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Discussion Starter #1
So I purchased a 2013 Judge. Love the power, the ride, the styling...

At about 800 miles or so, one day the wife and I are riding it to get some dinner and started getting this really loud grindingish noise. I took it in and after the guys recreated the sound, they ripped the tranny apart, but didn't find much wrong. They replaced a bunch of parts and gave it back to me.

The problem was still there. On the way back to the shop the belt started making a strange oooooooooooooo sound. They adjusted the belt and that went away. But now, when I down shift to 1st and let out the clutch relatively slowly, it chatters like crazy.

They adjusted the rear shock to try to help with the grinding with a passenger, but no luck. I've made like 20 trips to the shop with no joy.

I finally (myself) figured out that the noise was coming from the belt hitting the belt guard... I also figured out that the loud clank I was complaining about when shifting (another story) was due to the belt hitting the belt guard when put in gear.

They fixed that by tightening the belt, but now it goes oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

So, I can't ride with a passenger without the belt making racket all the time, can't downshift without some weird chatter. On top of it all, after shifting into second, the tranny always makes kind of a lugging sound in the early part of the gear.

The dealer is actually offering to take it on trade and give me something that at least seems to have been engineered by folks that were awake :eek:) I'd hate to get rid of it, but they also shared that out of the lines they sell, Polaris by far has the most warranty issues. Wish I'd known that from the start...

I'm pretty frustrated. Just thought I'd vent a little and let prospective buyers at least know about my issues. Maybe someone here can brighten my day with a fix...
 

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So I purchased a 2013 Judge. Love the power, the ride, the styling...

At about 800 miles or so, one day the wife and I are riding it to get some dinner and started getting this really loud grindingish noise. I took it in and after the guys recreated the sound, they ripped the tranny apart, but didn't find much wrong. They replaced a bunch of parts and gave it back to me.

The problem was still there. On the way back to the shop the belt started making a strange oooooooooooooo sound. They adjusted the belt and that went away. But now, when I down shift to 1st and let out the clutch relatively slowly, it chatters like crazy.

They adjusted the rear shock to try to help with the grinding with a passenger, but no luck. I've made like 20 trips to the shop with no joy.

I finally (myself) figured out that the noise was coming from the belt hitting the belt guard... I also figured out that the loud clank I was complaining about when shifting (another story) was due to the belt hitting the belt guard when put in gear.

They fixed that by tightening the belt, but now it goes oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

So, I can't ride with a passenger without the belt making racket all the time, can't downshift without some weird chatter. On top of it all, after shifting into second, the tranny always makes kind of a lugging sound in the early part of the gear.

The dealer is actually offering to take it on trade and give me something that at least seems to have been engineered by folks that were awake :eek:) I'd hate to get rid of it, but they also shared that out of the lines they sell, Polaris by far has the most warranty issues. Wish I'd known that from the start...

I'm pretty frustrated. Just thought I'd vent a little and let prospective buyers at least know about my issues. Maybe someone here can brighten my day with a fix...
Ouch, sorry to hear about your experience.

Have you or the dealer tried removing the cover and perhaps grinding the part where the belt hits? This was a common fix for Vic cruisers after being lowered, or when loaded with rider and passenger. Try taking the cover off, inspect where the belt rubs, and see if that can be ground off to provide the needed clearance.

There's always a slightly higher risk of these things happening on first year models, but hoping you can find an easy fix, and get back to riding with a full smile.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'll certainly ask the guys if they can take a look and get out the grinder. But that begs more questions.

How well did they check belt tolerances under different loads?
How could that get past engineers? (props on the avatar!)
If something that simple could get missed, what else can there be?

I manage storage area networks for a living and missing something that simple could cost me my job.

I tear into it myself, but I didn't buy this bike as a project. Having these types of issues at 1200 miles is pretty scary to me. I could have spent a lot less on a project bike and gotten my hands dirty :)

I just want something nice to ride back and forth to work and dinner with the wife.
 

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Wow that really sucks. I specifically switched from looking at HDs to Victorys because of Victory's presumed higher quality and superior engineering.

I only have 500 miles on my Hammer and so far no issues. Taking it in for the initial maintenance at the end of the week. I too just want a reliable ride and definitely not any type of project...

What are they offering you as a trade?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I can get anything in the shop, they're just offering a really good trade in...

I'll probably pick up a Honda State Line. I'll miss the power and styling for sure... But I've ridden Honda for years. It'll be quiet, dependable and shift right.

I think your presumption was correct, Victory is higher quality. And you'll probably be one of the lucky ones that get a solid bike.

I just think quality control isn't a strong point for Victory... I have the unlucky combo of getting a lemon and not wanting to turn wrenches to get my ride right.

Sad irony: I just got my 'Victory Owner' pin in the mail.

I'm going to sit in the corner and cut myself now hahahahahahaha..
 

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Polaris has more warranty issues than any other line they sell?
Really...first Ive heard that.All manufacturers have a few issues, I know Polaris isn't immune. But I would be surprised if they have a higher rate of defects than most.

I hope you get your bike fixed, or replaced if that is your goal. Nobody needs the headache, especially with a brand new purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I can't verify that information, but I had a long heart to heart with the head of the service dept and I asked the question point blank. When asked out of the lines they sold (Polaris, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Honda), adjusting for volume, which line had the most warranty events, he said 'by far Polaris'.

Again, this is not a double blind study. Hell, this is the internet, I could be a Harley troll lying my ass off. I'm not of course... I'm a heartbroken Victory Judge owner that wishes someone would say something like "IT'S THE BELT, THERE WAS A BAD RUN!" or something like that lol.
 

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Evidently, the guys working on it cannot diagnose the issue. If it were me, I'd take it to someone who can.

They can't fix it on Friday... so you take it back on Monday thinking they can fix it 'this time'? What, did they learn to be motorcycle technicians over the freakin' weekend?

How many chances do they get?

I wonder if they had "grindingish noise" classes at the Victory Factory Technician Training Facility that some of you think actually exists?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Unfortunately I don't have the option of moving from dealer to dealer figure out why the bike whines when adjusted to factory specs or why I can't ride a passenger without the belt going spastic and banging away at the rest of the bike.

If I was still in California that would be a great option. Plus the Polaris rep said that grindingish noises were not a warranty issue. It may end up being a safety issue, but not a warranty issue.

So at the end of the day, when the techs get sick of seeing me, they'll just toe the Polaris line and say, "chattering transmissions and smacking belts aren't a warranty issue". Even if I liked working on bikes, I know I'm not qualified to do so.
 

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I have posted belt tension issues many times. If they tighten the belt cold it will get tighter and tighter as the bike gets hot. An over tight belt will damage the output shaft on the tranny. These belts are loose when cold and get snug when the aluminium parts expand with heat.

If I let the clutch out slowly on a down shift on my bike it at times will chatter also. This is because these trannys have a large amount of gear back lash or play, slop what ever you want to call it.

This is not an issue because I blip the throttle on a down shift matching the rpm to the current gear. This makes a quiet shift.

A lot of the gear noises are because victory uses a coarse gear set. By that I mean big teeth on the gears. Big teeth are tough but cause the drive line to have a lot of back lash. By using more teeth the individual teeth would be smaller and this type of gear setup causes tranny whine.

Now for the tough question........ Two up ..... How much weight is on the bike. As you add weight the angle of the swing arm changes.... Is this what is causing the belt to hit the belt guard?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm 208lbs, wife is way below that. I'd get beat again giving out such sensitive info.

After fixing my black eye, I got the word that we were well within standards.

I hear the belt tension drops as the swing arm compresses. This would add some play for sure. But the belt whines when set properly, riding with a single rider.

It's funny that my honda 750 rode us double when we were both about 30lbs heavier each with no issues. I wanted a stouter bike for the times when we paired up. I bought the Judge because it looked great and I ride solo 90% of the time.

Searching for Victory noise complaints brings back a whole lot of "this is noisy because of how robust the victory is made" "lots of heavy metal' etc.- What's robust is my depression over the issue. For issues I won't go into, I'll never ride a Harley. I read up on Victory and heard how well engineered they were and really thought I was making a great decision.

I was hoping for a 'get on and ride' bike, not a 'perfect the art of tuning a belt' bike. Oh well, looks like I may be stuck with it for a few years. I'll just throw some really loud pipes on it and try to drown the sound of Victory engineering out of my brain.
 

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I can't verify that information, but I had a long heart to heart with the head of the service dept and I asked the question point blank. When asked out of the lines they sold (Polaris, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Honda), adjusting for volume, which line had the most warranty events, he said 'by far Polaris'.
this statement from the service manager gave me pause. I can see not having a lot of Hondas in the shop on warranty work...the whole world pretty much agrees they're bulletproof. And I have no experience with Suzuki since I've never owned one so I've never bothered to find the information.

But I find it hard to believe he's getting more warranty issues with Victory than with Kawasaki. While the 900 is solid and dependable, there are a few that eat their stators very early. and the VN1700 has been a shrieking mess of bad factory QA from the get-go. ECM problems, poor fuel economy, completely unreasonable engine heat output even tho it's liquid-cooled, poor machining on the intake manifold causing vacuum leaks...

Yeah, that's why i bought a Victory. That, and the side-loader bags on the Vaquero are stupid.

There are several members on this forum who've had issues with their Vics. But there are dozens on the Vulcan forum who've had issues with the VN1700s. It sucks when you have a problem with your scoot, but I still think Victory is leading the pack in reliability.
 

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I'm 208lbs, wife is way below that. I'd get beat again giving out such sensitive info.

After fixing my black eye, I got the word that we were well within standards.

I hear the belt tension drops as the swing arm compresses. This would add some play for sure. But the belt whines when set properly, riding with a single rider.

It's funny that my honda 750 rode us double when we were both about 30lbs heavier each with no issues. I wanted a stouter bike for the times when we paired up. I bought the Judge because it looked great and I ride solo 90% of the time.

Searching for Victory noise complaints brings back a whole lot of "this is noisy because of how robust the victory is made" "lots of heavy metal' etc.- What's robust is my depression over the issue. For issues I won't go into, I'll never ride a Harley. I read up on Victory and heard how well engineered they were and really thought I was making a great decision.

I was hoping for a 'get on and ride' bike, not a 'perfect the art of tuning a belt' bike. Oh well, looks like I may be stuck with it for a few years. I'll just throw some really loud pipes on it and try to drown the sound of Victory engineering out of my brain.
Do a test
Take the bike for a ride, then stop and check the belt tension. It should not be tight. There should be some play. Nothing like there was when it was cold. But it should not be tight.

The other issue I noticed on my bike was the belt trying to ride over the edge of the pulley. With some fiddling I was able to get my belt to run dead centre of the pulley.

My belt doesn't wine but it does make a strange sound like a squeak. This squeak drives me crazy and the only cure I have found is WD-40
It dries fast but leaves a coating that stops the squeak.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
But I find it hard to believe he's getting more warranty issues with Victory than with Kawasaki.
You certainly may be right there. Like I said, this is just one service manager at one shop. Maybe he's got a grudge or something...

I'm just bummed that my Victory experience is ****. I'd love to be a flag waving, happy Vic owner, but I'm not. My bike is appears to be a low quality, noisy, poorly engineered machine.

That said, I'm glad the majority of riders either got better machines, or even find all the stuff I'm going through as normal.
 

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this statement from the service manager gave me pause. I can see not having a lot of Hondas in the shop on warranty work...the whole world pretty much agrees they're bulletproof. And I have no experience with Suzuki since I've never owned one so I've never bothered to find the information.

But I find it hard to believe he's getting more warranty issues with Victory than with Kawasaki. While the 900 is solid and dependable, there are a few that eat their stators very early. and the VN1700 has been a shrieking mess of bad factory QA from the get-go. ECM problems, poor fuel economy, completely unreasonable engine heat output even tho it's liquid-cooled, poor machining on the intake manifold causing vacuum leaks...

Yeah, that's why i bought a Victory. That, and the side-loader bags on the Vaquero are stupid.

There are several members on this forum who've had issues with their Vics. But there are dozens on the Vulcan forum who've had issues with the VN1700s. It sucks when you have a problem with your scoot, but I still think Victory is leading the pack in reliability.
I read a lot about issues with bikes. Taking Harley out of the picture I would have to say Kawasaki is by far the lowest quality MFG on the market. They have had more than there share of issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Do a test
Take the bike for a ride, then stop and check the belt tension. It should not be tight. There should be some play. Nothing like there was when it was cold. But it should not be tight.
Thanks, sounds like a plan. The bike has been sitting all day, so I'll check it cold and then after a ride.

I did notice that while it's not dead center, it's not riding the edge. And I'm sure I can get rid of the whine with some WD or candle wax or teflon, but that adds to my frustration. $16k for a bike that I have to treat like a 77 beetle.

I have a 94 BMW with 260k miles on it that purrs like a kitten. I don't even have to WD-40 the door hinges lol.
 

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Victory did put out a bad rear pulley which caused belt noise. It is covered under warranty. Many on here, including myself, have dealt with this pulley. I had mine in a couple times with the belt, didn't matter how many times it was adjusted, it still made noise. I went back to the dealer and told them I think I have one of them bad pulleys that Victory put out. With that, he looked at it, agreed and replaced it and the belt under warranty. If it's rubbing your guard though, the bike is too low. Adjust your shock so it rides higher. I can't help you on the tranny. I was initially concerned with mine too because I came from a quiet Honda. There is nothing wrong with my tranny, like another mentioned, the gears inside make it noisy, it'll never be quiet but I don't have to worry about my gears breaking either. Yours may be crazy loud and have a defect or it may be a completely normal Victory tranny that you'll get used to over time. When all else fails, ride the snot out of it until whatever the defect is breaks and it gets covered under warranty.
 

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Thanks, sounds like a plan. The bike has been sitting all day, so I'll check it cold and then after a ride.

I did notice that while it's not dead center, it's not riding the edge. And I'm sure I can get rid of the whine with some WD or candle wax or teflon, but that adds to my frustration. $16k for a bike that I have to treat like a 77 beetle.

I have a 94 BMW with 260k miles on it that purrs like a kitten. I don't even have to WD-40 the door hinges lol.
Don't spray WD 40 on it. If it takes WD 40 to quiet a belt then something is wrong, putting a bandaid on it won't solve the problem. Not too mention, WD 40 will prematurely ruin your belt. You don't want any chemicals on it, it needs to be clean and dry.
 

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Thanks, sounds like a plan. The bike has been sitting all day, so I'll check it cold and then after a ride.

I did notice that while it's not dead center, it's not riding the edge. And I'm sure I can get rid of the whine with some WD or candle wax or teflon, but that adds to my frustration. $16k for a bike that I have to treat like a 77 beetle.

I have a 94 BMW with 260k miles on it that purrs like a kitten. I don't even have to WD-40 the door hinges lol.
If you look at some of my posts I have complained a lot. I paid 23,000 for my XCT + tax ect....

BUT even though the bike is over priced for having so many issues I have to tell you I love the bike.... It's kind of crude and cool at the same time.

Today it felt so cool when I blew by a group of Harley's at very high speed then pushed the bike hard through a tight turn to never see them again......... There a cool bike ... Crude motor and tranny but cool.... And very mechanical ...sounding...

My bike is 1 year old this month and has just turned 12,000 miles
I am hard on it and I will find out if they are as tough as mother Vic says they are. So far so good..
 

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Discussion Starter #20
it may be a completely normal Victory tranny that you'll get used to over time. When all else fails, ride the snot out of it until whatever the defect is breaks and it gets covered under warranty.
I have a feeling that's exactly what I'm going to do. I'll also put straight pipes on it too if I have to ;) I'd rather hear that nasty ass, harley like pipe sound than a chattering tranny or the belt banging against the guard any day.

I'm leaning on the dealer to take it back and give me a nice, quiet, well engineered, wimpy-ass, shaft drive Honda. I'm not thinking that will happen though, as they're first offer left me losing five grand in the deal...
 
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