Just recently I had the opportunity to travel to the US as a guest of Polaris and Victory Motorcycles to ride their two latest models, the Hard Ball and the Judge. The Hard Ball is actually part of their 2012 model line up while the Judge is the first release of the 2013 range. Well, we were lucky enough to enjoy a memorable ride through Palm Springs in California which you’ll get to read about in an upcoming issue of LTR, although in the meantime, here’s a sneak peak at Victory’s latest bikes.
Firstly let’s take a quick look at the Hard Ball, the tourer with attitude. Featuring the same height adjustable ape hangers as the High Ball along with the added feature of hard panniers, it really allows the rider to enjoy comfortable long distances, and with the same chassis as the Cross Country, ground clearance is very impressive. To keep with the theme, they’ve blacked out everything from front to back, with the addition of a red pinstripe of course, just so you can find your bike at night. And performance isn’t a problem either with the trusted Freedom 106 cubic inch motor giving you ample power when called upon, and just looking at some of the other journos when I was riding alongside gives the rider a comfortable yet cool looking riding stance. It really is a touring motorcylce begging to be ridden!
The Judge on the other hand is definitely the bike which impressed me the most. The first thing you’ll feel when taking one for a ride is the aggressive riding position. With the mid-mount controls, which are a little lower, the bike’s responsive handling is instantly noticeable, and with a much lower seat height (658mm), the Judge is the ideal cruiser for riders of all different sizes. Of course the 106 cubic inch motor never goes unnoticed, providing more than enough power to eat up the highway, and accompanied with that well tried and proven six speed transmission, it gives you the smooth ride they’re renowned for. The sculpted bodywork and blacked-out components including the frame, dual exhaust, triple trees, cases and cylinder heads help give the Judge that tough look, while another great feature is the 17ltr tank which not only offers great range on fuel but looks the goods too after receiving a little more custom treatment. Up front those drag bars felt perfect, which were actually taken from their concept bike, ‘The Core’, giving you the feel of total control while you’re cranking it hard through the twisting corners. There's no doubt about it, the Judge is bound to cause a stir when it lands here.
To see more, don’t forget to grab a copy of LTR #287 which is due out late May, about the same time the Judge should be arriving in Australia. And already both the Judge and Hard Ball models are being ordered before they even arrive on our shores, so whatever you do, make sure you get on one soon. Who knows, at a competitive price of $26,495 ride away for the Hard Ball and an impressive $22,995 ride away for the Judge, you might even live up to Victory’s slogan, ‘Ride One and You’ll Own One!’