Suzuki Boulevard M109R LTD. vs. Victory Hammer S - Alternative Muscle

Heavy Hitters for those who don't care how it's done in Milwaukee

By Tim Carrithers, Photography by Adam Campbell

Victory Hammer S | Price: $18,499
Hard Parts

The 1731cc 106/6 is essentially Victory's 1634cc V-twin with 6mm more stroke and a raft of detail improvements that came on-line for both engines in '08, including a new crankshaft, pistons, rods and a redesigned oil-cooling system. Stage 2 cams cue each four-valve head. Visteon PCM60 closed-loop sequential injection does business through a dual-bore 45mm throttle body, providing independent fuel, spark and idle-air control for each cylinder. Self-adjusting cam chains and hydraulic lifters mean there isn't much for you to do but change the oil. A lot of work went into making this engine run cleaner and quieter, and it shows.

Designed to be sufficiently stout without cluttering the silhouette, a new welding sequence joins steel tubes in the double-downtube skeleton more effectively at the factory. A two-piece die-cast footpeg design and steel brake/shift lever pivots for '09 are more likely to survive a slow-speed tip-over. The S gets artfully cast X-factor wheels as well. Aside from looking good, they save an alleged 15.8 pounds of unsprung weight.

The single shock (barely) visible beneath the seat is adjustable for spring preload, but the collar is surrounded by the battery on the left and the fuse box on the right, so access isn't easy. The 43mm cartridge fork offers no external adjustments--a maddening omission when you're spending this kind of dough. The ride is decidedly firm, and genuinely punishing on rough pavement.

Cockpit accoutrements are minimal--just an LCD odometer and tripmeter--but take a look at the big twin's brain. A 60-pin Visteon ECU calculates fuel and spark for each cylinder using speed/density-based load detection via data from a manifold air sensor, compensating for altitude, barometric pressure and engine load. It knows when the engine is cold, bumping idle rpm just enough on cold mornings and eliminating the old fast-idle lever on the handlebar.

Tech Spec
Engine type: a/o-c 50-deg. V-twinRear brake: Single two-piston caliper, 300mm discCorrected 1/4-mile: 12.03 sec. @ 109.42 mph
Valve train: SOHC, 4vFront tire: 130/70-R18 Dunlop Elite 3Top-gear roll-on:4.9 sec..
Displacement: 1731ccRear tire: 250/40-R18 Dunlop Elite 3 Fuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 43/33/39 mpg
Bore x stroke: 101.0 x 108.0mmRake/trail: 32.7 deg./5.5 in.Colors: Blue/white
Compression: 9.4:1Seat height: 26.5 in.Availability: Now
Fuel system: EFIWheelbase: 65.7 in.Warranty: 12 mo./unlimited mi.
Clutch: Wet, multi-plateFuel capacity: 4.5 gal.Contact:
Victory Motorcycles
2100 Highway 25
Medina, MN 55340
Transmission: 6-speedWeight (tank full/empty): 691/664 lbs.
Frame: Tubular-steel double-cradle with aluminum swingarmMeasured horsepower:84.9 bhp @ 5000 rpm
Front suspension: 43mm inverted cartridge forkMeasured torque: 100.8 lb.-ft. @ 2750 rpm
Rear suspension: Single shock with adjustable spring preload
Front brake: Dual four-piston calipers, 300mm discs

It's all about torque. With upwards of 100 lb.-ft. on tap at 2750 rpm, shifting early is key, if you shift at all. Once the tach needle strikes 4500 rpm, the long-stroke twin makes more noise than acceleration.

Despite nearly 8 feet of motorcycle with a 66-inch wheelbase, there's not much room between the seat and that swept-back handlebar. That's okay if you're 5-foot-10, but cramped if you're 6-foot-2, especially on the freeway.

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