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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying hard to make up my mind on a new bike, and the V-Rod has definatly got my attention. But I have a few questions about the overall "feel" of the bike, and since its at least 2 months until I can even get to ride one (yeah winter in Norway - gotta luv it...) any input from you guys would be a HUGE help!

Handling; how do you guys like the way the bike handles? From what I hear the low center of gravity and rake makes it a very stable ride, but whats you impression of it? High speed handling, low speed handling, cornering etc? Feel free to compare it with other bikes you've had (or ridden). Do the solid rims effect handling in wind as much as I have heard from some sources?

Comfort: How do you guys like the riding position and comfort of the bike? Any major changes need to be made it comfortable, or is it a comfortable ride "as is"? (I'm about 6 ft 2 in, btw).

Performance: I've heard nothing but good things about the Revolution, is it as good as everyone is saying it is? Are there any "must do" tweaks that should be done right of the bat, or is it good "as is"?

Sorry about all these newbie questions, but I'm trying to get my mind made up, and like I said its hard to do any hands-on testing for the next few months. So any help would be greatly appriciated!! And if you have any input besides the questions I've asked, please feel free to add it - as you can tell, I need all the help I can get - LOL!

Thor
 

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Hi Thor,
I have owned MANY street bikes and actually used to race GP in the late 70's. The bike is very neutral, high speed or low. If you want to do long rides (I don't) you may find the forward positions doesn't let you use your legs to alleviate weight from your butt. The best performance mod I have found is the 28T front pulley. Yes, highway cruising will suffer, but for me my V-Rod is just a big boy toy.

Best regards,
John
 

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I ride several makes and find the V-Rod handles as well as any. It is very fun in the corners. The V-Rod seems to just drop in easily and accelerate out.

I live in windy Colorado U.S. I think handling in the wind is a nonissue. I ride sportbikes with slab sided fairings in the wind, and many others do without any wind handling complaints... and sport bikes are lighter than the V-Rod.

I'm 6'5" and ride the V-Rod with comfort. The only modifcation I may make someday is with the seat. I'm kinda forced into one position without much room to move around.

The Revolution engine is great. I think its roll-on speeds are noteworthy... it goes from 60-80 mph as fast as many sportbikes.

HTH,

Steve

 

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Handling: I've taken several rides with the bike loaded for the long haul (saddlebags and T-bag) and the bike handles well. Two up isn't bad though the passenger, like on most bikes, raises the center of gravity a bit.

Performance: I've surprised all of my Harley riding buddies. It won't sprint stoplights in stock configuration with a Katana or Ninja. The only performance mods I've done are air cleaner, pipes, and EFI remap. If you're interested in tweaking, get the Power Commander so that you can remap your EFI to match your riding style.

Comfort: I did my first 1500 mile ride on the stock seat. I changed it to the HD Sundowner when I got home. Subsequent rides were MUCH more comfortable. The forward controls are okay, but the pegs will be replaced with Kurykyn ISO stirrups with dually pegs for better support on long rides. I use a touring windshield on road trips as the smaller ones don't cut a tall enough bubble for me.

Would I do it again? Absolutely!! Make sure you have a decent dealer. I think that has made a lot of difference for me. I love HD's bikes, but I'm not a fan of the company's customer relations group. :)

Cheers!
 

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ThorBob, wait about 6 months and you can probably pick you one up for about 10 grand. My local dealer has 6 on the floor that he can't unload.
 

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Depends where you are

Read a post yesterday on a delphi forum that stated that in a large city in Texas, think it was Houston, the only harleys moving off the floor were the Vrods. That came from a HD salesman. I just picked a 2003 up in PA. with 1950 in extras for 18k out the door.
 

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I'm loving my V-Rod. It handles very well -- should please anybody. Power is certainly adequate unless you intend to race. Can't say great things about the stock seat except that it is easily removed and replaced with a wider one if needed.
I would buy it again without hesitation,
Gene P.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow - now this is the kinda help I need! Thank you guys a bunch, getting the "straight poop" from folks like yourselves that actually use the bike makes its so much easier to decide.

I've been on the phone with my local dealer (very good guy btw, both my impression and from what I hear from others). He offered a couple of options in terms of a V-Rod. He did have a couple of second hand rods there, but price differance between a one year old and a brand new was so low that I quickly decided to focus on a new one (he also said he'd do the same if he was buying).

In terms of brand new (out of the crate, so to speak) rides, he could deliver either a 2002, a 2003 "plain" or a 2003 two-tone 100th aniv. The brand new 2002 was cheapest, the "plain" 2003 about $2000 more than the 2002, and the 2003 two-tone about $1500 more than the plain 2003. Since I really like "plain" alu look, for me it would be either the new 2002 or the "plain" 2003. Figuring that I could use those $2000 on other goodies, I'm sort of leaning towards the new 2002. Anyone have any other opinions? Any reason I should go with a 2003 over a 2002?

Either way - I'm pretty much dead-set on a V-Rod now :D

Ketsugo: That is great to know, from what I'm hearing it has no spesific handling "quirks" or anything like that. I will definatly look into gearing it down a bit on the front pulley, I'll take torque and acceleration over top speed on one of these rides any day to be honest - if I was in it for pure top speed I'd have stuck with my Ninjas and what-not, LOL!

sfarson: I'm releaved to hear that, I was starting to get the impression that I'd have to stick to a cage on windy days - and where I'm at thats like 3/4's of the year. Like you I have run several rides with full fairings and what you are saying makes perfect sence to me, those things catch plenty of wind and I really can't recall to many "near-death" experiences with them on windy days (well, none that where strictly wind-related, anyways :D). And thanks for the great pic, that is one drool-worthy Rod! (as if I didn't have it bad enough already - LOL!)

LiquidSilver: Thats great to know, while I don't really plan on a lot of passenger-hauling, I know that I'd like to haul some bags on it once and a while. On the performance side, how well does the pipe/EFI/air cleaner work compared to stock? You see my local dealer said he'd cut me a very good deal on a set of SE pipes + a EFI re-map, but he did not mention anything about the air cleaner (not that I asked, for that matter). I suspect that I might want to swap to a seat that will allow me to move around a little bit, and so far the Sundowner is the one I'm hearing about. I take it you recommend it over the stocker? And those Kurykyn ISO stirrups sound very interesting, do you have any links to them?

xxxflhrci: 10K for a rod?? Man, I *wish* :eek. Unfortunatly I'm in Norway, where the official position is "if its fun, we'll tax the hell outta it....". From what I'm hearing, they seem to be moving pretty good at the dealers here - rumor has it that dealers are having probs keeping up with the demand.

turn55: Yes, they do seem to be moving pretty fast here in Norway too, guess it varies from place to place. And congrats on the new ride, sounds like a beaut you lucky dawg!!

bepopham: Just what I'm wanting to hear! And I'm sure that I'll be more than happy with the power, I never really figured I'd be doing much all-out racing. On the topic of the seat, did you swap out yours? If so, what seat did you go for?

Thank you guys again for all the help, think I'd be pretty lost without all your experiences!

Thor
 

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Thor,

Just to add to those guys comemnts. I agreed with most of their comments, the only thing I want to remind you is that this bike is going to make you spend times and money, lots of them. Especially with what you have seen on this forum, I am sure you won't be able to handle the temptations to make modifications on your bike. So, in light of that situation, it may not be a bad idea to buy a new 2002. Unless you are 100% sure you won't make any modification ( which is very unlikely ). I believe you will end up changing the color of you bike, change the rear wheel and so forth over the next few months. Anyway, I hope you get your bilke soon. It is definately worth it if you can afford the time and money.

Jonathan
 

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ThorBob, I don't want to rain on your parade or get into any kind of argument about the VROD. Let me just mention a few things that I found when I was looking for a new bike.

After many years on metric bikes I had decided to "come over to the dark side" & my bike of choice was going to be a Fat Boy. I couldn't imagine owning any other HD until the VROD came out. I instantly fell in love with the bike & had to decide FatBoy or VROD.

I went to my local dealer & took both for a test drive. The VROD felt silky smooth & reminded me of some of the metrics I had riden in the past. While the Fat Boy felt "clunkier" in comparision.

I started doing some digging around & 1 of the things that was important to me was gas mileage/tank range. I had owned an 1100cc / 115hp bike in the past & thought that the VROD would get similar mileage (50/29). But when I started reading posts from VROD owners & found that they were only getting between 80-130 miles to a tank, I was less than thrilled. I ride a fair distance to work everyday I don't feel like stopping for a fill up every other day.

Lastly, I took the OL to the dealer to see what she thought. She took 1 look at the VROD & said she didn't like the styling. I think it's a female thing because most of the women I talked to didn't like the looks of it, while all of the men were drooling over it. But the nail in the VROD's coffin came when she tried sitting on it. It wasn't the factory seat that was going to be the problem. The passenger footpeg is in a position that would require her to bend her knee further than she is able to (she's not tall - only 5-6, but had knee surgery when she was younger & it has left her 1 knee with some limited range of motion).

There was no way I was going to buy a bike that my wife couldn't sit on & only got 80-130 mile to a tank. Plus, I had already owned a bike that with similar performance characteristics & I decided I didn't need the temptation to race around like I used to. Call me an old fart, but I perfer to just thump around at a more leisurly pace & enjoy the scenery.

Like I said, this is just my 2¢. If you end up purchasing a VROD I'm sure that you won't be disappointed. It is an excellent bike & if I were 20 years younger I'd jump on 1 so quick it would make your head spin.
 

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nodoze said:
She took 1 look at the VROD & said she didn't like the styling. I think it's a female thing because most of the women I talked to didn't like the looks of it, while all of the men were drooling over it.
That could be true, since I haven't asked many women their opinion of the V-Rod. But I'd like to point out that there are plenty of women who own V-Rods. In 8 months I've talked to six other women who own V-Rods, nicely accessorized ones too. And I'm sure there's a lot more I haven't met. Four of the six were under 40, so maybe age is a factor. I'm 28, and I had ZERO interest in motorcycles until I saw the V-Rod. I thought it was the most gorgeous work of art I'd ever seen.

Nodoze is definitely right about the horrible position of the passenger footpegs. My husband got a V-Rod before I did, and I rode as a passenger, but it was uncomfortable. I'm 5'9" with long legs, and the position was similar to a pelvic exam. But I've also seen other women riding as V-Rod passengers with little complaint.

Wind has been a problem for me, but I'm a wimpy woman, what can I say. My husband rode behind me last weekend, and he said that he could see the wind pushing me all over. It's the only thing I dislike about the V-Rod, and I just haven't gotten used to it. For me, it's an uncomfortable feeling, and I 'll be glad to replace the solid wheels. The wind doesn't bother me any other way, except for that, and I ride without a windshield.

Deb (g-rod's other half)
 

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Here's a link to the Kuryakyn pegs: http://www.kuryakyn.com/prodlist.asp?bn=harley&cn=Pegs+&+Controls

If you plan to change the pipes and EFI map, you must change the air filter or you'll restrict the oxygen too much and not yield a power increase. The performance is only 2-5 hp over the stock configuation but it works well. My need for performance is pretty well satisfied by the stock configuration.

As Joguna wrote, there are several folks here who will give you ideas to enhance your ride. I'll second the advice to go with the 2002 and use the extra funds to make the ride yours.

Have fun!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks again for all your help guys, I really appriciate it!

And I'm pretty sure now that I will go with your recommendations on the '02 vr '03 issue, I know that there are a few things I'd like to get for the bike and I'm sure the extra $$ will come in handy. And thanks to the posts and pix on this board, my poor old brain is kickin into overdrive with stuff I'd like to do with the bike :D. Guess I need to focus on getting the actual BIKE first though...LOL!

joguna: Yeah, I agree 100%. The extra $$ will almost certainly be put into the bike anyways, so I figure I might as well spend it on the parts I really want!

nodoze: Hey it's all good, I'm used to rain - LOL! But really, I appriciate ALL input, and I certainly want to know any negatives before I go out and spend a big chunk of cash on a bike! The milage issue was actually one of the first things I noticed when reading up on the bike, and I agree - this sure aint no tourer! On the other hand I'm fairly confident that its OK for my intended use, and when I do the occasional long trip (which I intend to do from time to time), I'm sure that my rear end and back will appriciate a pit-stop every 80 miles or so :D. As for passengers, well its not an issue really, I have no plans to haul anyone around on it - as a matter of fact I'm pondering how a solo seat would look on it ;).

(ms) g-rod: Thats good to know because I LUV the looks of this bike, and I'd have a hard time out there if it was generally hated by all females :D. (stick my on an ugly bike and you get "double-ugly" :p ). I am quite interested in seeing how the stock wheels handle wind though, this is a VERY windy area year-around, so if its really annoying I might look into some new wheels...that would at least give me some sort of plausible excuse to get new wheels ;).

LiquidSilver: Thank you for the link, I really like the looks of that ISO-line up they have! And thanks for the advice, I'll make sure to ask about the filter as well if/when I do the pipes. And yes, this forum is really putting a LOT of ideas into my head - just hope I can find the $$ to back up a few of them - LOL!!

Thanks again for all your help!!

Thor
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
BTW, I just noticed that "the G-Rods" are from Tampa - any recommendations on good bike (HD) shops in the area? I'm going to Tampa on business the second & third week of March, and I might just want to pick up some odds and ends (or just drool over bikes in general :D).

Thor
 

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Wow, you're coming all the way from Norway. I guess you won't have your V-Rod by then. We can always show you ours if you want a look. Tampa HD is worth a visit, and there's also nice HD shops nearby in Clearwater and St. Petersburg. I haven't been to Clearwater since they opened the new building, but I heard it's good. HD in Tampa and St. Pete are similar in size, bike selection and merchandise. They're both good, but not huge like Orlando Harley or some other places. However, St. Pete has two V-Rods in their rental fleet, so maybe you'd like to ride one for a day while you're here. If you want more details, you can always send me a private message (pm button).
 

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Thorbob,
Glad to hear that the "negatives" that I encountered won't be a problem for you. The VROD is a real sweet ride & I know you will enjoy it. You mentioned a couple of times about the solid wheels & wind. Do a search on the forum as this has been talked about quite frequently. Based on what I have read, and experienced with my Fat Boy, I think you find that the solid wheel/wind issue is an urban legend.
-nodoze
 

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Ditto, npdoze, solid wheels vs spokes does not change the handling characteristics enough to give it any thought. I've ridden both on windy days and can't tell any difference. I have solids now and do not intend to trade them. They are easy to clean, too.
Gene P.
 

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You guys may be right. I haven't gotten to try open wheels on mine yet, so I don't know. But a lady named Kim has ridden her V-Rod for over 10,000 miles, and she advised me that getting slots cut into her wheels made a noticeable difference. In addition, St. Petersburg HD immediately put PM wheels on both their rental V-Rods because of their opinion of the V-Rod's handling in wind, such as traveling through big gusts on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which is high enough to allow the biggest cruise ships to sail underneath. I've thought about renting one of them to see if there is any difference, since I really would like to know.

This is Kim's V-Rod with slots in the wheels:
 

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Is that a factory windshield or sombody aftermarket?
I kinda like how it looks........not too big. But does it do anything for you?
 

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HD Sport Wind Deflector. Doesn't do much for wind. Mostly good for keeping bugs or water off that part of the bike. It helps block water from spraying back on you, if your V-Rod has the sport front fender.
 
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