Harley V-Rod and Andrew Hines Charge to Victory at NHRA Four-Wide Nationals

Harley-Davidson NHRA Charlotte

Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines rider Andrew Hines grabs the holeshot at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte.

Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines rider Andrew Hines scorched the Pro Stock Motorcycle final to win the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals presented by Lowes Foods at zMAX Dragway. Competing in a unique four-wide format aboard a Harley-Davidson V-Rod motorcycle, Hines finished second in two elimination rounds to advance to the final and won the event for the third consecutive year while claiming his first win of the 2016 season.

“I think the Four-Wide is the only event where you can lose a round and still win,” said Hines, the defending NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle champion. “We put a fresh motor in my V-Rod on Saturday, and I had a strong-running motorcycle today. The Screamin’ Eagle team won the first two races this year, so we are off to a great start. We are really happy with our performance and the way the bikes are responding to tuning.”

Hines qualified fourth for the event with a best run of 6.837 seconds. Hines won the final with an outstanding reaction time of 0.002 seconds to launch his motorcycle on a 6.844-second run and a top speed of 195.42 miles per hour. The win this weekend was the 43rd career final-round victory for Hines and the fifth in his last six races at zMax Dragway.

Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines rider Ed Krawiec, the Pro Stock Motorcycle points leader, also advanced to the Four-Wide final and finished second to Hines. Until the final, Krawiec was dominating the event, riding his Harley-Davidson V-Rod motorcycle to the top spot in qualifying with a 6.818-second elapsed time on Friday, winning his first two elimination heats on Sunday and setting the quickest time of the weekend with a 6.810-second blast in the second round of eliminations. Krawiec has been the runner-up at the last four Charlotte Four-Wide events.

Hines and Krawiec race on competition motorcycles inspired by the unrelenting performance and sleek street style of the Harley-Davidson Night Rod Special, a motorcycle powered by a liquid-cooled 60° V-twin engine ready to breathe a little fire onto the street and available now at authorized Harley-Davidson dealerships.

After two of 16 Pro Stock Motorcycle events on the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, Krawiec leads the class with 232 points and Hines is in second place with 197 points.

The Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle/Vance & Hines drag racing team returns to action May 13-15 at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga.

Harley Race News: V-Rod Powers Hines To NHRA Lead

Charlotte Win Moves Harley Rider to #1 in Pro Stock Motorcycle Standing

Concord, N.C. – Harley-Davidson/Vance & Hines rider Andrew Hines won the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle races at zMax Dragway with a final-round win at the NHRA Carolina Nationals, the first race in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Aboard a Harley V-Rod, Hines scored his third final-round win of the season.

The win boosts Hines past his teammate Ed Krawiec and into the Countdown points lead. Krawiec, the top seed for the Countdown, lost in the second round on Sunday.

“This was a big day to use my V-Rod to capitalize,” said Hines, a four-time NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle champion. “I had a chance to move up and take out some of the other top teams. This Pro Stock Motorcycle class is so tight right now that you need to take advantage of every chance you get.”

After the first of six rounds in the Countdown playoffs, Hines leads the Pro Stock Motorcycle field with 2,193 points. Krawiec is second with 2,173 points. Krawiec was the top seed for the event in Charlotte, posting a best Elapsed Time of 6.851 seconds in the final round of qualifying on Saturday. Hines qualified third at 6.869 seconds.

“I had a V-Rod fast enough to take the number one spot,” said Krawiec. “But in round two my rear tire spun due to the track being greasy. Both Screamin’ Eagle bikes are performing well, and I will bounce back.”

Hines advanced with three wins and defeated Matt Smith in the final to claim the 41st event win of his career and his fifth win at the zMax Dragway track.

New Bike Review: 2014 VRSCF V-Rod Muscle


Using Aluminum to Pump Iron

By Dain Gingerelli, photos by Riles & Nelson


Sometimes you need to apply bully tactics to get certain things done. Consider Harley’s marketing for the V-Rod: in the years following its 2002 launch, V-Rod sales floundered. The all-silver, dish-wheeled power cruiser that looked like it was chiseled from a single chunk of billet aluminum never caught on with the Harley crowd. Subsequent iterations using the 60-degree, liquid-cooled, double-overhead cam V-twin engine also underwhelmed potential buyers, including the younger bike crowd that the V-Rod was intended to capture in the first place. The solution for improving V-Rod sales, suggested someone in Harley’s marketing department, was to apply some strong-arm tactics — you know, muscle — to the market.

And so, for model year 2009, Harley-Davidson did just that with the VRSCF V-Rod Muscle, a variation of the metric model that boasted a bolder, brawnier stance. The Muscle was a chest blow to the industry, and when enthusiasts regained their collective breath, many customers agreed that the V-Rod’s new look was becoming of its name. Consequently, V-Rod sales gained strength and momentum, and the Muscle has been pulling its fair share of the load for Harley-Davidson ever since.

To achieve the new look Harley injected steroids directly into the V-Rod’s body panels. The Muscle’s signature V-Rod faux gas tank is wider and beefier, and racy mesh-screen vents replaced the caricature front louvers found on the original model. Interestingly, the bulky radiator shroud behind the fork was given a cleaner, leaner look, and both wider fenders were bobbed; the demonstrably wide rear fender shrouds a massive 240mm Michelin Scorcher 11 radial tire. Beefy handlebars that are intricately cast from aluminum shore up the equally massive-looking inverted fork, and, to help balance the visual aesthetics, the V-Rod’s familiar stacked mufflers were rerouted, one per side, with styling to mimic the big cans seen on a Corvette L-88 from the muscle car era 40-some years ago.

V-Rod 4Indeed, the fork’s 43mm inverted legs and triple trees also look as if they were whittled from solid billet aluminum, and to underscore the bike’s racy appearance, all but the EFI throttle cables and hydraulic brake and clutch lines are routed within the handlebars. Notice, too, that there are no ungainly turn signal stalks protruding like antlers from the fork legs — the billet-looking mirror stems serve as housings for the amber LED turn signal lights that double as running lights for greater visibility. Similar stealth-like concealment of exterior illumination is found at the rear, where integrated LED taillight and turn signals are form-fit to the arching fender. You get the impression that the guys manning the CNC machines played a role in sculpting the three-face instrument cluster, too. Positioned at the top of the steering stem are three overlapping analog gauges that, from left to right, include the 10000 rpm tach (but engine redline is set at only 9000 rpm), 150-mph speedometer (the Muscle won’t reach that speed, but the numbers staring back at you are impressive nonetheless), and fuel gauge (especially important when considering the bike’s fuel range — more on that later). The reset button for the electronic odometer/trip meter/clock is found at bottom center of the instrument housing. It’s somewhat of a stretch when reaching for the odo’s reset button and handgrips, for that matter, because the Muscle’s bucket-like seat positions you rather far back on the frame. And while the seat’s abbreviated backrest offers ample support — especially during hard-charging, off-the-line launches, which the Muscle does with gusto — foot and hand controls are placed well forward, creating a clamshell riding position much like a member of the 101st Airborne making a jump behind enemy lines. Seat height is set at 25.6″ (with a 180-pound rider), and the combination promotes the seating posture you expect from a power cruiser such as this. That’s not to say that it’s the most comfortable riding position, though; your lower back will begin to feel the stress after about an hour or so in the saddle. That seat time equates to about two-thirds of a tank of gas, because the V-Rod delivers 30-or-so mpg. Harley advertises 37 mpg (combined city and highway), but our test figures penciled out to a low of 27 and a high of 32 mpg. Tank capacity is advertised at 5 gallons, and you’ll find the fuel filler under the flip-up seat.

V-Rod 3There’s a reason for those somewhat dismal fuel mileage figures. Horsepower requires btu (British thermal units), and to raise those you need to burn plenty of high-octane gasoline in the Muscle’s motor. The Muscle delivers its fuel through electronic sequential port fuel injection that’s nestled under the faux tank. The four-valve heads pack the fuel charge within 1247cc (76″) worth of cylinders that have an 11.5:1 compression ratio. With a bore and stroke of 4.130″ and 2.835″ respectively, the Muscle revs fast, delivering 87 ft-lbs. of torque at 6750 rpm. Power delivery is seamless from as low as 2000 rpm up to redline, although the slick-shifting five-speed transmission encourages you to liberally select gears for the occasion. A slipper clutch (officially marketed as Assist-and-Slip, or A&S) reduces the effects of engine braking during downshifts, and clutch pull at the lever is rather light, offering positive feedback, too.

But when you grab a fist full of throttle, you’ll leave those facts and figures, and possibly your stomach, at the line. All that matters is how wickedly quick the V-Rod Muscle can be, with plenty of punch in any gear. Our second-gear roll-ons generated a time of 2.6 seconds from 20-50 mph, which is only a tenth of a second quicker than our 60-80 sprint in fourth gear. These acceleration times for Big Twins are generally about a second or so apart, favoring the 20-50 sprint. Why the tight spread with the Muscle? Transmission gear ratios are a key factor. Simply, fourth gear at 60 mph (4500 rpm) puts the engine near its torque band so the rear tire is already feeling the effect of horsepower. On the other hand, the lower gears are fairly steep, keeping engine rpm low so it takes a millisecond longer for the 1,247cc engine to spool up to power.

Regardless, the engine’s power is delivered smooth and strong, and once up to cruising speed, the Muscle produces a pleasant ride with little vibration present. Complementing the engine’s smooth power delivery is suspension with evenly matched spring and damping rates for an overall controlled ride. Suspension travel is advertised at 4″ (front) and 2.9″ (rear), so expect to bottom out on bigger bumps and ruts, with more positive feedback under less stressful road conditions. Steering geometry suggests a slow-steering bike. With rake and trail set at 34 degrees and 5.6″ respectively and the huge 240mm-wide tire pushing from behind, the Muscle, indeed, requires initial muscling on the hand-grips during turn-in for corners. V-Rod 1BThe big tire also promotes a slightly unsteady feel while holding a curvy line on a twisty road, but if you maintain a reasonable pace the 640-pound (dry weight) bike feels manageable and steady. You’ll gain equal confidence while braking because the Muscle comes standard this year with ABS (anti-lock braking system). And with three (two front, one rear) four-piston Brembo brakes coupled with two rather large tire contact patches (tire sizes are 120/70ZR-19″ front, 240/40R-18″ rear) the Muscle can stop quickly. Our 30-0 panic stops measured 22′, and feedback through the brake controls is smooth and positive.

Boasting raw-bone styling and sizzling acceleration matched with dazzling deceleration performance, a MSRP of $15,849 (Vivid Black; $16,174 for solid colors such as our Charcoal Pearl test bike and $16,384 for two-tones), and ABS as a standard feature, the Muscle represents the best bargain ever for a V-Rod. AIM


This story originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of American Iron Magazine. To order a back issue, visit Greaserag.com.

Harley News 2014 Harley Motorcycles – Liquid Cooled Revolution X Street 750 & Street 500

Harley-Davidson is continuing its monumental ride, which began with the introduction of Project RUSHMORE in August, by revealing two new Dark Custom™ motorcycles designed for young urban riders around the world.

The Harley-Davidson Street™ 750 and Street™ 500 motorcycles – the first all-new platform from Harley-Davidson in 13 years – are built for urban environments with all-new liquid-cooled Revolution X™ powertrains, nimble agility and the sound and look that lets everyone know they are genuine Harley-Davidson.

2014 Harley liquid cooled Street 750

2014 Harley liquid cooled Street 750

“These are the newest motorcycles to join our Dark Custom lineup, which helped make us the number-one selling brand to young adults in the U.S. for the past five years,” said Matt Levatich, President and Chief Operating Officer, Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “Both the Street 750 and Street 500 were designed with thousands of hours of input from young adults in cities around the world. This input guided both the attitude and capabilities of these motorcycles. They are proof that being customer-led continues to be a core driver of our product development process.”

Urban, Authentic Harley-Davidson
The Street 750 and Street 500 from Harley-Davidson are built for an urban environment. Each motorcycle features the new Revolution X engine, designed to match the demands of stop-and-go traffic with nimble agility, while delivering instant throttle response to escape city gridlock.

The Revolution X engine will be housed in a new, narrow and lean chassis built for agility, with a super-low seat height, new suspension and broad handlebar sweep that provides confidence and maneuverability when managing tight turns and fast moves. Both signature Dark Custom motorcycles feature a premium, minimalist style that serves as a blank canvas for riders to customize.

“These new bikes are leaner, yet still have a mean streak – they’re the real deal, made of real steel.” said Mark-Hans Richer, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “They’re designed to handle the abuses of urban environments and provide authentic opportunities to customize.”

The Harley-Davidson Street 750 and Street 500 will be rolling into dealerships in select markets starting in 2014.

V-Rod Custom Motorcycle News – Daytona Bike Week 2013

V-Rod Daytona updated custom motorcycle news. Are you a fan of Harley V-Rod motorcycles? Good news if you are.

There will be a free informal gathering, supported by Harley-Davidson on Beach Street starting at 7:30 am on Thursday, March 14. Let’s hope the sun is up in time for this gathering.

We hope to have staffers from American Iron Magazine, Motorcycle Bagger and RoadBike at this V-Rod event with cameras to capture the action and possibly pick one or more of the V-Rods for possible features in the magazines. Now that’s custom motorcycle news.

Harley V-Rod Muscle Magazine Review

Harley V-Rod Muscle Motorcycle

As of this writing, Vance & Hines/Screamin’ Eagle Racing’s newest rider, Eddie Krawiec, just earned his second NHRA Pro-Stock motorcycle event “Wally” victory trophy. He was aboard the bike many consider to be the inspiration for the VRSCF V-Rod Muscle you see on these pages. Heck, we even have the color right. Eddie’s rise to fame started last year when he pulled off a seemingly impossible mission by winning the Pro-Stock Bike season championship without scoring a single event win. That takes consistency. He was right there, in the thick of things all year, but didn’t once stand atop the winner’s circle podium. But after all the points were tallied, he got the big trophy. That’s what really
matters. Now, with this year’s victories (so far) at Atlanta and St. Louis, Eddie has the single-event win monkey off his back. He’s proven that he can win on a weekend, or last the long haul.

While the Muscle has the visual stance and a healthy acceleration, this V-Rod’s not gonna keep up with Eddie’s quarter-mile pace of 6.90 seconds at over 192 mph. But slapping a holeshot on slower traffic during your daily commute “competition” will be no problem. The 76″ (1250cc) liquid-cooled Revolution engine is shared with both other V-Rod models this year, and churns out 86 ft-lbs. of torque. With sequential-port fuel injection and 11.5:1 compression, there’s plenty of power when the green light drops. One item that doesn’t exude muscle is the dual left and right, low, streetsweeper exhaust. I can’t even say it flexes the acoustics under heavy throttle. The Muscle is downright whisper-quiet … just ask my neighbors. One dirty little secret about the exhaust is in the smallish passenger footrest area. The pipes get hot enough to sizzle boot soles and the resulting dark marks are a black mark on a cool bike.

In the ergonomics department, this is no La-Z-Boy recliner. Forward controls differ from Eddie’s rearsets, and the cast-aluminum handlebar (with concealed wiring) creates a cool Pro-Street posture. In keeping with the “be like Eddie” theme, I tried riding with my feet perched on the passenger pegs. Low and behold, that’s where I was most comfortable, but it’s not the safest of foot placements, as you lose quick brake and shifter reaction. Making a fashion statement, megafox runway model Marisa Miller is shown in V-Rod Muscle ads straddling the bike and reaching far for the bars. While the bars are a bit forward, and my back had a nice stretch to reach, don’t worry, Marisa’s posture is exaggerated. (See more of Marisa at www.H-D.com/Muscle.)

Visual enhancement comes from new bodywork panels in the radiator shroud, dual-scooped steering neck covers, stubbed rear fender, and LED taillamp with integrated signals. The swingaway license bracket also uses LEDs to light your plate. The five-spoke, cast-aluminum wheels are new, and the mirror-stalk, front-LED signal lights are trick, if not a tad low. I banged knuckles more than once. Pilot information comes from a triple-gauge layout with speedo front and center, a smallish-but-readable tach, and an always welcome fuel gauge with an active needle. The inset LCD panel displays assorted mileage figures and low-fuel countdown.

I equate the handling characteristics of the Muscle to that of trying to grasp a 55-gallon drum of race fuel at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions on the lid, and trying to rock it over. Okay, so the drum isn’t full on VP juice, but it does take some effort. Thank the 673-pound curb weight, the 240-profile rear rubber, and the 5.6″ trail (which is great for that long straightaway), but ironically you’ll need to muscle this bike through the twisties. Up front, the Muscle sports a 43mm upside-down front end, and only preload is adjustable on the pair of rear shocks. Twin 11.8″ floating rotors up front, and an equal-size single disc out back, are clamped by a triple play of Brembo four-piston calipers. Our test unit was also equipped with H-D ABS. I found the engagement to be predictable and strong, with no chattering, just a deep thud when it becomes active.

With some bicep flexing required to maneuver the Muscle, you may want to try a new workout exercise. It’s called the wallet curl. You’ll be doing plenty of sets as you pay for the repeated fillings of the 5-gallon tank. Generally speaking, I was getting 28 mpg, but I was doing plenty of right-wrist twists while riding, to build my forearms. Your not-so-friendly banker will be saying “No pain, no gain” as you sign on the dotted line for the most expensive of the three VRSC models this year: $17,199 gets you basic black, but red, blue, or silver will cost you $17,504. And at $795, the ABS option is a downright bargain and a must-have in my book. But perhaps the hardest part of owning this bike will be the ribbing you take from your buddies about riding something called a Muscle. Better be secure in your manhood. AIM

–Steve Lita as published in American Iron Magazine, the world’s best selling Harley magazine.