I purchased my 8-Ball in May 2009. I had owned two other bikes before this one: a 2004 Yamaha V-Star 1100, which I traded for a heavily modified 2001 Harley-Davidson 883 Hugger (it was a little monster after all the mods). When I was trying to decide my next bike, I was looking at the HD Night Train, HD St...
I purchased my 8-Ball in May 2009. I had owned two other bikes before this one: a 2004 Yamaha V-Star 1100, which I traded for a heavily modified 2001 Harley-Davidson 883 Hugger (it was a little monster after all the mods). When I was trying to decide my next bike, I was looking at the HD Night Train, HD Street Bob, Yamaha Raider S, Honda's VTX 1300, Triumph's new Thunderbird, and of course my Victory 8-Ball. All of these are fine bikes but in the end, the 8-Ball was the one which felt best for me. Here's my little rundown of key points I noted about it... Fit and finish: Top-notch. You throw a leg over, and you just "know" you are siting on a quality-made American piece of machinery. It just feels solidly built. Transmission: It is "clunkier" than the competition from HD (I considered and tested the Street Bob), It's more like the V-Star's transmission, but it works as effectively all the same. Controls / Gages: Although the gauges are a little small, they are clear and easy to read. The chrome plated indicator panel does tend to reflect the sun a little too effectively. It is something one would have to get used to. At least the forks and handlebars are blacked out so one does get blinded by all that chrome. The controls are easy to reach and you aren't struggling to reach for the handlebars. I can't say that about the HD Night Train. It's a pity too, the now discontinued Night Train was my favorite Harley. The self-canceling turn signals are a nice feature to have. I also like the hazard light feature. Engine: The engine may not growl like a HD, but it has more power and supplies more useable torque. When you twist the throttle, you feel like you could tow something if you needed. It has that heavy equipment solidity and power that just keeps a grin on your face. Again, a quality-made American piece of machinery. You feel it could run forever, if you had the fuel to do it. Exhaust: Although it lacks the "potato-potato" sound so many people associate with Harley-Davidson bikes, the Victory's exhaust does sound quite good, if a little quiet. Because I believe louder pipes do save lives, I will be changing the exhaust out for Victory straight pipes in the coming months. Ride: The Victory rides smoothly. I had no problem riding in all typical weather conditions for Central Texas. Granted, who likes riding in the rain? I still felt pretty safe and sure on wet pavement. Seating: The solo seat is comfortable enough for a 6 hour cruise (Sadly, I don't have time for much longer than 6 hours). I really don't feel the need to upgrade with after market seats, as I did with the V-Star. Warranty: HD has the others beat with it's standard 2-year warranty but when I was in the market, the Victory offered a 1-year full coverage warranty, plus 4 more years under an extended warranty. This pretty much became a deciding factor, as my choices were narrowed down to the Street Bob or the 8-Ball. Both were priced the same, so it came down to choosing which one did I want to see myself on. Harley Davidson had three dealers within 20 miles of my home, while Victory only had only one dealer within that same distance. The next closest dealer was nearly 40 miles away. At the time, I had heard Victory Bikes not having as many problems, so I went with reliability over network. You may choose differently. The last factor was the amount of people who would come up to me and ask about the bike I was on. Even now, I still get people asking me, "What kind of bike is that?" or telling me that I have a cool-looking bike and that I must have paid a lot to customize it. It is nice to have something out of the ordinary (sorry HD, "ordinary" in the sense of "mainstream" or "typical"). Truth be told, I have done very little in customization. I do plan to get a new exhaust, and am considering the cruise control, option, since my bike is already wired for such an option. The jury is still out on what kind of turn signals I may get, or when I'll get the rake kit put on, but the first and only mod I have made is to get the overdrive pulley installed. It really does make a difference. I still only have a 5-speed transmission (unlike the regular Vegas), but the pulley compensates to make that final gear ration equal to that of a 6-speed Vegas model. So there you have it, my two bucks worth on the Victory 8-Ball. I hope it answered some questions. Feel free to email if you have any. Bottom line, I love my 8-Ball and look forward to riding it much more frequently than I have in this past year. Remember, it's not the name you ride, but the ride itself so happy riding. RIDE SAFE.