The Victory Judge, a muscle cruiser cast in the spirit of the muscle cars that ruled the roads 40-something years ago. But to get the Victory Judge off the bench and onto the playing field, Victory borrowed from a formula that's proven to be so successful by that other motorcycle company. Victory based its new muscle cruiser on an existing platform, in this case the Victory Vegas, a model that has been the primary donor for a variety of other Victory cruisers for the last 10-years. The result is impressive, to say the least, because the Victory Judge checks in as a model with a comfortable ride and snappy performance that's bundled in a stylish package that enthusiasts expect from a muscle cruiser.
Indeed, it's the styling that set the tempo for this ride, in this case paying tribute to the Judge's namesake, Pontiac's GTO Judge, a muscle car that first scoreched the streets in 1969. That Judge was perhaps best known for its bright orange paint and five-spoke metallic gray Rally II wheels that were wrapped with raised-white-letter tires. And it was those fashion cues that Victory's stylists leaned on to set the color options for the Judge. While Victory offers a variety of color options for the Judge, it's the Suede Nuclear Sunset – a flat or semi-gloss – that will be remembered most in years to come. Even though the suede color differs noticeably from Pontiac's glossy hue of 1968, the visual connection is obvious. Moreover, the flat-back trim on the Victory's exhaust, reconfigured headlight shell, and handlebars also tug on styling trends from the muscle car era when Detroit began using similar treatments on many of its performance cars. The nonglare finish offered a raw-bone look that more than hinted at a car's performance edge, and in some cases, entire hoods and air scoops were painted flat black.
But the Victory Judge more than mimics the muscle cars of yore, boasting styling features that are proprietary. Headlight, electronic fuel injector covers, tins, seat, handlebars and risers, wheels, rear fender brackets, taillight, and mide-mount foot controls are all specific to the Judge. And if those oval sidee covers look like old fashion US number plates to you, Victory's style team can reward themselves with another win, because that was their intention.
The relationship between the side covers and the fuel tank dictate the shape of the two-up saddle, too. That, in turn, will dictate how aftermarket seat companies fashion replacement saddles for the Victory Judge. Regardless of what the aftermarket comes up with, the Victory Judge's OE saddle does a pretty good job of positioning the rider firmly in one place and this can be good or bad, depending on the rider. It's good because for some riders, the saddle offers form-fit comfort, and bad because if for any reason your physique doesn't conform to the seat's shape, you're in for a long and uncomfortable ride. In either case, though, the seat's deep, scooped shape holds you firmly in place when you spur the 1731cc V-Twin engine to redline.