And here come da Judge


AG­GRES­SIVE cruis­ing is an oxy­moron, but it is an apt de­scrip­tion of Vic­tory’s lat­est model.

The Judge is a stripped-down ma­chine rem­i­nis­cent of the 1969 Pon­tiac GTO — which was also known as the Judge.

This Yank mus­cle cruiser is a wel­come ad­di­tion to the show­room floor as ev­ery sec­ond bike sold in Australia over 500cc in ca­pac­ity is a cruiser.

VALUE Like all Vic­tory bikes, the Judge is priced be­tween its di­rect com­peti­tor and com­pa­triot, Har­leyDavid­son, and the Ja­panese.

At $22,995 ride away that’s $2000 less than its main style ri­val, the Har­ley Fat Bob — which is the fifth-best-sell­ing cruiser on the show­room floor.

But the value is also in Vic­tory’s stand­out level of fit and fin­ish and the qual­ity of com­po­nents.

Yet it’s built to a price, so there are no ex­tras ei­ther, and the white-let­tered tyres look good, but they have a hard com­pound and as ex­ter­nal re­la­tions man­ager Robert Pandya con­fesses, they are cheap.

Op­tions in­clude heated grips, lug­gage, solo seat and a 25mm longer rear shock for greater clear­ance and sharper han­dling.

TECH­NOL­OGY All Vic­tory mo­tor­cy­cles are pow­ered by a ‘‘106’’ or 1731cc V-twin en­gine with the cruis­ers tuned down a bit. Still, it has about 13 per cent more torque than the Har­ley.

Like its Amer­i­can cousin, it is driven by a six-speed over­driven gear­box and a quiet and low­main­te­nance belt drive.

It’s ba­si­cally the un­der­pin­nings of a Vic­tory Ve­gas with dif­fer­ent wheels and styling cues.

SAFETY Only Vic­tory’s tour­ing mod­els have ABS, which is a shame.

The brakes are one big 300mm disc up front with stain­less steel lines for feel and per­for­mance.

There is also a 300mm rear ro­tor that is very ef­fec­tive.

It has car­tridge forks and a pro­gres­sive sin­gle rear shock with pre-load ad­justable for heavy or ag­gres­sive riders and the ex­tra load of a pil­lion.

DE­SIGN The Judge is all about a men­ac­ing, mus­cu­lar de­sign like the Pon­tiac and even comes with a hero orange ‘‘suede’’ colour op­tion and five-spoke ‘‘mag’’ wheels like its name­sake ’60s mus­cle car.

This no-frills ‘‘brat’ bike fea­tures drag-style han­dle­bars, small cast head­light, mid-mount foot con­trols, a flat­ter-than-usual rider’s seat and that high and fat front tyre with the white let­ter­ing.

RID­ING The ag­gres­sive rid­ing po­si­tion en­cour­ages the rider to dig into cor­ners, but the foot­pegs protest by grind­ing into the tar­mac.

Many own­ers should opt for that longer rear shock.

The foot­pegs can also be ad­justed which pro­vide slightly bet­ter clear­ance an­gles.

Vic­tory’s en­gines have be­come smoother and qui­eter over the years and this is yet an­other step up. It comes on with a se­duc­tive fris­son of torque — as much as some small cars.

The brakes may seem un­der­whelm­ing — but they per­form well if you ap­ply the front and rear stop­pers to­gether. Like the en­gine, the trans­mis­sion has be­come smoother and qui­eter, although it is dif­fi­cult to swap cogs on any big V-twin with­out a clunk

De­spite the ag­gres­sive rid­ing po­si­tion, it is easy to get com­fort­able but af­ter a long haul, your shoul­ders and back­side may need a good rub.

The low seat should widen the bike’s ap­peal.

Terri Hay­ward, 19, of South­port, on the Vic­tory Judge at the Gold Coast Expo. For a cruiser, this bike has mus­cle and an ag­gres­sive look and feel

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