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Upgrading from a VN250 to Victory Hammer 8-ball. Nuts?

Discussion in 'Cruisers' started by GunSlingerAU, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. Hey folks

    Whew, it's been a long time since I posted here - still remember my first beginner's ride with around 100 Netriders in NSW about 7 years ago! One of my favourite rides of all time. Since then I've kept riding my Kawasaki Eliminator VN250 2007, but after a recent ride from Sydney to Melbourne on it realised it's way past time to upgrade. I've also just punted an ex who hated the bike, which means I'll be able to ride it every weekend, exploring my new home state of Victoria. Freedom!

    I initially had my eye on the Indian Scout, but the July shipping date led me to check out the Victory Hammer 8-ball. It seems to be the better bike for not a lot more moolah, with a more powerful engine, super sexy looks, and the added bonus of a built-in pillion seat, which I hope to be using once I find the next Ms GunSlinger - this one better like bikes though!

    My question is whether the jump from the little old 250cc bike up to the 8-ball's 1733cc engine is way too big a leap. It's also almost twice the weight, at 305kg vs 171kg for the VN250. Now, I'm only a little guy, measuring 5'7", so was wondering what the more experienced riders thought? I'm going to do a test ride in the near future, but I'd be keen to hear if you think I'd be better off going for something intermediary like the Scout? Will they even let a short-ass like me take such a heavy bike for a test-ride? Note that I've never dropped my VN250, so I'm not a clumsy dude who has a close relationship with gravity.

    Any advice will be appreciated!

  2. get an R1 oh and good move punting the women
    • Funny Funny x 1
  3. I think myself and a few of the guys from netrider forum organised that L/P ride. Welcome back, and yes, way overdue for the upgrade.
  4. Go for it, you won't feel the weight when you're moving, just be careful at slow speeds until you get used to it.

    Alternately, look at the M109 Boulevard, lots of great bargains around and a great forum.
  5. At the very least, upgrading from the 250 Elimitator to just about anything is major step in the right direction.
  6. I went from a GN 250 to a R80 BMW. I am 5.7" also, and I had ridden about 7 years before I did the change. As long as you can touch the ground with both feet with some comfort and are strong it shouldn't be that much of a problem. The weight will concern you at first (250kg for the beamer) but you will get used to it. You will love the power and stability (by power I do mean easily keeping to the speed limit with a strong headwind, up hills, etc, even with a pillion - 250 riders will understand). Yes the bike is capable of big speeds if that is your thing. Don't pillion for a while until you get used to the bike, the weight of the passenger should drop the suspension so that your feet more easily touch the ground. Think about where you park your bike, if it is on a steep incline you will struggle to get it off the stand, but there are ways around that. Your biggest advantage is the 7 years experience. Last thing is 250's are great, but unless you just want a cheap city commuter; after 7 years, it is time to upgrade, you will not regret it.
  7. Go for some test rides to see if the ergos agree with you (not all cruisers are created equal) but as far as size and power, I think you'll be okay.

    That said, if you're shelling out some serious dough for your next bike then it wouldn't hurt to go for a few test rides on different machinery. You may very well come back to the Victory but at least it'd be clearer in your mind.
  8. You'll be all right...

    But as others have suggested.. Go for a few test rides. Victory have specials where they give you a loan bike along with an accommodation. Just use that.
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  9. every weekend if you can get away with it
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  10. slow and steady till your ready
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  11. Hey guys, thanks for the advice - good to hear that I should be ok with the weight. I'll keep riding solo for the first few months until I'm comfortable with the added weight. I'll definitely book a few test rides - after making this post, I discovered the Yamaha XVS1300CU, which also looks like an interesting bike. I've tried to book a test ride on the Victory via their website, but haven't heard back since I did it a couple of days ago. Will chase that up again soon, but you've convinced me that a test ride on these bigger bikes isn't out of the question for a guy of my size. Cheers!
    • Like Like x 1
  12. The Yamaha Stryker (XVS1300CU) looks real good. Well priced too for what it is. Think it's around 15-16k.
    Although there's one on Bikesales for 13,800 that's an unwanted prize apparently.

    I also found it comfy to sit on in the shop. I may end up with one when off restrictions.
  13. Hadn't ridden a bike for 15 years then rode a 2010 Triumph Bonneville for about 3 months and traded it in on a Judge.I'm 5.5" and took it easy for a while.It was fine.

    My advice is go in to the Victory Dealer and talk to them about booking a bike for a ride and see if you can ride a couple of different models,I rode a Vegas,Judge and a Hammer when I was looking to buy and then take the Stryker for a ride too.

    Either way you won't be disappointed.
  14. Do a few test rides mate. Go and test a Harley night rod as well. You'll be fine.
  15. #15 Geoff3DMN, Feb 4, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
    Be aware that a lot of cruisers (not all) are sized to suit taller riders. Shorter guys (I'm 5 foot 8 inches) should look for cruisers with mid mount pegs or foot boards and pull back bars rather than forward controls and ape hangers or flat bars (otherwise we end up stretching to the controls which isn't ideal).

    For example the Victory Judge would be a better fit for most shorter riders than the Victory High-Ball due to peg location and bar height.

    First try sitting on them then if it feels ok sitting on it ask for a test ride.

    As for the (heavy) weight of most larger cruisers just be careful when you're paddling around at low speed in car parks and similar and don't expect to push them up a sloping driveway like you can with a 250 (seriously).
  16. Thanks for the tips on the size of the bike mate, I'll head into Victory this week to try the ergo of each bike, then book the one that fits me best for a test weekend. I'm leaning towards the Hammer 8-ball or Gunner at the moment.
  17. Hey guys, quick update - I visited the store today, and tried out all the various cruisers in terms of rider position. I found the Hammer 8-ball to be super comfy for a guy of my size, and was amazed at how well balanced this thing is - it's definitely a weightier bike than my little 250, but I felt confident keeping it upright while stationary. Slapped down a little deposit, and booked in my test weekend - if it all goes well, it's a sale. Also got the Stage 1 exhaust kit thrown in for a grand.
    • Like Like x 2
  18. Noice...

    Best of luck.
  19. Question: Do they make you put down a deposit to get the weekend ride plus accommodation?
  20. You don't have to put down the deposit, but I think it helps. To be honest, after doing weeks of research, I was sold on a Victory, just wasn't sure which one until I got to try out the rider position. Now to make sure I manage that stupidly big 250 rear wheel in slow corners, which apparently needs a bit of gas to keep going.