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Discussion Starter #1
has anyone ever tried to put a touring front end on a vrod? i.e. road king / ultra etc... you always hear about someone putting a springer or wide glide front end on a sportster etc... so i just figured that with all the bat rod / road rod conversions someone out there had to try it at lease once.

if anyone has can you post pics or tell of the complications encountered with a touring front end conversion as to why it did not work?

thanks
 

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has anyone ever tried to put a touring front end on a vrod? i.e. road king / ultra etc...

...or tell of the complications encountered with a touring front end conversion as to why it did not work? ...
This would require extensive modifications.

The FL triple trees have a negative offset (the forks are moved closer to the bike relative to the steering axis). If you look at an FL frame you’ll notice it has a “goose neck” extension for the steering tube that extends the forks forward. Without this extension the FL negative offset forks will hit the VRSC frame tubes long before full lock position.
 

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I wouldn't waste my time. Having recently ridden a 2010 bagger, I thought the V-Rod front end was far superior in terms of ride quality. The bagger has way too much unsprung weight on the front, so much so that it really bangs into sharp pavement seams that the lighter V-Rod front end shrugs off. I was surprised how much better the V-Rod front end rides than that bagger did.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
This would require extensive modifications.

The FL triple trees have a negative offset (the forks are moved closer to the bike relative to the steering axis). If you look at an FL frame you’ll notice it has a “goose neck” extension for the steering tube that extends the forks forward. Without this extension the FL negative offset forks will hit the VRSC frame tubes long before full lock position.
interesting. i thought about this initially but i figured with the front end being "raked" on the v it would eliminate needing the "goose neck" but i am not an engineer nor have i tried it so i would not know.

I wouldn't waste my time. Having recently ridden a 2010 bagger, I thought the V-Rod front end was far superior in terms of ride quality. The bagger has way too much unsprung weight on the front, so much so that it really bangs into sharp pavement seams that the lighter V-Rod front end shrugs off. I was surprised how much better the V-Rod front end rides than that bagger did.
wow, that is surprising. a buddy of mine just bought a 2010 street glide. when i rode it the only bad things i had to say about it was it needed a little more horse power. it was fine starting off (nice and torquey) but when i twisted the throttle for a pass there was a big difference between his bike and my v. the other thing was the floor boards kept jacking me up at stops since i am used to pegs but i would prob get used to that. other than that it was a nice smooth ride and i have to admit it was nice having an actual stereo and windshield for a few miles. i am curious if adjusting the suspension more for you would cure some of that.
 

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wow, that is surprising. a buddy of mine just bought a 2010 street glide. when i rode it the only bad things i had to say about it was it needed a little more horse power. it was fine starting off (nice and torquey) but when i twisted the throttle for a pass there was a big difference between his bike and my v. the other thing was the floor boards kept jacking me up at stops since i am used to pegs but i would prob get used to that. other than that it was a nice smooth ride and i have to admit it was nice having an actual stereo and windshield for a few miles. i am curious if adjusting the suspension more for you would cure some of that.
Once you get used to the Revo it's really hard to be subjective. Yes the traditionals lack HP relatively but there is plenty, you just have to downshift more than with the V.


You might get some answers here regarding V-Rod baggers: http://www.cyclevisions.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #6
i've seen the cycle visions kit. it looks nice enough & have seriously thought about doing it to mine. just can't pull the trigger to spend that kind of money on something that just looks ok to me. i know this bike wasn't designed to be a big tourer but if i was going to convert it i would want to do it full on touring style as much as i could.

to me it looks a little off with the skinny forks & thought maybe it would look better with touring forks & touring fenders instead of the extension. so i popped the question about the touring forks since i have never seen them on a vrod. i figured after this many years of the vrod being made & so many conversions done that someone would have tried it by now.
 

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The batwing solution is a far lower cost than the Road Rod one. Including changing the headlight, it can be done for under a grand....
 

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interesting. i thought about this initially but i figured with the front end being "raked" on the v it would eliminate needing the "goose neck" but i am not an engineer nor have i tried it so i would not know.



wow, that is surprising. a buddy of mine just bought a 2010 street glide. when i rode it the only bad things i had to say about it was it needed a little more horse power. it was fine starting off (nice and torquey) but when i twisted the throttle for a pass there was a big difference between his bike and my v. the other thing was the floor boards kept jacking me up at stops since i am used to pegs but i would prob get used to that. other than that it was a nice smooth ride and i have to admit it was nice having an actual stereo and windshield for a few miles. i am curious if adjusting the suspension more for you would cure some of that.

Well, first off there isn't any adjustment on the front suspension. What is killing it in my opinion is there is just too much unsprung weight. That is the weight that is not carried by the springs, meaning the wheel, tire, axle brake components, lower fork legs and the front fender. There must be at least 45-50 pounds of unsprung weight on the front of a big bagger, weight that must respond to every bump in the road. With that much unsprung weight, it cannot ride as well as a bike with less unsprung weight.
Like I said, after living with my R and riding that XR-1200, which is superbly sprung and damped, I was expecting a lot, and was really let down. Rolling over sharp pavement seams on Lancaster surface streets the front end would judder from the impact simply because all that unsprung weight couldn't move up and over the bump fast enough. It's inertia at work. Lessen the unsprung weight of any bike and it rides better because the wheel, tire, brakes, fender, etc., have less inertia to overcome when encountering a bump. Ditto for cars, it is one of the primary reasons live rear axles have disappeared.
Ride an XR-1200. Ignore the riding position and smallish seat and concentrate on the ride. Notice how plush the ride is, particularly over sharp bumps. It's never harsh, and responds with complete control. Now THAT is a fine suspension. I only wish that big bagger rode as well. I wouldn't hurt not to rubber isolate the bars so much so one could feel what the front tire is telling you. I rely on that communication when riding so I know everything is under control.
The front end of the bagger has a steering head set at 25 degrees and offset triple clamps that hold the fork legs at 30 degrees such that the triple clamps hold the fork legs aft of the steering head. This was done to give the bike light, fast steering (25 degree head angle) yet give it enough trail to be stable at any speed. It is a very clever steering geometry and is, I believe, something Eric Buell came up with.
 

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Some of you may remember the rodzilla that showed up in Kansas City a couple years back. The guy had put a touring front end on a v-rod, mostly so he could use cheap tires (he said). He had to move the radiators to the side because the front wheel/fender wouldn't clear it.
 

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I've seen this conversion on a bike here in Houston, TX. The guy that owns it rides with the Vindicta MC (strictly V-Rod owners) - if you go to the Vindicta homepage (vindicta-vra.com), you may be able to reach him and ask him about the details. When I asked him I think he said the front end came off of a Dyna, but I'm not certain.

As far as the look - it was just as you thought. The beefier front end gave the bike a more substantial look. I have a Road Rod & have always thought that the front end looked a bit on the wimpy side for a tourer. In additional, the bike I mentioned had extra beefy apehangers, which only made it more impressive in my opinion.

Q...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
you know, i didn't even think about the lighter bike factor and how it would make the forks react.

sounds like a major ordeal just to get some touring forks. lol...at least now i know why you don't see them.

i tried looking at some pics on the vindicta site but didn't see anything.

ya know if harley would just make that danged touring-rod life would be so much easier. :D

thanks for all of the replys. you guys are full of friggin knowledge. one day i hope to be able to answer someone's else's questions as well as you guys.
 

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I figured the inverted fork would look better, so I road rodded an R model. See Gallery for pictures. Looks better. Beefier. A larger fender would be nice, too. Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #16
harley bat-wing and harley hard bags are a simple do.
not saying that the batwing looks bad or anything but the road rod is just more my style & would be the way i would go if i were to make a touring conversion.

I figured the inverted fork would look better, so I road rodded an R model. See Gallery for pictures. Looks better. Beefier. A larger fender would be nice, too. Joe
i agree the inverted forks do look a lot better.
 

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I figured the inverted fork would look better, so I road rodded an R model. See Gallery for pictures. Looks better. Beefier. A larger fender would be nice, too. Joe
I'v seen some after market sport touring bike fenders mounted to the XR-1200 fork that looked good and provided a bit more coverage. It's a 43 mm Showa USD fork just like ours, there are lots of options available.
What kills me is how a standard 49 mm V-Rod fork can be considered to be wimpy looking. That is one huge fork leg! If you just have to throw money at your bike, put a stouter lower triple clamp on it. They are available from a couple of European suppliers. Get one with three pinch bolts per side. The extra clamping area will work wonders for the handling and steering precision, particularly with a heavy fairing on the bike. There is your opportunity for improvement, and that does not increase unsprung weight. Happy riding.
 
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