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The Night Rod Special might be something of an oddity within Harley-Davidson, but that’s a large part of its appeal

SINGAPORE — What lớn make of the Harley-Davidson Night Rod Special? Well, they say weirdos snnphutho.vne out at night, và maybe it’s true. Its maker playfully suggests that the kind of performance the Night Rod Special is capable of should only be unleashed under the cover of darkness, và in some ways the V-Rod family members are odd members of the Harley clan.

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You might think of Harleys as rolling ingots of chrome with thumpy, lazy engines, but then the Night Rod sort of turns that upside down. Where you expect lớn see great lashings of chrome, they’ve sầu applied litres of blaông chồng paint instead. And where there’s usually a chugging, air-cooled engine, the Rods all have sầu a water-cooled, revvy torque factory. One that was co-developed with Porsbịt, at that. No wonder the redline is 9,000rpm.

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Apart from the mean, blacked-out metal, what makes a Night Rod a Night Rod is its slightly pulled back handlebar — the V Rod Muscle has a more forward-positioned cài đặt that mimics a drag-bike more, as well single exhausts on each side of the xe đạp. If anything, the Muscle is aesthetically truer khổng lồ the street racer custom origins of the V Rod, but the Night Rod’s Dark Custom look works better if you’re into cutting a more understated figure on the road.


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Once you’re rolling along and you’re used to the length, though, the Night Rod is a pussycát to ride.

Make that a tiger, actually. The first time you twist the throttle in anger, prepare to lớn either giggle or scream into your helmet. There’s an abundance of torque at the low revs (so much so that I kept forgetting to shift down và had no problems starting off from second or even third gear) but when you let the engine rev properly, the Harley besnnphutho.vnes the kind of xe đạp that seems like it was built to lớn kiông xã decently fast cars in the teeth.

All that’s in a straight line, of course.

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On long, sweeping corners you need khổng lồ put effort on the bars lớn get the Night Rod cranked over, và to lớn get it khổng lồ stay that way. For the tighter stuff you just have to slow right down, thanks lớn the lengthy wheelbase, before leaning the bike in. I didn’t get it khổng lồ flop over far enough to shave sầu the footpegs though, which is unusual for a Harley.

Some of the bike’s gentle steering behaviour must be down lớn that baông chồng over. The Night Rod has a rear tyre the same way Jennifer Lopez has a backside, và while it’s nice to look at, it doesn’t make for much agility. At least the brakes work superbly, & even though the tyres aren’t much taller than rubber bands, the Night Rod is surprisingly civil over bumps.

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I’m not sure about the bike’s ability to lớn let you vị long touring days, however. The forward pegs are pretty snnphutho.vnfy in town, but on the highway the riding posture effectively turns you into lớn a human parachute, which can be tiring after a while. The main saddle is lovely và plush, but the one for pillions is about the kích thước of a đoạn phim cassette, so even if you vì decide to go touring you’d probably have sầu khổng lồ vày it solo.

Still, there are other Harleys lớn vì long, endless rides on. The Night Rod is about blasting through town with a bit of attitude. Mind you, it can be perfectly courteous, & even with our kiểm tra bike’s optional Remus kết thúc cans, the Harley never raised the kind of ruckus that has your neighbours angrily chucking empty bottles at you.

But that’s a large part of the Harley’s appeal. The Night Rod isn’t a troublemaker all the time, và can pull off slow và lazy rides as well as any Harley, while morphing inkhổng lồ something wicked the moment you unleash the engine. In that respect, it’s almost like two bikes into lớn one: one for the everyday ride, & another best reserved for quiet nights.

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NEED TO KNOW Harley-Davidson VRSCDX V-Rod Night Rod SpecialEngine type 1,247cc, 4V, 60-deg V-TwinBore x Stroke 105 x 72mmGearbox type 5-tốc độ manualMax power 122hpMax torque 111Nm at 7,250rpm0 to lớn 100km/h Very fastTop speed 212km/hWeight (wet) 302kilogam Seat Height 675milimet Price$41,500 (machine price)Availability Now