Harley Davidson – Night Rod

The Night Rod® Special 2016 is a dark mysterious cruiser that has ridden away with the hearts of many including my young niece who is an avid fan of the DreamWorks How to train your dragon movies and its dark, intensely fun Night Fury  dragon “toothless“. She could not help but feel the mystique and charm oozing from the magnificent Night Rod® Special just like the sinister Night Fury.

If you delight in the symphonic masterpiece of Harley Davidson motorbikes purring down the lane, then the Night Rod® Special 2016 does not disappoint.  It surely left my auditory nerves tingling and ringing with utter glee as its rider calmly navigated a sharp corner and zipped into the horizon. (I honestly thought of giving chase).

The Night Rod® Special is a pure onslaught of blacked out metal aggression-from a fast back tail unit to a menacing streamlined front.  It essentially had me at the front fork. The Night Rod® Special boasts of a liquid-cooled 60° V-twin engine loaded with racing-derived dual overhead cams, 4-valve heads and velocity stacks bolstering its double barrel exhaust.  Go on – twist the throttle – and experience its pure power and have your bike riding journals rewarded with the authority and performance of a Porsche-designed V-twin engine orchestra.

Acclaimed as one of the coolest OEM performance cruisers available today, it pumps out a measured 107.6 rear-wheel horsepower and 71.5Ib-ft of torque. Under the cover of night the Night Rod® Special will do well for Bruce Wayne’s street cred when he dons his cape and cowl.

Look up the Night Rod Special’s slight front end, the 120-series front tire, the thick 240-series rear tire, snug engine compartment and under-seat 5 Gallon fuel unit that make the Night Rod’s Centre of Gravity to be the best when compared to the traditionally located Harley Davidson fuel tanks. You will agree that the Night Rod is sheer engineering refinement and sophistication.

Given an Unladen seat height of 26.6 inches above the pavement and coming in at approximately 96.1 inches in length, those new to cruisers might find it a bit lengthy even though longer cruisers do exist. A mishmash of a wheelbase length at 67 inches and the wide rear tire collude to make the Night Rod’s handling a tad challenging – reminiscent of toothless the Night Fury (No! Dragons do not have tires but toothless does come with a pedal – go figure).

To overcome the challenges of aggressively navigating tight corners by surmounting a steep learning curve and making the necessary adjustments (remember our rider in the beginning of this article who did not break a sweat doing this) only deepens your relationship and builds your private history and drama with this elegant machine – that said the low Centre of Gravity does help to offset the cornering effects.

The Night Rod weighs approximately 667lb and the flat tire and wheel combo does compromise the ride quality. Also noted is the clamshell riding position; a by product of forward pegs and race handlebars that make the Night Rod® Special 2016 a pariah in the Harley Davidson universe, requiring you to get over the seating position (handlebars and foot peg are customizable if bothersome), eccentric handling and the excessive rear cylinder heat throwing considerable warmth to your right leg (oh surely you will feel alive!).

Hello dark, mysterious, charming cruiser with a slipper clutch, fast and powerful engine. Thou art exceptionally revvvvy, sporting your dual front disk brakes with Brembo Calipers and ABS that giveth thee thine excellent stopping power. What indeed am I to do with your eccentric personality? How to tame your Night Rod Special 2016? Anyone?

 

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