Harley-Davidson VRSC

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Harley-Davidson VRSC
Harley 5-06.jpg
ManufacturerHarley-Davidson
Also calledV-Rod, Night-Rod, Street-Rod, V-Rod Muscle
Production2001–2017[1]
ClassCruiser
Engine1,131 cc (69.0 cu in) 2001-2007
1,247 cc (76.1 cu in) 2008-present water-cooled 60° V-twin
Bore / stroke4.13 in × 2.835 in (104.9 mm × 72.0 mm)
Compression ratio11.5:1
Top speed137.6–144 mph (221.4–231.7 km/h)[2][3]
Power115–125 hp (86–93 kW)(2001-2012) (claimed)@ 8,250 rpm[4]
103.2 hp (77.0 kW) (rear wheel)[2]
Torque84.0 lbf⋅ft (113.9 N⋅m) (claimed)@ 7,000 rpm
72 lb⋅ft (98 N⋅m) (rear wheel)[2]
Transmission5-speed, belt drive
TiresFront: 120/70ZR-19 60W
Rear: 240/40R-18 79V
Rake, trail34.0°, 5.6 in (140 mm)
Wheelbase67 in (1,700 mm)
DimensionsL: 94.4 in (2,400 mm)
Weight619–677 lb (281–307 kg) (2001-2010)[2] (wet)
Fuel capacity3.2 US gal (12 l; 2.7 imp gal)
Fuel consumptionHighway: 40 mpg‑US (5.9 L/100 km; 48 mpg‑imp)
City: 31 mpg‑US (7.6 L/100 km; 37 mpg‑imp)[5]

The Harley-Davidson VRSC (V-Twin Racing Street Custom), or V-Rod, was a line of V-twin muscle bikes, produced by Harley-Davidson from 2001 until 2017. It is notable as the first Harley-Davidson street motorcycle to feature a modern engine with DOHC and liquid cooling. The VRSC models were absent in Harley-Davidson's 2018 model line announcements.[6]

Overview[edit]

The VRSC was introduced in 2001 in a single model called the V-Rod. The V-Rod was developed to compete against Japanese and American muscle bikes. The "V-Rod" made use of the Revolution engine, developed jointly with Porsche[7] that, for the first time used overhead cams and liquid cooling. Unlike other Harley production motorcycles, a 60-degree V-twin engine, the radiator and the hydroformed frame members support the round-topped air cleaner cover. The fuel tank on the V-Rod is located underneath the seat, placing the rider on top of it, rather than the usual frontal placement. The "tank" in this case is actually the cover for the air box and coolant fill port. Loosely based on the VR-1000 Superbike, Harley-Davidson builds it as a platform for drag-racing competition machines. All VRSC models are produced at Harley-Davidson's Vehicle and Powertrain Operations facility in Kansas City, Missouri.

The V-Rod's engine, called Revolution, while based[8] on the VR-1000 Superbike engine the Revolution was jointly developed and engineered with the German sports car manufacturer Porsche. The VRSC marks Harley's first collaboration with Porsche since the Nova project, which, like the V-Rod, was a radical departure from Harley's traditional lineup until it was cancelled by AMF in 1981 in favor of the Evolution engine.[9] A derivative of the Revolution called the Revolution X was later used on the entry-level Harley-Davidson Street, first released in 2014.

Reception[edit]

Car & Driver declared that the Harley-Davidson phenomenon was "culturally rather than technologically driven; so imagine our surprise at seeing the company's newest ride, the V-Rod, complete with a liquid-cooled DOHC four-valve V-twin developed in partnership with Porsche Engineering." They added, "we think the V-Rod is a serious threat to its own stablemates as well as to cruisers from other manufacturers. It's that good".[10]

Motorcycle Cruiser wrote "The V-Rod was intended to bring in more than the usual suspects, and it did. It became the company's best-selling bike in other countries. In America, V-Rod buyers often came from other brands, attracted by its modern engine, excellent performance and not-the-usual-cruiser style".[5]

Models[edit]

2001 VRSCA V-Rod at Porsche Museum

VRSCA V-Rod[edit]

Model years: 2002–2006. The original V-Rod had a 1,131 cubic centimetres (69.0 cu in) Revolution Engine, producing a claimed 115 horsepower (86 kW) at the crank. The V-Rod had 49 mm forks and a 180 mm rear tire, with solid disc wheels. The VRSCAs were all factory equipped with 3.7 US gallons (14 l; 3.1 imp gal) fuel tanks. In 2006 the VRSCA was equipped with Brembo brakes. The VRSCA was only offered with forward controls. 2003 models were included in the 100th anniversary edition.

VRSCAW V-Rod[edit]

Model years: 2007–2010. The VRSCAW V-Rod is the successor to the VRSCA. First Produced in 2007, it is essentially a VRSCA with a new frame to accommodate the 240 mm rear tire and five gallon gas tank that came standard. The aluminum bodywork of the VRSCA was used in a few early-production VRSCAW models, but was later dropped. With these changes the VRSCAW is a claimed 37 pounds (17 kg) heavier than its predecessor. For the first production year the power-plant remained an unchanged 1,130 cubic centimetres (69 cu in) Revolution engine. The VRSCAW is only offered with forward controls. The combination of increased weight, and a 240 mm rear tire with no power increase made the 2007 VRSCAW the slowest production VRSC produced

In 2008 the VRSCAW V-Rod's Revolution was increased from 1,131 cc to 1,247 cubic centimetres (76.1 cu in), producing a claimed 84 pound force-feet (114 N⋅m) @ 7,000 rpm, and peak power of 123 horsepower (92 kW) at the crankshaft, a slipper clutch was also added, as was an anti-lock braking system option. For the 2009 model year the VRSCAW replaced the VRSCD, which was dropped from the line, as the "base model" for the VRSC family, and the suggested retail price was reduced.

VRSCB V-Rod

VRSCB V-Rod[edit]

Model years: 2004–2005. The VRSCB V-Rod had a two-year run. It was mechanically identical to the VRSCA, with cosmetic differences included a black frame, polished aluminum and black powder-coated engine, and a slightly different clamshell, instrument housing and handlebars. The VRSCB was only offered with forward controls.

VRSCD Night Rod[edit]

Model years: 2006–2008. The Night Rod was introduced in 2006 as the “new hot rod-inspired motorcycle” built around the Revolution engine. The Night Rod has mid controls similar to the 2006 Street Rod. These are the only two V-Rod models with mid controls (Rear sets). Straight-shot mufflers helped the Revolution Engine to produce a claimed 120 horsepower (89 kW) at the crank. The Night Rod had a black frame, black and chrome engine, Brembo brakes, slotted aluminum disk wheels, and a color-matched fairing. In 2008 the VRSCD Night Rod's Revolution was increased from 1,131 to 1,247 cubic centimetres (69.0 to 76.1 cu in), producing a claimed 85 pound force-feet (115 N⋅m) @ 7,000 rpm, and peak power of 125 horsepower (93 kW) at the crank, a slipper clutch was also added, as was an ABS option. For the 2008 model year, the VRSCD was the only remaining VRSC model to still have a 180 mm rear tire or mid-pegs. 2008 was also the final year of production for the VRSCD Night Rod.

VRSCDX Night Rod Special[edit]

Model years: 2007–2017.

VRSCDX Night Rod Special

The VRSCDX is marketed as the factory made custom version of the standard Night Rod and is also part of Harley-Davidson's "Dark Custom" series. In addition to a 240 mm wide rear tire, most of the chrome components of the VRSCD were replaced with black. The wheels were replaced by black slotted disk wheels, with dark orange pin striping. The Straight shot dual exhaust produced a claimed 120 horsepower (89 kW) at the crank. A 5-gallon tank was standard. The DX also include racing stripes. In 2008 the VRSCDX Night Rod Special's Revolution was increased from 1,131 to 1,247 cubic centimetres (69.0 to 76.1 cu in), producing claimed torque of 85 pound force-feet (115 N⋅m) @ 7,000 rpm, and peak power of 125 horsepower (93 kW) at the crank, a slipper-clutch was also added, as was an ABS option. For the 2012 model year, Harley-Davidson launched a tenth anniversary version of the Night Rod Special. This model had a straight-shot exhaust with dual, chrome slash-cut mufflers and chrome exhaust shield; split five-spoke cast aluminum wheels with diamond cut highlights; pullback handlebar with polished finish; inverted front forks in silver and polished finishes; stylized, chrome speed screen visor; graphics, including V-Rod 10th anniversary emblem; and chrome powertrain with platinum crankcase and heads.

VRSCF V-Rod Muscle[edit]

VRSCF V-Rod Muscle

Model years: 2009–2017. The V-Rod Muscle was introduced in the summer of 2008 at the Harley-Davidson dealer show in Las Vegas for the 2009 production model year. In promoting the Muscle, American fashion model Marisa Miller was hired for an advertising campaign aimed at younger, urban riders.[7] It would be one of only three VRSC models for 2009. Like the other two models, the Muscle used the 1,247 cubic centimetres (76.1 cu in) Revolution Engine, a 240 mm wide rear tire, 5 US gallons (19 l; 4.2 imp gal) fuel tank, slipper clutch and forward controls. Unlike the other models in the VRSC lineup, the Muscle had straight shot dual exhausts, with a crossover, one on each side of the bike, unlike the 2>1>2 exhaust found on all other VRSC models. Additionally, the Muscle used an air-box with mock-up air-rams like those found on many American pony and muscle cars. In the production version of the bike the air-rams are cosmetic. The VRSCF also had a chopped rear fender with integrated turn signals, and a side-mounted license plate. Turn signals were integrated into the rear view mirrors for the first time as a stock feature on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The VRSCF provided at the crank a claimed 86 pound force-feet (117 N⋅m) of torque at 6,500 rpm, which was slightly more torque than the other VRSC models, at a slightly lower engine speeds.

Claimed peak crank horsepower was slightly lower than the Night Rod Special, at 122 horsepower (91 kW) at 500 rpm lower engine speed.

VRSCSE Screamin' Eagle CVO V-Rod[edit]

Model years: 2005. In 2005 Harley-Davidson's Custom Vehicle Operations produced their first V-Rod. The dimensions were identical to the VRSCA at the time, but the VRSCSE had extra chrome, custom paint, and not the typical "clamshell" found on other VRSC models. The VRSCSE had a 1,247 cc Revolution Engine, with CNC ported heads.

VRSCSE2 Screamin' Eagle CVO V-Rod[edit]

Model years: 2006. The VRSCSE2 was the first V-Rod or VRSC model with a 240 mm rear tire. It also used the Screamin' Eagle 1,247 cc Revolution Engine.

VRSCR Street Rod[edit]

VRSCR Street Rod

Model years: 2006–2007. The Street Rod was marketed as the “roadster-inspired” member of the VRSC line. The Street Rod was the first VRSC to use inverted forks made by Showa Corporation, with a steep rake and also was the first to use Brembo brakes.[5] It had the highest seat height at 30 inches (76 cm) of any VRSC model, and claimed the greatest lean angle at 40°, over the 32° lean of the other VRSC models. The Street Rod came equipped solely with mid-mounted controls. The Street Rod was the first with a 5-gallon tank in the 2006 year model, that would become standard for the line in 2007.Of the various versions of the V-Rod, the VRSCR Street Rod roadster was aimed primarily at the European market[3] and was best able to handle the engine's 120 bhp output. MCN wrote: "The Harley-Davidson Street Rod has sharper steering, four-piston brakes made for Harley by Brembo, new upswept exhausts for extra ground clearance, and a revised riding position makes this a Harley like no other – one that attacks corners with glee".

VRSCX V-Rod[edit]

Model years: 2007. Harley-Davidson put out the VRSCX as a Screamin' Eagle Tribute bike during the Harley V-Rod's second consecutive NHRA Championship. The VRSCX had the same dimensions as the 2007 VRSCAW, featuring the 240 mm rear tire, 5 gallon gas tank, and forward controls. However, the VRSCX also had paintwork similar to the pro stock V-Rod, a smoked drag-visor windshield, as well as the 1,247 cc Screamin' Eagle Revolution Engine. 1400 were built.

VRXSE V-Rod "Destroyer"[edit]

VRXSE V-Rod "Destroyer"

In 2006 Harley-Davidson Introduced a non-street legal eight-second drag bike nicknamed "the Destroyer". It came with the same engines as others in its family, with the exception of a long stroke flywheel, larger valves, dyno tuned velocity stacks, large bore high compression forged pistons, high lift cams, multi stage lock-up clutch, programmable shift light, pneumatic shifter, larger throttle bodies, and more race equipment. A total of 646 vehicles were produced with 625 released to dealer showrooms. The Destroyer was inspiration for a four-time world champion in NHRA Pro Stock motorcycle drag racing the Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines V-Rod. This Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines V-Rod ran 6.815 seconds and went nearly 200 mph in the quarter-mile.[4]

The Revolution engine[edit]

VR-1000 racing superbike

The Revolution engine is based on the VR-1000 Superbike race program, developed by Harley-Davidson's Powertrain Engineering team. It is a liquid-cooled, dual-overhead-cam, internally counterbalanced 60 degree V-twin engine with a displacement of 1,131 cc (69.0 cu in), producing 115 horsepower (86 kW) at 8,250 rpm at the crank, with a redline of 9,000 rpm.[11] [12] It was introduced for the new V-Rod line in 2001 for the 2002 model year, starting with the single VRSCA (V-Twin Racing Street Custom) model. [13] [14]

A 1,247 cc Screamin' Eagle version of the Revolution engine was made available for 2005, and was present thereafter in a single production model from 2005 to 2007. In 2008, the 1,247 cc Revolution Engine became standard for the entire VRSC line. Harley-Davidson claims 123 horsepower (92 kW) at the crank for the 2008 VRSCAW model. The VRXSE Destroyer is equipped with a stroker (75 mm crank) Screamin’ Eagle 1,300 cc (79 cu in) Revolution Engine, producing over 165 horsepower (123 kW).

The V-Rod engine was used in the Campagna V13R, and Campagna T-Rex from around 2008 to 2013.[15] There is an agreement to sell the engines to the company for use in the motorized trike. Then in 2013 the company changed the engine in the T-Rex to BMW's K1600 but still uses the V-Rod engine in the V13R.[15]

Düsseldorf Test[edit]

An endurance test of the Revolution Engine was performed on a dynamometer at the Weissach Development Center (Weissach, Germany), which is part of Porsche's Engineering Group. Uncounted test engines were destroyed in testing before an engine successfully reached 500 hours non-stop run time. That was the benchmark for the engineers to approve production of the Revolution Engine. The test was reported in a documentary on the Discovery channel - Harley-Davidson: Birth of the V-Rod, October 14, 2001.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Smith, Jerry (May–June 2017), "SMART MONEY MUSCLE BIKES", Motorcyclist, pp. 106–107
  2. ^ a b c d "Performance Index Winter '12/'13 Edition" (PDF), Motorcycle Consumer News, Bowtie Magazines, January 2013, retrieved November 30, 2016
  3. ^ a b "HARLEY-DAVIDSON STREET ROD (2005-2012) Review". Motor Cycle News. November 24, 2006. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Lieback, Ron (July 7, 2012). "Harley V-Rod Turns 10 - Overview". Ultimate Motorcycling. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c "Road Test: 2006 Harley-Davidson VRSCR Street Rod Motorcycle". Motorcycle Cruiser. February 24, 2009. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  6. ^ Ranjan R. Bhat (August 31, 2017), No new Harley-Davidson V-Rod for 2018, MSN Autos
  7. ^ a b "Press Release: Harley-Davidson Launches New V-Rod Muscle Ad Campaign with Marisa Miller". 2008-10-08. Retrieved 2012-01-20.
  8. ^ "Harley-Davidson V-Rod". Porsche. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  9. ^ Moy, Jim (15 July 2011). "Harley-Davidson's Roads Not Taken". Motorcyclist. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  10. ^ WINFIELD, BARRY (March 2002). "Harley-Davidson VRSCA V-Rod". Car & Driver. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  11. ^ "First Ride: 2002 Harley-Davidson VRSCA V-Rod". motorcycle.com. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
  12. ^ "Harley-davidson v-rod - jeckyl or hyde!". Motorbikes Today. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
  13. ^ "Harley-Davidson Company History Timeline 2000". Harley-Davidson Motor Company Website. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
  14. ^ "Motor Company History". North Texas Harley Owners Group. Archived from the original on 2008-02-27. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
  15. ^ a b Chung, Dennis (June 7, 2016). "Campagna T-Rex 16S and V13R First Impressions". Motorcycle.com. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  16. ^ "Harley-Davidson Birth of the V Rod". Canadian Gears. February 5, 2015. Retrieved September 23, 2016.

External links[edit]