As innovators of motorcycles, Harley Davidson holds a special place in history with the V-Rod. This powerful cruiser embodies our Bigbikemad ethos: strong and daring – harnessing madness on two wheels.
Yamaha’s V-Max, Ducati’s Diavel, the Rocket III, and Honda Valkyrie are all noteworthy motorbikes. However, none of them can compare with the one-of-a-kind power cruiser that is the Harley Davidson V Rod; it stands out from its impressive competitors in a class of its own.
The Revolution Engine: Porsche Design for Mass Production
A unique feature of Harley Davidson V Rod is its break from the traditional designs. It was the first of many mass-produced, powerful models produced by Harley and contained an 8-valve DOHC engine designed with Porsche that ran at a 60 degree angle cooled via liquid system. Despite differing radically in design style compared to other Harleys, this revolutionary model has earned it rightful place as one of their most beloved motorcycles yet.
The Harley Davidson V Rod model was a revolutionary step for Harley Davidson, having a maximum output of 125bhp and featuring dual front discs. Additionally, its design included the centralization of mass by positioning the tank below the seat; creating an entirely new kind of feel compared to previous Harleys before it.
Bursting with Power: Unique Harley Davidson Experience
With the same low-riding, relaxed stature as other Harley Davidson models, the V Rod stands out from its brethren. Incredible engineering allows it to reach an astonishing 9,000 RPM while maintaining a deceptively smooth ride.
The V-Twin engine in the Harley Davidson V Rod creates an experience unlike any other. Its roar grows from a gentle growl to a powerful snarl as it revs up its 1130 or 1250cc engine into higher and higher realms of speed, offering riders a unique sensation that even those steeped in traditional Harley culture can’t help but appreciate.
Triple Big Mac with Double Cheese: A Tinned Testosterone on Two Wheels
The Harley Davidson V Rod is an ironclad, macho force of two wheels. It’s a raw and pure motorcycle experience that brings you as close to the pulsing heart of motorcycling as one can get. Comparable to an army of Terminators, it is powered with heavy doses of testosterone.
If it were a meal, it would be an excessive Triple Big Mac with extra cheese and jalapenos, accompanied by three creamy shakes. If there was a musical equivalent, it would be ZZ Top’s bass reverberating at concert-level decibels—it ain’t subtle yet undeniably redneck fun.
The Frame: A Work of Art and Engineering
The design brief for the Harley Davidson V Rod required a frame that was not only engineering excellence but also artistry.
To craft an external frame design, we had to bend pipes into extraordinary shapes with a revolutionary method that used ultra-high pressure water. This was the only way for us to form steel without any creasing.
It is unfortunate that the cradle design decreases ground clearance and increases weight; however, this could have been easily avoided simply by making the engine a stressed part of the design.
Handling: A Mixed Bag
Managing the Harley Davidson V Rod is a bit of an enigma; its frame being primarily responsible for this. Its front wheel has been so far stretched out that it makes the handlebars feel flimsy, and gives off a feeling that doesn’t evoke assurance or confidence.
Cornering with the 180 tire is surprisingly agile, while bikes utilizing a 240 section tire suffer from sluggishness as they roll around on their chubby rubber. The poor OEM rear shocks are under-sprung and inadequately damped like its front counterpart, resulting in an uncomfortable journey that can leave many riders’ hearts feeling weary.
The iconic Harley Davidson V Rod is an outstanding example of style, however its frame construction lacks the necessary ground clearance and weight limitations. As a result, many reviewers have been disappointed with its maneuverability.
By utilizing an antiquated cradle design, ground clearance and overall weight have been sacrificed. However, if the engine had been incorporated into the frame as a structural component, this issue could’ve easily been solved.
The suspension on this model is quite basic, featuring double shocks at the rear which are set to a soft setting. At the front, you will find forks that look sturdy but have no adjustable settings; they are underdamped and weakly sprung. Many riders opt for Progressive springs in both the back and front.
The brakes, however, are top-notch; dual 292 mm disc brakes up front with four-piston calipers provide confident and efficient braking performance, although the feel is a bit wooden. ABS was added to subsequent models for an even more complete stopping solution.
Dealing with the Harley Davidson V Rod can be a bit of an experience; its steel frame is to blame. The front wheel is set so far out that it causes the handlebars to feel limp and disconnected from the front tire, resulting in an unpleasant ride.
The 180 tire provides surprisingly agile cornering, however the larger 240 section bike has difficulty maintaining composure as all of its mass attempts to roll on top of the rounded rubber. Shock absorption is poor even with original OEM shocks; they are both under-damped and under-sprung like their counterparts in the front, leading to an unsmooth ride that often bottoms out when two people have a seat.
The classic pillion seat is so petite that most riders prefer to upgrade to the plush Sundowner. Furthermore, unless your companion happens to be extremely short, you’ll need longer footpegs for added comfort and convenience when traveling together.
Living with The Harley Davidson V Rod
Without a doubt, the Harley Davidson V Rod is most content on fast turns and curves; however, it astounds with its stability and agility around your neighborhood. Thanks to an unobtrusive windscreen, you can take long motorway rides for hours without any issues or concerns.
The sharp, uneven corners cause an unpleasant metal-on-tarmac noise when carrying a passenger. Fortunately, this issue can be resolved in later models due to the higher exhausts or you could choose to replace your older model’s exhaust with one that rectifies the problem.
Dependability is excellent, but there may be some minor annoyances, such as the security system not obeying commands. However, you are unlikely to experience any major mechanical issues.
Main Problem – Total Range.
The small petrol tank on the original bikes offers a maximum range of 100 miles. Although later designs have bigger tanks which are more reliable, fuel meter problems can still surface occasionally – but let’s face it; these aren’t motorbikes made for touring.
Verdict On The Harley Davidson V Rod
The Harley Davidson V Rod is a mixed bag of quality – some parts are good, others not so much. Alas, this inconsistency in performance is the ultimate undoing for the bike.
Certain features are truly remarkable—like the noise, the tool-free panel removal system, and the crud shield on the radiator. However, some of it is simply ridiculous—there’s a mix of metric and imperial sockets in multiple parts of one fitting.
To sum up, the Harley Davidson V Rod is a flawed marvel that offers an unparalleled and powerful ride. Although it may not be flawless in terms of control and design, this one-of-a kind motorcycle still holds a special place in Harley Davidson’s history as well as the larger motorbike fraternity.
If you’re a fan of muscular cruisers and desire something distinct from the rest, then the Harley Davidson V Rod may be just what you have been searching for.