e Harley-Davidson VRSCA V-Rod, launched amid a frenzy of acclaim from the public and press in mid-summer 2001, has already received 13 awards internationally -- making this motorcycle the most applauded motorcycle in the 100-year history of the Motor Company.
To date, the V-Rod has been named Best Cruiser by Cycle World; Motorcycle of the Year by Motorcyclist Magazine; Cruiser of the Year by Cruising Rider; one of the Top Six Bikes of 2002 by Hot Bike Magazine; Bike of the Year by German publication, MOTORRAD; and Cruiser of the Year by the England's MCN magazine. Beyond these awards, the V-Rod was also honored by Popular Mechanics, listed as the Best of What's New by Popular Science and was included on the Men's Journal list of "95 Perfect Things."
All of these awards and honors make it easy to understand why, in 2002, the V-Rod is Europe's top-selling Harley-Davidson model, with bikes hustling off showroom floors as quickly as they move down the street. In the U.S., sales have been just as robust, with the new motorcycle quickly becoming one of the top-selling models in the company's lineup.
The V-Rod represents the first member of a new family of Harley-Davidson motorcycles - the performance custom. From its all-new liquid-cooled V-Twin Revolution powerplant to its long, low dragster inspired looks, the V-Rod is pure American muscle in a raw, pavement-devouring package. First introduced as a 2002 model with an anodized aluminum finish, 2003 model V-Rods include special identification to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the legendary motorcycle manufacturer. Suggested retail price in the US is $17,995 (non-California models).
"We're thrilled that the V-Rod has inspired so much enthusiasm among riders and the press - winning so many awards," said Willie G. Davidson, Harley-Davidson's vice president of styling. "When we designed the V-Rod, we knew it would be a special machine. And I'm proud that others like it as much as we do."
In capturing the prestigious 2002 Motorcycle of the Year Award from Motorcyclist Magazine, the editors explained, "You still can't ride a V-Rod anywhere without drawing a crowd. No V-Twin cruiser is quicker. Better yet, there's no mistaking the V-Rod for anything else on the road, custom or production." Cycle World magazine said, "The American manufacturer created a new, more youthful image for itself, and became the undisputed leader of the burgeoning Power Cruiser class. It's a script so unlikely, you'd think it came from Hollywood - except it happened in Milwaukee."
While awarding the V-Rod a top Design and Engineering honor, Popular Mechanics noted, "Harley's new muscle machine called the V-Rod grabs everyone's attention. The bike combines serious fork rake with a long 67.5-in. wheelbase to give it the true look of a custom."
While the V-Rod has won many awards in the U.S. -- proving the bike's mainstream and main street appeal -- it has also been recognized internationally. The British motorcycle magazine, MCN, named it Cruiser of the Year and the German motorcycle magazine, MOTORRAD, bestowed the Bike of the Year award on the V-Rod. At Germany's Motorrad, Reisen and Sport, the V-Rod cleaned house winning a total of three awards: Bike of the Year, Best Cruiser and Best Design.