Niall's Spin - Harley-Davidson VRSCA V-Rod

The boldest move for Harley-Davidson in recent history was the VRSCA V-Rod, Niall Mackenzie takes it for a Spin

Click to read: Harley-Davidson VRSCA V-Rod owners reviews, Harley-Davidson VRSCA V-Rod specs and to see the Harley-Davidson VRSCA V-Rod image gallery.

Sportsters and Fat Boys were the only Harley-Davidsons I had ridden until I had the pleasure of this very different, very gleaming V-Rod

I know a few die-hard Harley owners who can't bring themselves to compliment the V-Rod. They don't like the fact that a car manufacturer was involved in engine development and they struggle with the whole package being too refined. But these are two reasons I would buy this bike. Porsche know their stuff with engines and, whatever their input, have done a brilliant job on this 1300cc, 115bhp V twin. There's no lumpy power delivery, just a smooth throttle response complemented by sweet gear changes - quite different from any other Harley.

I even had a day at Donington with this bike, which turned out to be fun. Its high-speed stability through Craner Curves was impressive but unsurprisingly ground clearance wasn't. The brakes worked well on the road, but care was needed not to lock the skinny front tyre and on track it was more of a
challenge. But ultimately, the V-Rod isn't built for going around race tracks. Its sole purpose is to cruise up and down the Kings Roads garnering admiring glances from passers-by.

The riding position and rider comfort is perfect for cruising, and my wife's friend Jo enjoyed a lengthy pillion ride without any major discomfort. If you're into posing then this is the one for you. Striking looks and acres of chrome turn heads constantly, just remember to top up on your cleaning products and dusters.

Styling and colour options mean everything to Harley-Davidson buyers, and the V-Rod comes in a range of solid colour, anodised and two-tone options

Harley-Davidson VRSCA V-Rod Specifications

Engine 1130cc, air-cooled v-twin
Top speed 130mph
74ft/lbs @ 7,000rpm
Bore x stroke 100.1 x 72.1mm
Compression ratio 11.3:1
Dry weight 272.2kg
Seat height 648mm
Fuel capacity 14 litres (45mpg)
Colours options Vivid black, brilliant silver, black cherry, deep cobalt, glacier white pearl, rich sunglo blue, brandy wine sunglo, two-tone rich sunglo blue and chopper blue, two-tone black cherry and black pearl, two-tone fire red pearl and vivid black, two-tone deep