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Hi again. I posted back in Jul/Aug about buying a VRSCR while in Iraq, and about how I'd give my opinion after my first ride, about 350 miles from NC to GA.

Well I'm back! And I rode it home this weekend. What follows is my initial impression of my new ride, and of course my humble opinion. First, some context:

About me: I'm 34 and have been riding motorcycles on the street for about 11 years. I'm 5"5' 165 lbs. My first bike was a Honda Shadow. After about one year of cruiser ownership, I realized I preferred more "spirited" riding. Since then I've had an R1 and most recently, a 2003 Kawasaki Z1000, which for me was/is the gold standard when it comes to the perfect do-it-all motorcycle.

I sold the Z last year before I left, partly because I was longing for something new, and partly because I couldn't bear to let it languish in the garage for yet another frickin' year while I kick dirt around the cradle of civilization. I'd never owned a Harley before, and was intrigued, but wasn't quite yet ready to slow down enough to embrace the easy rider lifestyle. The VROD seemed like a suitable compromise, and I tried to educate myself on the different versions. The Street Rod, based on description and professional reviews, sounded like it was made for a guy like me. Also useful was the fact that it is apparently the least popular model ever which is reflected in the resale prices. Found a hot yellow 06 on e-bay with the 2 into 1 V&H exhaust on it, 4500 miles, and called the dealer in NC to close the deal. My uncle-in-law who lived nearby (and who is a HD traditionalist and has built a custom bike or three in his time) brought it home and stored it for me until this weekend.

In the couple of weeks between coming home and picking up the bike, I visited a couple of local HD dealerships. I hadn't really paid attention to Harley in about a decade, and strangely they seemed smaller than I remember. I sat on a Fat Bob (looks awesome, feels porky, love the drag bar, hate the fat front tire), Wide Glide (looks amazing, forward controls are surprisingly reachable), and Street Bob (my favorite of the 3, mid controls are great, mini ape hangers are surprisingly comfortable). There was a single night rod special, just sold, in the back. I was allowed to see it but not sit on it. It looked much larger than the bikes I mentioned. I started to worry, as the biggest complaint I hear about the Street Rod is the seat height. Seems as though everyone on the forum is trying to lower it, and I predicted that the higher suspension would cause it to feel heavier, as though it is carrying its weight higher.

OK, on to MY bike. It was parked next to my uncle's custom dyna and man, it looked like a bus! (Same color as a bus too). It just seemed immense. Worry meter spiked. Keep in mind, I'm no stranger to tall seat heights, having owned sportbikes. I sat on it, and immediately threw the worry meter in the trash. I'm a short dude, and I was easily able to touch the balls of both feet on the ground, back the bike up without getting off of it, etc. "Why would anyone want to lower this bike? Its fine and the seating position is.... correct. It feels right.", I ask. My answer from Uncle HD: "I'll be honest with you, I don't like it at all. It's fast as a sumbitch, but the seat's too damn high". (He's about 4 inches taller than me).

I started her up, and man the V&H pipe was loud. Or so I thought, until Uncle HD starts up his dyna with the straight pipes that would probably make Chuck Yeager jealous with rage. I let her run for a good 10-15 min to shake off the cobwebs, until the off-kilter idle disappeared. There was a half-tank of gas according to the gauge, and who knows how old it is. At least 3 months...

I get on the road, ride straight to the gas station to fill the tires and top off the tank. First uh-oh occurs: the gas gauge now reads E. Throughout the course of the ride, every time I fill up, the gauge goes straight to E, and once 1/2 tank has been consumed, it starts reading accurately. WTF???? I resorted to the odometer, stopping for gas every 130 miles.

Ride impressions: This bike is everything I expected, and ultimately that's a good thing. At parking lot speeds, it handles and sounds like a lawn tractor. The brakes, touted by the articles I've read as special trick bits, feel merely adequate. It doesn't stop like an R1, nor did I expect it to, but on the other hand it didn't feel like grabbing a handful of mashed potatoes as with the Shadow or other cruisers I've ridden. On the freeway, I averaged about 85-90 mph, and my hands were constantly falling asleep with the vibration of the engine. Fortunately I was used to this already (lol), because the Z1000 does the same thing, albeit vibrating at a somewhat higher frequency. Oh, and I realize it is not specific to this model, but MAN I absolutely despise HD's turn signals on each side of the bars. Especially when I'm turning right and accelerating into a sweeper of any kind, operating the right turn signal interferes with my throttle position, causing me to open up my grip to hit the button to start it and then again to cancel. NO, NO, NO! So, I basically stopped using that turn signal.

That's about all the complaints I have with this bike. That last paragraph sounded critical, but I really did have a great time riding it. Its big and heavy and feels planted and solid, but accelerates quickly, like how I imagine that Ford F150 Lightning must feel when you mash the gas pedal. Travelling primarily on a major interstate, I didn't have many opportunities to really lean it over, but when I did, I was satisified that I wouldn't be scraping any hard parts unless I mean to, and stick out a knee (which I obviously won't do).

I have a few minor mods to do, such as put in an integrated taillight-turn signals, HIDs, side mount plate, and maybe some better mirrors, but I won't be doing anything drastic. No fat rear tire (why mess up the way it handles), and I won't be lowering the bike. I have to say it was such a relief to sit on the bike and know that the seat height wouldn't be an obstacle. I was so concerned that I bought a set of the generic HD 13.5" shocks from ebay that some people on this forum have put on their bikes. I won't be needing them obviously, and will put them up for sale cheaply when they arrive. Another issue i'd been reading about is the stock seat. After a 350 mile trip, I had no problems with it. In fact it was practically luxurious compared to the sportbikes I've had.

Overall I am happy with the bike and will be keeping it for awhile at least. Oh, I solved the fuel gauge problem. When I got home, I turned the switch to accessory, and for some reason it reset to the correct fuel reading and has remained that way since.

Will post pics soon.

Dumb question: is my air filter supposed to be covered with some kind of oil/fluid? Because it is DRENCHED. It looks to be a K&N type filter. Also, I see what can only be oil on the gas tank and surrounding right rear frame. Cause for alarm?
 

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K.I.A. '07 AW
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welcome home!
The fuel gauge in your R is resistance based and there is a quasi easy DIY fix for it. Many simply run seafoam or Marvel's mystery oil after a few tanks with great success.

Oil filter: it should not be "dripping" with oil, sounds like previous owner over oiled

Oil on gas tank: give the bike a good wash and keep an eye on it.
 

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Registered
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Discussion Starter #3
Oil filter: it should not be "dripping" with oil, sounds like previous owner over oiled
Thanks brother. No, man, my AIR filter. I opened the air box lid and pulled it out, and my hands were drenched.
 

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Pat (Patrick!)
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Welcome!
I'm not sure of your brand of air filter, but even K&N should not be drenched with oil
As far as oil on the tank and frame, check the small breather hoses coming from the top of each head, to the airbox. These are common to be not re-installed correctly.

There are a couple of gas gauge fixes on the forum, some seem to work more often than HD's "new" sending unit revisions.

Enjoy your ride!
 

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Premium Member
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Welcome, and good choice! Lots of fun; but the mods are like chips - you can't stop. I tried to keep mine stock, but failed. See my signature..........Joe
 

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Spot's Cycle
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2 Posts
air cleaner top

Hi again. I posted back in Jul/Aug about buying a VRSCR while in Iraq, and about how I'd give my opinion after my first ride, about 350 miles from NC to GA.

Well I'm back! And I rode it home this weekend. What follows is my initial impression of my new ride, and of course my humble opinion. First, some context:

About me: I'm 34 and have been riding motorcycles on the street for about 11 years. I'm 5"5' 165 lbs. My first bike was a Honda Shadow. After about one year of cruiser ownership, I realized I preferred more "spirited" riding. Since then I've had an R1 and most recently, a 2003 Kawasaki Z1000, which for me was/is the gold standard when it comes to the perfect do-it-all motorcycle.

I sold the Z last year before I left, partly because I was longing for something new, and partly because I couldn't bear to let it languish in the garage for yet another frickin' year while I kick dirt around the cradle of civilization. I'd never owned a Harley before, and was intrigued, but wasn't quite yet ready to slow down enough to embrace the easy rider lifestyle. The VROD seemed like a suitable compromise, and I tried to educate myself on the different versions. The Street Rod, based on description and professional reviews, sounded like it was made for a guy like me. Also useful was the fact that it is apparently the least popular model ever which is reflected in the resale prices. Found a hot yellow 06 on e-bay with the 2 into 1 V&H exhaust on it, 4500 miles, and called the dealer in NC to close the deal. My uncle-in-law who lived nearby (and who is a HD traditionalist and has built a custom bike or three in his time) brought it home and stored it for me until this weekend.

In the couple of weeks between coming home and picking up the bike, I visited a couple of local HD dealerships. I hadn't really paid attention to Harley in about a decade, and strangely they seemed smaller than I remember. I sat on a Fat Bob (looks awesome, feels porky, love the drag bar, hate the fat front tire), Wide Glide (looks amazing, forward controls are surprisingly reachable), and Street Bob (my favorite of the 3, mid controls are great, mini ape hangers are surprisingly comfortable). There was a single night rod special, just sold, in the back. I was allowed to see it but not sit on it. It looked much larger than the bikes I mentioned. I started to worry, as the biggest complaint I hear about the Street Rod is the seat height. Seems as though everyone on the forum is trying to lower it, and I predicted that the higher suspension would cause it to feel heavier, as though it is carrying its weight higher.

OK, on to MY bike. It was parked next to my uncle's custom dyna and man, it looked like a bus! (Same color as a bus too). It just seemed immense. Worry meter spiked. Keep in mind, I'm no stranger to tall seat heights, having owned sportbikes. I sat on it, and immediately threw the worry meter in the trash. I'm a short dude, and I was easily able to touch the balls of both feet on the ground, back the bike up without getting off of it, etc. "Why would anyone want to lower this bike? Its fine and the seating position is.... correct. It feels right.", I ask. My answer from Uncle HD: "I'll be honest with you, I don't like it at all. It's fast as a sumbitch, but the seat's too damn high". (He's about 4 inches taller than me).

I started her up, and man the V&H pipe was loud. Or so I thought, until Uncle HD starts up his dyna with the straight pipes that would probably make Chuck Yeager jealous with rage. I let her run for a good 10-15 min to shake off the cobwebs, until the off-kilter idle disappeared. There was a half-tank of gas according to the gauge, and who knows how old it is. At least 3 months...

I get on the road, ride straight to the gas station to fill the tires and top off the tank. First uh-oh occurs: the gas gauge now reads E. Throughout the course of the ride, every time I fill up, the gauge goes straight to E, and once 1/2 tank has been consumed, it starts reading accurately. WTF???? I resorted to the odometer, stopping for gas every 130 miles.

Ride impressions: This bike is everything I expected, and ultimately that's a good thing. At parking lot speeds, it handles and sounds like a lawn tractor. The brakes, touted by the articles I've read as special trick bits, feel merely adequate. It doesn't stop like an R1, nor did I expect it to, but on the other hand it didn't feel like grabbing a handful of mashed potatoes as with the Shadow or other cruisers I've ridden. On the freeway, I averaged about 85-90 mph, and my hands were constantly falling asleep with the vibration of the engine. Fortunately I was used to this already (lol), because the Z1000 does the same thing, albeit vibrating at a somewhat higher frequency. Oh, and I realize it is not specific to this model, but MAN I absolutely despise HD's turn signals on each side of the bars. Especially when I'm turning right and accelerating into a sweeper of any kind, operating the right turn signal interferes with my throttle position, causing me to open up my grip to hit the button to start it and then again to cancel. NO, NO, NO! So, I basically stopped using that turn signal.

That's about all the complaints I have with this bike. That last paragraph sounded critical, but I really did have a great time riding it. Its big and heavy and feels planted and solid, but accelerates quickly, like how I imagine that Ford F150 Lightning must feel when you mash the gas pedal. Travelling primarily on a major interstate, I didn't have many opportunities to really lean it over, but when I did, I was satisified that I wouldn't be scraping any hard parts unless I mean to, and stick out a knee (which I obviously won't do).

I have a few minor mods to do, such as put in an integrated taillight-turn signals, HIDs, side mount plate, and maybe some better mirrors, but I won't be doing anything drastic. No fat rear tire (why mess up the way it handles), and I won't be lowering the bike. I have to say it was such a relief to sit on the bike and know that the seat height wouldn't be an obstacle. I was so concerned that I bought a set of the generic HD 13.5" shocks from ebay that some people on this forum have put on their bikes. I won't be needing them obviously, and will put them up for sale cheaply when they arrive. Another issue i'd been reading about is the stock seat. After a 350 mile trip, I had no problems with it. In fact it was practically luxurious compared to the sportbikes I've had.

Overall I am happy with the bike and will be keeping it for awhile at least. Oh, I solved the fuel gauge problem. When I got home, I turned the switch to accessory, and for some reason it reset to the correct fuel reading and has remained that way since.

Will post pics soon.

Dumb question: is my air filter supposed to be covered with some kind of oil/fluid? Because it is DRENCHED. It looks to be a K&N type filter. Also, I see what can only be oil on the gas tank and surrounding right rear frame. Cause for alarm?
Look into what's called "going topless", you remove cover/clips and drill a hole in the front of the bottom half on the left side just big enough to relocate the air senser from the top. The oil on filter is from engine breathers and may have been caused just from the bike setting more than running before you got it and should slow to just a small amount from now on, be sure to clean your stock filter (degrease) good as it's a "dry" type.
should increase performance a small amount and when you twist the throttle it sounds cool
 

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Spot's Cycle
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oil on tank

Look into what's called "going topless", you remove cover/clips and drill a hole in the front of the bottom half on the left side just big enough to relocate the air senser from the top. The oil on filter is from engine breathers and may have been caused just from the bike setting more than running before you got it and should slow to just a small amount from now on, be sure to clean your stock filter (degrease) good as it's a "dry" type.
should increase performance a small amount and when you twist the throttle it sounds cool
Look and see if the rear engine breather hose is properly on it's hose barbs on the top of rear rockerbox cover and back of bottom half of filter box
 

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Premium Member
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Check the oil level. If it is overfilled it will blow more oil out of the breather than usual. Enjoy your new bike.
 

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Sleep is over-rated
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2,423 Posts
k and n air filters should be "lubed" by design. They come with a spray can of this stuff and although it shouldnt be dripping in it, there should be a coating of it on the filter


remember he is referring to the AIR filter and not the oil filter.
 

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Premium Member
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I understand the concern over the turn signals switches, but you will find they are self canceling. Check the oil level and the things others have mentioned. Great buy, enjoy!
If you have the handbook read it, it will tell you how the machine and controls work.
If the air filter is a K&N it will have K&N on it.
 

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Premium Member
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If I run my R hard it tends to make the inside of the air box and the filter pretty oily. The OEM air filter is white fabric and looks similar to a K&N, while a K&N fabric will be red from the oil they use, or red/gray if it's dirty.
Great bike, isn't it. I would be interested to know if the bike's ECM was reflashed for the V&H pipe. The engine management will not compensate for increased airflow automatically. Without the proper map in the ECM, you risk running the engine too lean and burning exhaust valves.
I like the color too.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the welcome and replies. The air filter looks like a metallic mesh; I'm fairly certain it isn't stock. Also the sales description of the bike mentioned Screaming Eagle stage I, which I take to be the filter and remap. (right?)

But yes, the whole inside of the air box and the filter itself was glistening with oil. I hadn't the chance to check the breather tubes today, but will report on that asap.

I don't see a power commander or any other device on here (where would you even put it, in the air box?:), so I'll assume the stage I was the only modification to the FI. Playing it by ear, I didn't notice any obvious indications that it's running lean. Popping on decel was rare, at least. I'd like to throw a P.C. on it and a new map, maybe this winter.

Have I mentioned that I'm glad this forum exists? :)
 

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Premium Member
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Thanks for the welcome and replies. The air filter looks like a metallic mesh; I'm fairly certain it isn't stock. Also the sales description of the bike mentioned Screaming Eagle stage I, which I take to be the filter and remap. (right?)

But yes, the whole inside of the air box and the filter itself was glistening with oil. I hadn't the chance to check the breather tubes today, but will report on that asap.

I don't see a power commander or any other device on here (where would you even put it, in the air box?:), so I'll assume the stage I was the only modification to the FI. Playing it by ear, I didn't notice any obvious indications that it's running lean. Popping on decel was rare, at least. I'd like to throw a P.C. on it and a new map, maybe this winter.



Have I mentioned that I'm glad this forum exists? :)
The dealer can use the Digital Technician to see what fuel and ignition maps are loaded into your ECM. If the previous owner used a Super Tuner from Harley, there is nothing wired into the bike. The Super Tuner, or the Race Tuner that came before it, is installed on the bike only for loading new maps into the ECM, then removed and stored until the next time you want to fool around changing things. It plugs into the bike's data port. Think of it as the window into the bike's programming, but it doesn't remain on the bike.
 

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Live Free Or Die
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thank you for your service, and welcome to the forum!

jukucho, I need to know your secret. At 5' 5", how do you move an R with a 31.5" seat height? You must have really long legs and/or really big feet.

I ask 'cause I'm 5'7" 29" inseam and could barley touch both sets of toes at the same time on my R when I first got it. And I could only move it while off of the bike.

After a Corbin close seat and lowering the rear an inch can I now move the bike around while on it.

What gives?
 

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Check the oil level. If it is overfilled it will blow more oil out of the breather than usual.
My experience is slightly under filled is way better than over. Over was causing the air box to fill with oil which then dripped on the left side heads, primarily the forward one, and made it look like blown head gaskets. The factory sticker saying check your oil at every fill up just gets you hung up on thinking about burning oil. Don't. Now after a thousand mile trip on Vermont back roads where I head into a corner at 8500 back off the throttle to 6000 and then gun it back up again the heads are dry and clean. I open up the air box and not a spec of oil. The vacuum up through the air box at those revs must be tremendous but at 20k miles the engine burns nothing between tire changes (3200 miles this time), so worry about overfill more than under.
 

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my experience is slightly under filled is way better than over. Over was causing the air box to fill with oil which then dripped on the left side heads, primarily the forward one, and made it look like blown head gaskets. The factory sticker saying check your oil at every fill up just gets you hung up on thinking about burning oil. Don't. Now after a thousand mile trip on vermont back roads where i head into a corner at 8500 back off the throttle to 6000 and then gun it back up again the heads are dry and clean. I open up the air box and not a spec of oil. The vacuum up through the air box at those revs must be tremendous but at 20k miles the engine burns nothing between tire changes (3200 miles this time), so worry about overfill more than under.
x2
 

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Discussion Starter #18
jukucho, I need to know your secret. At 5' 5", how do you move an R with a 31.5" seat height? You must have really long legs and/or really big feet.

I ask 'cause I'm 5'7" 29" inseam and could barley touch both sets of toes at the same time on my R when I first got it. And I could only move it while off of the bike.

After a Corbin close seat and lowering the rear an inch can I now move the bike around while on it.

What gives?
(Sorry, I know this is old. Was going through an old thread I started and guess I never saw this.)

Hmm, I don't know... I've never had a problem with seat heights on the bikes I've owned; even on my Z1000 with a 32" seat height I was able to put the balls of my feet on the ground. I haven't actually measured my inseam, but I buy 30" inseam regular fit jeans and they are just a little too long. I wear desert boots when I commute, and doc martens when not in uniform, I'm sure that helps. Even in sneakers, though, I can gain enough purchase to roll the bike while seated, but I have to put more leg muscle into it.
 

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Had a chance to play on the roads of north Georgia yet? What do you think of her on a twisty road?
 

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Oil drenched Airbox

Dumb question: is my air filter supposed to be covered with some kind of oil/fluid? Because it is DRENCHED. It looks to be a K&N type filter. Also, I see what can only be oil on the gas tank and surrounding right rear frame. Cause for alarm?
No doubt previous owner overfilled oil which then works up the breather into the airbox.
 
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