What if there was an American-made cruiser on the market that had the potential to blow every stock Harley cruiser away in terms of performance and value? Would that get your attention? Victory Motorcycle’s Vegas 8-Ball is capable of all that and more.
A few years ago HOT BIKE reviewed a 2008 Victory Vegas 8-Ball. We loved it. The 8-Ball is appealing because it is not only great for those looking to break into the cruiser market—or general motorcycle world for that matter—but long-term riders that have been at it for years can certainly appreciate its alluring package nonetheless.
We knew then as we know now that the 8-Ball would be a great platform for customizing. Since our time with the ’08, we’ve been champing at the bit, eager to transform the already cool cruiser into a kick-ass, even-more-mean, even-less-frills custom that the Victory brass has green lit.
Victory’s 2012 Vegas 8-Ball is the perfect canvas for supplementing stock parts with aftermarket goods. The stripped-down powerhouse of a motorcycle comes at an affordable price and features the right amount of necessities for motorcycling: a sleek and stylistic aesthetic, a strong and reliable engine/drivetrain, and a comfort level built for the long haul or around-town shredding.
Over the course of the year we’ll be installing multiple aftermarket parts from some of the finest manufacturers in V-twin-land. Stay tuned as we bring you step-by-step build articles of the 8-Ball’s evolution.
Of the last two remaining 8-Balls in the Victory fleet besides the Hammer 8-Ball (Victory dropped the Kingpin 8-Ball and Vision 8-Ball for 2012), the tried-and-true Vegas 8-Ball is here to stay, and for good reason. The base Victory cruiser—the least expensive of the cruiser fleet, let alone the entire Victory fleet–doesn’t skimp on value in the slightest. Featuring a beefy powertrain via the 50-degree 106ci V-twin engine (single overhead camshafts with four valves per cylinder, self-adjusting cam chains, and hydraulic lifters), and six-speed transmission (overdrive constant mesh), the 8-Ball accelerates with ease throughout the rpm band; it’s a very torquey motor. The trans is also outfitted with a Neutral Assist feature where finding Neutral is now easier than years past.
Loaded with more than just muscle, the 8-Ball’s all-black aesthetic provides plenty of attitude: engine, headlight, handlebar, exhaust, wheels, belt guards, frame, side stand, and more. As for its signature bodywork, the 8-Ball still features the scalloped split-fuel tank and raised center spine on the front and rear fenders. It also comes standard with only a solo seat, perfect for getting away from it all. When getting away, the motorcycle’s suspension performs brilliantly. Soaking up the bumps in the rear is a preload-adjustable monoshock design that’s coupled with cast aluminum with rising rate linkage swingarm. With 3 inches of travel in the rear it delivers a sporty ride when carving the canyons. In conjunction with the rear is the 43mm telescopic front fork that features 5.1 inches of travel. The black and metallic contrasting frontend is also a nice touch (black lower legs and triple clamps with silver fork tubes). Overall the bike has nice touches of chrome dispersed throughout, but not too much. Too much chrome equals jumped-the-shark, long ago. With that said, the base canvas is already a great platform to start. We’re looking forward to really make it a hot bike.
We also wanted to blast the Victory apart to show Vic owners the types of aftermarket options available. From pipes, handlebars, wheels, and beyond, more and more aftermarket parts manufacturers are starting to get on the bolt-on-products train. There are a few different routes we’ve kicked around as far as which the Victory will embody, so stay tuned for future issues with full, in-depth tech articles to come.
|### Model Vegas 8-Ball|
|Induction||EFI, dual 45mm throttle body|
|Transmission||Six-speed overdrive constant mesh|
|Final Drive||Carbon fiber reinforced belt|
|Front Brake||300mm floating rotor, four-piston caliper|
|Rear Brake||300mm floating rotor, two-piston caliper|
|Front Wheel/Size||21x2.15 inches|
|Rear Wheel/Size||18x5.5 inches|
|Front Tire/Size||Dunlop Elite 3 90/90-21|
|Rear Tires/Size||Dunlop D417 180/55-18|
|Fuel Tank||Capacity 4.5 gallons|
|Seat Height||25.2 inches|
|MSRP||Starting at $12,499|
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