Church Of MO: 2009 Victory Vegas 8-Ball Overview

Victory had sufficient endurance that I truly thought it was going to offer The Motor Firm one thing to fret about. With the may of Polaris behind it, that idea truly had a bit of weight to it. Everyone knows how that turned out, although one could make the argument that the problem is stronger than ever with Polaris resurrecting Indian.

Nonetheless, nipping on the heels of the Harley Softail in 2009 was the Victory Vegas 8-Ball. Coming at Harley with a less expensive price ticket, its 100 cubic-inch V-Twin (of which the aesthetics I’ve at all times preferred), and its stealth black remedy, the Vegas 8-Ball received a bunch of updates for 2009. Right here, former E-i-C Kevin Duke takes one for a spin in and across the seashores of Daytona and tells us what it’s wish to trip.

A commuter-ized cruiser

Like a lot of our moto brothers, we regularly succumb to the facility of glitz. Larger typically appears higher, a lot in order that we generally overlook a few of the interesting bikes that help a producer’s flagships.

Working example: the Victory Vegas 8-Ball. Cynics may say it’s merely a de-contented Vegas and due to this fact unfit of consideration. Nevertheless, this elitist angle would overlook what’s a really competent and classy cruiser priced about $2,000 cheaper than a comparable Harley-Davidson Softail.

The Vegas 8-Ball first appeared in 2005, but it surely’s since had loads of updates. Key amongst them is the addition of the highly effective 100 cubic-inch engine which now produces a claimed 85 hp and 106 ft-lbs of torque. This mill received a bunch of enhancements in ’08, together with bigger 45mm throttle our bodies as a part of a brand new, sequential, closed-loop fuel-injection system.

We cruised Bike Week day and night time on the Victory Vegas 8-Ball.

A discount within the compression ratio to eight.7:1 allowed extra aggressive ignition timing, bumping up energy marginally. A redesigned oiling system allowed using a smaller oil cooler that’s much less obtrusive. An annoying ticking sound from early Freedom motors was alleviated by slower valve closing speeds and longer closing ramps, and extraneous noise is additional damped by further sound-deadening ribbing on the engine’s main cowl.

The 8-Ball’s darkish theme is offset by a couple of shiny elements. Observe the accent baggage and windshield fitted to our take a look at bike.

The Vegas 8-Ball is distinct from the upmarket customary Vegas primarily by its black theme. Lots of the Vegas’ chrome bits obtain darkish finishes on the 8-Ball. The one remaining chrome is discovered on the exhaust, headlamp nacelle, devices and the clutch and brake levers. The 8-Ball additionally does with out the Vegas’ sixth gear, cool headlight and detachable passenger seat (and footpegs). As compensation, the $13,799 8-Ball is available in at a value $2,500 cheaper than the Vegas’ $16,299 MSRP.

Bolt-on Versatility
Saving cash on the 8-Ball’s unique buy value has the potential to offer a rider customization choices. Within the case of our 8-Ball take a look at bike, it’s outfitted with a couple of Victory accent items to make it simpler to dwell with.
Our Victory Vegas 8-Ball equipment:
• A small however efficient mid-height windshield ($249.99) gives welcome shelter from the weather. A mounting equipment ($59.99) will come in useful.
• A set of removable saddlebags ($399.99) provide stowage area to make this a commuter-ized cruiser.
• A baggage rack ($149.99) expands loading choices.
• A leather-based device bag ($79.99) mounted between the fork tubes gives one other stowage space and completes the picture.
• Victory’s digital cruise management ($399.99) eases freeway journey.

Driving cruisers with a backpack isn’t cool, however you continue to want a spot to stash your stuff.

A lean and classy {custom} cruiser with a couple of sensible additions.

As with all 2008-and-later Vegas fashions, the 8-Ball will get the Stingray cast-aluminum wheels which can be mentioned to be practically 16 lbs lighter than the earlier hoops. On the 8-Ball, the swirl-pattern 5-spoke wheels are partly black and partly machined/polished, a sexy combo that works nicely with the ’Ball’s black theme. Additionally new is a twice-brighter LED taillight. Different modifications embody the elimination of the fast-idle lever, redesigned handlebar grips and a smaller airbox cowl.

Though missing the overdrive sixth gear of Victory’s Freedom 100/6 powertrain, the 8-Ball’s SOHC, 50-degree V-Twin nonetheless impresses. With 1634cc of displacement, the New American Bike’s engine compares favorably with The Motor Firm’s 96 cubic-incher, providing a large unfold of torque and greater horsepower numbers.

The absence of overdrive isn’t a difficulty until you propose an abundance of freeway miles, and even then the engine is clean sufficient that vibration doesn’t trigger annoyance. The gearbox presents strong, constructive shifts, and driveline lash is sort of non-existent. Mirrors are unobtrusive however very usable.

The leather-based device bag blends proper in with the remainder of the equipment.

As a sibling within the Vegas line, the 8-Ball model retains the custom-cruiser structure. The entrance finish is led by a slender (80/90-21) entrance tire and is balanced out again by a 180/55-17 Dunlop. A chopper-ish 32.9-degree rake is compensated by a comparatively brief 126mm of path to create a nimbler bundle than you may anticipate. The 635-lb (dry) machine may be very straightforward to maneuver with a non-radical peg and bar positions plus a reasonably broad rear tire. A low 26.5-inch seat peak retains the bike accessible to brief riders.

The 8-Ball additionally did an excellent job at ironing bumps on the imply streets of our Daytona, helped by 66.3 inches of actual property between the wheels. The 43mm non-adjustable fork presents a beneficiant 5.1 inches of journey whereas the preload-adjustable shock gives a reasonably clean trip with simply 3.9 inches of journey. Compared, the rear finish of a fat-tired Vegas Jackpot we sampled on the identical time was noticeably harsher.

The Vegas sequence, with only a single entrance disc brake and a thin 21-inch entrance tire, by no means set any information for brief stopping distances, however its 4-piston caliper and 300mm entrance disc does an efficient job at slowing the bike. Greatest if a rider additionally incorporates some energy from the 2-pot caliper and same-size disc out again.

The brand new Stingray wheels on the 8-Ball garnered loads of compliments.

We rode the Vegas 8-Ball extensively round Daytona Seashore throughout Bike Week, and we had been regularly impressed by the bike’s pleasant manners and the flexibility provided by bolting on a couple of equipment. The addition of the windshield makes for an enormous enchancment in rider consolation, particularly at larger speeds, and there at all times gave the impression to be one thing needing stuffing within the helpful saddlebags.

There’s no scarcity of attention-stealing machines at Bike Week, however the understated 8-Ball drew a justifiable share of eyeballs in its route. There’s little doubt Victory’s trademark scalloped gas tank has been an enormous development in model since debuting in 2003, and it’s accented by a visually pleasing ridge operating alongside the middle of the tank high that’s mimicked within the entrance and rear fenders. A 4.5-gallon capability will yield practically a 200-mile vary between fill-ups.

Daytona’s seaside is clean sufficient to roll down an 8-Ball.

So, what we now have right here with the Vegas 8-Ball is a giant hunk o’ cruiser for a comparatively small quantity of coin. H-D’s related black-themed Night time Prepare rings in at $15,899, a $2,100 premium over the 8-Ball. The Harley is supplied with a 6-speed tranny and passenger lodging, however its motor can’t dangle with the Vic.

The 8-Ball proved to be a enjoyable mount whereas scooting by Bike Week’s sights and sounds, being each fashionable and sensible. Nobody must know the bike is a little bit of a cut price, which now features a limited-time 5-year guarantee.

Duke’s Duds
  • Lid: HJC
  • Jacket: Shift Vendetta
  • Gloves: Shift Bullet
  • Pants: Levis 501
  • Boots: Icon
  • Shades: Oakley