Saturday, 10 December 2011
Victory Motorcycles is tired of playing nice. For years, it's lived in the shadow of Harley-Davidson, but with its new, ultra-dark Hard-Ball introduced Friday at the International Motorcycle Shows expo in Long Beach, the company that's long been known as the other American cruiser maker is taking off the gloves.
Its latest is a gritty, blacked-out touring bike that won't give anyone a chance to check out their helmet hair simply by looking at their reflection in the chrome.
There is no chrome.
The Hard-Ball is almost entirely matte black, with a touch of red pinstriping to keep it from getting lost in the dark. The tank, fenders and frame are practically soot. So are the bags, crash bars, ape hangers and headlight housing.
"We took what's happening in the custom world, especially in Southern California," said Gary Gray, Victory's director of product planning. "You can't help when you're running on the 405 seeing all the bikes out here with laced wheels, or, as we like to say, all murdered out. We thought, let's do it. It's been a while since we did a wild and crazy touring bike."
And so they did. It took just six months to put the Hard-Ball together, Gray said, because at its core, it's based on an existing model. The chassis was lifted from Victory's Cross Roads, with a cast-aluminum frame. Like all Victory products, the Hard-Ball is powered with an air- and oil-cooled, 106-cubic-inch V-twin with a six-speed overdrive transmission.
The Hard-Ball is the fifth touring bike to be launched by Victory in almost as many years. The plethora of touring bikes, Gray said, is largely attributable to a demographic shift, as baby boomers age and demand more comfort and performance from their cruisers for longer and longer hauls.
The Hard-Ball has adjustable foot controls and adjustable handlebars, and 21 gallons of storage in its sidebags.
•RED PINSTRIPING PAINT FINISH
•21 GALLONS OF HARD BAGGER STORAGE
Engine Type 4-stroke 50° V-Twin
Cooling System Air / oil
Displacement 106 ci / 1731 cc
Bore X stroke 101 x 108 mm
Compression Ratio 9.4 : 1
Valve Train Single overhead camshafts with 4 valves per cylinder, self-adjusting cam chains, hydraulic lifters
Fuel System Electronic Fuel Injection with dual 45mm throttle body
Fuel Capacity 5.8 gal / 22 ltr
Exhaust Split dual exhaust with crossover
Oil Capacity 5.0 qts / 4.75 ltr
Charging System 48 amps max output
Battery 12 volts / 18 amp hours
Primary Drive Gear drive with torque compensator
Clutch Wet, multi-plate
Transmission 6-speed overdrive constant mesh
Final Drive Carbon Fiber Reinforced Belt
Length 104.4 in/ 2652mm
Wheelbase 65.7 in/ 1670mm
Seat Height 26.25 in / 667 mm
Ground Clearance 5.8 in / 148 mm
Rake / Trail 29.0° / 5.6 in / 142 mm
Dry Weight 758Lbs / 345 Kg
GVWR 1360 lbs / 618 kg
Handlebars Ape Style Bars
Storage 21.3 Gallons
Front Suspension Inverted cartridge telescopic fork, 5.1 in/ 130 mm travel
Rear Suspension Single, mono-tube gas, Cast aluminum with constant rate linkage, 4.7 in/ 120mm travel, Air adjustable
Brake System type ABS
Front Braking System Type Dual 300mm floating rotor with 4-piston calipers
Rear Braking System Type 300mm floating rotor with 2-piston caliper
Wheels & Tires
Front Tire 130/70 B18 Dunlop 491 Elite II with Red Tire Strip
Front Wheel 18 X 3.5 in Black Spoked
Rear Tire 180/60 R16 Dunlop Elite 3 with Red Tire Strip
Rear Wheel 16 X 5.0 in Black Spoked
Color Options Matte Black with Red Pinstriping
STARTING AT $18,999 US MSRP OVERALL CUSTOMER RATING
Available in dealerships February 2012