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.