Oh man, do I ever! And truthfully my credibility to do so is limited because I've never owned a V-Rod (yet?) but have had more then a few H-D's over the years. I firmly believe that H-D’s aren’t the gawd awful mess that they’re detractors make them out to be. I’ve seriously found them to be no better and certainly no more wicked then anything else out there, manufactured by Corporations with they’re own money grubbing agendas. Price wise EVERYTHING across the board costs too damn much, period. But if you’re gonna’ spend it a Harley is as good (or bad) a place as any, if that’s what folks want (I do too).
But that V-Rod… calling it an Abomination would be too strong a word but the only one that comes to mind. Here H-D (after the AMF buyback scheme and shelving of the my opinion only HIGH-Potential ‘Nova’ project) had a nice, clean slate to work with. They had the resources, time and yes (hard to believe sometimes BUT…) brains to come up with something fantastic. But instead they came up with the V-Rod…. I just don’t friggin’ get it?! I dunno, maybe I’m completely ‘Tasteless in Seattle’ but does anybody like the looks and style of this thing?! It looks like some of the scribbles I used to sit there drawing in 6th Grade Grammar School (cause’ I was so BORED to tears), that is until the teacher would come grab the paper off my desk and rip it up in front of me!
Even looks aside it still wouldn’t put me off. I like (prefer) Water-Cooling. I like (prefer) the Triple-Discs. I’m slowly now just coming to grips with (and getting used to possible servicing) EFI. I would of preferred a larger displacement but how much is enough?! 1,000cc class is more then sufficient… anything more IS just Gravy. But I draw the line at any friggin’ machine that has been designed intentionally AT the factory (by the R&D and Accounting Departments) to be an owner servicing Nightmare, absolutely insuring you MUST bring the blankety-blank thing INTO the shop!
I think over the years most (but admittedly not ALL) of us have resided ourselves to say just bringing in our lousy cars when the Automatic Transmissions start mucking up?! It seriously IS an Institution kind of a deal, having folks that even just specialize in that one job these days. But adjusting your own Valve Lash as required?! That’s about as basic as changing oil and filters. One of Harleys greatest features bar none were the use of Hydraulic Valve Lash adjusters. Just about 100’s of Millions of U.S. made cars at any given time in existence have had em’. They work great, they take up needed space in the Valve Train (to allow for expansion and contraction of parts) using Oil Pressure supplied by the Oil Pump. They not only take up the varying slack but quiet the system as well (almost virtually eliminating that teeth-grinding ‘click-click-click’ noise on ALL Overhead Valve engines).
But NOT the friggin’ V-Rod: Not only did they choose to take the cheap and nasty path of having to adjust the Valves using varied sizes of Shims (i.e., NO maintenance free Hydraulic Valve Lash adjusters) but in order to even access these the engine must be dropped in the frame to get AT em’! At the dealer this is a job quoted at around $800.00 to do, and you can bet that don’t even includes parts and supplies either. It’s friggin’ outrageous!!! How many V-Rods out there are new owners simply going to forgo this critically needed operation and just pass along they’re V-Rods at the 5,000 to 10,000 marks to the next unsuspecting saps (which I easily could have been one) to deal with?!
Please, by all means…. Someone DO flame my commentary here! And somehow convince me that I’m all wrong about the V-Rod???!! Because as insane as it is, I’d still consider getting one someday… IF it wasn’t for the prospect of having to drop that gawd damn engine just to adjust the valves?! But I honest to gawd just don’t have the strength or time to do such a mega project anymore….. BUT, I refuse to pay some dog-gone dealer for a job I should by right, be doing myself! Nuff’ said.