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Harley’s V-Rod Starts A Revolution

Harley-Davidson Water Cooled Revolution

The introduction of the V-Rod marks the end of another chapter of Harley-Davidson history, yet heralds in a new era of technology pushing the company forward. It’s at this point that we end our coverage of the historical timeline of the Harley-Davidson Motor Co. ….for now. Twelve years after the unveiling of the V-Rod, it’s stylist and company stalwart Willie G. Davidson retired in 2012. Perhaps more coverage will be in order as the company changes without the grandson of a founding member who also helped resurrect the company from near bankruptcy with a buyout in 1981 that saved the company from liquidation.

VRSCVRod

Resembling a cross between a Fatboy and standard Japanese sport bike fare, The new Harley-Davidson is sure to raise some eyebrows and leave some wondering “just exactly what was the motorcycle company thinking?”. A visibly emotional Willie G Davidson proudly introduced the bike at it’s unveiling on July 13th. In some circles the new engine has been dubbed the “showerhead” as it takes H-D in a new direction, a water cooled direction! With an entry price of approximately $17,000 the bike is targeted towards younger buyers more inclined to buy a sleek sport bike than a piece of rolling history. Boasting 115hp, twin downdraft throttlebodies, this was one tire smokin’ Harley!

July 13, 2001

Milwaukee, WI. Harley combines the power of American muscle with their racing heritage and distinctive style to launch the first member, of their new family of performance custom motorcycles, the V-Rod.

“We understand the jewel-like styling which is enduring to our air-twins, and so do our customers,” said Vice President of Styling, Willie G. Davidson. “The V-Rod is an extension of our air-cooled V-twin heritage.”

This blend of qualities aims appeal to both traditional Harley owners, and enthusiasts new to the Harley-Davidson as well.  The anodized aluminum V-Rod’s Revolution engine combines a host of technical traits including liquid-cooling, 60° geometry and dual overhead cams with a “jewel-like styling.”

Inspired by the VR 1000 Superbike race program and developed by Harley-Davidson’s Powertrain Engineering team, the Revolution has a one-piece forged crankshaft with side-by-side rods featuring automotive-style full pressure bearing journals. Displacing 1130cc, the Revolution delivers 115hp at 8,250 rpm.

hd_vrod-engine

“The V-Rod is the first member of a new family of Harley-Davidson motorcycles,” said Vice President of Engineering, Earl Werner. “This all-American custom was inspired by Harley-Davidson’s drag racing heritage and the VR 1000 Superbike race engine. It’s really a stunning styling and engineering accomplishment.”

 

hd_vrod-cutaway

Dual overhead cams driven by hydraulically tensioned chains deliver accurate valve train performance and drive the high flow four-valve heads. From the electronic sequential port fuel injection, the fuel charge and air travel through a new downdraft air intake system, and high-energy plug top ignition coils initiate combustion.

The Revolution engine is Harley’s first widely acceptable street use of liquid-cooling. The system delivers temperature control without sacrificing styling, as is evident by a form-friendly, functional polymer shroud and unique water pump placement. The system is assisted by twin cooling fans.

A combination of rubber mounting and an internal counter balancer isolates the Revolution from the frame and delivers power to an all-new transmission. The five-speed transmission utilizes a combination of spur and helical gears to deliver smooth, short-throw shifting, minimal noise and durability. A wet sump oil pump means there is no external tank and a new, rare earth magnetic charging system delivers more power in a compact size. A 2-1-2 exhaust system features large volume capacity for optimized performance, while still meeting noise requirements, and delivering its own distinct sound.

Harley-Davidson’s first perimeter frame design delivers a new level of chassis rigidity and styling. The bends of the silver-dipped frame are achieved through a hydroform process and are accentuated by bolt-on lower frame rails. Tucked inside the new frame, an under-seat fuel tank allows the V-Rod a more custom look, and keeps mass centralized for improved handling. The new frame supports a stretched 67.5 inch wheelbase and has 34° rake and 38° fork angle. This off-set angle helps achieve a long and low custom look, while delivering a balance of high and low-speed stability.

 

hd_vrod-frontThe V-Rod’s unique anodized aluminum body panels weigh 50% less than steel. The side panels, front and rear fenders, chain guard and upper cowling are colored in a silver hue, complimenting the powder coat platinum finish found elsewhere.

Even the new dual bulb reflector optic headlamp is aerodynamically styled. The new-styled integrated instrumentation clamshell features speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge and warning lights. The instrumentation system also incorporates a start-up self-diagnostic check, multiple trip meters and a fuel range indicator.

The 49mm front forks are paired with a new one-piece, polished cast aluminum swingarm. Braided brake lines are coupled to unique floating dual front rotors and single rotor rear, with four piston calipers applied to each.

Other V-Rod firsts include a new hydraulic actuated clutch and an Automatic Compression Release (ACR) that makes cold starts easier.

 

DIMENSIONS U.S. METRIC
LENGTH 93.6
inches
2375.6
mm
SEAT
HEIGHT (1)
26.0
inches
659.9
mm
GROUND
CLEARANCE
5.6
inches
142.1
mm
LEAN
ANGLES PER SAE J1168 (LEFT/RIGHT)
32.0°
/ 32.0°
RAKE/TRAIL 34.0°
/ 3.9 inches
34.0°
/ 99.0 mm
WHEELBASE 67.5
inches
1713.2
mm
DRY
WEIGHT
595.7
lbs.
270.4
kg

 

 

POWERTRAIN U.S. METRIC
ENGINE
(4)
Revolution™
BORE
X STROKE
3.94
in. x 2.84 in.
100.00
mm x 72.00 mm
DISPLACEMENT 69.0
cubic inches
1130
cubic centimeters
COMPRESSION
RATIO
11.3:1
FUEL
SYSTEM
Electronic
Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
OIL
CAPACITY
4.5
quarts
4.3
liters
FUEL
CAPACITY
3.7
gallons
14.0
liters
FUEL
CAPACITY RESERVE
N/A N/A
MILES
PER GALLON (2)
47
hwy / 37 city
N/A
LITERS
PER 100 KM (2)
N/A 5.0
hwy / 6.1 city
EXHAUST
SYSTEM
2-into-1-into-2

 

DRIVETRAIN U.S. METRIC
PRIMARY
DRIVE
High
contact ratio spur gear
GEAR
RATIOS (OVERALL)
1st:
11.749   2nd: 7.897   3rd:
6.321   4th 5.456   5th:
4.889
TORQUE 74.0
ft. lbs. @ 7000 rpm
100.3
NM @ 7000 rpm

 

BRAKES
/ WHEELS / TIRES
U.S. METRIC
BRAKES,
DIA. X W.
FRONTREAR
11.5 inches x .20 inches11.5 inches x .23 inches 292.1 mm x 5.08 mm292.1 mm x 5.84 mm
WHEELSFRONTREAR 19-inch disc18-inch disc 48.26 cm disc45.72 cm disc
TIRE
SIZE
FRONTREAR
120/70ZR-19180/55ZR-18

 

INSTRUMENTS
Electronic
speedometer with odometer and resettable trip meter with diagnostic
capabilities; tachometer; fuel gauge; low fuel light; oil
pressure indicator light; engine diagnostic light; security
system light (optional); cooling temperature light

 

COLOR OPTIONS
Anodized
Aluminum (3)

 

PRICING
MANUFACTURER’S
SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE
US
$16,995.00
CALIFORNIA
EMISSIONS
ESPFI
US $100.00
FREIGHT US
$205.00
SECURITY
SYSTEM
US
$275.00

• All models feature 5-speed transmission and Gates aramid fiber reinforced Poly Chain® belt final drive; 40mm constant velocity carburetor with enrichner and accelerator pump (except Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection models); multi-plate clutch with diaphragm spring in oil bath; and twelve-month, unlimited mileage warranty.

(1) Measurement reflects 180 pound operator weight.

(2) Based on tests conducted under ideal lab conditions per U.S. E.P.A. test procedures. Your mileage will vary depending on your personal riding habits, weather conditions, trip length, vehicle condition and vehicle configuration. Break-in mileage will vary.

(3) Availability of colors may vary from dealer to dealer, and is subject to change without notice.

(4) Recommended 91 octane or higher fuel (R+M)/2.

 

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