just begs to run
by Kirk Johnson
The Victory Hammer and the 131 HP Snake.
What are the differences
and are these real
American sport bikes that you can cruise on
Published in (click
About the Test Ride
the great opportunity of meeting with the GM of Phoenix Arizona
Victory, Danny Harris, and the owner of
the Arizona Victory
shop in Tucson, Mike Schultz. They provided both of the Victory
Hammers for the test rides. The stock Victory was new off the showroom
floor, with less than 10 miles on it, and the Snake (Victory Hammer
Custom) had over 4,000 miles on it. The custom or “snake,” as
they call it, is Mike’s personal ride. They wanted me to
ride both Hammers so I could get a feel for a showroom stock Hammer
first and then one that has been upgraded with engine work, custom
paint and accessories.
Victory Motorcycles and the Hammer
thing that was not obvious at first was that almost all Victory
models share the same engine and frame. Yes,
if you purchase the Vegas, Vegas Jackpot, Hammer, Hammer S, 8-Ball,
or Kingpin they all come with the same engine and frame, and in
most cases, the same cables and batteries. The differences between
the models are how they are appointed. For example the 8-Ball is
the basic Victory with a base price MSRP of $13,399. From there
the models are upgraded with different accessories. This can include
chrome, tire size, wheels and gauges to triple trees and sheet
metal and of course paint.
At first, I thought that would really limit your selection. And
to some degree, I guess it does. But look at the reality of it.
There is no limitation to cross modifications. Say you want a basic
ride, but you thought that a 250 tire was the most important thing
for your ride. They can do it. Try that with any Harley. To some
degree, you can select your entry point or theme and from there,
customize the bike the way you want.
very interesting and I think great benefits come from having
a common element, that being having the same engine, frame and
other parts across the line. If you walk over to the parts department
and ask for a part, they will have it and you may not even have
to provide a year and model number. Not only that, the parts that
are used have been proven to work and are very reliable.
To customize your new ride, Arlen Ness and his son Cory worked
side by side with Victory engineers to design the Arlen Ness Signature
Series. You know these customized accessories will look great and
fit your bike perfectly. Plus there are many other after market
accessories to personalize your ride just the way you want it.
you want more HP, they can do that to any Victory and the price
is the same across the line. Plus they have a great
with S & S. If you upgrade with S & S engine modification,
they still warranty the engine and parts. How cool is that.
The Stock 2007 Victory Hammer
stock Victory Hammer that I test drove first featured the following; Detachable
rear seat cowl,
dual front disc brakes,
CI Freedom V-Twin engine with 6-speed overdrive transmission and
fat 250 mm rear tire.
All of the 2007
engine is a fuel-injected, counterbalanced, torque-laden 100/6
Freedom V-Twin power plant with 4-valves per
cylinder and an overhead
cam. It’s air and oil cooled and features a silent chain-driven
oil pump to reduce engine noise. It produces 104 ft-lbs of torque
and 86 horsepower. According to the charts and feel of the performance
from the test ride, the torque of the engine peaks out about 2,500
The SNAKE (Custom Victory Hammer)
built the Victory hammer to represent Arizona and thereby Arizona
Victory. The 2005 Hammer is painted a copper
with snakeskin and copper plating. They then installed an S&S
106 stroker kit, complete with cams, valve springs and air box.
The heads were flowed and the power commander was installed with
The results were very impressive. According to the Dyno, numbers
came in at 131 HP and 139 Ft Lbs torque. Top speed of 142 MPH has
design and paint drawn and selected by local Artist "Skogie" Paint
was applied by Ed with Carl laying in the Rattle snake skins strips
and airbrushing in Arizona Victory logo
The Victory solo seat with locking trunk was also installed after
receiving paint treatment. TST then applied the copper powder coating
to the wheels, frame and numerous other components, along with
plating the extreme heat components with copper. Forward controls
were relocated 2 inches forward using Victory's relocation kit.
Since the Hammer is already a performance machine, a number of
stock components were retained such as the 4 piston Brembo brakes,
rotors and braided steel brake lines.
The Stock Hammer Test Ride
The Hammer, fresh out of the shop for a quick shakedown inspection,
was warmed up and ready to go. I jumped on the ride and headed
north to fun country north of the 101 on Cave Creek road. I played
on some of the back roads with curves and found that the Hammer
is a lot of fun to play with. This ride is not a real lightweight;
it comes in at just over 650 pounds dry. But the ride was surprisingly
sporty. Yet running down the road, it ran just like the great lightweight
cruiser that it is.
and cornering was great. I did notice that for some reason that,
the bike tends to wander a little
bit when cruising
down the lane in a straight line. Don’t know what that was
from. It might be from the 250 tire chasing me that when on uneven
payment tends to load the bike and influence the directional stability.
Although it was not a major concern, I did find
myself making sure I paid attention to where I was riding. This
did not happen on the snake when I rode it.
The suspension was tight and the Hammer clung to the corners very
nicely. Acceleration was great. I did find several on-ramps to
play with and found the 3 digit numbers were pretty easy to obtain
before you have to merge with the 101 traffic. This little beast
runs strong. Not sure how it would do next to a stock V-Rod, but
it would blow the doors of anything that H-D makes. In fact, I
am sure two up on the Hammer, or for that matter any bike in the
Victory line, would blow the doors of any single H-D rider with
the exception of the V-Rod. This is because of the strong low-end
torque inherent in the great little 100 incher on the Victory line.
The counter balance mill, bolted directly to the frame was very
smooth. Only under hard acceleration did you have any vibration
and that is to be expected. Having the stock exhaust was annoying.
Too quiet for me. You could actually sneak up on people. I am not
used to that. Now remember, this unit is right off the showroom
floor and for that I give it a very good rating. How many stock
bikes do you know of out there?
The Snake Test Ride
The “Snake” is Mike Schultz’s, owner of the
Arizona Victory shop in Tucson’s, personal ride. I was not
as kind to his ride. I know a little about Mike and I know that
when he climbs aboard his scooter, he rides it with sincerity.
I also knew that the snake would not go back on the showroom floor
That being said, I did not really push the bike hard, but had
a lot more fun with it. Wow, was this a great treat. With the extra
HP and torque, you find yourself wanting to twist the grip all
the time. You can play with this bike; it is very docile, willing
to do anything you want. From smoking the tire from a dead stop
to trying to find the peg feelers on corners. This is what it is
This Hammer was quite a bit quicker than the stock model. You
always look forward to the next on-ramp where you can run the Hammer
through the gears. It would trigger a grin every time.
Then there are times you have to ride on the 101 or down Cave
Creek as if you are a sane driver. No matter where you are you
feel at one with the ride. After you get to a speed of about 60
or 70, you can grab overdrive or sixth gear. This is nice for those
long runs across the country, very smooth and very little vibration.
You can sit on this ride all day without a problem.
upgraded exhaust sounded great. I have heard some Victory’s
that sounded terrible. They were just plain loud. This exhaust
system had a great sound to it. Maybe because the long and straight
pipes gave it a little character – not sure. But it did have
a great sound to the pipes. Even when you backed off the throttle,
the engine did not shut down like some of the fuel injected Harley’s
that I have been on and you still get a great sound from the exhaust.
both bikes are very similar, they ride a little different. For
one, the Snake seemed to be on rails. It was solid straight while
cruising down the lane and I did find the suspension a little
tighter. Mike said afterwards that he had thicker oil in the shocks.
Obviously, the Snake was more fun with the upgraded engine work
and the custom look that made this ride a bike you want to be seen
on. Overall, both bikes ran great and are a must ride if you have
any interest in the sport of riding. Be it on the corners, on-ramps
or even just cruising down your favorite highway chasing the sun.
Make sure you check out these great rides.