How About a V-Rod Glide?

Harley Davidson V-Rod dresser

Harley Davidson V-Rod dresser

In the comments on the post about the water cooled Harley Davidson heads, one of our readers, todd8080, pointed to a few Photoshop images he put together with the Revolution engine in a variety of other big Harleys. Though the Harley faithful might object they certainly look good to me.

I wonder if any of the designers at the Motor Company ever do anything like this when no one's looking. Maybe they could print one of these out and, you know, leave it out on a desk somewhere.

Of course, if Harley ever made one it would sit in the showrooms unsold and neglected, ... right up until the time someone bought one and smoked a guy on an Electra Glide.

Nice bit of Photoshop.

Link: todd8080 V-Rods

Harley Davidson V-Rod bagger

Harley Davidson V-Rod bagger


  1. BobG says

    Very nice photo shop work. Does not look bad at all.
    Unfortunately, I can already hear the critics.

  2. Greg the Giant says

    There is a custom shop which I’m unable to recall at the moment that was adding roadglide fairings and bags to V-Rods a couple years ago, If I remember correctly they had some fair demand and started making kits as well. I’ll research further and update.

  3. B50 Jim says

    Great work! Looks like a factory brochure, and the bikes themselves would be great machines for the open highway or winding back roads. They’d give everyone a run for their money. Harley-Davidson has all the stuff necessary to do this. It wouldn’t be “easy” but it wouldn’t be too difficult, either. Looks like a winner. For these reasons, H-D will never do it.

  4. Jay Allen says

    I’ve seen a few ‘Rod Glides’ in person. $$$ notwithstanding I’d own one. Hope my next H-D is a VR

  5. Ken says

    Umm, can Todd do a tracker…. Just sayin… Think it would be rockin’.

    Very impressive.

  6. Tin Man says

    Forget Photoshop, Guys have been actaully building and riding these things for years now. It remains a Mystery why HD never built this bike, but it can be assumed that market research shows that sales would not be high enough to generate a profit. Ive never seen HD pass up a profit and they know more about marketing than I do, so there it is.

  7. says

    That is a very nice bit of photoshop work.

    More on topicish…I just don’t understand the HD riders’ stubbornness for tradition. They could really slam the door shut on about half the arguments of their critics if they weren’t so grounded in “tradition.” It seems even stranger to me when I hear some of HD rider talk of it but then 10 minutes later turn their radio on.

    • Tin Man says

      Who cares about the critics, and their “arguments”, ride what you want for your OWN enjoyment. Get over it and ride, or build, or whatever. Some of us enjoy the smooth torque of a Harley big twin, and most expierenced riders will want to own a Harley Bagger some time in their life.

    • BobG says

      HD riders could care less about their critics, just as you should care less if someone criticizes your ride, no matter what it is.

    • BobG says

      As far as tradition goes, I’ve been an HD owner (among others) on and off for several years. I would welcome this motor in these bikes, I think it looks pretty awesome. There’s plenty of used HD product out there for the hard core tradionalists. I know it’s just photo-shopped, but everything fits. If they came out with a Street Glide like this, I’d want one.

    • Jay Allen says

      Well said. While I respect tradition, I see alot of tradional HD riders with electric start ; )

    • Greg the Giant says

      HD…over 100 years of tradition virtually un-impeded by technology. I own one anyway.

  8. Random says

    Nice Photoshop! It looks so better and should ride so better than the TC96 (?) engine it’s a shame you can’t buy it. HD made so much modifications to the engine for their cruiser line (to a point Eric Buell gave up on using it on his bikes and outsourced the Helicon) so it could be offered in what, 2 models?

  9. says

    Thanks, guys. And thanks, Paul.

    The whole point of this was to show that the V-Rod could be made to appeal to Harley traditionalists (like me), and without spending a fortune doing it. I can look at each part on these bikes and know exactly what Harley parts from which models to use, and they’re not necessarily from Twin Cams.

    There’s a Harley “junkyard” here in Fort Lauderdale, well, actually a large showroom full of slightly wrecked late model Harleys, that has everything necessary to create any one of my V-Rod designs. All that you’d need is some cash, minor welding/fabricating skills and a painter.

    Since making these drawings I’ve seen not only homemade versions of them but also Cycle Vision’s Road Rod kit. Unfortunately I’ve yet to see one that doesn’t look cobbled together. For example, what’s up with that hokey-looking rear fender extension? The way to do that right is to widen a one-piece 4-speed FLH fender.

    Late-style touring bags? They don’t fit. I’d modify Shovelhead bags. And I’d definitely do a complete front end swap instead of just using a different fender on a stock V-Rod fork. I know the current trend on touring bikes is to use FX-type front wheels, but to me that says, well, FX not FL.

    Before anyone asks, no, I haven’t actually built any of my V-Rod concepts, though it’s not from a lack of fabricating skill (more like lack of capital and metric tools). But followers of my website could tell you I’ve recently done some unique fabricating work on a friend’s Night Rod Special.

    Concerning the MoCo, I’m pretty sure they’ve seen these designs. After all, they’ve been floating around the web for almost a decade. American Iron Magazine published the purple Classic drawing back in ’02.

    So what does it take for Harley to actually pay attention to what people [seem to] like? I’ve been wondering that for years, especially when I see them drop models like the FLSTS from the lineup in favor of models like the Rocker and Cross Bones.

    • says

      Great work Todd8080! This is exactly what I had in mind when I commented on the “waterhead” piece. I would really go for this as I’m a huge fan of the V-Rod mill. Thanks for tippin’ Paul off to these pics.

    • B*A*M*F says

      Todd, great concepts. The silver one at the bottom of your site is my favorite.

      I’m a bit surprised Harley hasn’t done anything like this already. At some point, they will probably have to depart from the pushrod, air cooled v-twin engine with separate transmission. They aren’t there yet.

  10. Jimbo says

    I don’t know if they’d sit unsold; I’ve ridden HD’s for over 30 yrs, but this last time finally gave up and got a competitors sport-tourer. I wanted something modern, that had great power, stopped well, and was dead reliable. I’m not knocking HD reliability – they’re much better than the shovelheads I started out with, but for what you have to pay, they just don’t compete in many other ways. Sigh, I wish they would give those of us that want a more modern tourer at least an optional Vrod like the one above…

  11. OMMAG says

    It’s a great idea …. but as an early commentor noted …. que the critics.

    And yes I am a critic of HD ….. they deserve it…. enough.

  12. todd says

    I’m sure they’ve seriously been thinking about this for some time. I wouldn’t doubt they have some people working on such a line already – just by chance marketing says it’s OK to release something along the lines.

    Though I prefer standards and sporty roadsters (like SV650, not XL1200R) I think these renditions look MUCH nicer than Harley’s current Roger-Rabbit looking V-Rod.


  13. Nortley says

    Looks to me like a perfectly natural thing for H-D to do. That ribbed quadrilateral behind the steering head just doesn’t look right here, and the “tank” looks too small, or abbreviated. Some fat bob looking tin would fix that.

  14. says

    “If only xyz motorcycle company would build the bike in my mind for little to no money. They are after all supposed to do what I say because I complain about it online. They make money on things other than motorcycles so they aren’t even a real motorcycle company. The top brass at the top don’t know what they’re doing. Their target demographic is dwindling. This is where it’s at. They will have to change or else. I’m their biggest fan yet I’ve never bought a single thing from them because they never have what I imagine I want at the time. I mean, hello! Are you even listening xyz motorcycle company? I’m right here. I’ve been preaching it for years.”

    We’ve heard it all before.

    • todd says

      So, Really? You don’t think motorcycle companies need designers or engineers? They should just continue selling what they already make and never change? Who said you are the only customer and it only matters what you want – to heck with everyone else? You need to frequent a different forum Mr. Doesn’t Even Have a Name.


  15. Bill says

    Being from the eastern shore of MD and basically just down the road from the york plant and doing a lot of riding in the PA mountains and hills I have heard from the locals that harley already has a couple different versions of this revolution powered touring bike on the road being tested and have met people who have said they have actually seen them all blacked out and roaming the back roads of PA . pictures sure would go a long way to proving that but i can believe it, its a logical development step in touring bikes, hell with the miles i put down i would be first in line to buy one…

  16. Sid says

    While some of the ones towards the bottom of his site look too close to a Honda (with the bulky side cover), others are compelling. The full dresser looks the part.

  17. mp says

    “I have heard from the locals that harley already has a couple different versions of this revolution powered touring bike on the road being tested and have met people who have said they have actually seen them all blacked out and roaming the back roads of PA .”
    Uh huh. With every other person on the road having a camera and even a video camera in their pocket, no one’s EEEEEVER gotten a picture of this “ideal” touring bike with the engine that’s got no torque down low.
    Wanna know why? Because the reason Harley had to get Porsche to help with the engine on the V-Rod project in the first place is because they started with the XR full-on racing engine, and it proved very difficult to tame it enough for the street. Not only is the engine totally inappropriate for a heavy bagger, but they already build the best bagger and it sells the best, too! There is absolutely, utterly NO reason for them to ever make the most worthless bagger on the road, which is what a Revolution-powered bagger would be.

  18. greg ess says

    when the v-rod was first introduced, i got the ear of a HD factory rep at a major motorcycle show. he was putching the V-rod and wanted to know what i thought.

    “really nice motor. shame about the silly useless foot forward bar hopper of a motorcycle you put it in, though. as soon as you put this engine in a sports tourer – (anyone remember the ‘sport glide’?) or even a standard motorcycle, I’ll be in the showroom.”

    so they heard it day one.

    lawd knows why they havn’t done it.

    • PeteP says

      @Greg Ess: They built it. Look for the “Street Rod”. It was sold for two years here in the US, and, I believe, is still available in Europe. Last time I visited a HD dealer, they had one, slightly used, on the showroom floor, tucked away in the corner. Not a big seller here.

  19. Pushrod says

    I’d guess that the pictured bikes, were they to actually hit the road, would need to stop for gas every 60 miles. (The V-Rod is notorious for its lack of fuel capacity. Among other things.)

    I’ve been saying the Factory should’ve put that engine in a bagger from Day One.

    • Seymour says

      “I’ve been saying the Factory should’ve put that engine in a bagger from Day One.”

      Me too.

  20. Simon says

    As a Harley rider with over 40 years experience on a wide variety of motorcycles, I wound up coming back to Harley-Davidson, despite the critics, because they offer something I don’t really find on most other motorcycles, except perhaps for Moto-Guzzi. There is a basic, visceral, elemental feel to the bike that others just don’t have. I like the engine. My Sportster 1200L handles well (although it could use more ground clearance for aggessive riding, and most Harley riders eventually change their shocks, anyway, as do most high-performance riders, for that matter); it has all the power I want or need (I have no points on my license and prefer to keep it that way); it’s comfortable (especially with an aftermarket Mustang solo seat and factory windshield), it’s been dead reliable, and I ride it every single day, back and forth to work. all year round, rain or shine. I don’t really care if a crotch rocket can go faster; I don’t want to go any faster. I don’t really care if I can’t drag my knee (oops, pardon, SLIDE my knee), because I’ve done that kind of riding and feel that basically it really belongs on a racetrack. I don’t care if you don’t like it; I like it. Having said all that, I think the main reason V-Rods haven’t sold particularly well is the style, which really is not all that appealing, and the comfort factor, which basically isn’t there. Put some serious miles on one and you will need a chiropractor. The engine, on the other hand, is a thing of beauty, and this photoshopped “V-Glide” addresses all of the V-Rods shortcomings. Build it, Harley, and they will come. And while you’re at it, buy Royal-Enfield, already, and start selling inexpensive, 500cc. Harley-Enfields in your dealerships to attract younger and/or not-so-affluent customers. Try it. Really.

  21. B50 Jim says

    “Buy Royal-Enfield, already, and start selling inexpensive, 500cc. Harley-Enfields in your dealerships to attract younger and/or not-so-affluent customers.”

    Good idea, Simon, but H-D’s genetic makeup is completely about big, heavy bikes. The Motor Company has no clue how to market small, light machines, and those lovely Singles would languish in showroom corners everywhere, orphans of Harley’s single-minded focus. And would H-D ever sell an Indian-made motorcycle? That might cause too much confusion in potential buyers’ minds.

  22. thealaskan says

    As Todd8080 mentioned, his renderings have been on our forum for years, in fact not long after the V-Rod made it’s debut. You know someone at H-D has seen them, and as said, why not build it? Not as a replacement of the TC full dressers, but as an alternative. I don’t have the exact figures but I can’t believe the current crop of V-Rod designs have been huge sellers. You’d think that would be a clue.

  23. Dynadog says

    Harley markets the USA image to the world; maybe they need to think outside the “states box”! I believe that this V-Rod decker would be a hit in Europe and Canada to say the least. It is a tourer that works, not re-hashed twin cam crap that is made to self destruct. As long as HD keeps on the way they are going they will continue to lose their part of the market share… I moved on after many years of being a HD fan, I still love the bikes but now I ride a m/c that goes like a bat out of hell, is reliable and stops on a dime (insert BMW). I would be interested in a decker like this… May have to build one this winter while our Canuck roads are covered in snow… Where and who is that Florida company with Junked HD?

  24. powermatic says

    “I’d guess that the pictured bikes, were they to actually hit the road, would need to stop for gas every 60 miles. (The V-Rod is notorious for its lack of fuel capacity.)”

    V-Rods have five gallon tanks-and I’m pretty sure they get better than 12 mpg.

    • Joshua Rasmussen says

      trust me when i say i can pass everything but a gas
      Im looking into some way of adding another fuel cell or something.

  25. beezaric says

    Its just another dammed harley why dont Harley come into the real world and sell bikes for the masses not just for 1% ers to strip and hoon on

  26. Lincoln says

    Actually I think that looks pretty cool. From what I’ve seen, the V-Rod motor is engineered well and would handle the job with ease.( V – Rods weigh a ton anyway) Also options to stroke or big bore not to mention turbo kits.
    12MPG!? I don’t think so. Not in stock form at any rate

    • Penectomy says

      not 12 but 34mpg while a a big twin is in the 50s with way more torque in the lower RPMs where touring bikes use it. The Revo is not the best suited motor for a touring rig. HP at high RPMs does little for the typical touring rider.

      The new 103 for 2012 puts out over 102ft lbs of torque at just 3500rpm while the Revo is in the 80s at 5000rpm. Sure the Revo will smash the 90 peak HP of the 103 but what use is the 125hp to the typical touring rig? Im not saying one is better than the other. Just adding some reality to the discussion, most of it is preference and I “feel” that the preference of most touring riders is towards torque and not HP.

  27. Simon says

    In reply to B50 Jim, Harley was not always focused on big and heavy bikes. There was a time when they sold small displacement models manufactued in Italy. I learned how to ride on a Harley Sprint 250, which was a neat little bike. They also had a model called the Pacer and, believe it or not, a motor scooter called the Topper. They stopped importing those models right around the time the Japanese started bringing in small displacement bikes in droves, probably because they were not competitive on price. However, since the Japanese have now effectively abandoned the small displacement market, at least insofar as the USA is concerned, there is a niche open for those who would like small displacement, gas-efficient bikes for commuting and so forth, either as primary or secondary machines. Some Sportster riders, for example, have bought Kawasaki Ninja 250s as a second bike. I still think it’s a viable idea, because people are accustomed to the global market now. And for those few who still think that Harleys are completely “made in America,” they need only looked at the parts the bikes are made of –shocks by Showa, imported wheels, etc. Not to mention all those leather jackets made in Pakistan. Just sayin’.

  28. Joshua Rasmussen says

    I love when i see a bunch of punks talks smack on a bike they never will own let alone every ride. I own a 2009 V Rod muscle and will be converting it to a V glide soon.I will post pics.
    Till then if you dont own One SHUT SH SH SH
    Thank you for your time.

  29. John Buxton says

    Hey Joshua

    FYI- I was literally on my way to buy an 09 and convert it to a road rod. Just to be sure I called Cycle Visions and was told they cant do conversions on anything newer than an 07.

    To me, this is my perfect bike, all the creature comforts, but more nimble than my dresser and a bit lighter.

  30. Bob Paul says

    I have a 2011 VRSCDX (nightrod special) I built into a bagger already. Never had a bad comment when people see it. would post pics if i could figure out how.