HARLEY-DAVIDSON NIGHT ROD (2006 - 2018) Review
- Hotrod style Harley with black styling
- Porsche-developed engine
- Very good build quality
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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.
- Related: Best cruiser motorbikes
Once you've read this review and our owners' reviews, you may want to check out an online community such as the Harley Owners Group (HOG).
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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…
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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 vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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.
|Engine type||8v V-twin, 5 gears|
|Frame type||Steel twin spar type|
|Fuel capacity||14 litres|
|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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||37 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||-|
17 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||115 bhp|
|Max torque||95.6 ft-lb|
|Top speed||144 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||11.5 secs|
|Tank range||137 miles|
Model history & versions
2006: Harley-Davidson Night Rod introduced.
Owners' reviews for the HARLEY-DAVIDSON NIGHT ROD (2006 - 2018)
3 owners have reviewed their HARLEY-DAVIDSON NIGHT ROD (2006 - 2018) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
Version: V rod
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 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.
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 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).