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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I recently went on a ride through Death Valley and rented a 2007 Harley Vrod SCAW model. I can say that I really had no interest in renting a Harley but since that was the meeting place and everybody else was renting one…… I couldn’t rock the boat so I picked the Vrod. The bike had 539 miles on it when I picked it up. I had never ridden a Harley before so I really only expected to compare it to my 109. Picking it up from the dealer was easy. They opened at 10am, I went in there with my license (including motorcycle endorsement) and after signing a few papers was out in the lot getting the once over on the bike. I had to do a quick out and back for the rental guy before he waved me off. No big deal really.

After riding if for over 500 miles in two days I can honestly say it was a very fun "little" bike. In all reality I can no longer compare it to the 109 though as it fits a middle ground category in my mind. This compare is strictly based on my experience. For reference I am 6’2” and 170#.

It so happened that one of the other riders in the group brought his 109 down from Canada so I was able to get some side by side shots for the board. I’ll start with them.











As you can see, the 109 is considerably larger then the Vrod.

Size: The Vrod almost feels like a toy compared to the 109. While it is only 60 pounds lighter then the 109 it feels much smaller in every way. While they both have a 240/40/18 rear tire the 109’s seemed larger for some reason. This actually turned into a good thing later on as I found myself willing to go on “quick” runs on the Vrod. I typically think of the 109 as a long ride bike and my sportbike as a quick run to the store. I think the Vrod fits in the middle very well.

Engine: The Vrod hits the rev limiter at 60 mph in first gear (red line 9k). Top speed was just over 120 mph indicated. This was on a flat open road in 5th gear with the throttle at the stop and me tucked to the tank. The engine revs very quickly and smoothly. You tend to bounce off the rev limiter almost before you even expect it. I found myself riding most of the time around 5k. I did notice that after a while I would run in the 3-4k the bike was sluggish during a roll on but didn’t have the same shudder the 109 has at low rpm roll ons.

Transmission: IMO very nice. Has almost a sportbike smoothness to it. The 1st to 2nd shift was smooth without the clunky ness of the 109. N was a bit tough to find sometimes but nothing too bad. Gearing was very close. On hard accel I found myself going through the gears quickly after I ran out 1st.

Seating: As I said, over 500 miles in 2 days (200 first day, 300 second). Seat on the Vrod is much narrower then the 109 and forget about sitting a second passenger on the “back seat”. I will say that the SCAW model has a fuller cut seat and I think that helped greatly with support. The deep cut seat really helped support my lower back over the entire ride.

Wind Blast: Ok, here is where the jokes about the 109 headlight / tach really don’t matter anymore. I got blasted like there was no tomorrow on the Vrod. Without any actual screen or reasonable bump on the front of the bike I got a full blast in the chest while sitting upright. I found myself often leaning forward on the tank and riding with only the throttle hand to get the wind up over my helmet.

Fuel mileage: 5 gal on the Vrod and you could almost watch the gauge move as you drove. The dealership said I needed to be looking for gas at 120 miles and would be out by 140. The most I went was 110 and I was at 1/8 tank remaining. I would also like to shoot the engineer that designed the “under seat” fuel tank. To fill the Vrod you flip up the seat and remove the cap. Problem is that the seat flips to the kickstand side of the bike…….. Get where I am going here ???? ok, so you have the bike on the stand, seat flips up in that direction. Now you have to fill the tank from the right hand side with the tank opening leaning to the left (stand side). Add in the fact that now the seat is blocking any real light and I spilled gas more times then I care to remember. Analog gauge was pretty accurate and constant over the full range.

Overall ride notes:
- Ok, big thumbs up for the full cut seat but I was still a little cramped on the Vrod. Unlike the 109 I tended to sit leaning slightly back when upright but often leaned forward to dodge the wind blast.
- I’ll note here that the Vrod has hard mounted pegs. I unfortunately found this out during the first hard turn when contrary to my expectations the peg didn’t flip up and I proceeded to rub off a bit of the rubber coating.
- Mirrors were decent once I got them adjusted although the left one tended to vibrate more then the right making the image a bit blurry.
- The optional coverage HD offers has a $2000 deductible.
- The dealership I rented from included a skull cap, if you wanted a full face it was $150 extra and they only had 5 (vs 3 loaded shelves of skull caps). I shipped my full face to a friend and had her bring it the day before the ride.
- Stock grips were horrible. Not a surprise but after 2 days my hands were pretty sore.

At the end of the 2nd day one of the other riders asked me if I would buy one…….. Honestly, if I was at a point where I couldn’t ride sportbikes anymore I might consider it. I’m also considering it for my wife who can’t quite fit my 109 but wants a fast cruiser. To me it’s smaller size and decent power made it a good choice for someone looking for a smaller power cruiser. Overall I went into this excited about the ride but not the rental, at the end I can honestly say that the Vrod I rented was a blast to ride over the 2 day trip and I’m glad I got the opportunity to experience it.
 

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Felix T Cat said:



While they both have a 240/40/18 rear tire the 109’s seemed larger for some reason.
Are you sure you had the model with the 240 rear tire? The tire in that pic looks like a 180 tops. The 109's tire dwarfs it in those pics. It should be identical if it really was the 240 because both the new V-Rod and the 109 have identical wheel/tire combos. Their rims are the exact same measurements as ours, so their tires should look identical from the rear. Is it possible that the guy with the 109 had installed a larger tire on his rim?
 

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Great comparo..Id like to get out on a VRod sometime :bigthumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Medic1210 said:
Are you sure you had the model with the 240 rear tire? The tire in that pic looks like a 180 tops. The 109's tire dwarfs it in those pics. It should be identical if it really was the 240 because both the new V-Rod and the 109 have identical wheel/tire combos. Their rims are the exact same measurements as ours, so their tires should look identical from the rear. Is it possible that the guy with the 109 had installed a larger tire on his rim?
100% positive. I even got down on the ground to double check.
 

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Felix T Cat said:
100% positive. I even got down on the ground to double check.Â
So that guy on the 109 was still running his stock tire too? That is weird. Did they look that much different in person too? It's interestin how two exactly identical wheel/tire combos (dimensionwise) can be that different in size. Interestin to know that the V-rod has followed suit with a stock 240, and still has a smaller looking tire. That thing looks like a 200 compared to the 109's tire.

Oh yeah, forgot to mention. Great writeup.
 

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When I went to Biketoberfest, the friend from work was on his Vrod, and I had wondered how that would go. Both bikes seem very similar, and though we never lined them up seamed fairly well even. I did give away about 150 pounds to him in weight though, and he could not run off from me. :p
 

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I believe that the wheel on the VROD is an 8.00 x 18, where the 9 is 8.50 x 18. That probably made the 240 look narrower.
Good honest writeup :bigthumbsup:
 
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You done good! :bigthumbsup: :bigthumbsup: Another reason for us to love our 109 even more. I guess I never realized how much smaller size wise the V-rod is to the 109 (overall). Sounds like it was a great ride.
 

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z4woo said:
I believe that the wheel on the VROD is an 8.00 x 18, where the 9 is 8.50 x 18. That probably made the 240 look narrower.
Good honest writeup :bigthumbsup:
Maybe that's it. Hard to believe 1/2 inch can make that much difference in appearance.

Get your minds out of the gutter.... :joke:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
z4woo said:
I believe that the wheel on the VROD is an 8.00 x 18, where the 9 is 8.50 x 18. That probably made the 240 look narrower.
Good honest writeup :bigthumbsup:
I was thinking the same thing that the wheel on the 109 might be wider and allows the 240 to stretch out a bit more. I really did have to get down and look at the sidewall because I kept thinking that there was no way they were the same tire.
 

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Can anyone tell me how the screaming eagle compares to the 109? the charts on the screaming eagle say 145hp with only 650 lbs. that sounds sooo fast, is it really that much faster than the 109?
 

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Good write up sounds like you had fun. And as we'all say their all little bikes compaired to a 109!!!
 

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Lamonster said:
So imagin a 280 on a 10" rim. :evil:
Oh I can... I've seen the pics of Hal's bike. That thing is flat out awesome. I just won't have an extra 2K to buy it though. :mad:

I'm just gonna have to settle for the next best thing... the 280 on a stock rim. :bigthumbsup:
 

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Bruno said:
You done good! :bigthumbsup: :bigthumbsup: Another reason for us to love our 109 even more. I guess I never realized how much smaller size wise the V-rod is to the 109 (overall). Sounds like it was a great ride.
Yea I looked hard at the V-rod before buying the 109. It does have some nice styling features but at my body size, it felt more like I was sitting on a 10 speed bicycle than a motorcycle! I love the width of the 109.
 

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Great writeup felix.

I agree on 2 points very strongly.

1. The seat gives sooooo much more lower back support than the 109s (when sitting still)

2. The v-rod is perfect for women because it is so much smaller, and women tend to be smaller (and therefore a better fit on the v-rod) than men.
 
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