Did You Notice? Harley-Davidson Killed The V-Rod…

Because of the focus on the disparition of all Dyna models. most of you didn’t notice that the V-Rod, the very unique muscle bike co-developed with Porsche, 2001 has also disappeared from the 2018 Harley-Davidson lineup. So, the 2017 V-Rod Muscle and Night Rod Special are the last VRSC.

As a reminder the V-Rod was introduced in model year 2001. On it, everything was non-traditional retro Harley and instead focused in trying to attract those interested in low-end torque and massive horsepower. A kind of Harley for the non-Harley rider.

A strong liquid cooled V-Twin engine developed by Porsche but with a new Revolution design and cylinders placed at a 60-degree angle instead of the classic 45-degree. This engine passed the famous Dusseldorf Endurance Test (500 hours non-stop with no failure) to prove its reliability. On the road all skeptics got convinced by the Porsche/Harley effort..

But the bike didn’t look at all like a Harley with its hydro formed tubular frame, muscle car stance, gas tank under the seat and air box cover designed to look like the gas tank. The drag style performance and sleek style didn’t convince enough Harley and non-Harley riders. So, Harley killed the VSCR. But as the saying goes, “the V-Rod is still the only model a non-Harley rider would ride if he was obliged to ride a Harley…” Many, many will miss it.


48 Responses to “Did You Notice? Harley-Davidson Killed The V-Rod…”

  1. 1 InsideLine Aug 25th, 2017 at 8:14 am

    The V-Rod was a great idea engineered by Porsche albeit lost in translation by the M-C that was never fully developed , evolved and refined to be all it could be : focusing on it being a heavyweight techno-cruiser rather than the performance cruiser it should of been . Add to that they never worked out the bugs pretty much leaving the V-Rod with every initial problem intact . And there there was the SNAFU xenophobic dealer problem unwilling to promote anything new . So R.I.P. to what could of been one of the US’s greatest bike : rather than one of its worst motorcycling tragedies . And condolences to the workers at the KCMO plant as another wave of jobs disappears into the corporate cronyism void .

  2. 2 Dany Hermosa Aug 25th, 2017 at 8:28 am

    I rode one and love everything except the riding position.

  3. 3 Seymour Aug 25th, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Now I want one

  4. 4 Dick Spaulding Aug 25th, 2017 at 9:34 am

    I owned a 2005 VRSCB for 9 years and loved every mile i put on it. I wish I still had it.

  5. 5 Jim F Aug 25th, 2017 at 9:38 am

    From what I remember they at first planned for it to be priced as a bridge bike between the Sportsters and Big Twins but research cost had went so far over budget that they had to raise the price to try and recoup the costs.

    By doing that they priced (16g grand) the riders who would have paid 10-12 grand for the bike, out of the picture.

  6. 6 Fzzzz Aug 25th, 2017 at 9:54 am

    I’ld have gladly bought one except the riding position would have aggravated a already bad back, shoulder and neck. Due to previous MVAs I’m stuck with a very neutral seating position.

    Anyone ever try to stick this engine and tranny in a FLH frame?

  7. 7 KEITH COLE Aug 25th, 2017 at 10:10 am


  8. 8 Marc Frantz Aug 25th, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Good Bye Old Friend!

    Cyril, hope you are well.

  9. 9 BobS Aug 25th, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    I didn’t notice because I (mistakenly apparently) thought they quit making them a year ago. I went to buy one about ten years ago, loved the motor but hated the riding position.

  10. 10 Matt W. Aug 25th, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    IMO the Revolution was a good motor that had more potential than MOCO was able to see in it. I hope the V-Rod isn’t a foreshadow of the LiveWire’s fate.

  11. 11 James just another crazy kiwi Aug 25th, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Should of been developed into a Sports Tourer but the Motor Company was afraid it would take sales from the touring platform. Same reason they never developed the switch back and put wire wheels etc on that bike.
    HD make allot of decisions based on fears of losing sales rather than trying things that the Riders want.
    Yes it is a shrinking market but HD will shrink it all by them selves unless they get a bit smarter.

  12. 12 Dave Blevins Aug 25th, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    I never liked the V-Rod, but that is just me, and in my opinion it just seemed like a wrong bike for the Mo Co… Yamaha had the V-Max a similar style bike for a similar market, etc.
    I always thought, and still do, that the best option for a sport/touring bike for Harley would be 120 horse power bike weighing around 400 pounds with a “modernized” take on the FXR. Not a Buell, not a V-Rod, but a bike that looks HD, a torque beast with proper 6 speed, good brakes, and great handling… something that Indian will get around to if Harley doesn’t. I wish well for Harley, they seem to just not get it.

  13. 13 V-rider Aug 25th, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    I wanted to like the V-rod, and i’ve ridden many over the years, but the riding position was so bad, and the fat rear tire / front geometry just ruined the handling. Why on earth would you have Porsche help produce a hot-rod engine and put it in the worst chassis they’ve ever designed? Major fail. They had many chances to improve the ride, but all they did was mess with the looks. I admit, it has to look good. But there’s more to it than that.

    It’s a really good thing the old rumor of the V-rod engine in a dresser never actually happened. It would have ruined the consumer’s on the idea of a 4-valve head on a big Harley. The M8 is a much better engine for a dresser than the Revolution ever could have been.

  14. 14 Ulrich Aug 25th, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    Seems like for a year or two Harley had a model of the V-Rod that had mid foot pegs and controls. I was really interested in it and test rode one and it was pretty comfortable to ride, but the price and weight was too high for my tastes. Nice bike, though. I might look around to see what used ones are going for.

  15. 15 Lyle Landstrom Aug 26th, 2017 at 7:00 am

    They should stick that engine in a touring bike so you won’t burnout your rear exhaust valve trying to do 85 sustained. What is HD thinking?

  16. 16 rebel Aug 26th, 2017 at 7:20 am

    put that engine in a “grand tour” model with no goofy paint jobs

  17. 17 Tim Aug 26th, 2017 at 7:34 am

    I seriously considered buying this bike. But I wanted a riding position more like the Sportster I had previously. I got a chance to ride it on a test drive and was impressed with it’s power and smooth delivery. I always thought that engine would spread to other models (variations of it).

    If H-D is going to build an engine like that, it deserves to go in its sportiest bike. Look at what Ducati does.

  18. 18 BadMonkeyMW Aug 26th, 2017 at 8:42 am

    I always felt like H-D missed the boat by not putting this engine in a more sporting chassis. The engine itself is very good and even bone stock delivered impressive power. I saw the bike Fred Krugger built several years ago with a V-rod engine, but in a land speed style chassis and it looked so good. The chassis H-D chose just had no handling in the corners whatsoever. It was all straight line speed. Perhaps a model with rearsets and more aggressive chassis set-up could have created fresh interest in the bike.

    Oh well, time marches on with only memories of what could have been.

  19. 19 Blasts Aug 26th, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Shows you how out of touch “huckin farley” really is with the fans of Its brand’s. Every year the dealers go to the big show in Milwaukee for the new model year roll out and share with that non riding poser family what John Q. Public is interested in and it falls on jackass ears. Willy G.is a joke and should have his old wrinkled ass kicked until you can see foot prints in his turds. These were the clowns who were laughing when Indian came back. I wonder who be laughing last?

  20. 20 FlaNativ Aug 26th, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Like others, loved the motor but didn’t like the riding position. Always thought they would put the motor in the cruisers, but of course there was too much logic in that. HD will continue to build what they do as long as they sell to the enthusiasts,not necessarily the riders . Rode Harleys for a long time, but my next bike may be something else.

  21. 21 Jerrman Aug 26th, 2017 at 9:33 am

    V-Rod was the first HD I rode for any length of time. A friend still has the original year model with tons of mileage on it and it’s still going strong (though his main ride now is a Ducati Diavel). This seems to be another case of “what could have been.” I always that the lines of the bike were great and it had some innovative engineering. But, like everything HD seems to try to break out of the been there/done that mold, the faithful looked down their noses at the new model and dealers weren’t enthusiastic about it. Sort of a shame. The V-Rod had a chance to open new roads for HD but, because of the Company’s hesitancy and fear of alienating their core (“that’s not a real Harley”), it’s only proved to be another dead end.

  22. 22 Seymour Aug 26th, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Here’s a funny anecdote – at their 100th anniversary, a bunch of HD execs took the floor at the NYSE and had a big celebration dinner. I told my female co-worker who was with me to memorize and recite the following, to whomever she talked to: “You should put the Vrod engine in a touring bike”. She had no idea what she was saying, but she said it to anyone she could talk to. I guess it didn’t work, but we tried.

  23. 23 Coma Aug 26th, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Test rode one of the mid-footpeg-position models. The riding position was fine, but I had to turn to the gear indicator to find my way through the multi speed gearbox. : )
    With an engine like that who needs six gears?

  24. 24 Vrodrider Aug 26th, 2017 at 9:48 am

    Had an 07 VROD and switched to a Fat Bob but really missed the VROD. I didn’t like the riding position but in my opinion it was the best Harley made

  25. 25 Mike Schmitz Aug 26th, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Well, another corporate bike bites the dust. People told HD what they wanted, but we’re scorned by the oldies but goodies boys, and the HD engineering team. Now the new whatever it is HD 750 blah blah is another half-ass bike that isn’t anything but a cheap pile of parts. This company has no real pride, or vision.

  26. 26 Easygear Aug 26th, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Not sad to me, as it never touched me emotionally.
    HS´s remake of the Yamaha Vmax with less power than the competiton and heavy like a freighttrain.
    I would rather get the Yamaha.

    My Buell has a true HD heart, the VRod wears the HD tank badge.
    And one and half the weight of the Buell.

    To each his own – but anyways, they killed them both.

  27. 27 Tony Davidson Aug 26th, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Buy a Indian Motorcycle

  28. 28 NoH2Oh Aug 26th, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Can’t believe she lasted this long. I am guessing service may become an issue in the future at least at franchise shops. “What do you mean I have to change valve shims???” They use the same as the Buell 1125 bikes. Stock up now.

  29. 29 Archie Aug 27th, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    I have owned a 2002 all silver all standard Vrod for 5 years in the uk, for a couple of years our roads have been run down and any vehicle with less than good suspension give its owner a well good shake up, I own a variety of bikes including brits, fast japs and a 2004 low rider as well as the Vrod. I am shocked to hear people say they don`t handle and have a bad riding position as I have found it great on handling and can ride it further than any other bike I`v ridden and still want to ride more, if I do a ride to the coast on the low rider it leaves you drained and shook up properly , (both harleys have forward controls), maybe its down to my stature at 5.6″ I`m not tall but at 16 stone i`m not light either and its still a pure pleasure to ride. it suits me that`s for sure.
    As yet i have never been left behind by the bunch I ride with and they dont ride or corner slow, it may ground now and then but with reasonable tyres on it still sticks to the road like glue and never feels like its on the limit unlike the 1450 low rider that that weaves scarily on long sweeping bends if going over 90mph, yep I know they were not built to do that but some of you are saying Vrods don`t handle, so what must you think of all other old school harleys if that`s the case. so it may not be as quick as my ZX10`s,have the character of old bikes or other harleys BUT its a damm good all rounder, comfortable and to me great for touring or scratching and I will keep it till I turn me toes up, ride safe ya all and enjoy whatever ya ride its what bikings about .

  30. 30 Sheridan Aug 27th, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    Were a big seller in Australia, I see them everywhere all the time, probably more so than Dynas.

  31. 31 Kev Aug 27th, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Just put 7,000 miles on my 2016 VROD Muscle and it’s been great. HD dropped the ball by killing this bike. Everytime i pull my bike out I become a rolling advertisement for the VROD Muscle and Harley, I always get asked by cagers “What kind of bike is that?” Folks stop me to talk about the VROD cause they never saw it but love it. Harley did a piss poor job of promoting this bike because they were scared they’d offend the “true Harley riders”. Damn shame. Glad I bought my 2016 Black Denim VROD.

  32. 32 joseph varella Aug 28th, 2017 at 12:42 am


  33. 33 Tony C Aug 28th, 2017 at 2:00 am

    It”ll be back and everyone with thier uneducated opinions will be eating the cheese! LMFAO!

  34. 34 Hillbilly Jim Aug 28th, 2017 at 5:26 am

    I always had visions of a bad ass Buell street fighter with a V Rod engine from the MoCo. Guess I am just a foolish old man.

  35. 35 Chris G Aug 28th, 2017 at 5:57 am

    What a shame so much wasted potential

  36. 36 reyn Aug 28th, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Would you like to see what a V-Rod could have been? Head over to the nearest Ducati dealer’s showroom and demo an X-Diavel or Diavel. These are sophisticated V-twins with about 160HP, a slick 6-speed, fantastic brakes and modern suspension. The feet forward X-Diavel comes from the factory with adjustable controls, that move forwards and back in 3 positions. The Diavel is mid to rear controls bike with sportier seating position.

  37. 37 beentheredonethat Aug 28th, 2017 at 8:22 am

    was an ugly thing since day one
    and the guy who thought up putting forward controls with drag bars
    and making the incredibly large radiatior a plus and a main focus should have
    athletes feet the rest of his life

  38. 38 Jim Tom Aug 28th, 2017 at 8:25 am

    riding postion was terrible, folded up like a case knife on that thing.

  39. 39 Randy Aron Aug 28th, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Vrods were/are a great bike.

  40. 40 David Blaska Aug 28th, 2017 at 9:15 am

    V-Rods were, in truth, the best bike H-D ever made. But every dealership stocked only one, maybe two, bikes. Rode it but never owned one. Still, the V-Rod lives today as the Street Rods, albeit in 500cc and 750cc guise.

  41. 41 hark Aug 28th, 2017 at 11:10 am

    I really did not care for it from day one…something about having a radiator.

  42. 42 hacksaw Aug 28th, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    did i notice? no. like another poster above, i thought it died last year! and its not really dead. those 500 and 750’s they now (try to)sell are direct descendants.

  43. 43 pj98rider Aug 28th, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    Still riding my ’04 V-R. Nimble, fast, love the look and have no desire to get rid of it.

  44. 44 Gary Aug 29th, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    I am very disappointed that Harley discontinued the V-Rod. I own a 2013 V-Rod Muscle and I love the bike and it is comfortable to ride and it handles very well on curves and mountain roads. My wife owns a 2014 Night Rod Special and she loves it and said it is comfortable to ride. Every time we are out on those bikes we get a lot of comments on how nice those bikes look. We were in Daytona for Bike Week in March and I took a demo ride on a CVO Pro Street Breakout the one with the Screaming Eagle engine and it did not run as fast or as smooth as my V-Rod and it cost over $7,000 more that a new V-
    Rod you would think for an additional $7,000 it should have run better but it didn’t. Unless Harley comes out with something that runs better and smoother than the V-Rod that will be my last Harley. Harley-Davidson did not do the V-Rod justice since they never promoted that bike and that is their mistake.

  45. 45 Steve Cornwell Aug 29th, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    I love my 08 with the 180 rear tire. I also have a ’16 Street Glide CVO for longer trips with the wife or when I want to haul stuff in the bags.

  46. 46 Jeff gundlach Sep 2nd, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Who cares?

  47. 47 Jack W. Cates Feb 20th, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    I love my v-rod,
    at eighty years, it resells itself to me every time I ride, also love my 09 aw v-rod.. Jack Cates, Calgary, Canada.

  48. 48 Snowman Apr 14th, 2018 at 11:32 am

    I have a 2006 Street Rod. And despite my bad back bad shoulders and destroyed left ankle I love to ride. It. I also have a 81 FXS and an 83 Electra Glide Classic.
    No M8 for me. Ever. Friends who have them have suffered through tons of issues.
    As far as I’m concerned Harley has one foot in the grave unless they get some of the old engineers and managers back. You can’t make good bikes from a boardroom

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Cyril Huze