Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Cruising the Open Road

vRod by Harley-Davidson Depending on how well you know the guys you ride with, your level of skill, their level of skill, and your gut feelings, you may exchange bikes with your closest buddies from time to time. Just for a few short miles. Under ideal circumstances. Then comes the real test of a motorcycle Are you excited to get back on your own steed? Since acquiring this black beauty almost two years ago, the answer always comes back, "Yes!" Recently I rode a couple of Victory's — The Hammer and a Vegas Low. Both are a lot of fun. Although at six feet, I do not need a "low" model to reach the ground, I actually prefer them for getting closer to mother Earth. Makes for a more enjoyable ride, at least to me. I owned a Buell Lightning Low and loved it. But jumping back on the vRod after the test ride, it was obvious (at least to me!) that I should hold onto the vRod, as it was a lot more fun. For buzzing around town and short blasts on the interstate, it rocks! This American vTwin is water cooled (the first production Harley so configured) for better performance. The 1130cc engine is redlined right at 9000rpm. And in stock gearing (up until recent years), would do 50+ miles per hour in first gear! There are still four more gears to go... One of the challenges with so few variations from the factory on the vRod, is how should you make your copy different from all the others? Mine is a 2004 (a left over, bought new in Las Vegas) VRSCB "Black on Black" — whereby the frame and portions of the engine are blacked out. The first few years, vRods only had silver frames and polished aluminum tank and fenders. One treatment I used to make mine unique, was to replace the nacelle covers (the leading edge of both sides of the raditor, shown above) in black. If you look closely in this older photo, you can see that they were chrome. A small thing... but it changes the look & feel. Just as Ferris Bueller recommended owning a Ferrari, allow me to suggest you consider the Harley V-Rod for at least one of your motorcycles... you will still need a bagger and something sporty (like the new Buell 1125r!), but pound for pound, the vRod delivers a ton of excitement. -ski P.S. Yes, you heard me correctly, I think most everyone should own at least three motorcycles. The vRod should be one of them. And if you are in eastern Ohio, consider buying it at Freedom Harley in North Canton. Tell Sam and the guys, "SKI sent me!"
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