I have looked at the V-Rod. I was seriously considering one when I noticed the small tank. I hear they increased the volume. How is the handling for such a heavy bike?
The bike is very fast, but all heavy bikes suck when it comes to handling, one essentially sacrifices handling for size. If you want a bike that handles and has the big-bike feel, get a Softtail- skip the Springer option, the low-to-ground old style frame when mated to a modern front end handles much better than big bikes with shocks, I say mine handles almost as good as my Sportster, and in some situations, better. If you want a Harley and you want real handling and do not need bags or riders, buy a Sportster 1200, put in a fuel-injection kit, a full-flow air cleaner and a set of Samson pipes, and you will have what I think is the best sport motorcycle ever built for those who aren't into the Ninja thing. The Nightster is the best handling but it is so low to the ground it will give you a pretty rough ride, I prefer the Custom which is higher off the ground and a little more comfortable to ride and the big tank.
The big advantage to the V rod is that it is water-cooled. Air cooled Harleys have reached their design-limits as far as HP output goes when restricted by EPA guidelines. If you water cool the engine, you can still meet EPA specs and crank out the HP. Honda is their big competion in this area, test ride both the V rod and Honda VTX 1800 and see which one you like better. I prefer the Honda, mostly because what is essentially the same bike costs about $8,000 less from Honda, altho the V Rod has it all over the Honda in the styling department, the Harley looks a lot cooler, it is designed to appeal to the European market, where Harley is doing quite well. It has not been as popular in the US, and as a result, you can find great deals on used ones, in fact, if I was in the market, that is how I would buy one, you can find Vrods with a few thousand miles for thousands off new.
Honda also has a new water-cooled v twin bike coming out this month, the Fury, which is essentially a factory chopper. It uses the 1300 engine. I'm thinking of buying one: