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Discussion Starter #1
I had a chance to work on a 2005 harley v-rod recently. I was curious as to how it would compare to other bikes I have worked on or owned. What I discovered was it is very much unlike a typical Harley. If it didn't have HD on the tank and other places one would say it was a honda or other asian build. The only things that match it to a typical HD are the handlebar controls. Battery is up by the steering head under the false tank, Super easy to access, Like the GL the fuel tank is under the seat and the unit has an exoskeleton rather than the typical dual rail backbone. The triple trees are conventional but offset like the trail kits on trikes so the bike has a bit of a stretch look. Like many asian bikes the engine lacks off the mark torque so you have to give it a bit of throttle to take off but it really comes alive at 4k. All in all it's a very nice machine. very well built and very straight. In fact it is perfectly straight in all respects. Most conventional Harleys are not straight especially the lower fairing which can be a real challenge.
I would give this bike a thumbs up and would compare it to my Victory or Excelsior as a basic fun ride. No dash gadgets just a tach and speedo. Nice :x

 

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I believe this is the one and only liquid cooled Harley they came out with. Why, I don't know.
Strat
 

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The Harley ridership had a fit when they came out with it. As far as I know, they discontinued the line due to poor sales.
 

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My daughter's boyfriend has one of these V-Rods and last summer took it to the local drag strip. The bike is bone stock and he ran a low 11.9 something on it. That was very impressing to me with it being his first time ever with a bike on the track and all. I didn't know at the time that these things were that quick.
 
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I have no doubt that the V-Rod is Harley's best performance motorcycle, but that's not what Harley is all about, is it ?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
In my opinion, there are no best Harleys, only Harleys. The last statistic I read said that 98% of all Harleys are still on the road, the other 2% made it home!
I guess I may have agreed once but after working on this one I will put the Victory and V-rod at the top of the Vtwin list. BTW I will be doing a review on the Victory Cross Country soon. Superior machine. In fact I liked it so much I bought another Victory for myself.
 

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Ended Production -

Haven't ridden a V-Twin Victory but the V-Rod is certainly a fun bike to ride. Even right off the showroom floor, with a 3D ignition and sequential fuel injection computer on board plus 11:1 compression the V-Rod has exceptional performance for a 1200 cc bike. As powerful as these bikes are, some HD owners will continue to tweak on them with multiple performance Up-Grades until they are a hard starting - stumbling, bumbling orangutan. A buddy picked up a poorly running 2012 for cheap - but converting it back to stock turned out to be expensive.

Without a full fairing and their uncomfortable (to me) :) "feet forward" controls - the V-Rod needs some serious long distance ergonomic work. Although HD ended V-Rod production, it's ultra modern water cooled, high HP motor will probably be reintroduced into their future lineup despite the die-hard air cooled crowd. Our local HD dealer still services the V-Rod but according to my riding buddy, the turn-around is terrible.

Ride Safe - Michael
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
You know victory went out of business not long ago. Who are you going to get to work on them if necessary?
Like most bikes that are no longer manufactured there are parts readily available. I have a 99 Valkyrie and parts are plentiful. VTX is pretty much also the same. I have a 99 Excelsior-Henderson and while they only produced 1556 units parts are plentiful.
It is unfortunate the Victory line was discontinued as they are superior to the Indian in design. But as we all know it's brand names that sell.

Who will work on them? Any independent shop and Me :wink2:
 

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The engine was designed by Porsche back in the early 80's or late 70's (depending on who you speak with), which would certainly explain the performance level. HD even came out with a Night Rod street racer look version that was given some changes cosmetically, along with an increase in displacement making it even quicker. Then came the Screaming Eagle "Muscle" V-rod, basically a street dragster, if not quite a full on drag bike. If the others were to tame for you that is. Comparatively, the Ducati Diavel has a 46 hp advantage (162), along with 96 lb/ft of torque compared to the 'rod's 87lb/ft. But the real kicker is the 151 lb weight disadvantage for the HD. But that isn't to say that the Muscle Rod is a hole shot dog by any means. It forms a good jump-off for a full on drag bike, if you have the wallet for it anyway.
Personally I always liked the V-rod idea, and if I had room and disposable $$ for one, I'd probably own one. Just for giggles of course. An old Yamaha V-max would likely dust both of them...just saying.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You are so right in fact Porsche designed the engine and frame which explains the great detail and accuracy. And Porsche continues to do design work as in the new water cooled head on the current Harleys. I would have no problem adding one to my collection. Like the old 1500 Valkyrie, XJ1100 Yamaha, Victory and many other no longer in production bikes it is one that should have been a good seller but lacked social appeal.
 

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Rare Classic - Orphan

A motorcycle manufacture like HD and Polaris can end the production of a model for a laundry list of issues. I'm sure the decision whether to save a bike may even involve considering a production move overseas. Sadly - most reasons to terminate are not necessarily related to performance or quality but traced back to the balance sheet of a bean counter.

If you feel confident enough to own and maintain one of the motorcycles that's been set a drift, they can be an extraordinary bargain - the Victory is a perfect example. Possibly one of the many orphans over the years will become a rare and expensive classic.

Any owners of an out of production bike ? I'm holding on to three - an 84 1200 and 96 1500 GW and a 83 Turbo CX650 - waiting for them all to be a gold mine of rare classics ..... :)

Ride Safe - Michael
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
On the plus side there are people who are afraid to buy out of production bikes as they have the unreasonable fear parts will not be available or nobody will service them. Personally I target the purchase of these as the prices are usually lower.
I just saw a nice 83 GL1100 go for $325 I guess I missed this one but I am not into the old bikes that much.

 

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There is no best Harley. I've owned 24 motorcycles in my 55 years of ownership. Four of those were Harley's. First a 1974 PanHead Police bike with shifter beside the gas tank and left foot for clutch. I burned up the engine in that bike when I was 18. Second Harley was a 1990 883 Sportster that got 55 mpg. Good thing it got good mileage because I took of the 2.25 gallon tank and bought a 3.5 Gallon tank and had it color matched down to the HarleyDecal and clear coat. That bike, Harley had a deal that if you trade up within 2 years you got what you paid as a trade-in. My next Harley was a 2012 1200 Sportster to sit in the garage with my Goldwing. The last Harley was my 2014 Dyna Low Rider 103 cu in. I like this Harley the best. At first it was sluggish off the line until I put the Screamin Eagle air filter and pipes on it and also the device that would change the O2 sensors signal to the ECM. This enrichened the fuel a bit because Harley's run so lean from the factory. All Harley's pretty much serve a different purpose for what a person wants so there is no perfect Harley.
 
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