Introduced in 2001, the V-Rod family is manufactured for riders in tune to a different roadway rhythm, at least compared to Harley’s more traditional lineup of its internationally famous cruisers.
Arguably the most unique offering from HD, this series of bikes is a statement that stakes a claim against Japanese muscle bikes that have dutifully copied, and perhaps improved upon, the HD cruiser theme. V-Rods make use of an engine developed jointly with Porsche, which, for the first time in Harley’s long and remarkable history, incorporates fuel injection, overhead cams, and liquid cooling.
For 2008, Harley has added anti-lock braking as a factory installed option on all V-Rod (and touring) bikes. The 08 V-Rods also include a new 121 horsepower, 1250cc Revolution power plant and slipper clutch. The V-Rod starts at $16,695, and the 105th Anniversary trim seen here starts at $17,465.
Cruisers are not my first choice of motorbike transportation, but I do like to get on one now and again to mosey along the pavement. I took this one out for a stroll and did find the ride to be smoother and more comfortable than the signature HD vibrations that are part and parcel to the HD experience. I respect Harley for expanding their base of motorbike offerings, but I must confess, that for a company fervently revered for its classical motorcycle heritage, I maintain a bias for the more time-honored Harleys.