Victory Motorcycles has taken a cue from garage builders in the retro-styling of the 2012 High-Ball.
Bobbers and hot rod bikes have ridden a wave of resurgence recently. More garage builders are chopping fenders and stripping bikes down to the essentials than ever before in modern interpretations of old themes. Victory Motorcycles, who has established a reputation for itself by changing the perception of what an American V-Twin cruiser should be, seeks to capitalize on this movement as it draws upon styling cues of the past for its 2012 Victory High-Ball.
At the core of the 2012 High-Ball is a Victory Vegas, one of Victory’s best-selling bikes. The High-Ball’s basic architecture comes straight from the Vegas DNA – a raised spine that runs the length of the bike down the middle of the tank and fenders along with a Victory Freedom 106/6 Stage 2 V-Twin. But that’s where the similarities end.
The 2012 Victory High-Ball features high-rise handlebars, a chopped front fender, smaller, chunkier spoked-down wheels with whitewalls and the blacked-out treatment. Cool thing about the bars is that they can be quickly adjusted with simple hand tools to a lower, more “laid-back” position. Victory ensures us that this won’t affect the control mounts and that the cables reach fine in either position.
The old school whitewall tires are a nice contrast to the blacked-out treatment of the engine, frame, bars, headlight bucket, triple trees, fender struts and cylinder head covers. Victory made the recess of the tank more prominent by painting it white as well. The High-Ball has a solo seat slung low at 25 inches and in photographs, the rider’s position looks to be slightly leaned forward grasping the bars at shoulder level with mirrors mounted at eye-level. A single round gauge is mounted high between the bars and the all-in-one unit serves as a speedo, tach, tripmeter, warning lights and includes a few other functions.
Introducing the 2012 Victory High-Ball. It has two-way, manually adjustable handlebars, either high-rise (M) or low slung (R).
The High-Ball’s 16-inch front wheel is five inches smaller than the Vegas’ front hoop but 40mm wider at 130mm. Victory uses a 16-inch wheel on the back too, but dropped its width from the standard Vegas by 30mm to a measurement of 150mm. The stainless steel spokes assist the conversion from custom cruiser to retro roller. The stainless steel stands out between the gloss black of the wheels and hubs while the whitewall Dunlop Cruisermax tires also contribute to its hot rod styling.
Victory tightened the rake and wrapped the HIgh-Ball’s front in a smaller, wider tire in comparison to its standard Vegas model.
The 2012 High-Ball is also more compact than the standard Vegas. The High-Ball’s overall length is 3.5-inches shorter and its wheelbase is 1.5-inches more compact. Victory also dropped the rake to 31.7 inches, 1.2-inches tighter than the Vegas, and bumped up trail to 6.7 inches. Add it all up and you’ve got a shorter bike with a tighter rake, a tire combo that’s shorter and wider up front and more svelte out back, then throw in the power of Victory’s Freedom 106/6 V-Twin with Stage 2 tuning that puts out a claimed 97 hp and 113 lb-ft of torque and you’ve got a stripper-style bike that should be loads of fun to ride.
Victory says it’s got a black 2-into-1 aftermarket exhaust already in the works. Accessories designed for the Victory Vegas like a passenger seat and pegs will fit on the High-Ball, too. Its $13,499 MSRP means it’s a grand cheaper than the Vegas and puts it in a favorable price point in comparison to Harley-Davidson’s Dark Custom competitor, the Crossbones, which has a sticker price of $16,999.
2012 Victory High-Ball Specs
Engine: 4-stroke 50-degree V-Twin
Bore/Stroke: 101 X 108mm
Compression Ratio: 9.4:1
Valve Train: Single overhead camshafts w/ 4 valves per cylinder, self-adjusting cam chains, hydraulic lifters.
Fueling: EFI w/ dual 45mm throttle bodies
Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gal.
Exhaust: Staggered slash-cut dual exhaust w/ crossover
Oil capacity: 5.0 quarts
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Transmission -6-speed overdrive constant mesh
Final Drive: Carbon fiber reinforced belt
Length: 92.5 in.
Wheelbase: 64.8 in.
Seat Height: 25 in. 25.2
Rake/trail: 31.7 in. / 6.7 in.
Dry Weight (claimed): 659 lbs.
Suspension Front: 43mm telescopic fork/5.1 in. travel
Rear: Preload adjustable single shock/3.0 in. travel
Front brake: 300mm floating rotor w/ 4-piston caliper
Rear brake: 300mm floating rotor w/2-piston caliper
Wheels: Front & Back: 16×3.5 in.
Tires: Front – 130/90-16 67H Dunlop Cruisermax
Rear: 150/80-16 71H Dunlop Cruisermax
Colors: Solid Black