BMX PLUS! October 1990 Testing the Hutch Judge II

In the early to mid-1980's,American-made Hutch products
-both BMX and  freestyle-were world-renowned for their puerior design and craftsmanship. However,when the cycling market gradually turned to Taiwanese factories for mass production,costs and quality were cut back.Hutch's entourage didn't take to there lower-grade parts too well,and by the end of the decade the companies reputation of excellence had withered away.
With the dawning of the '90s Hutchins Performance Products is now under the authority of John Embry.He's taken the company's top-of-the-line manufacturing back to the States where it belongs.As a result Hutch's racing and freestyle lines are all-American wonders once again.
This month we tested one of Hutch's matest racing creations
-the Judge II.It's a refined version of the orginal Tim Judge signature series bike back when hutch peaked in popularity.We wanted to find out if it was built to last,if it could take tons of road and track abuse,if it could handle a true torture test….like a good ol' American car can.This scrutiny isn't about Fords or Chevys though it's all about the Judge II.

Chassis:The frame of the Judge II is 100 percent chromoly steel with a show-chrome finish.It gives you a 75-degree head angle and a 74-degree seat tube angle.The 1-1/4 inch O.D. top tube is ovalized at the seat tube to increase weld area strength.To top it of,you'll find extra-thick dropouts and an extra-thick brake bridge welded onto the rear triangle.
Front end:In the fork department the Judge II boasts tubular one-inch O.D. chromoly blades that lead to some of the beefiest dropouts we've ever seen.The pups have absolutely no rake angle whatsoever and they give you a drilled fork tube for the option of running front brakes.
Steering wheel:Revcore Bullet handlebars take care of the steering on this particular ride.They feature deep knurling,a buffed 7/8-inch O.D. crossbar tube,full chromoly tubing and super chrome finish.
Steering column:A Revcore XL stem holds the handlebars in place.Then a Hutch precision headset takes charge of rotating the whole unit around.
Windshield:Well,this vehicle doesn't have a windshield per se,but if you zit-tie a number plate to the Bullet bars,you can shield all the wind you want and run your race numbers to boot.
Bucket seats:The closest thing to a bucket seat on the Judge is a mock Hutch Trick Top padded saddle.Should you endo a landing,it'll transform into a bucket seat and buck you off without even thinking twice(heh,heh).
Wheels:You get two lug nuts with each Sun/Kovachi 36-spoked alloy wheel.The hubs are Hutch sealed bearing editions with have hollow chromoly axles.As an extra,the rear hub

is threaded on both sides so you can run two different freewheels and easily change your gear ratio.It's also known as a flip-flop hub.
Radials:Tioga provides all-season Comp III tires.These grippers have been proven over the years as the leading name in BMX treads.
Emergency brake:In the event of an emergency,a brake-check or a red light,the Dia-Compe Tech 6 lever can be pulled to activate the Dia-Compe MX-1000 caliper which will stop the bike dead in its tracks.
Air bag:An air bag doesn't come as standart equipment on the Judge II,but Hutch did provide us with a three-piece pad set that's designed to serve and protect just the same.
Transmission:Hutch three-piece cranks are the nearest substitude for a tranny in this ride.They have Hutch Pro pedals and a Hutch sprocket attached to their 185mm chromoly arms.A Hutch sealed bottom bracket set spins the whole deal along.
Differential:The rear gear-a.k.a. a freewheel-is provided by the folks at SunTour.When the tranny is engaged,a 1/2"x1/8" chain pulls into motion,which rotates the rear wheel.The neutral gear is found by a backward thrust of the tranny.
Engine:The powerplant of this ride isn't an eight-cylinder combustion engine,it's all you… the peddler.Surprise.
For the actual testing of the Judge II we used and abused it on a real live BMX track.The obstacles of Temecula BMX Raceway in Temecula,California,were the grounds for the punishment.
S&M's Brian "Pepe" Hernandez and  Quikline's Shawn "Hickey" Winters were our official test drivers.
Test day gave way to some piping hot California weather.After we managed to peel Shawn away from his 32-ouncer soda,he was the first to give the Judge a go.In between complaints of heat exhaustion,the speedy 16X
Mentioned that the steep seatpost angle made the front end feel a little short. Despite this observation,he managed to adjust to it and sky over a huge ste of doubles a bunch of times. In the air,Shawn said that the bike was easy to control and didn't want to loop out. When he powered throught turns,he had almost the same comments:"Moving out of berms,the front end stays nice and low…and that lets you concentrate on accelerating."
After Shawn nearly passed out from his session,Brian got behind the wheel of the Judge. The prime King of Dirt contender focused his attack on blasting big airs. He tweaked prycho variations like no-handers,can can X-ups and a ton of fully contorted nac-nacs.He had the following things to say:"It's totally fun to jump. I could move around it really well,and I didn't even have to get used to it first. It's totally predictable. I like it a lot."
Brian got down 'n' dirty for well over an hour before he opted to call it quits. At the end of it all,the Judge escaped completely unscatched. It was the first test we've done in a long time where no parts bent,broke or even made strange noises that had to be investigated. All the componentry on the test bike is top-of-the-line radness. Brian,Shawn and their buddies almost begged us to give them the bike…they liked it that much. The only places where the riders wanted to see improvement were in the seating and the graphics departments. The "bucket" seat and the pad and sticker graphics don't exactl have modern techno-trick designs. Other than that,the bike has all the fixings a BMXer could want.
Since Hutch only sells the Judge II as a frame and fork set,we tested a custom version of the wonder. From around $600 (and up) you,too,can get your hands on the same bike as ours by piecing one together. In case that's out of your league,you can buy the frame-set alone for only a cool $179.95. Our sample was a standart length,but an XL size is also aviable.
After putting many miles on our tester,we and the test force strongly agree that the Hutch Judge II is no lemon.
The chassis has a unique design and feel that made the orginal Judge a smashing success in the '80s,and now this new model just may reach the same superstar status in the '90s "II"

Type: Racing.
Price: $179.95--frame and fork only.
Weight: 25 lbs. as tested.
Colors: Chrome and white.
Made in: U.S.A.
Type: 20",age range 10 and over.
Design: Single 1-1/4" O.D. top tube--ovalized at seat tube--with a single 1-1/2" O.D. down fube.
Construction: 100 percent chromoly.
Wheelbase: 36-1/2" to 38".
Bottom bracket height: 11-1/2" (center to ground).
Chainstay length: 14-5/8" (center of bottom bracket to midpoint of rear dropouts).
Steering head angle: 75°
Seat tube angle: 72°

Design: Tubular 1" O.D. blades,leading axle design.
Construction: 100 percent chromoly.
Tires: Tioga Comp III,20"x1.75" front and rear.
Rims: Sun/Kovachi alloys,36-spokes.
Hubs: Hutch,sealed bearing,hollow axle.
Freewheel: SunTour,16T.
Pedals: Hutch Pro w/cage reinforcement.
Cranks: Hutch three-piece 185mm.
Front sprocket: Hutch,45T.
Bottom bracket: Hutch sealed.
Chain: KMC,1/2"x1/8".

Calipers: Dia-Compe MX-1000
Levers: Dia-Compe,Tech 6
Brake pads: SkyWay.
Grips: A'ME Tri.
Handlebars: Revcore Bullet bars,28" width with an 8-1/2 rise.
Stem: Revcore XL.
Headset: Hutch,caged bearings.
Seat: Hutch
Seatpost: Revcore,straight,chromoly.
Seatpost clamp: Hutch.
Three-piece pad set and CPSC equipment.

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