Len Kodlin Radical Victory Hammer

Most custom builders and vendors you have known and appreciated during the last 30 years are entering or already belong to the baby-boomers segment of the population. A few of them have or will have a succession in place when they retire. Here in the US, the most well known example is the Ness family with 3 different generations (Arlen, Cory & Zach) already in action in the same business. In Europe, the future of builder is his son Len, already practicing since a few years near his dad the art of designing, fabricating and assembling custom motorcycles. There is always a certain bike making you go from the status of amateur to professional, and for Len Kodlin, it is the bike that I feature here, a very radiKal (with a K) ViKtory (with a K) Hammer

Extreme custom work on Victory models is still relatively rare beyond those commissioned by Polaris itself to a few of its “official” builders, like members of the Ness family. No independent builder or individual, as far as I can remember, has ever customize a Victory Hammer with such a hard-core execution. Len received this 2010 model from a client as a trade-in at the shop against a custom bagger commissioned to be built his father. Not the easiest bike to modify, especially for somebody having learned his trade on Harleys and built from the ground up customs.

Len Kodlin took the right approach, keeping it a Victory for the main components (engine/transmission/frame) and turn it into a full blown custom via extreme sheet metal fabrication and cosmetic enhancements, but without ever altering any integrity of the Hammer. Len’s taste pushed him along the high-tech street fighter /muscle bike route. Each body part has been fabricated from scratch or reshaped. Fender and tank were narrowed down for a more compact and aggressive look. Tail section is a complete one-off piece as isthe front spoiler molded to the frame down tubes with air flowing to engine and one-off exhaust via vents covered in mesh.

The factory 106 Cubic Inch “Freedom“ V-Twin was taken apart with no internals changed (to keep the bike serviceable at all Victory dealers), but with cylinders and heads machined such a way that every second fin was shaved. A very time consuming process producing a very pleasing high-tech final appearance. Before reassembly, engine was powder coated in black wrinkle for contrast with the neon green color bodywork. A lot of the stock hardware, both 18” wheels, brakes, calipers and drive pulley have also been retained, but all these parts had also to be disassembled and polished before getting either a black or same neon green powder coating treatment. . (photography copyright Horst Roesler courtesy to JeremySumpter)

39 Responses to “Len Kodlin Radical Victory Hammer”

  1. 1 May 28th, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Very Cool! Nice colors and simple yet strong aggressive style.

    Steve Carr

  2. 2 Harlan May 28th, 2012 at 7:56 am


  3. 3 May 28th, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Nice homage to Kawasaki colors, but I don’t think it will help the ‘Japbike looks’ complaints of many.

  4. 4 May 28th, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Thanks for publishing Len’s bike.
    Too bad the tranny broke down a couple hours ago (after 120 mls)

  5. 5 Drake May 28th, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Fred. Shit happens.

  6. 6 Brescia May 28th, 2012 at 8:31 am

    This one will be seen in the street. Good ad for Victory.

  7. 7 Greeko May 28th, 2012 at 8:33 am

    German muscle bike.

  8. 8 Seymour May 28th, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Very nice, aggressive.

  9. 9 May 28th, 2012 at 9:23 am

    killer look!

  10. 10 roscoe May 28th, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Looks good.
    It’s surprising that you are having trouble with the trans. Aren’t they known to be extremely tough?

  11. 11 May 28th, 2012 at 10:00 am

    nice look…and great to see Fred posted truth about mis- hap after 120 miles!

  12. 12 Bill Schwab May 28th, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Great job Len! You are a chip off the old block.

  13. 13 BobS May 28th, 2012 at 10:16 am

    “No custom independent builder or individual, as far as I can remember, has ever customize a Victory Hammer with such hard core execution.” Try looking up Conquest Customs. Or The Vic Shop. Or CycleOps. Or Kewlmetal. Or Lloyds Motor Workz. Or Heavy Metal Designs. Or Santa Rosa V-Twin…etc. This is a fresh and cool design, but hardly the first.

  14. 14 Barry Brown May 28th, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Wow! Best Victory I have ever seen.

  15. 15 May 28th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Very cool build. I love it!

  16. 16 justjim May 28th, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Finally a victory I like. Nice job Kodlin

  17. 17 .357 Magnum May 28th, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Yep, that’s a fantastic design and highly-detailed, clean execution. Sorry to hear about the transmission.

  18. 18 May 28th, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    The machine appears to be made of high-strength plastic, that snaps together with a rubber mallet. Sinister tail light.
    Wondering if the diameter of the hand-grips is sufficient to match the torque-monster ?
    A waffle-grip Harley is 4-5/8″.
    Looks like it would be quiet.
    I heard the “new-quiet” mufflers on an import bike this morning. Sounded good. Sounded powerful and non-annoying, being quiet, but moving fast away from the light.

    We’d like to see some Hammer footage through the back roads. No one one uTube has taken advantage of the Go-Pro camera following a prototype yet. Not that I’ve seen. Having someone chase a Hammer with a gimbaled steady-mount. Having someone strapped to a step-ladder on the back of a motorcycle, for an almost birds-eye view, while following the lead bike hasn’t been done yet either. Beginnings.

  19. 19 May 28th, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Dig it! Simple, clean, colors flow smooth and different than any Victory I’ve seen around these parts. Regardless of the haters, I think you did a hell of a job.

  20. 20 Brett May 28th, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Nice bike, but the back tire is about 8 years ago. The colors also do nothing to change my mind that Victories do NOT look like a metal machine, but molded plastic instead.

    Victory should take a look at the head light & start to figure out the giant pile they put on bikes looks terrible.

  21. 21 Brett May 28th, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Looks great! Brett, you’re a giant douche bag. Victories smoke the other American bike out of the crate(performance, looks and comfort) and requires no accessories to be rideable. Don’t be a hater, you’re jealousy is obvious.

  22. 22 Mad Dog May 28th, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    What bike?

  23. 23 Septic the Sceptic May 28th, 2012 at 5:34 pm


  24. 24 May 28th, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Nice balanced aggressive design. I dig how close the back fender sits to the tire but what am I missing? If the bike has a functional swing-arm it will need more clearance. Has the bike been equipped with an air ride system that wasn’t mentioned or has it been hard tailed ?

  25. 25 Nobody May 28th, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    I like the sheet metal, not crazy on the colour choice though. Personally I probably would have kept it florecent green + high gloss black to make the green glow even more. You know, I look at the paint, and it reminds me of the Ryobi One+ line of tools.. same green, silver, charcoal grey colour scheme. I’m not saying that as a bad thing, just something I noticed.

    @FlyingPiston; stock frame so the swing arm should still be functional.

    @Fred: I hope no one was hurt when the trans took a shit.

  26. 26 Eric Maurer May 28th, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    nice bike, very nice!…. but why does everyone insist on using that Victory tank? There is no reason to keep the tank when a custom tank would change the look soo much! I get it, I’m sure Victory wants builders to use the stock stank so people can recognize it as a Vic, but why not venture out from the pack. Victory should want builder to get to know the driveline, not the bodywork.

    I’m just sayin…. there is no reason you couldn’t use the Vic platform to build a sick custom chopper.

    I’m not knocking this bike at all…. its awesome, but why hasn’t anyone done something different?
    I’d do a 4 up, 2 out, 180 chain drive style, frisco tank, hopper with mini apes and mids.

    Victory should send me a bike and I will send you back a true chopper that still retains the Victory driveline. HAHAHA!

    Again… I love this one, Roland’s was crazy cool too, but they all look like highly modded’d Vics. Why not blow it out of the water and show what you can do with the driveline. Just sayin 🙂

    Eric (and yes, I am a home builder…. no club, no shop)

  27. 27 Boomer May 29th, 2012 at 6:45 am

    I bet the trans issue is simply the shifter forks behind the primary cover. Someone probably didn’t tighten or torque them to spec so it came loose and is causing what seems like a trans problem when it’s really just likely a linkage issue.

    @Brett. I don’t know where you get the plastic look from. The only plastic is the side covers. Some people don’t follow fads like tire width but rather the look they want.

    @Eric. I’d like to see full custom using just the Vic engine/drive line as well. Could open some doors wide open for using the two in one motor/trans. I know it keeps things much cleaner than having a separate trans.

  28. 28 Oldude May 29th, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Take that Arlen!

  29. 29 Rodent May 29th, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Looks great, hate the color

  30. 30 Larry R May 29th, 2012 at 11:52 am

    I like!

  31. 31 Wolfgang Knitterscheidt May 29th, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Nice ride young man

  32. 32 May 29th, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    The “young guns” Like Zach, Roland and now Ken are aiming at the “New ” cycle in town.
    And I know (from this very blog) that Fred did a great job on a Victory not too long ago.
    Brian Klock and Klock Werks have done several as has Rick Fairless.
    It’s gonna happen, Let’s see more “Designer/Builders and thier take on Victory
    Something different for a change ?????

    Excellent effort, not a big fan of green myself but it’s still 1 heck of a bike

  33. 33 courtney May 29th, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Like that bike!

    Prolly looks plastic due to the neon green, something perhaps more expected on a dirt bike. But I agree with others, that’s the coolest Victory I have ever seen!

  34. 34 May 29th, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Great job Len. Your Dad has got to proud. You are proud, right Fritz???

  35. 35 May 30th, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Nice and love the colors.

  36. 36 May 30th, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    “You know, I look at the paint, and it reminds me of the Ryobi One+ line of tools.. same green, silver, charcoal grey colour scheme. I’m not saying that as a bad thing, just something I noticed.”
    Or what? Twin tools from different manufacturer’s. I have this saw. Cheap and handy combo.

    Kodlin should pitch the idea of a “Ryobi Compound Traction Master” and ride it hard like we do their tools. etc., etc. 🙂

  37. 37 courtney May 30th, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    After checking out these pics yet again, I’m just wondering if this awesome bike might look even better if the near naked women were replaced with, say, some ripped guy ded in a neon orange Speedo along with a chromed out German-style infantry helmet with that little spike on top? Like, all oiled up & kneeling on top of the bike pointing ever so confidently straight ahead or something?


  38. 38 Doc Jun 3rd, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Maybe its just me but the pictures don’t look real. Retouched or phtoshopped or maybe just me

  39. 39 James Jun 15th, 2012 at 4:28 am

    Absolutely beautiful, great effort. This creation along with Conquest Customs and the Confederate P120 Fighter bikes are V-twin works of art. Another please from the Kodlins.

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