2014 Victory Vegas 8-Ball Test
Victory does a great job of building and marketing cruisers with distinctive personalities and names to match.
You have the beach-friendly Boardwalk, for example, with its retro whitewalls, wide swept-back bars, and deeply valanced fenders. And then there’s the High-Ball, as extreme as it gets from mainstream companies, with bobbed fenders and apes so tall that they are illegal in some jurisdictions, depending on the height of the rider.
We have to admit that we never paid much attention to the no-frills Vegas 8-Ball. It doesn’t have a theme, unless a black bike called the 8-Ball does it for you. There is certainly nothing Vegas about it, as none of the glitz and glamor associated with the bright lights of the Strip and downtown can be found.
Still, the Vegas 8-Ball is hiding a little secret from you, and one that Victory may not want you to know, given that it is the least expensive motorcycle they sell at $12,499. Don’t tell anyone at Victory that I told you, but the Vegas 8-Ball may be the best riding, most fun of all the cruisers out of Roseau, Minnesota.
There’s no mystery as to why the Vegas 8-Ball is such a superb urban cruiser—it has the muscular air-/oil-cooled Freedom 106/6 V-twin motor that cranks out 110 ft/lbs of torque, along with a seating position that is positively natural.
Swing your leg over the bike, and as soon as you sit down in the attitude-heavy low fender-hugging solo seat, your feet and hands will migrate intuitively to the pegs and grips.
This is a motorcycle that you can tool around on all day, without neck or back aches. The 4.5-gallon tank means you won’t have to stop often, and for guys like me who are happy to put hours in the saddle without a break — even in town — this is almost the perfect cruiser.
Suspension and handling are basic and predictable. The 21-inch front tire doesn’t like to be stuffed hard into corners, yet it tracks well on good roads and under a steady hand. Roll on the throttle everywhere, and the bike moves out aggressively, yet controllably.
Sure, some of the parts on the Victory Vegas 8-Ball look cheap, such as the brake pedal, but that doesn’t take away from the fun. Of course, you can always replace any detail parts that don’t suit you. The main parts are there— the chassis and motor — and that is what makes for a great motorcycle.
- Helmet: Bell Rogue
- Eyewear: Dual Power Eyewear Dual Q9
- Jacket: River Road Mesa
- Gloves: Roland Sands Design Barfly
- Jeans: Drayko Drift
- Boots: Chippewa Harness
Story from the “Quickshift” section of the March/April 2014 issue of Ultimate MotorCycling magazine. For subscription services, click here.