Victory's 2008 Vegas 8-Ball features a few subtle changes from last year's model. The braking system has been revamped, using several new components: brake lever, front 300mm floating rotor with a 4-piston caliper and rear 300mm floating rotor with 2-piston caliper, a rear master cylinder, and new handgrips, which have been outfitted to accept a heated grip accessory for cold rides. The switch housings have also been altered a bit for a more refined look. It remains available in the all black and chrome color package, which is a good thing, because let's face it, who wants to make any more decisions in life like having to choose the color of their ride?
Of the entire '08 Victory lineup (there are plenty to choose from), the 8-Ball is by far the best bang for your buck with a very reasonable price tag (MSRP: $13,599). The 8-Ball comes equipped with what we feel is the most impressive feature-the Next Generation Freedom 100ci V-Twin. The rumble of the torque growls like a lion and accelerates with ease. Basically, when you're looking for acceleration power, you will find it with the new air box to enhance the air intake, as well as new throttle body, fuel injectors, and idle air control (ECM features a closed-loop fuel injection system). When you roll on the throttle you'll find the torque of the 100ci motor throws you back in the seat. The new five-speed tranny has a lower gear ratio in First gear to deliver low-speed acceleration and rideability, so you'll jump off the line and leave the competition in the dust.
The silver and black frontend-43mm conventional telescopic forks with black fork legs and black triple trees-match the fins on the cylinders and heads, and also the all-black wheels with the chrome Staggered Slash Cut Duals. The rear suspension features a preload adjustable spring, which allows for easy adjustability for all riders' requirements. The 8-Ball is a comfortable ride with plenty of pullback in the bars, so you're not straining to lean forward to pull the brake or clutch, and the forward controls are positioned in just the right place for an average-sized rider. With a 5.8-inch ground clearance, the bottom of the primary case was unscathed and the forward controls were still untouched by the asphalt in the tight turns. We noticed that when we leaned into the turns the bike responded accordingly. If we wanted to make a sharp turn, we could. And for the gradual sweepers, a slight shift with our seating position was all it took to keep it tucked tightly into the curves, sticking to the asphalt. We've ridden bikes that sometimes feel like the back tire is going to slide out from under you in the turns; not so with the 8-Ball.
All in all, it's difficult to find a negative thing to say about the 8-Ball. And lucky for us, we have the 8-Ball for a long-term road test, so you Victory riders need to stay tuned to see how we upgrade this puppy. If you have any suggestions on what you'd like to see, let us know and we'll certainly consider it.