Post by Bill Shatzer
Harley's building 1980s bikes and selling 'em at 2020 prices.
The Harley-Davidson VRSC (V-Twin Racing Street Custom) family of cruiser
motorcycles was introduced in 2001 in a single model called the V-Rod.
The V-Rod was developed by Harley-Davidson to compete against Japanese
and American muscle bikes. The "V-Rod" made use of the Revolution
engine, developed jointly with Porsche that, for the first time in
Harley history, incorporates fuel injection, overhead cams, and liquid
cooling. The V-Rod is visually distinct from other Harley-Davidson
motorcycles. It can be easily identified by the 60-degree V-Twin engine,
the radiator and the hydroformed frame members that support the
round-topped air cleaner cover. A distinct difference between the V-Rod
and all other Harley production motorcycles, is the location of the fuel
tank. The fuel tank on the V-Rod is located underneath the seat, placing
the driver on top of it, rather than the usual frontal placement, the
"tank" in this place is simple dressing, hiding the frame. Loosely based
on the VR-1000 superbike, it continues to be a platform around which
Harley-Davidson builds drag-racing competition machines.
In 2008, Harley added anti-lock braking systems as a factory installed
option on all VRSC models. Harley also increased the
displacement of the stock engine from 1,130 cc (1.13 L; 69 cu in) to
1,250 cc (1.25 L; 76 cu in), which had only been previously available
from Screamin' Eagle, added a slipper clutch as standard equipment and
offered anti-lock brakes as an option for the first time.
2009 Harley-Davidson VRSCF V-Rod Muscle Review
Flexing some new muscle
2009 Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle
Rather than the more rounded shapes of the other ‘Rods, this new guy
adopts slightly more angular shapes, especially in the faux fuel
tank/air-box cover, wide side air-intake covers and squared-off low and
cushy saddle with a rear support designed to hold the rider in place
during powerful bursts of acceleration on tap from the same super-smooth
60-degree liquid-cooled DOHC, eight-valve, Revolution 1250cc V-Twin that
powers all ’Rods. The Muscle comes in a 121 hp/85 ft-lbs flavor.
It wasn’t until the last 30 miles of the day when an opportunity allowed
me to wind up the quick-revving Twin and start flicking the Muscle
through the tight stuff. I was genuinely surprised at how nimble the
bike felt and how easily it transitioned left to right, back and forth,
despite the big 240mm rear tire, now standard on all VRSC models.
This impromptu route gave the bike a chance to reveal a quick handling,
stable and very fun characteristic that I didn’t think existed in the
machine prior to this point on my ride. The effort required to initiate
and then complete a tight radius turn was gone and in its place was a
willing participant in my peg-grinding silliness.
Acceleration is ferocious from roughly 6,000 rpm all the way to redline;
generally, the engine pulls in a very confident and linear manner in any
gear and almost any engine speed. Reeling in this silver bullet is cake
with the potent dual Brembos made all the more effective when coupled
with the optional ABS.
The V-Rod Muscle easily flexes its might with the incredibly smooth and
powerful engine and tranny, good ride quality and excellent brakes. If
you’re tall enough or content enough to look beyond the stretched ergos
to enjoy the bike on the flat, you’ll be doubly rewarded for your
endurance when you get this new tuff kid in the corners, or on the ’strip.
The new V-Rod Muscle has a starting suggested MSRP of $17,199 and comes
in Vivid Black, Brilliant Silver, Dark Blue Denim and Red Hot Sunglo.