Stump pulling power throughout the rpm range.
Unique sound all of it's own.
Excellent road & in town ride comfort.
Superior cornering and responsiveness.
Most modern designed Harley Davidson today.
Euro looks and styling while being American made.
Rear stance looks like a dragster and matches that with stop light to stop light performance.
Drivers seat could use more padding.
Had an annoying small oil leak in front of the oil filter while I had the bike in my possession.
Last year we rode the XR1200 Harley Davidson during a ride review and liked it very much, so when the opportunity to do a circle tour of Lake Superior with one of my friends and Editor (Guido Ebert) came up, I made a call to Harley Davidson in Milwaukee WI, to see if they could set me up with a ride for this trip.
For this epic trip around Lake Superior they offered to have me ride their Muscle Cruiser, the Harley Davidson VRSCAW V-Rod. When we went to pick this bike up, the first thing that jumps out at you is the paint. My bike had the Black Ice Pearl. This paint is like chameleon paint, and it changes from what ever angle you look at it from. It can appear to be purple, or blue, or a combo, or will change with the angle of the sun light. The first comment I got from others was how pretty the paint was, so that is a good feature in my books.
Doing a walk around on this bike, you pick up on how long & low this bike is, with it's aggressive front end 36 degree fork angle rake. From the rear the 240/40 tire gives the bike the appearance of a top fuel dragster, which in my opinion is super cool looking. With 5" of ground clearance this bike sits low, and when you hit the corners this low stance keeps your center of gravity low, allowing you to breeze through corners that a normal bike would cringe at.
This bike has 84 ft. lbs. of Evolution Engine Torque, with an estimated 125 HP, which manages to rocket this machine down the highway with ease, but still manages to get a 34 city & 42 highway miles per gallon. I was getting over that when I was in cruise mode, which is very hard to do with this bike. It is just way too much fun to do full throttle roll on's with.
Braking was awesome with the Brembo Caliper type 4-piston front and rear. My bike even had the optional abs which made braking a breeze. Not once did I feel this bike could not stop effectively when I needed to stop in a hurry.
One of the cool things that you usually only find in a more racier bike is the slipper clutch, attached to the 5 speed trans. This transmission set up worked flawless for me, and trust me, I put over 2000 miles on this bike in just under a couple of weeks, and I love the way this clutch works.
During our trip around lake Superior I drove in almost every type of fowl weather condition that mother nature could throw at us, but snow. The V-Rod handled rainy conditions without any hydro planing at all, and felt rock solid going down the road. I purposely put up the rainy riding videos to prove that this bike will not let you down, baring operator error.
I can go on and on about the V-Rod, but I think you have got the drift that I am thoroughly impressed with this bike. I think it is a perfect bike for around town, and or cruising long distance. For long distance cruising if you drive without getting on the throttle too much you can easily make 150 mile jaunts before needing gas. Of course if I were going to do long distance cruising I would add some padding to the drivers seat, and install a windshield. The windshield would keep the wind off your chest and make your ride perfect. The seat padding would make that seating position just that much better.
Speaking of seating position, with the rider forward controls, I thought ouch this is going to be rough, but was I proven wrong. I rode with a couple of sport bike riders that were constantly looking for a more comfortable seating position, but I never once got a leg cramp. Rock on, HD!!!!!!!!!!
So the bottom line, would I recommend this bike, heck yes. If you want a cruiser bike with stump pulling muscle, and want to ride American, the Harley Davidson VRSCAW V-Rod is a great bike to look at. I know I would have one in my stable. In my opinion it is a great all around bike that does everything very well, just ask my euro bike riding companions what they think of the V-Rod :)
This review is strictly about my initial ride impressions, and doesn't in anyway reflect a long term review. For a long term review we need to have the vehicle here to ride for a period of 6 months to a year. That is the only way we can determine effectively if the bike will hold up to long term driving without any long term maintenance issues.