Sunday, July 27, 2008

Harley-Davidson Night Rod Special

Click on the image for more high-res shots of the Night Rod Special

Harley-Davidson and the cruiser segment in general is currently being forced into the realization that such bikes are often considered playthings by their owners. Sure, there are plenty of die-hard HD fanatics who ride their bikes thousands of miles annually and attend faraway rallies to gather with other enthusiasts who share their passion. Many owners, though, spend more time polishing their chrome than out riding. Such weekend warriors make up a large portion of the cruiser market, and those owners are being forced to hold onto their current rides a bit longer than normal due to the slowing economy in the U.S. -- a country which easily makes up the bulk of cruiser sales.

Harley-Davidson and the rest of the industry could see this change coming long ago, and the V-Rod was its opening defense to this looming issue... and it was a good one by most accounts. The Motor Company, though, has not been content to rest on the original V-Rod as the only alternative to its classic line of air-cooled V-twin powered bikes. Thankfully, we have machines such as the Night Rod Special to provide a welcome diversion from the rolling pieces of nostalgia that make up the majority of HD's line. Does the Night Rod Special's riding experience live up to the promise made by its menacing looks? Read on to find out.