2009 V-Rod Muscle, another Harley we'd actually ride

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Harley_V-Rod_Muscle_3.jpgWhat’s happening to us? Years of carefully cultivated taste are being thrown aside. Our identity is lost. We actually find two Harley models desirable. Homoerotic name aside, this new V-Rod Muscle joins the XR1200 among the ranks of the functional, fast and sexy motorcycles.
>Harley_V-Rod_Muscle.jpgThe Muscle’s (ick) smooth, muscular surfaces evoke power and solidity,
while its non-solid wheels and simplified exhausts add a purposeful
stance absent from the regular V-Rod’s feminine cartoonishness. The
angular, riveted cowls on the leading edge of the airbox cover —
intended to evoke armor-clad shoulders — are the only low point (they’re just too heavy handed). The best feature is the simple
drag-style rear fender and its incorporated lights. More bikes should
keep things this simple. The rest is stock V-Rod, meaning it’ll be
pretty fast in a straight line, but not so much in a corner.

Harley_V-Rod_Muscle_2.JPGHarley-Davidson

  • Steve Warne

    What’s happening to you guys?
    You’ve lost it
    From the front fender to its drainpipe exhaust…it’s ALL terribly wrong. Maybe MV can provide some sorely needed inspiration and direction to the patheticly lost Motor Co.

  • http://www.sideburnmagazine.com Ben Part

    Its solitary confinement for you Wes. & make that a diet of brine & cardboard too.
    We’ll get back to you in a month for a re-issue of your statement, & no we don’t care if the CIA are watching over
    over you.

  • Renze

    Looks terrible.. could be mistaken for a chinese knockoff. It just looks cheap and plasticky.

  • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant

    Just for the record, riding and buying are very different.

  • AH

    I agree with HFL. The XR and the Muscle are the first desirable Harleys since the very cool XLCR. And I like the design, the chopped off rear fender with integrated light is a nice touch, and overall angular lines adds some edge to the V-Rod design language. Would I buy it? Probably not, and probably not HD purists either..

  • biminitwst

    Its much less silly looking than other Harleys. I even like it from the rear 3/4 view. Nice wheels, too.
    Of course the exhaust is huge and ugly, it has to be to comply with federal regs.
    Wait ’till they mark ‘em down – they practically give V rods away here, then hang the stock exhaust in your garage.
    I don’t know what you could do about that raked fork to make it right, though.

  • Steve Catalano

    OK, the name is a bit much BUT it does tell you what it’s all about……..POWER!………Get used to it ‘Metric cruisers’ guys (and gals)…..It’s the wave of the future……Balls in an American machine (and, yeah, looks too!)…….Oh yeah, I own a ’07 Night Rod, a regular cruies missle…..This puppy is going to set some records — and have the Japanese wringing their hands……No more ‘just good looks’ — now, P-O-W-E-R to boot!

  • LUCAS

    wow from this review,….. never mind your an idiot

  • DC

    Obviously the VRSC Night Rod is the Harley to have.
    Now if I could somehow increase the value of my CB750 by 10x, I could get one.

  • http://aol.com Dan Jones

    I love mine!

  • amike95

    Are any of you people american?

  • Tony Stakis

    OK,GUYS AND GALS.I HAVE HAD FOUR HARLEY’S SPORTER,STREETBOB AND EVEN A 2006 SCREAMING EAGLE FAT BOY WITH THE 103″. I JUST GOT A V-ROD “MUSCLE” (BAD NAME I KNOW) BUT WITH ALL THAT SAID IT’S THE BEST HARLEY I HAVE EVER OWNED BY FAR…..I HAVE BEEN ON BIKES SINCE 1977, AND HAVE HAD EURO BIKES AND JAPANESE BIKES.THIS IS THE FUTURE OF HARLEY.
    AND AS FOR THE 240 REAR TIRE IT CORNERS VERY WELL FOR A CRUISER.I WISH THE BARS WERE MAYBE 3″ HIGHER,BUT ALL IN ALL THE BIKE IS FAST,HANDLES LIKE A DREAM. THE CLUTCH AND GEARBOX ARE VERY SMOOTH.BETTER THAN ANY BMW I’VE HAD IN THE PAST.IF IT’S POWER AND HANDLING YOU WANT THIS IS IT I BET YOU ONCE YOU RIDE IT YOU WILL GET ONE…

    • Nelson Kaesberg

      Your comments regarding the VRod Muscle are right on. My only complaint is the handle bars. If they were 2 to 3 inches higher this motorcycle would be pure nirvonna. However, for me, the reach to the handle bars (I am 6’2″) is such that I am constantly having to hold my head up in an un-natural way. After 30 minutes or so, it gets a little tiring. Terrific engine, superb handling regardless of what some say about the rear tire. I am 66 years old and ride my new Muscle every day. Great fun.

    • Nelson Kaesberg

      Tony, have you found any way of raising the bars the 3″ you mentioned in your post? I have had my 09 Muscle for about 3 months and it’s a great motorcycle as you know. However, my neck is killing me after 30 miles. Got any ideas?

      • coda glitter

        use the rear pegs as highway pegs. relax your arms, pull the elbows down. take alieve before you ride.

    • Richard Flanagan

      I’m hearing you Tony!! I’ve ridden bikes most of my life, started on Jap bikes, then went to Ducati. I recently headed down to
      Fraser’s Motorcycles in Perth, after seeing the V-rod and hearing the rumours on the power it had, I decided to take on for a spin!
      Well, holly snappin’ duck shit!! She went like a bat out of hell!!
      Smooth, comfortable, (no more leg cramps on long rides!) and plenty of torque! Fist thing the next morning I wacked down a deposit for the V-rod Muscle! I’ll be sure to squeeze a few more horses out her with a new exhuast and intake filter, if it’s not enough, can always bolt on a super charger for real grunt!! Still waited for it’s arrival to Oz, (3 months) as it’s on the slow boat from the states! We all have differernt tastes, as for the V-rod Muscle,
      she looks good, handles well and goes like all bikes should!!
      “Live to Ride”
      Flano
      Perth W.A.

    • tony mavro

      HI THERE IM IN THE MIDDLE OF A PURCHASE OF A VROD MUSCLE ,BUT THE ONLY BIKE THAT I COULD ROAD TEST WAS A NIGHT ROD WITH A VANCE AND HINCE COMP 2IN 1 RACE EXHAUST AFTER 10MIN RIDE I ROSTED MY CALF MUSCLE .IS THIS THE SAME ON THE MUSCLE OR THE RIDING POSITION MORE RELAXED PLEASE REPLY AS THIS HAS PUT ME OF THE BIKE.

  • Tony Stakis

    WELL AFTER 300 MILES I LOVE THIS BIKE EVEN MORE!

    JUST TRY IT FELLOW RIDERS.DON’T MAKE ANY COMMENTS UNLESS YOU RIDE IT.

    THIS THING ROCKS!!
    THANK YOU! MR.WILLIE G.DAVIDSON….

    GOOD WEATHER BAD WEATHER,NO PROBLEM HANDLES LIKE A DREAM CORNERS WAY BETTER THAN ANY HARLEY I HAD BEFORE…

    SOME CLAIM IT’S NOT FOR EVERY DAY,WELL I BEG TO DIFFER,I RIDE IT IN NYC. EVERY DAY BACK AND FORTH TO WORK,IN ALL TYPES OF TRAFFIC.(AND CRAZY CAB DRIVERS) Ha! Ha!

    IT IS AN OUT OF THE BOX DESIGN FOR HARLEY.
    I GET STOPPED ALL THE TIME WITH QUESTIONS AS TO WHO MAKES THIS THING.(I find it cool that the Harley logo is not easily visible)EVEN N.Y.P.D STOPS ME JUST TO CHECK IT OUT NO JOKE!!!
    ONLY ONE IN NYC SO FAR…
    SO FELLOW RIDERS TRY IT I THINK YOU WILL AGREE WITH ME.

    AND AS ALWAYS PLEASE RIDE SAFE…..

  • JROX

    Just purchased my VRSCF Muscle and love it! As a new generation Harley rider (38), this is my first HD and I’m thrilled! Smooth, fun, fast, and a serious head turner. And, it’s just a matter of time before I do some major customization…. Everyone can talk about their likes and dislikes, but at the end of the day this machine will leave most riders in my dust! Everywhere I ride I’m constantly getting compliments and questions. Wait until I throw a custom flame paint job and serious pipes on it. And, it’s really a Harley!!! Wow, what a shocker! Seems everyone has to find something to complain about, especially you old-school Harley riders. Change is a good thing.

  • http://www.waipahuhog.com Rob

    I got to ride the one my Nephew just purchased…

    My current rides are all HD of course, but the Muscle does have a lot of good points…

    Low speed handling it doesnt… but if you want to ride at slow speeds, I’ll ride my Street Glide around cones… This thing is meant for freeway cruising…

    I LOVE IT! Would I buy one for the riding I do and the need to carry documents and the like? nope… But I do enjoy riding it, thats for sure!

  • Sabrina

    Wow I think I’m in love. This is my first bike (yeah, a V-Rod muscle as a starter bike) and I absolutely love it. I chose it because I wanted something more comfortable than a street bike (handlebar risers avail mid-2009 will help) and not as “masculine” as a contemporary Harley. I’ll probably never take it to top speed, so I’m Curious, what IS the top speed for this monster?

  • Dan Sargent

    I bought one of the first ones in Western N.Y. This is my first Harley but have riden many. I was a sport bike rider all my life. This bike is an awsome cross between a sport and touring, you have to ride one to reaally appreciate it. Thank, Dan.

  • Fay

    harley never turned me on til i bought my 2007 VRSCAW rod. put the thunder header pipes. fast bike. but not fast enough. as a woman who is 49 years old, i wanted a Muscle. so i got one. (my husband and i have three v-rods. AW, Night Rod Special, and the Muscle.) and i like the Muscle…handles the curves like no other. it’s smooth, comfortable, fitting, and so easy to handle. you’ve got to ride a muscle before slamming it. oh….and it’s fast and i ain’t scared.

    be safe people and buy a muscle.

    Go Granny, go granny, go granny go.

    • David

      Hi Fay. Sounds like you have a lot of experience with the VRods. My girlfriend loves the looks of the Night Rod and dreams about owning one someday. She is very small 5’1″ 105 lbs. Any ideas of how the fit and balance would be for a rider that size? I am a Ducati junkie and have had her on a 696 however she did not like the looks of it and it was to tall for her. Thanks in advance. David

  • shane wieland

    just test road a vrod muscel at morgan and wacker brisbane australia. Awesome bike might buy one , i have a 2008 fatboy at the moment, but since that test ride i cannot stop thinking about it, believe me it is a awesome harley, cheers.

  • Rod Rees

    Racked up a 1,000 miles today and I’d buy it over and over again. Smooth, comfortable and eyecatching.I Put the backrest on it for 2 up riding and makes for an attractive add. Can’t say enough about the bike and after a custome paint job on the great space on the tank and exhaust enhancements I’ll be looking forward to 1,000′s of miles of great riding.

    • Ben Potter

      I AM THINKING OF BUYING THE V ROD MUSCLE, WONDERING ABOUT RIDING 300 MILES A DAY FOR RIDER COMFORT. ALSO THE PIPE BURNING PROBLEM? ANY THOUGHTS THANKS BEN

  • jb

    Mr. Rod Rees,
    I’m interested to find out what exhaust mods you did? I have a Muscle as well and will NEVER go back. by far the BEST bike I’ve ever owned; however, I want a more aggressive throaty sound like the V&H system completes for the V-rod night, but I love the dual exhaust and will not trade them for a two-into-one. what do I need to do and what products are available? Thank you for the feedback in advance.

    • coda glitter

      v&h slip-ons. great sound. no calibrations required, don’t let ‘em talk you into any. the f-rod adjusts itself. just got mine sat, rode 350 miles sunday turning heads everywhere.

  • JB

    Does anyone know what products are available for the VRSCF dual exhaust? Also, another question I’ve been wrestling with is should I have gone with the ABS? I fell in love with the Muscle – first sight and bought it outright; now i understand that it has an ABS option? never had any ABS on any of my other bikes and am not sure if i should sell this one–swallow a grand in loss– and buy another with ABS? any help out there

  • JW

    JB,
    I have the VRSCF with ABS. The first time it kicked in it scared the crap out of me(Never had ABS on a Bike before this). You feel the feedback in the handle bars just like you do in your car with the brake peddle. For the most part its nice but the only times I have noticed it is when I am coming to a stop and hit a decent sized bump in the road when braking it kicks on for a second. I have yet to ride it in the rain so as far as wet roads go I don’t know. Someone also asked about Top Speed I Haven’t found it yet but last time I was at the track I got it up to 175 MPH. There is a big corner after the straightaway and I run out of road before I hit top speed.

    • JB

      Jw,
      thank you for the response–much appreciated. I don’t plan on riding in the rain or any other bad weather; Im in Florida–love it. but you think ABS isn’t necessary for just casual cruising?
      do you know anything as far as exhaust goes? i know theirs plenty of two into one mods out there but i want to retain the dual exhaust look. I gotta be honest though, I’m not to crazy about the stock sound–so I would like to change that ASAP.

      • coda glitter

        v&h competition slip-ons. great add. no calibrations required.

  • Night Rider

    It SuX !

  • Paul Collins

    I bought the muscle about a 2-3 weeks ago. I rode alot of sport bikes and nothing compares now to this muscle. The bike pulls hard in every gear and will for sure turn some heads. Alot of people don’t care to much for the v-rods because it got away from the original design of harleys, but that is the whole reason I bought it, it’s diffrent and it’s fast, handles great as well, ride one and then see what you think.

  • Kelly Marie

    OMG!!! as a first time owner, this thing is a monster. i’m the only chick in Seattle that has one so far and let me tell you, it has some balls. my dad owns about 20 HD’s and this really doesn’t look HD. i was raised on the handle bars of a fat boy, but this is for me. biker chicks out there, dont say anything til you get this toy between yours legs. luv ya

  • JB

    coda,
    thank you for the reply. are you sure you dont need to adjust anything? they already hit me up for a 2K adjustment. thanks for the info.

  • C Parker

    I’m about to make my second payment on my first motorcycle at age 34, yes, a V-rod Muscle. I fell in love with the looks of the Night Rod when I first saw it until I saw this thing. It and it alone inspired me to get my license and purchase a bike. I’ve rode 1800 miles in less than 2 months and can’t get enough of it, and that is with 2 straight weeks of rain in Central Florida.

    Harley enthusiasts hate it, street bike riders despise it, to me that makes us a breed of our own. I love riding into a crowd of bikes and being the one that is different from everyone else and I didn’t spend $50K to get that way. The haters can keep on hatin’ as far as I’m concerned I can’t wait to see what mods come in the coming months and years.

    Wait…I missed a good 5 minutes of riding time writing this…gotta run!

  • Steve

    Been riding since 1985. Currently own a’07 Ultra Classic and an’08 Fat Bob. When I saw the Muscle it was love at first site. Due to today’s economy business is a little slow but when it picks up again there will be a HD Muscle in my garage and I will be luckey enough to own the three best bikes Harley Davidson makes.

  • webb

    Wow! awsome bike to say the least. I like porsche,and heard there’s some german tech.
    in this bad boy. anybody know & what part of
    the bike? Thanks
    Webb

  • slyfox

    Took one for a nice long test ride yesterday. My other bike is a 07 KTM 990 Superduke so you know where I’m coming from. At 36 I decided to check one out since I’d like something with a little more relaxed riding postition and handling but still have some performance. First impression as many have stated is very smooth roll-on power. Pulls hard from about 3500 up. Fun but not over the top power. Really stable feeling bike. Didn’t take long to start dragging my heels on the turns but overall handling is confidence inspiring for a heavy bike like this one… I’m 6’1″ and the seating and handlebars were just about perfect for me. Took me about 15min to get used to the forward controls. They aren’t very far on the muscle. I thought the gear changes were a bit clanky but might get better over time. My Duke would smoke this thing but then again the duke is a much more agressive bike… if you are looking for a smooth bike that is mix of part cruiser part street fighter…I would highly recommend trying one. I think I’m getting one soon

  • cacjl

    anyone notice the exhaust pipes glowing right where they leave the motor? riding mine at average speeds for 15 minutes, i noticed my pipes glowing red. it was very visable when driving at night. i know this is the hottest part and point in the exhaust pipes but never noticed it in other bikes. no-one else knows if its normal either. bike runs and sounds fine just wondering. i love riding it and is definately a head turner.

  • cacjl

    i have heard people complain about how hot the exhaust gets but just concerned if the bike may be running rich or something. i havent made any modifications so the bike is still stock.
    thanks

  • halfcrazy

    welcome to the world of rice…..about time you showup

  • Russ

    I put on tab perormance slip on’s, filter, and their FMS works. I feel like I could have just bought the pipes and filter and not gotten a FMS but VERY happy with TAB. good product, good shipping, good price.

    LOVE the bike. All the other v-rods are ugly as far as i’m concerned — too Euro… as far as heat goes, i took off the shields on the pipes, wrapped the pipes, and put shields back on with longer clamps and that has reduced the smell of leg hair (i usually ride in shorts) and uncomfortable stop lights.

    Best harley i’ve ever owned. To hell with the old-school haters – i traded in an electra-glide for this beautiful beast : )

    Now just to decide … 1k for nitrous or 5k for turbo… :)

  • JOHN

    JUST PURCHASED TH 09 V ROD WIFE FELL IN LOVE WITH IT , ME O.K. . SAME DAY PURCHASED WENT ON BUYING SPREE , BOUGHT VANCE AND HINE PIPES , GREAT SOUNDING , POWER COMMAND BOX AND OH COURSE STRIPPING AND PEGS AND THROTTLE , LOVE THE POWER
    NOT A 2 PERSON BIKE , TOO MUCH POWER , AFRAID WIFE WILL FLY OFF BACK , THE PIPES ARE HOTTER THAN HAITTIES , NOT GOOD IN SHORTS , WILL HAVE TO TRY WRAPPING PIPES AND SEE WHAT THAT DOES , BETTER DO SOMETHING CAUSE TOO HOT TO RIDE IN PANTS , OVER ALL BIKE IS O.K. . NOT GREAT . BUT LOOKS GREAT RATHER HAVE KEPT MY VN 2000 LIMITED , CRY, CRY . TOO LATE NOW

  • joshua quel

    OK I just picked my V-Rod Muscle up today. I was a sportsbike rider and was a little scared about switching over but all I can say is WOW what a ride. Its a great bike. And you do really have to ride one to appricate it. The dealership i got it from already had pipes on it and it sounds mean. I have a friend with a big dogs with vance and hines pipes on it and i must say the v-rod is a lot louder. Just riding it rom the dealershipe to my house I got so many looks. I am glad I got off the street bike and onto a v-rod. best thing I every did

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      Hmm. You’re bragging that your V-Rod is louder than your friend’s Big Dog and that on the way home from the dealer you “got so many looks.” May I refer to here? You should probably watch it.

      • W. Ayotte

        I you can’t hear it before you see it, it is not worth having. Remember: Loud pipes save lives.

  • Mitchel Spanjer

    Passed test 17 years ago ,have now fallen in love with V- ROD MUSCLE , got back on a bike after all these years, didnt ride when passed test.
    To get back in the saddle rode a 250 surprised @ wind @50 mph, then rode a 650 felt wind @ 75- 80 mph, i know Muscle different animal, am concerned about wind, looked into wind shields, @ what speed do you start to feel wind with or without shields on v- rod, looking for comfortable ride, welcome advice, if go for wind shield 3/4 or full ,can you give me pros & cons, havent driven v- rod yet, but will be soon

  • Mitchel Spanjer

    i sat on a v rod and then a v rod muscle and noticed the handles bars were lower on the muscle, i have not ridden either, advice please, i like the Muscle would do max 100 miles a day, would one get back ache, how comfortable the ride and would you put a 3/4 windshield on , views on both bikes please
    be safe
    thanks

  • Mitchel Spanjer

    can anyone give me advice about driving positions, the differance between the V-rod & the V- rod Muscle the handle bars on the Muscle are lower than the V- rod

  • Shane Robidoux

    I bought this bike last summer and I absolutely love it. This is my first HD but I know now that it will not be my last. Previously I have owned an R1, GSXR 1000, RC51, and my first bike an R6. Like Joshua, I too wanted to get off of the street bikes and onto a cruiser. I can honestly tell you I made the right choice with this bike. Although the muscle lacks the power my previous 3 bikes had it still fills my need for speed. I added Tab pipes and a power commander from grcustoms.com two weeks after I bought it. These pipes are very loud but sound amazing. I also bought a chrome license plate bracket from GR that looks great (Mounts to left rear shock bolt). I have put 3000 miles on this bike since last July and love it more and more every day.

  • Seamus

    Wow. Some biased people on here. Or shall I say, “Harley Bashers”. I’ve owed a crotch rocket and a Harley, and it’s all in what you want. Ease up, and maybe take some aggression out on the Ducati owners if your worried about over-priced badge snobs, eh?

  • momo

    I bought the first muscle in MD in 2008 as my first bike. I have put 13k on it so far, and will say that you can’t find a better ride that this one.
    Mo

  • JG

    I’m 6 foot 4 inches I am seriosly thinking about getting the Muscle. Will I have to make adjustments because of my height? Or will I be fine? I live in Aruba and will not get the chance to test drive. I have to order it right from the factory. Please advise.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      You should be fine, but you can always tweak the riding position with a custom seat from Corbin or similar and different handlebars.

      • JG

        Thanks Wes. Appreciate your feedback. May I ask, how is it that you know that my height would not be a problem on the stock Muscle? Are you talking from own experience? I am stuck in the middle here. I really like the Muscle but I also like the Fat Boy Lo. I have to decide by next week, since I was offered a very good price on both (21.000 USD).

  • Big Wal

    Hi Guys
    Yep first HD i bought was a Muscle, with the TAB Slip Ons and Tuner/Filter. I love how this thing has such a massive powerband! It redlines at 9000rpm which means when my buddy on a 08 Softail with the 96cub motor with Cams, Tuner & V&H Big Radius pipes has to worry about changing from 2nd to 3rd – I just sit in 2nd and he gets to see my LED tailight ( all too often!!).
    I also had a clown on a Hayabusa race me at the lights – up to 140km i could see him in my rear view mirror until I backed off and he decided that doing 250kmh past me would mean I wouldnt see the embarrasment on his face!

  • kina

    Hey,
    Never owned a road bike in my life only dirt bikes…always loved harleys…neva had the nuts to buy one…til I saw the vrod…scored a night rod…beautiful machine..the aesthetics…I spend hours with a beer just lookin’ at it!More time than I spend with my wife…he..he..Glad to see that I’m not alone..(First time H.D. riders) Was damn scarey riding it for the first time…love the attention it gets here..(Mind u doesn’t take much to amuse a kiwi! N.Zer)
    Awesome site!
    Kina