaxing and better for the log haul than the simple Hammer.
The engine is the same on both machines, a powerful 100 cubic inch V-Twin SOHC with four valves per cylinder. This is practically the unit that has all to do with the performance cruiser character as the awesome torque will have the bike amaze everyone when it comes to fast take offs. Mid-range is also strong and during my enthusiastic pass through the twisty portions combined with straight lines I noticed that this V-twin starts vibrating at around 4000 RPM, but it won’t bother at that level, it will only become noticeable. When pushing it up to 120 mph you simply don’t know what to hate more, the wind or the vibrations, but would it feel like a V-twin if it wouldn’t vibrate?
A six-gear overdrive transmission is there to help you rush the vibes away. I found the gearbox smooth and easy to use, while the clonk heard when shifting first was not out of the ordinary. Such massive, torque-producing engines seem like they never require a higher gear, but in the past years we’ve learned that a sporty character can be implemented to virtually any kind of engine so that’s why we’re shifting a sixth gears.
2008 Victory Hammer S
Generally, the bike performs as expected and stays well glued to the road as it has a low center of gravity and very efficient suspension equipment. It will soak up the bumps with great efficiency and leave you with a stress-free lower back at the end of the day, no matter where your ride has taken you.
Putting the bike to a complete stop is easily done with the help of 300mm discs trio, two up front and one at the rear. Pulling the brake lever strongly will action the front 4-piston caliper and feel the bike barring in the asphalt. At the rear the 2-piston caliper will also brake powerfully and leave no doubts on the fact that the Victory Hammer and Hammer S are top notch machines.
MSRP for the simple Hummer is $16,999 while the Hammer S has a minimum price of $19,866. The first situates just close to the Harley-Davidson V-Rod ($16,695-cheapest version), but the S model is clearly not so competitive compared to the Night Rod Special which doesn’t require a cent more than the V-Rod.
Victory motorcycles have always been addressed to mature riders who have a great appreciation for reliability and performance, but with the Hammer this manufacturer addresses to the younger segment which transits from sports bikes to cruisers and feel like riding a bike that incorporates features of both categories. This means creating a veritable American muscle cruiser.