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Discussion Starter #1
Was going through some old photos today and found this from 2003 taken in Hays, KS. The local H-D dealership offered $50 of freebees (got two sets of H-D China made gloves that I still use) for taking a V-Rod for a test ride. Nice motor, transmission, brakes. Uncomfortable sitting position, short travel suspension and it ain't no Guzzi when it comes to handling.

GuzziJohn
 

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Yep! Porsche engine, 240mm rear tire, wants to go straight, doesn't like curves.

A good decision to abandoning a poor seller.
 

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Only my wife saw me on it and took the picture. Easiest test ride or drive I have ever had. Didn't have to sign anything or show or have them copy my license. All they did was ask me if I was f&%#ed up on alcohol or drugs and when I said no they handed me the keys. LOL! I asked how long I could have it out and the reply was "awhile".
GuzziJohn
 

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If I remember the fuel tank is not what you see - it is under the seat. I did sell the first "Street Rod" we got at our dealership. It was a more conventional riding position. The engine was great but not what most people who wanted a Harley were after.
 

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Only my wife saw me on it and took the picture. Easiest test ride or drive I have ever had. Didn't have to sign anything or show or have them copy my license. All they did was ask me if I was f&%#ed up on alcohol or drugs and when I said no they handed me the keys. LOL! I asked how long I could have it out and the reply was "awhile".
GuzziJohn
Where'd you put the key Guzz, I'm curious?🤣
 

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Nice looking bike. Who is the *** sitting on it?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
From Dee:
Where'd you put the key Guzz, I'm curious
Not sure what you are getting at. It used a key not a fob. If I recall correctly the ignition location was weird like down below the front of the seat and behind the rear cylinder.
GuzziJohn
 

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Nope no fob, but a switch.
 

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If I recall correctly the ignition location was weird like down below the front of the seat and behind the rear cylinder.
GuzziJohn

Kinda like the old "scratch your azz" key position of the old Dynas.



Those first V-Rods had issues with the frames too, because they were bolted together(you can see the bolts in the pic).....and yes, the gas tank was under the seat. What looks like a conventional gas tank is actually the airbox.
 

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I've never seen one that didn't fire right off, even on the coldest morning, and I've never seen one I'd buy, even if I had to walk.
 

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We take'em in trade occasionally, but their slow movers.
They usually sell when someone comes in specifically looking for a V-Rod.
The new Breakout handles only slightly better.
 

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My son has a shop that he deals only in Harleys and he bought one several years ago at a repo sale could not give the thing away finally ran it back through the sale. Most real Harley died in the wool riders wont even think about owning one, they don't look like a Harley and don't have that Harley sound.

Deaconllb
 

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Lowering center of gravity of the fuel is not a bad idea. And 5 gallon capacity is reasonable. I would like to see 6.5, but 5 is not bad. Aside from not having the expected appearance of a H-D, was it a good bike? It could be like the Pontiac Aztek minivan, which people didn't like the looks of, but which owners really liked because it had a lot of good features. From my casual view, that V-Rod looks a lot like the street bikes they are selling at lower price points today, so there must be something encouraging about the design.

My friends who own harleys are all older guys who wanted bikes like the road king as an aspirational motorcycle. It had to have the full dresser look. They all wanted something like that for a long time. When I've asked "did you ever consider a BMW" the answer is always no. They didn't want a motorcycle, they wanted a Harley. They only considered that one brand.

I was curious about mileage on harleys that are for sale and I'm shocked at how few miles most of them have on them. Ten year old bikes with under 5,000 miles is common. I did find one nicely maintained 2013 dresser with over 80k miles on it and that's respectable, but most have under 10k miles on them. There is a tier of relatively high mileage bikes with 40k miles on them after about 15 years. 40k in 15 years? I used to do that in just over a year. I sold my last four cylinder jap bike with 180k miles on it and I owned it 5 years. I would bet a cup of good coffee that GuzziJohn's mileage is similar, perhaps prorated for a shorter riding season in the midwest.
 

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We used to have bike day at the Iowa Speedway NASCAR track. You give them $20 and sign a waiver and you could hammer your bike around the oval for 10 laps. The V-Rods sucked. However my son's 1200 Buell was another story. Hammer it coming out of turn two and turn four....the torque and handling in the corners made it second to nothing with a V-twin.
 

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There are exceptions but, most Harley riders trade up every 1 to 2 years, and seldom ever pay a bike off.
I have customers that put 60 to 80 thousand miles on a bike in under 3 years, and trade fo new.
I just sold two gents two new Heritages at the same time.
Both high mileage tradeins, both beat up. They and their wives always come in together, about every 2 1/2 years, buy the same bike, in different colors.
But, like safe queen guns, we get garage queen bikes.
 

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I'm not surprised. I don't believe Harleys are about performance. A skilled drag racer can probably do between 5 and 6 second quarter miles with one of the more powerful Harley dressers, but that's not what they're made for. They're not made for handling either. I don't expect a rolls Royce to be particularly speedy or good handling either. One of the key attributes I'd be looking for in a bike like that is good 50 to 80 mph passing acceleration on the highway. For bikes like that, I want to be able to nudge the throttle and pass with authority. I don't know if harleys have that attribute, but it is important on a long distance road bike.

But back to the V-Rod, who was the intended customer? Were they trying to compete with Buell at the time?
 
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