Ridden & Rated: 2013 Victory Boardwalk

Victory has done an impressive job competing with Harley-Davidson in terms of engineering and styling, but the young brand, launched by Polaris in 1998, has stood in the long shadow of Harley’s 110 years of heritage. Polaris’ recent acquisition of Indian Motorcycle, the only American marque whose history and brand recognition can stand toe-to-toe with Harley, has lifted a burden from Victory’s shoulders, allowing it to go in new directions. Victory has unveiled a bold, new logo, along with a new model, the Boardwalk, to replace the Kingpin.

Victory still competes with Harley-Davidson, of course. Just as the new Judge rivals the Fat Bob (Rider, June 2012), the Boardwalk occupies the same classic cruiser territory as the Softail Deluxe. The Boardwalk’s vintage styling includes full fenders, spoked 16-inch wheels, whitewall tires and plenty of chrome, and its floorboards, 25.9-inch seat and low, beach cruiser-style handlebar—the widest in Victory’s lineup—live up to its laidback name.

Powering the Boardwalk is the same air/oil-cooled 106ci Freedom V-twin found in all Victorys. In the Judge, it cranked out 84 horsepower and 102.7 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheel. Throttle response is direct, acceleration swift. Counterbalanced for smoothness, the engine transmits the muscular sound and feel that cruiser riders expect. The cable-actuated clutch has good engagement, the 6-speed transmission shifts smoothly and the two disc brakes provide decent stopping power.

Riding the Boardwalk in the hills around Santa Barbara, California, I was impressed with its cornering clearance and chassis rigidity—traits common to most Victorys. Despite relaxed geometry, the wide handlebar and narrow 150-series rear tire make for easy handling. Although designed for boulevard cruising (the pillion is removable), the Boardwalk has the performance and handling chops for getting the lead out. For longer rides, you can add a windscreen, saddlebags, passenger backrest and a luggage rack.

2013 Victory Boardwalk
Base Price: $15,499 (Solid Black)
Price as Tested: $15,899 (Solid Pearl White)
Website: victorymotorcycles.com
Engine Type: Air/oil-cooled, transverse 50-degree V-twin, SOHC, 4 valves per cyl.
Bore x Stroke: 101.0 x 108.0mm
Displacement: 1,731cc
Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated wet clutch
Final Drive: Belt
Wheelbase: 64.8 in.
Rake/Trail: 31.7 degrees/6.7 in.
Seat Height: 25.9 in.
Claimed Dry Weight: 675 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 4.7 gals.
MPG: 91 PON min. (avg) NA

2013 Victory Boardwalk
2013 Victory Boardwalk

The 2013 Victory lineup includes 13 other models in their Cruiser, Bagger, and Touring lines.

The six models in the 2013 Victory Cruiser lineup are all powered by the Victory Freedom 106/6 V-Twin. The 106-cubic inch V-Twin produces 110 ft-lb of torque, paired with a 6-speed transmission with overdrive. Joining the Boardwalk in the cruiser lineup are the Victory Judge (prices starting at $13,999), Victory High-Ball ($14,499), the Jackpot ($18,499), Vegas 8-Ball ($12,499) and Hammer 8-Ball ($14,499).

The 2013 Victory Baggers combine the smooth ride of the innovative cast aluminum Victory Cross bike chassis with head-turning styling, confident handling in all conditions, standard ABS and large saddlebags. Pricing for the 2013 Cross Roads Classic begins at $17,999. Others in the lineup include the Cross Country ($18,999) and the Victory Hard-Ball ($18,999).

The 2013 Victory Touring models offer the most comfort and storage on two wheels along with class-leading performance for the ultimate touring experience. The Cross Country Tour has the most storage space of any motorcycle in the world–41.1 gallons–with prices starting at $21,999. Also available is the 2013 Victory Vision Tour, starting at $20,999.

Three generations of America’s first family of custom builders have styled three Victory models to create the 2013 Ness Signature Series. Arlen Ness, the godfather of custom builders, has styled the Arlen Ness Signature Series Victory Vision ($25,999), while his son Cory has styled the Cory Ness Signature Series Cross Country Tour ($28,999), and Cory’s son Zach has applied his edgy, distinctive styling to the Zach Ness Signature Series Cross Country ($25,999). Each of the Ness Signature Series have the core features of the standard edition motorcycles, but with the added appeal of custom touches such as billet wheels and additional chrome and style-driven accessories and paint.

A complete website about the 2013 Victory lineup and the all-new Victory apparel collection are available at victorymotorcycles.com.


  1. Thanks for the review Greg, but most of this piece sounds like it came straight from the Victory marketing dept.

    Why can’t Victory (or you) speak a word without direct comparisons to H-D in a negative way? Is it just plain jealosy? I think so. Victory may have a couple unique features that work for them, but are in no way superior in any way to what H-D offers.

    By the way, a couple of their bragging claims for superior design have been ditched in favor of Harley-style build components that they previously denounced H-D for doing (ie: chain-drive primary, minimalist gages, etc) in order to cut costs.

    Lastly, their affinity for ugly styling gimmicks, and their reliance on the Ness Studios for truly grotesque “kitsche” and paint schemes has been a hindrance–not a compliment. Copying H-D is not what they do very well.

  2. Sorry John, we don’t compare Victory’s to Harley’s because of jealousy. It’s because Harley Davidson and Harley owners think, and know their bikes are the best no matter what! They don’t want to except anything new even if it proves more reliable. And in general, Harley owners scoff at other bike owners – not realizing the whole time that their bikes still use push rods, 3 types of oil (and a heck of a time to change them), chains (and the plastic pads), something like 30+ gaskets and O rings compared to Victory, are notorious for leaking oil, and etc. etc. etc. Yes Victory does problems but remember, when the first Seal Teams were organized, most other units despised and ridiculed them…and they bit right back….and still are the toughest.
    It is true that Harley is the iconic image when it comes to bikes because they have been around for so long. Our hats off to that. But it does not mean they’er the best. So long gents – Andy


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