HARLEY-DAVIDSON NIGHT ROD (2006-on) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"For those who like their bikes hot-rod style and black"

Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Riding

"For those who like their bikes hot-rod style and black"

  • At a glance
  • 1130cc  -  115 bhp
  • 37 mpg  -  137 miles range
  • Low seat height (660mm)
  • £13,745

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

The Harley-Davidson Night Rod is the third derivative of the controversial (but undeniably modern) Harley-Davidson VRSC V-Rod family is for those who like their bikes hot-rod style – and black. In practical terms it’s halfway between the laid back Harley-Davidson V-Rod and semi-sporty roadster Harley-Davidson Street Rod. And that’s no bad thing: a modern Harley with style and ability.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

The Harley-Davidson Night Rod is arguably the best compromise of laid back comfort/style and tarmac carving effectiveness, of any Harley yet. Semi-laid back riding position and highway pegs (there are rear-sets, too) deliver cruising comfort, decent, adjustable suspension and brakes go some way to overcome the motorcycle’s bulk and deliver fun.

Engine 3 out of 5

Jury’s still out on Porsche-designed, liquid-cooled Revolution’ V-twin in the Harley-Davidson Night Rod. Harley purists hate it for not being an antique, non-partisans are usually impressed with its potency and flexibility. Heavy, though…

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

Like before with earlier V-Rod’s, the Harley-Davidson Night Rod is a modern Harley so you can’t really go wrong. Build quality includes the thickest paint and chrome in motorcycling, engineering is by Porsche but on the conservative side. The Harley-Davidson Night Rod is definitely reliable.

Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5

The Harley-Davidson Night Rod's whopping great initial purchase price shock is counteracted by incomparable residuals, healthy reliability and priceless (well, it is to some) ‘lifestyle’ buying a Harley brings. Whether all that’s worth it, is up to you. Find a Harley-Davidson Night Rod for sale.

 

Insurance group: 17 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The Harley-Davidson Night Rod has most of the bits you want in most of the places required (and some spare ones, too – namely the two sets of footpegs) as long as you like ’em black. Nose fairing, plush seat and half-decent instrumentation allude to distance ability (although this is no tourer), but brakes and suspension components are good on the Harley-Davidson Night Rod.

Owners' Reviews

2 owners have reviewed their HARLEY-DAVIDSON NIGHT ROD (2006-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.5 out of 5
Engine 4.5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

2007 Nightrod

20 November 2007 by Benw3

I have recently bought myself a 2007 Nightrod. Not because I wanted to partake in the Harley lifestyle, but simply because when I saw the bike I had to own it. It was not a rational or wise decision; it was decision based on pure lust. It had 106... Read more miles on it the day I picked it up and I did 350 miles on it straight off. It is utterly addictive. The surge of power you get when you wind the throttle open is incredible and just keeps me grinning non stop. I rode her through the wind and rain on sunday night for 3 hours until I couldn't feel my sodden feet or fingers anymore. This is what biking is all about. This machine is pure, unadulterated, raw biking pleasure. Try saying that of a Japanese plastic Fireblade.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

2007 VRSCD Night Rod

18 August 2007 by sam4aac

Lets start with what I was expecting: a laid back, encourage me to take it slower, licence and life saving bike that will still respond to my needs when the devils horns come out. It has met those expectations. Added bonuses are a fairly sensible... Read more bunch of HOG members that are very accepting of the new line. The handling is good now that I have uprated the front springs (easy and cheap) to stop bottoming out in braking and chatter in corners; and the rear suspension changed for WPs. The original seat is plush but the wrong shape for anything but Sunday mornings, the Sundowner has less padding and supports the lower back making it a 500 miler. Overall quality is good but you do have to keep an eye out for the odd area, usually bolt heads, that can rust as you look at them. Minor problems over the last 6000 miles only, fixed with a smile and excellent service that you expect from Harley. On the Value aspect I am still not certain. It compares with the suzuki, honda, bmw (Harley heated grips are the best) and I can now afford a Harley. However, value for money, maybe, by another, yes. Finally, the engine. I see that the 2008s will have the 1250 engine. Not needed. An overdrive or 6th gear to squeeze more mpg in cruising mode would be good. Having said that I get 40mpg, nearly 200 miles to the tank and still use all 9000 rpm occasionally. If the Harley officianados don't like a high revving engine that you have to knock down a gear or 2 for a great overtake, don't get the Rod, get an air cooled tractor (sorry).

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
Read all 2 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2006
Year discontinued -
New price £13,745
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 115 bhp
Max torque 95.6 ft-lb
Top speed 144 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.5 secs
Average fuel consumption 37 mpg
Tank range 137 miles
Specification
Engine size 1130cc
Engine type 8v V-twin, 5 gears
Frame type Steel twin spar type
Fuel capacity 14 litres
Seat height 660mm
Bike weight 276kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake 2 x 300mm discs
Rear brake Single 300mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 19
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 18

History & Versions

Model history

2006: Harley-Davidson Night Rod introduced.

Other versions

None

Photo Gallery

  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Riding
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Riding
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Riding
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Riding
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Riding
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Engine
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Riding
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Riding
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Riding
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Riding
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Riding
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Side view
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Engine
  • Harley-Davidson VRSCD Night Rod motorcycle review - Instruments