It's been 10 years since Harley-Davidson decided to stick a pinkie toe into new product development with the V-Rod. The crew from Bridge to Gantry decided to celebrate the liquid-cooled V-Twin's birthday by taking it out for a little fun around the Nürburgring.

If it seems odd to pair the V-Rod with one of the world's most challenging road courses, it is. Technically, Porsche lent a hand in developing the 60 degree, 130-horsepower engine at the heart of the modern cruiser, but punishing the carousel probably wasn't high on HD's list of development goals. We imagine it ranked in the same neighborhood as taking the gold in the Paris-Dakar.

Even so, the bike has plenty of power on hand just waiting to throw machine and rider down the course's longer straights, but as Bridge to Gantry points out, it just isn't at home kissing apexes. That's not to say the 2012 V-Rod isn't an improvement over its predecessors. With new Michelin tires, Bridge to Gantry says the bike can now take better advantage of its suspension for some relatively reasonable handling.

So, now that we know that a V-Rod isn't the most desirable weapon with which to tackle the 'Ring, what is? You could certainly do worse than starting with a modern liter-bike, like the lightly modified 2005 Yamaha R1 used by Andy Carlilse recently to set a new two-wheel lap record of seven minutes and 10 seconds.

Scroll down below to watch both machines blaze their own distinct trails down the snaking Nürburgring.




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  • 21 Comments
      irocker350
      • 2 Years Ago
      rented a V-Rod in Orlando, Fl. Brand new only had 400 miles on the clock Worst handling bike I've ever ridden. Very cool looking and not bad at all in city riding but get it up to highway speeds and the thing is a freaking nightmare, very unstable, kinda weird that most of the V-Rod "fans" I've ran into were Brits.
      jeffsgonefishing
      • 2 Years Ago
      Get a better microphone. Loose the "Limey" he can't even speak normal English. Screw the "ring". Do the story here in the USA. MADE IN AMERICA only.
      Michael Baber
      • 2 Years Ago
      Actually Porsche did not design the engine. Harley Davidson had the engine in 1000cc size from the VR1000 race bike of the 90s and brought it to Porsche to to have them make it a street engine instead of a 500 mile between rebuilds race engine. Porsche did an outstanding job with it. They're unbreakable. It's a very nice bike. Not the greatest at anything, but very good at everything.
      Georg
      • 2 Years Ago
      I thought bike record runs at the Ring are forbidden since 1994(several bikers killed at the Ring). The last officle bike Ring record is in the hands of Helmut Dähne and this is a forever record of 7:49.71min because no more record runs are allowed..and it was a complete lap... The run of the Yamaha R1 was a BtG lap missing 1700m (1.7km or slightly more than one mile of the track) means no record ... you never get a record on incomplete laps
      Timothy Tibbetts
      • 2 Years Ago
      Simply Google instead of arguing readily available information. Also the making of the V-Rod is on Discovery all the time. "The "V-Rod" made use of the Revolution engine, developed jointly with Porsche that, for the first time in Harley public production history, features overhead cams, and liquid cooling. "
        rtkewley
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Timothy Tibbetts
        I've seen the Discovery piece, and far be it from me to argue with Wikipedia. However... I'll agree that Porsche's official position is that the V-Rod motor was a collaboration with H-D, and that the motor was based on the VR1000. However, since it can be argued that the VR1000 also wasn't designed by H-D (see my comments to Mr. Baber below), and Porsche goes to some lengths to detail the the various technical solutions chosen for the V-Rod: http://www.porscheengineering.com/filestore.aspx/default.pdf?pool=peg&type=download&id=press-magazine-2003-01-pdf&lang=en&filetype=default and that those solutions have much more in common with recent Porsche engineering practice (specifically, the 986/996 motor family) than anything in the H-D lineup, there is very little evidence to suggest that H-D had much if any involvement in the detail design and engineering of the V-Rod motor.
          Rayvan
          • 2 Years Ago
          @rtkewley
          To keep from looking like such a tool, you should do more research before you post your bigoted conclusions. "All H-D did was write a check" LOL!
      IOMTT
      • 2 Years Ago
      So this is where guys not up to the Isle of Man get their jollies. As awesome as the Ring is, it is a pocket bike track compared to the Isle of Man. I loved the "may take years to learn" bit on the video. If that is true, no one ever learns the Island. If you doubt me, go look up some fresh 2012 on bike TT footage and compare it to this. By the way, 7:10 seems a bit faster than I would expect and the HD Revolution engine is sweet. I was able to spend an hour on one and it felt great. Definitely far better than the chassis.
        IOMTT
        • 2 Years Ago
        @IOMTT
        No, I did not think the VRod did the 7:10.
      Redline
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hahaha, a Harley on the Ring! Like an elephant on an ice rink.
      viperbono
      • 2 Years Ago
      Might not be the best bike for speed in the world but I would take one in a second! Love the VRods!
      janka51
      • 2 Years Ago
      death rides on two wheels
      Drakkon
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would like to see a side-by-side video of a 7:10 bike and a 7:10 car. I'd love to see corners versus straights.
      Drakkon
      • 2 Years Ago
      What's with the herky-jerky speedo on the Harley?
      Stevie Diffy
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hate to bother all of you cycle enthusiast but...what is that cute little yellow car behind the bike?
        mikesells4u
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Stevie Diffy
        Porche
        SloopJohnB
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Stevie Diffy
        Doesn't matter. Irrelevant and Immaterial. You. Can't. Have. It. in North America.
        bandicoot5
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Stevie Diffy
        It IS cute. I'd go with what Marlowemar said. It seems to have the Renault diamond-looking logo on the hood.
        marlowemar
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Stevie Diffy
        That is a Renault Clio
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