Church Of MO: 2006 H-D VRSCR Street Rod (And Other Harley-Davidsons)
The state of Harley-Davidson in 2006.
Little did we know in 2006 how the motorcycle industry would come crashing down just a short time later with the global recession. But while the whole world was riding a financial high, it makes for an interesting time to take a look back at the state of Harley-Davidson. Or, at least the models in its lineup at the time. We're taking a particular interest in this story because of our recent Friday Forum Foraging post featuring a nicely-tuned VRSC-F. The V-Rod engine was a big departure for The Motor Company, and is a source of constant "what if" questions about what could have been.
Instead of wondering what if, let's see what Harley actually did – 17 years ago.
by Sean Alexander
April 1st, 2012 6:00 AM
If MO had a nickel for every time a reader suggested that Harley shoehorn a V-Rod motor into a Buell chassis, well... we'd have a bunch of nickels. As is often pointed-out in response to those reader comments; The Harley-Davidson "Revolution" engine is a bit too long and heavy for the current Buell chassis. However, that doesn't mean it couldn't be used for a sporting streetbike or sport tourer. Apparently, Harley feels the same way, as they have just introduced the VRSCR Street Rod. The Street Rod is based on the V-Rod platform, with modifications that move the rider's hands and feet into a useful position for controlling a motorcycle (unlike the ass-low, feet-foreward position favored by the V-Rod and other "cruisers".)
Its riding position isn't the only "new" feature of the Street Rod. Harley claims a slight power increase over the V-Rod, thanks to intake and exhaust revisions. That stronger engine draws from a new 5Gal. Gas tank that's 1.3Gal larger than the 110-mile unit found in the V-Rod. Furthermore, the new two-up saddle should work in conjunction with the new riding position to offer enhanced long distance comfort.
No doubt, that new riding position will go a long way towards improving the bike's backroad performance. Of course a riding position is useless, without the chassis to back it up, so the VRSCR also includes 43mm upside-down forks that are pulled-in 4° steeper than the V-Rod's forks. The steeper forks are matched by a set of longer shocks in the rear, producing a taller ride height and significantly better ground clearance. According to Harley, the VRSCR can now be leaned 40°, which isn't bad for a "custom" style bike. However, we'd like to see a 45°+ lean angle and a < 28° rake from any bike with a genuine "sporting" pretense. One item that we probably wouldn't want changed, are the new front brakes. Now sporting a set of 300mm floating rotors clamped by 4-piston Brembo calipers, the VRSCR is likely to offer the best brakes of any product ever to wear the Harley-Davidson badge.
Harley is offering the new Street Rod for $16,495. That certainly isn't "cheap", but this manufacturer seems to get away with pricing like that, so I assume it won't be much of a barrier for potential buyers. The VRSC is a damned fine engine, and if the engineers did their homework correctly, this should be a fun bike to hustle around on. We'll be sure to give you the full-scoop on Feb 11th, after we ride the new Street Rod. For the time being, we're encouraged by the direction that Harley is taking with the VRSCR and hope it's a sign of things to come....
MILWAUKEE, Wis. January 24, 2005 ~ In the court of public opinion, the all-new 2006 VRSCR Street Rod might appear guilty of using steroids. But the newest member of the liquid-cooled family of Harley-Davidson motorcycles gets its reputation honestly by combining an upright riding position, 40-degree lean angle and a retuned suspension to deliver a Harley-Davidson that marries custom looks with agile performance.
"Harley-Davidson's racing genes flow throughout the new Street Rod," said Bill Davidson, Harley-Davidson director of marketing, motorcycle product development. "The spirit of our strong racing heritage and the recent success of our NHRA Pro Stock Championship season is evident in the feel and performance of this premium, hot rod roadster."
Carrying on the VRSC family tradition, the Street Rod wields the explosive power of the liquid-cooled, 1130cc Revolution V-Twin engine. In addition, the engine is cradled in a hydroformed, tubular perimeter frame topped with stylized bodywork. A clipped rear fender and 180mm-wide rear tire carry the family looks as well. However, the fuel-injected, 60-degree V-Twin has been pumped up with a pair of chrome straight-shot dual exhaust pipes that help boost horsepower to 120 hp at 8,250 rpm while maintaining its 9,000-rpm redline.
The Street Rod's distinct styling and upright riding position are the result of a new suspension combination, highlighted by massive 43mm inverted forks. Aero-cut polished, forged aluminum triple clamps are equally robust and deliver a steeper rake/fork angle (30/32 degrees) for more aggressive handling in the corners. The change in rake and fork angle shortens the bike's wheelbase by 0.7 inches (to 66.8 inches). When matched with performance suspension calibration on the rear shocks, the set up delivers a sporty, performance-oriented ride.
Complementing the suspension changes is a generous 40-degree lean angle and Brembo four-piston caliper brakes with 300mm dual front rotors. The Street Rod's handlebar and risers are shorter and less swept back. Combined with mid-mounted foot controls and a higher 30-in. seat height, this places the rider forward and into an aggressive position for attacking corners. Fuel capacity of the Street Rod is five gallons.
Adding to the Street Rod's muscular looks are standard 10-spoke Staggered Cast Aluminum wheels, while radial, ZR-rated Dunlop tires deliver the performance message to the pavement with authority.
The VRSCR Street Rod is available in five stunning color options, including Vivid Black with a black frame, or Black Cherry, Rich Sunglo Blue, Mirage Orange and Yellow Pearl all with a silver-leaf frame. Highlighting each paint option is the silver and black engine with polished covers, plus selected, blacked-out components.
The Harley-Davidson VRSCR Street Rod is a 2006 model available now at Harley-Davidson dealerships.
In addition to the 2006 VRSCR Street Rod, Harley announced two more "new" motorcycles; the 2005 15th Anniversary FLSTFI Fat Boy, and the 2005 Sportster XL883R.
2005 15th Anniversary Edition FLSTFI Fat Boy:
For 15 years, the Fat Boy has ruled the heavyweight cruiser class by blending classic hardtail styling with a heart-pounding counter-balanced V-Twin engine. The 15th Anniversary Edition Fat Boy commemorates the model's journey with an extra helping of chrome, performance and style.
Its signature solid disc wheels have been chromed, making a visual statement that's as powerful as it is custom. The two color options-Vivid Black and Brilliant Silver, a nod to the original color introduced in 1990-are complemented by a matched paint scheme on its counter-balanced V-Twin motor. A 24K gold-plated tank emblem and unique Badlander-inspired, double-stitched seam seat, gold striped air cleaner cover, timer cover and ignition switch plate are unique custom treatments.
Driving that point home is a big bore, fuel-injected 1,550cc Twin Cam 95 engine producing 87.1-ft.-lbs. of torque at 4,000 rpm. It's counterbalanced and solid-mounted to deliver the Softail's tightly-framed, timeless style and strong roll-on power with just the right amount of feedback to the rider. The 15th Anniversary Fat Boy will be available until June 2005, while supplies last.
2005 Sportster XL883R:
The Sportster XL883R pays tribute to the famed Harley-Davidson XR dirt track racers with eye-catching, race-inspired styling elements. Most noticeable are the blacked-out Evolution powertrain and race-ready 883R graphics on the classic, orange 3.3-gallon fuel tank.
A staggered shorty dual exhaust system and dual front disc brakes reflect the 883R's competitive DNA. Blacked-out components like fork sliders, headlamp eyebrow, handlebars, air cleaner cover and rear shock springs enhance its distinctive style and make it a fun bike to ride.
Like all 2005 model year Sportsters, the 883R offers uncompromised comfort and handling thanks to its redesigned-in-2004 Evolution engine that's rubber-mounted to a stronger, more rigid frame.