HARLEY-DAVIDSON V-ROD MUSCLE (2009-on) Review

Published: 11 November 2009

"Another styling exercise to bolster what is arguably a tired range"

Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle

"Another styling exercise to bolster what is arguably a tired range"

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

Harley’s cruiser V-Rod has been about since 2001, and the new Muscle is… is just another styling exercise to bolster what is arguably a tired range. The Muscle is essentially a reworked V-Rod with design touches (muscular, flowing lines) to front it up as a serious boulevard traffic light blaster. Except it isn’t that muscular – 12.25sec standing quarters anyone?

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

You have to remember the bike is a straight line performer and corners get in the way of the footpegs and exhausts. Short-legged people will find the bar position and stretch to the footpegs a hip-straining effort. The length, weight and raked forks conspire to cause understeer through faster corners, but who cares when the sun is out, the roads are dry and you’re not in a hurry with denim cut off blowin’ in the wind…

Engine 4 out of 5

A water-cooled V-twin with 120bhp and a house full of torque is not to be sniffed at. But when it’s anchored by 307kg of metals and plastics it is hard not to ask yourself where has all the go gone? Never mind. The engine is super smooth with a precise throttle delivery everywhere. And the gearbox isn’t too clunky. In all a muscle cruiser of the relaxed kind.  

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

Absolutely no qualms here – part of the bike’s initial launch was a day at an American drag strip, where wooden-fingered journalists spent all day trying to kill tyres, clutches and other internal components to no avail. Every bike stayed the course without a problem.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

The majority of Harley-Davidsons retain a high resale value and the V-Rod range is no different – mainly because they aren’t a big seller in the UK where the preference is classic air-cooled H-D machinery. If it’s a well presented, cool-looking Harley your after then £13,500 isn’t a lot of money. But, as the saying goes, alternatives are available eg Triumph’s Rocket III Roadster at £10,949. Find a Harley-Davidson V-Rod for sale.

Insurance group: 16 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 5

Chrome, sumptuous paint, polished bits and more chrome, wide profile rear tyre, big engine and more chrome – and all standard issue. The accessory catalogue has more of the same. Compare and buy parts for the Harley V-Rod in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

3 owners have reviewed their HARLEY-DAVIDSON V-ROD MUSCLE (2009-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.

Review your HARLEY-DAVIDSON V-ROD MUSCLE (2009-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 4.3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.7 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
3 out of 5

Inferior Quality

27 August 2014 by mjcthegreat

My 2010 V-Rod Muscle looks gorgeous and is fun but relaxing to ride. Never had any mechanical problems but the frame is bubbling/rusting underneath, the chrome is literally peeling up and the paint has fingerprints coming to the surface in... Read more places. I've had 3 other Harleys in the past, a Sportster 883, Dyna Wide Glide and Fatboy... Never had any bodywork issues with those bikes. I think Harley must be cutting costs with the V-Rod series. There are hardly any custom parts you can get for the Muscle in particular. Very disappointing in that regard. Fun ride but not worth the price.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
2 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Surprisingly good

06 April 2012 by t72bogie

great cruiser, surprisingly good, looks and sounds great on Vance and Hines pipes, a remap really livens it up love it :) Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

C'mon MCN

13 November 2009 by Cornerthief

Ok so MCN hates harley's but you can't give the equiptment 3 stars. There's tons of equip for the v-rod. If it was British built it would get 5. Read more

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

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2009
Year discontinued -
New price £13,845
Used price £9,000 to £14,500
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 16 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 109.2 bhp
Max torque 77.19 ft-lb
Top speed 145 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 30 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Specification
Engine size 1250cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 60° V-twin four-stroke. Five gears
Frame type Tubular steel, twin spine
Fuel capacity 18.9 litres
Seat height 705mm
Bike weight 307kg
Front suspension Non-adjustable
Rear suspension Spring preload
Front brake 2 x 320mm disc with 4-piston calipers
Rear brake 316mm disc, 2-piston caliper
Front tyre size 150/80 x 17
Rear tyre size 240/50 x 16

History & Versions

Model history

2001-2007: VRSCA V-Rod
2003-2005: VRSCB V-Rod
2006-Current: VRSCAW V-Rod

Other versions

2005-2007: VRSCR Street Rod
2005-2007: VRSCD Night Rod
2005: VRSCSE2 Screamin’ Eagle V-Rod
2006-current: VRSCD Night Rod Special
2009-current: VRSCF V-Rod Muscle introduced

Photo Gallery

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  • Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle
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  • Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle
  • Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle
  • Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle
  • Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle
  • Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle
  • Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle
  • Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle
  • Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle
  • Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle
  • Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle
  • Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle
  • Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle
  • Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle
  • Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle
  • Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle
  • Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle
  • Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle
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