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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The V-Rod has been out for more than a year now, and as far as I can see, there hasn't been a single aftermarket company add-on or upgrade that will significantly improve performance. The Screaming Eagle pipes and upgraded airfilter will give you a couple of extra ponies at the top end, but that's about it.

This brings up two questions for me: First, if you did want to significantly increase performance, how would you go about doing so? Turbocharging? NiOx injection? And secondly, if you could squeeze an extra 15-20 HP out of the engine, would it really be such a good idea?

There are a lot of ways to boost power output in an internal combustion engine, but as the old saying goes - there's no substitute for cubic inches. So I suppose one way to get more power would be to try boring out the engine - but the V-Rod engine is already pretty oversquare (100 mm bore x 72 mm stroke). It might be possible to increase the bore to 105 mm, which would increase the capacity to 1250 ccs (less than a 10% increase), but I would be concerned about doing so in an engine with cooling plumbing in it. You also could try increasing the stroke - but with a stock engine redline at 9000, I'd be very leery of modifications to the bottom end of the engine.

You could try forcing more gas and air through the engine, either by means of a turbocharger (never a good idea on a motorcycle, it adds weight, plumbing, moving parts, and where do you put it?); or you could try increasing compression ratio (already 11.3 to 1) -but this would most probably lead to engine knock, unless you were prepared to run some exotic fuel such as toluene or racing methanol.

Exhaust system mods are always a favorite place to look for extra power, but I suspect that the mediocre results people have achieved so far are indicative of the fact that the V-Rod stock system is pretty well optimized for the engine, and that the pipes simply aren't a bottleneck thoughout most of the powerband.

Unless I am much mistaken, we may have to wait for Harley to come up with a 1250 or 1500 cc version of the VRSC engine before we see a street-legal 125 hp V-Rod. If Harley wanted to put a Revolution engine in a touring bike, it definitely would benefit from the increase in low-end torque that bigger cylinders would provide.

Which brings me to the second question: Is there really any need for more HP for the V-Rod? Or is 115 HP about as much as you really need on a (600 lb) street-going cruiser motorcycle?

Unless you get your kicks doing holeshots down at the local dragstrip, I really can't see the need for much more power. The V-Rod simply walks away from any other street-legal Harley-Davidson. More power would only become available towards the top end of the band, and this is territory where cruiser-style motorcycles have their own built-in limitations. Unlike on a sportbike, your weight is relatively far back, so unless you hunch yourself over your likely to pop the front wheel. The rake of the forks means that the front contact patch is far ahead of the center of gravity, meaning you can't correct the steering quickly enough to safely run 9-second quarter miles. And the upright riding position is going to mean you run into wind-resistance issues that horsepower alone can't overcome.

The more I think about, and the more time I spend on my V-Rod, the more impressed I become with Harley's achievement.
 

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For what it's worth I did see a drag racing V-Rod at a Dealership east of Columbus OH. They had two small NOS canisters on the frame rails, with screamin eagle graphics and a two into one exhaust. At least that was there approach. I thought it looked great, but I agree with you I think H-D did do a great job with this bike. Between them and Porsche I think they got the most from the 69ci engine. Remember this is a H-D and we need to talk cubic inch’s not cc’s. But at 600 pounds 115 HP isn't too bad and with the stage 1 package you are reported to get 5-7 more HP. That's enough for me anyway.
 

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Don't forget that while HD has a large market share in the USA, elewhere things are different.
HD wants to capture some of the European sportsbike riders market and can only realistically do so with a fast bike.
As to the future.
Every major motorcycle (and car come to that) is now designed with future development planned and designed in. Think Ducati whose 916cc went to 998cc over 8 years
Look at Jaguar whose XK series has just benefitted from going from 4000cc to 4200cc.
Gives the sales guys something to talk about.
Don't forget Porsche are great at the old Biannual 200cc capacity & horsepower increase. Even Chevy play the game.
Yes, I think we will be looking at first an 1180cc V-Rod for 2004/2005 then in about 2008 a 1250cc or even a 1280cc.
Around 1300cc seems to be the popular displacement for current 'Muscle' bikes.
With bigger displacement comes the possibility of running 'bigger' cams and I would have thought 130hp a nice streetable figure.

To think otherwise would mean that HD have already released the ultimate development of their new technology.........and really I don't think so.

Lets wait and see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
But how many furlongs per hogshead?

Actually, I believe the most amazing thing about the V-Rod is that they used metric fasteners throughout.

Harley has been pretty coy about the capacity of the engine - usually they list it in ccs = 1130 to be exact. They don't often publish the equivalent in cubic inches = 69, since this would be less than all but the smallest other V-twins (54" Evolution) out there. With other guys running 88s or even 103s, potential buyers might be fooled into thinking the V-Rod was underpowered.

The whole metric vs. SAE debate is kinda goofy. From a pure engineering standard, metric or SI measurements are much easier to work with. Scale on engineering drawings (back in the days before CAD systems) used to be a real pain. Math is much easier because you don't have to worry about dividing by 12 or 16, depending on whether you're working with inches or pounds. But on a more personal level I feel much more comfortable with traditional units. I know what a horse is, and I have a pretty good mental picture of how much power one has. If a kilowatt came and kicked me in the head I'm not sure if I'd know it or not. Likewise lbs/ft of torque has meaning to me, whereas a Newton Meter sounds like a device for measuring the number of cookies you eat.

Did you get any feedback on how the nitrous-equipped V-Rod performed? Its not something I'd want on a street bike, but at the drag strip it could make things interesting.
 

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Hi friends,

with greatt interest I read your post about the power of the V-ROD. I ordered my V-ROD last year christmas because a friend of mine showed me the catalogue of it fridays and said " This is a new Harley. I looked at it and next day I went to the Harley dealer, saw it - ordered it !
I did not have a bike the last 6 years, before I had Yamaha XJR-1200, a 120 hp musce bike. But why did I order the V-ROD ?! The apperence of the bike was FANTASTIC and of course it has power, but what about 10 ponies more or less ?? The V-ROD is a very special cruiser and that´s what is it supposed to be. AND it is a HARLEY, what makes it special !!

In fact do we REALLY need the power of 10 hp more ??? NO !. It is a power-cruiser and that means cruising around and having fun riding a bike. If I wanted extreme power I would have bought a HAYABUSA or somethig like that. Friends of mine ride bikes like that and they go 300 km/h as we in Germany have the possibility to go like that on our highways. But I prefer a cool looking bike and enjoy riding like hell if I feel like that. And that´s what the V-ROD is designed for.

Believe me PORSCHE will have developed the power out of the engine that´s possible. Both of my business partners drive PORSCHE cars and those Porsche people know how to get the ponies running. So everything done to get more power out of this engine will affect the "long-life" of the engine. As VRodDrew said very right "there's no substitute for cubic inches." So we don´t have to mess up with the HAYABUSAS and R1 because that´s not the competition. We are riding a very EXCLUSIVE CRUISER that has a special look and is made for the people who like it, like us. It´s not the RWHP but the feeling of riding a bike you really enjoy, and I enjoy the V-ROD so much.

It nice to have your input from the states as the bike scene here in germany is totally different from yours.

Enjoy your ride and have fun

Holli :D
 

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If you really want to dance, there are better ways then to teach a fat girl with expensive taste to dance.

There are some design peculiarities in the VRod engine that make it difficult and expensive for the aftermarket to provide even simple things as cams. Not worth it from a business point of view given the present market.
Performance parts for this engine would be very expensive.
 

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I am always interested in improving performance as long as it does not compromise reliability. Head and Cam work, better flow in and out, slightly cooler running will always help. Then altering the FI curves to take advantage of the increased flow will make some useable power. The cost benefit ratio can be fairly steep on these type of mods.

The other area is weight reduction. A 10% or 60 lbs (27 kg) reduction would make a noticeble difference. The exhaust system seems like an easy target, with the welded box in the middle. It will be difficult to reduce weight in other areas, with all the plastic and Aluminum. The unsprung weight of the wheels will also be tough to reduce.

A question for those of you that have changed wheels, what did the factory wheels weigh and what did the new wheels weigh?

I think the aftermarket will catch up as the market for these parts improves. Right now there are less than 20,000 customers worldwide.
 

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Want more power? Rumor has it that the 2004 will have more cc’s and a six speed. The Sportster is going to move into the V-ROD family via a V-ROD type engine.

Has anyone had the chrome lower fork legs installed? Had mine done Saturday by the dealer. According to the description in the accessory catalog they should have the Harley Logo stamped in. Can’t find it. Think I may have been sold some aftermarket or a replated stock set. If you know for sure let me know. I’m going to call the dealer and question him on Tuesday.
Thanks
 

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I for one am a Racer and can not leave anything I own Stock!As most of you know I have done Extreme Cosmetic Mods on My V-rod.It should be finished tomorrow!I have talked with my Harley Tech "Hiro" at the worlds largest HD Dealership LVHD.He is looking for some engine mods for me,but as you all know none have come out!I am donating my bike for testing purposes for to new Exhaust companys for R&D.
They should be ready shortly and I will let you know how it goes!Currently I have the Sampson System with a custom FI Tune and K&N.My bike put our 104 rwhp and about 74 rwtq with this setup.Every dyno's different so the # mean nothing !I gain about 2 rwhp on top with the Techlusion Box but 10rwhp in the midrange were you can really feel it copaired to the DynoJet setup.My goal is 130+rwhp and yes I will take it to the track just for fun!I will let you know about my next mods"Turbo,NOS,Cams?"What everI can find I will try!
Besafe all my V-rod Brothers/Sister's!
Kaz...............................
 

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SuperKaz

I agree!! It's kinda like jewelry and shoes are to women.

I THINK we will start to see a steady flow of parts --both appearence enhancements and performance related in the very near future!! In fact I am looking forward to BIKETOBERFEST this year in Daytona. (10/17-20) The vendors ought to be ready to show their stuff.

I talked with the guys at ZIPPERS in Daytona in february. They were interested in making some more cams for the ROD.

The lower end is more than strong enough for a number of top end enhancements. I really don't know how far we could get away wiith boring the current cylinders based on looking at the pictures in the shop manual. I think it is FAR more likely that we will see a Stage II kit with new cylinders (JUGS) pistons and cams. Theres plenty of room for fatter Jugs.

As far as a 6th gear, I for one am all for that!! I would bet that JIMS is already working onit with HD. IT will fit our bike if they do it I am sure IF you have the appetite and money.

I would like to see some cluth enhancements--for racing--street or drag.

Regards.
 

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No need for anymore horses here. Plenty on hand. In my mind, the most significant mods that could be done are going to have to come from the factory to improve low RPM torque. Frankly I'm tired having to continually down shift in city traffic/speed limits.

I've suggested H/D develope a six speed trans for the Rod. Closer ratios in 1st through 5th and a true overdrive in 6th. My 1100 Sabre will easilly out torque the V-Rod in first and second gear and pulls solidly from low RPM even in fifth. The V-rod lugs noticably when RPM's drop in gear forcing the frequent downshifts. At 60 MPH the Sabre truns 3000 RPM, V-ROD 3700. A six speed would take greater advantage of the engines torque curve and improve mileage at highway speeds as well.

Just my 2c.

Pete
 

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PAS22, you are comparing apples to oranges, the Sabre has an undersquare bore, the VROD oversquare. The VROD has about the same rear wheel torque as a TC88, at a higher rpm ( different engine designs ). Anyway, try this for one day : Ride your VROD like it has only the 1st 3 gears, don't use 4 - 5. I rarely am above 2nd gear in city and cruise at 70 in 3rd.

JMS
 

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JMS, Thanks I'll give it a try, I seem to be in second most of the time around town anyway.

The Sabre also has different gear ratios and final drive ratio. It has less torque than the V-Rod, just seems to do a better job of using it. The Sabre runs out of "umph" on top end alot quicker, in part due to the gearing.

Pete
 

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I live i a country where best gas we can get is maybe 89 or 90 octane.
When I want top performance I put 16 fluid oz. of toluene.
The engine feels crispier, as if the timing was improved.
 
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