Cheaped out? What's the cost on those braided ones, including install? $500? That just seems stupid, especially for something that is eventually going to over time turn to a darker color...Also remember if you ever have it serviced by the dealership and they take off the hose you will have to buy another braided line ...vroddrew said:The H-D chrome belt guards look good- IMHO they nicely balance the great glob of chrome of the mufflers on the other side of the bike. You can get them through most any H-D dealer - some will offer a discount, ranging from 10-20%. I looked at the Rizoma guard, and while it is nice, I'm not sure that it provides as much functionality as the H-D set. If you ever ride your V-Rod in the rain - you'll be glad you had the full set. If you only ride on sunny days - well you have more options.
The coolant hose running right between the cylinders fairly begs to be covered up. H-D gives you two options - the solid chrome cover, which is cheap and easy to install; and the braided covers - which are neither. Personally, every time I see the chrome cover I think: "There's a guy who cheaped out" - but then I'm a judgemental SOB... If you do decide to get the braided set, do yourself a favor and have the dealer install it; unless you are very handy doing this sort of work. I've even heard some dealership technicians complain about what a difficult job this can be to do right.
Its a tough call. I still haven't made it and still have the black hose. But I took off the belt guards, and seem to have more black on my bike than most (with the gas tank showing, various cables) so I don't think it looks too bad. Just waiting for a good option!