2005 Victory Motorcycles First Look

If Victory had a Hammer... Actually it does, and it's the biggest Victory motorcycle to date. It's accompanied by the most affordable Victory to date, new Nessies, and a dressed-up Kingpin for 2005.

You might have expected Victory to be the last of the big-twin builders to join the march to ever-bigger V-twins. After all, its 1507cc Freedom V-twins already make power beyond the norm for bikes in that displacement range. Nonetheless Victory's new Hammer packs 1634cc (close enough to 100 cubic inches to claim it) and raises the ante downstream with a six-speed gearbox, which has a true overdrive top gear, to let the bike run at a very relaxed rpm on the highway. Victory says that, thanks to the extra power generated by the engine, it can still make strong top-gear passes. Victory calls it the Freedom 100/6 powertrain.

The displacement grew via 4mm wider bores, but the engine externals has been narrowed down in the cases to provide more cornering clearance. The 100/6 gets new drives for cams, oil pump, and primary drive, and the cylinders have been restyled. Victory is mute about whether there are plans to put it in other bikes, but it shoulds like an ideal powerplant for a touring machine.

To match the big engine, Victory uses a big rear tire, a Dunlop 250/40R18 tubeles radial on a 8.5-inch-wide cast wheel. The rear end has been further restyled with new rear fender/seat base that flows cleanly into the lines of the new sidepanels and split-tail gas tank. It's topped off with a sportbike-type passenger-seat cowl and completed with an LED taillight. At the leading end, there are 43mm legs for the USD fork, and two four-piston disc brakes. A tach is standard. Hammer pricing starts at $16,499 but there are plenty of colors and options in the Custom Order Program to raise that price in a hurry.

The new 8-Ball, in contrast, has no color options and can't be custom ordered. It comes in your choice of black, with a strippedc-down style that makes for very aggressive style—and helps keep the price down to $12,999, the original price of Victory's initial model, the V92C, five years ago. Based on the Vegas, but with a solo seat, a blacked-out engine, and no color options. An 8-Ball graphic on the front ender is the only break in the all-black finish treatment.

For 2004, Victory has repeated the limited-edition Ness Signature Series, but it has also extended the treatment to the Kingpin as well as the Vegas. This year there are new wheels, new colors, stainless-steel cables and animal-skin-pattern seats in addition to the long list of Ness-spec'd shiny its. The Ness Vegas, which this year was created by Ness the younger (Cory), is $19,999, and the Arlen-sculpted Kingpin fetches $20,249.

If neither the standard Kingpin (which gets self-canceling turn signals and new colors for 2005, starting at $15,299) nor the Ness rendition fits your plans, perhaps the Kingpin Deluxe, which adds a windshield, passenger backrest, and leather-covered hard saddlebags to the standard 'Pin, will set your mind to wandering. The Vegas ($14,999 base price) also gets the self-cancelrs and new colors, but it also gets a new saddle, which Victory says is more comfy. The last remaining model from Victory's original family, the Touring Cruiser, just gets new color choices, with a base price of $15,199.

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