In 2004, Victory was on a roll. The brand had five model years worth of bikes on the road and had delivered some outstanding models, including the V92C, the Touring Cruiser, the award-wining Vegas and the smooth-riding Kingpin.
At the model year 2005 National Sales Meeting in the summer of 2004, Victory unveiled a bike that established “Power Cruiser” as a new segment of cruiser motorcycles: The Victory Hammer. The Hammer further solidified the fact that Victory was a bold, independent, innovative, performance-minded brand. There’s never been another bike like it.
The Hammer was the first Victory model with the 100-cubic-inch Freedom V-Twin, the brand’s most powerful engine to that point. Plus, the engine was paired with a six-speed transmission
with true overdrive – the first six-speed in a full production cruiser.
The Hammer also had a 250mm-wide rear tire – a Dunlop that was created through a joint development project involving Victory engineers and Dunlop personnel. The wide rear tire was shown off prominently as the bike’s rear fender featured a sporty, high profile rather than draping down over the tire.
The Hammer also came with dual front disc brakes and inverted forks like those of the Kingpin. The 2005 model had signature “V” handlebars and a split-tail fuel tank that integrated with the front of the seat.
That’s a lot of bike, but Victory didn’t stop there.
The Hammer had a small, sporty front fender that showed off the front wheel, tire and dual discs, and the passenger seat was covered by a removable cowl that was color-matched to the bike’s bodywork. With the cowl in place, the Hammer was a stylish solo bike. Remove the cowl and the bike was ready for 2-up riding. Add an accessory Fly Windscreen and the cowl could be mounted onto the front of the windscreen for convenience and extra style.
Wow! That’s quite a package of performance, style and smooth-riding features. What did the motorcycle media think of the 2005 Hammer?
In July 2005, Sean Alexander of Motorcycle.com wrote:
“On the road, the Hammer did indeed feel stronger than the Freedom 92 powered 8-Ball that I rode on the same day. First gear acceleration is strong, linear and more importantly easy to modulate… Cruising along at 80 mph through a beautiful 80° Texas day, the Hammer allowed me to relax and enjoy the undulating topography, fragrant vegetation and an occasional glimpse of a lake or river. Meanwhile, the Freedom turned over at a mere 2,900 rpm with the little green O/D [overdrive] light shining merrily from the base of the tachometer.”
Kevin Duke wrote on MotorcycleUSA.com:
“Pictures don't do justice to the way that 250-section boot out back looks in person. The Hammer is extremely imposing looking from the rear, especially when rolling down the road… For the young or young-at-heart, we think the new Hammer has hit the nail on its head.”
In Motorcycle Cruiser
Magazine, Evans Brasfield wrote:
“Every time I throw a leg over the Hammer, I'm amazed by how much I love this new motorcycle from Victory. I haven't lusted this much for a test bike in – well, ever… The looks excite me, the fit and finish wow me, and the performance – even the handling – makes me want to ride for days.”
In the same magazine, Jamie Elvidge wrote:
“If I had a Hammer… I'd smile in the morning, burn rubber in the evening. You get the picture. I'm in the ‘Love It’ column with this new Victory… It rips down the road, there's no disputing that, and it stops like a fighter plane on hook. Overall, I think it's an amazing and historic move for Victory. Now counted as a powerful and consistent American motorcycle manufacturer, Polaris is finally in a position to go out on a limb. To make a real original. I have a feeling this is just the beginning of one wild ride.”
• CLICK for complete details about the 2013 Hammer 8-Ball.
Starting in 2005, demo riders have always been eager to experience the Hammer ride and its outstanding performance.
When Victory introduced the Hammer for 2005, one of the color options was the Toxic Green With Tribal Tattoo. The bold color was offered as a polarizing option – Victory product developers knew it would elicit love or hate responses – and it proved to be a very strong-selling color that year.
The Hammer has been known over the years for its outstanding performance and for its distinctive 250mm rear tire.