• Review: 2013 Victory Judge – Victory’s latest Bad-Boy Ride

    2013 victory judge bad boy

    The Victory motorcycle division of Polaris Industries references the 2013 Victory Judge as an all-new bike. It’s different to be sure, but it happens to be based on the same frame as the Victory Vegas, which has been on the dance card for some time now. It also shares the same swingarm, engine and transmission as the Vegas. Looking even further back, one of the last Victory rides to feature 16-inch rolling stock (the High-Ball) also came with “reach for the sky” (15-inch) ape hanger bars in the interest (to some), of a cool look, as well as only a solo seat.

    This latest cruiser serves up some significant differences that move it into the plus column from my perspective – it comes with much more practical handlebars – a kinder, gentler type, more on the order of a flattish drag style. Also as an added bonus are the relocated foot controls – moved more to the rear, which Victory categorizes as mid- mounted, along with a broader, more comfortable deep-set rider seat that provides passenger accommodations. In addition, the Judge features enhanced bodywork and paint schemes along with nostalgic 5-spoke alloy wheels, not unlike those found on Pontiac’s GTO Judge model of yore. Tires are staggered raised white letter donuts (Dunlop® 491 Elite II-RWL – 130/90 B16 67H up front and Dunlop® 491 Elite II-RWL 140/90 B16 77H  in the rear) mounted on 16×3.5-inch 5-spoke styled alloy wheels – another throwback to the past.

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Power is delivered courtesy of a 1731 cc / 106 cubic-inch, SOHC, 8-valve, 4-stroke, 50 degree Freedom V-Twin with electronic fuel injection and dual 45 mm throttle body. Staggered slash-cut exhaust with crossover in its stock configuration. My test bike was fitted with new EPA and CARB certified, 2-into-1 Tri-Pro Exhaust Pipes manufactured to Victory specs by Cobra. The system meets the SAE J2825 stationary sound test standard. The motor produces an estimated 85 horses and 113 pound feet of torque which is geared to the rear wheel through a six-speed overdrive, constant mesh manual gearbox, via a primary drive gear with torque compensator, and a final drive belt.

    The 2013 Victory Judge rides on conventional 43 mm telescopic forks with 5.1 inches of travel up front and a single, mono-tube gas shock, cast aluminum swingarm with rising-rate linkage, 3.0 inches of travel and preload adjustable spring in the rear.

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Braking componentry is made up of a conventional 300 mm floating rotor with 4-piston calipers forward and 300 mm floating rotor with 2-piston calipers aft. Despite the single forward rotor, the bike still displays impressive stopping power.

    My test 2013 Victory Judge press bike was finished in Suede Nuclear Sunset (Orange) with Black Krinkle finish handlebars, clamps, triple clamps, headlight bucket and rim, and Cobra exhaust. The frame and shock lowers are also black as is the lower engine case, belt guard, swingarm and rocker covers. Color for the distinctive edgy bodywork appears on both the front and rear fenders, the 4.5-gallon, sculpted fuel tank and oval oil tank covers that take on the look of competition number plates. The front fender is a traditional “shorty” cycle type, while the rear fender sports a bobbed style featuring a slick integrated LED taillight. The base price was set at $13,999 while factoring in the suede paint, special Cobra exhaust system and dealer prep and handling, which can vary, bumped the final count and amount to $15,798.99.

    SUMMARY:

    The 2013 Victory Judge represents a new cruiser image, still with the premium ride and performance level of the Vegas, but now with a “bad-boy”, sport-influenced styling. It personifies a highly customized, turnkey unit right off the showroom floor.

    Suspension travel is sufficient to tame rougher road surfaces, giving a comfortable ride. The six-speed gearbox is smooth enough, but could be quieter. Power is plentiful and instantly on tap, with a very broad torque range, should you be in the mood to minimize shifting gears. There is by the way, a digital gear indicator that appears in the singular, multi-function, centered gauge, that includes a speedometer that can indicate both MPH or KPH, along with indicator lights on the gauge face and large LCD readouts for a clock that is viewable at all times, a tachometer, odometer, trip meter and other diagnostic info available to the rider. Unfortunately, there’s no fuel gauge – but instead a low fuel warning light, which makes it necessary to plan one’s journey carefully. Directional signals are self-canceling – a good thing. There’s no integrated fork lock – only a provision for locking in the form of a loop on the left side of the frame. Another issue was the Lo Oil warning that displays when first starting the bike. Not to worry, it disappears quickly.

    2013 victory judge gauge fuel tank

    Shorter riders may find it a bit of a stretch to reach the bars and still be in a position to comfortably operate the foot controls. Taller riders will have no problem, and controlling the Judge through the “twisties” is a breeze with its outstanding balance and weight distribution. The Cobra exhaust system poses no problem while riding, but upon standing, caution should be exercised to avoid burning one’s right leg. And yes, while the system conforms to noise regulations, a more unbridled and raucous rumble wouldn’t be a bad thing, rendering it unnecessary to announce, “Here come da Judge”. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist).

    “On the TFLcar scale of:

    – Buy it

    – Lease it

    – Rent it or

    -Forget it

    I recommend that you Buy It!

    Price: $15,798.99 ”

    SPECIFICATIONS: 2013 Victory Judge

    Base Price: $13,999.00
    Price as Tested: $15,798.99* Dealer prep and handling can vary.
    Engine Type and Size: 1731 cc / 106 cubic-inch, SOHC, 8-valve, 4-stroke, 50 degree, air/oil cooled, Freedom V-Twin with electronic fuel injection and dual 45 mm throttle body. Staggered slash-cut exhaust with crossover (stock) Add $999.00 for EPA and CARB certified , new 2-into-1 Tri-Pro Exhaust Pipes. ($1,099.99 in Black) manufactured to Victory specs by Cobra. System also meets SAE J2825 stationary sound test standard that’s being supported by multiple industry organizations. Available as an accessory from the Pure Victory gear catalog, dealer installation required for proper fuel system recalibration.
    Horsepower (bhp): 85 (est.)
    Torque (ft./ lbs.): 113
    Transmission: Six-speed overdrive constant mesh.
    Drive Train: Primary Drive – gear with torque compensator / Final drive Belt.
    Suspension: Front – Conventional 43 mm telescopic forks with 5.1 inches of travel.
    Rear – Single, mono-tube gas, cast aluminum with rising-rate linkage, 3.0 inches of travel and preload adjustable spring.

    Brakes: Conventional 300 mm floating rotor with 4-piston calipers up front and 300 mm floating rotor with 2- piston calipers aft

    .Tires: Dunlop 491 Elite II-RWL – 130/90 B16 67H up front / Dunlop 491 Elite II-RWL 140/90 B16 77H in the rear mounted on 16×3.5-inch 5-spoke styled alloy wheels.

    Wheelbase: 64.8 inches

    Length Overall: 92.0 inches

    Curb Weight: 660 lbs. (dry)

    Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gallons

    Seat Height: 25.9 inches

    2013 Victory Judge Review by Arv Voss, Auto Impressions

    2013 victory judge front wheel

    Arv Voss
    Arv Voss
    Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring journalist and member and past officer of several noted automotive journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.

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