Back in 2001, Harley-Davidson branched off into a sector I’d never thought to see, that of street performance machines. Sure enough, The Motor Company has had a hand in racing for years, from the old board trackers to the flat tack and the big hill-climbing events, but this isn’t quite the same thing as street-drags, and success in one sector does not necessarily guarantee success in another. H-D looked to broaden its range into the streets with the original VRSC, and the family has continued to evolve over the years.
Enter the 2017 Harley-Davidson V-Rod “Night Rod Special”, the low, dark and sinister branch on the V-Rod family tree. Given that the sportbike market is as competitive as ever, and the burgeoning “power-cruiser” sector is starting to elbow its way in as well, “stoplight burners” like this have an uphill battle to gain any real ground, especially for companies that are showing up late for the party. (Cough, H-D, cough cough.) Still to be fair, Harley has made some significant inroads thus far, and this latest variant looks to expand the VRSC footprint a bit further. Let’s see how they did.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Night Rod Special.