READER MOTORCYCLE REVIEW: 2009 Harley-Davidson V-Rod

Brenda Stahler, Lehighton, Pennsylvania

Brenda's height: 5 feet 4-1/2 inches

Want to share your motorcycle or product review? Click here to find out how.

I just traded my 2002 Harley-Davidson Sportster Hugger for a 2009 Harley-Davidson V-Rod and wish I would have done it sooner. Im only 5-foot-4-1/2 and couldnt find anything that fit me. There were other Harleys that were lower; however, they were so wide I couldnt get my legs around them and still reach the ground. I fell in love with the look of the V-Rod when it first came out, but I really wanted a bigger tank, as that was one of my issues with the Sportster. I was always stopping for gas and holding everyone else up.

Brenda shows off her 2009 Harley-Davidson V-Rod. With custom pipes and a Reach Seat, it fits her perfectly.

When the V-Rod went to the 5-gallon tank, I was hooked for sure but a little intimidated because everyone talked about all the power it had. The fat rear tire also made me hesitate after reading comments from guys saying the big tire made it hard to corner. Well, after much urging from my husband, I took one for a test ride and fell in love. Cornering was no problem—I actually feel like it holds the road better in corners. Of course, Im not going 140 miles per hour like some of the guys. With the gas tank under the seat, the center of gravity is really low so the bike handles like a charm and is exceptionally balanced. However, putting gas in it does take some getting used to, as you really need to bend down to dispense the gas. That is just a minor detail that Im sure Ill get used to.

I put on a Reach Seat, which brought me about an inch lower, and I swapped out those huge stock pipes with Rinehart straight pipes, making the bike even narrower. It is now perfect! Of course, more chrome wouldnt hurt.

To any women considering going bigger, dont be intimidated by what you hear. Take one for a test ride and decide for yourself. Women ride a lot differently than most men, so it really is an individual choice. I love the fact that not only can I keep up with the guys, but there are no more 100-mile gas stops and no more messing with the choke. I just hit the button and go.

Want to share your motorcycle or product review? Click here to find out how.

Related Articles:
Lowest Seat Height Bikes On The Market

10 thoughts on READER MOTORCYCLE REVIEW: 2009 Harley-Davidson V-Rod

  1. Thanks for the article. Considering my first Harley. Like the V-Rod.

  2. Love V-Rods. The different look get looks! I have owned every frame/model of H-D but a V-Rod. Had the pleasure of demo’ing a red Muscle last fall. What a blast! I don’t know why there aren’t more on the road. If I could have two bikes, my second would be a V-Rod. Great article and comments.

  3. Have purchased a V-Rod and love the look. I am new to riding and have taken my rider's course. I am still a bit nervous of my bike because of the naysayers about the power and my stature. My question is about the Reach seat and pipes. The Reach seat puts you closer to the controls or does it lower the seat…or perhaps both?

    When I am on my bike, I have good contact with the ground, but if the seat could make a difference, then I want to go for it. I also have Screaming Eagle pipes which seems to make it fat around the calf area of my legs. Do you recommend a more streamline pipe to allow a little more clearance? Just want to get on her and ride with more confidence and if these two fixes would help, she's going to the shop immediately.

  4. I too am hooked on a V-Rod, but I'm afraid at only 5-feet-1 I will never be able to make it work. I did find a 2006 VRSCR with standard pegs, but not sure if the seat height will allow me to adequately touch the ground. Just recently sold my 2003 (100th Anniversary) Sportster 1200C and am looking for a bigger bike. I really have my heart set on a V-Rod. Any words of encouragement/advice?

  5. Congrats on your bike!
    I love my V-Rod! My 2003 V-Rod gets the looks it demands and loves the attention from both men and women. I too changed to the Reach seat, making my controls easier and more comfortable to reach. I am 5-feet-5 and about 130 pounds so the center weight of the bike provides the confidence and control to make the maneuvering along those curvy roads with more fun and excitement! I can plant my feet firmly on the ground without worrying about the top heaviness of the other Harley bikes I have ridden. I do get comments from the “old schoolers” that the V-Rods look like a foreign bike, not American enough, etc. In addition, they start telling me what is wrong (engine, etc.) with it by making comparisons to the “real” Harleys, etc. No matter, every biker should get the bike that fits him/her the most.

    I always wanted a Harley and this is my third one. I am still keeping my 1200 Custom Sporty for nostalgic reasons and do ride her to keep her from getting lonely. Each bike does have its perks and makes life so much more enjoyable. Not sure whether I will change to a bigger tank; I don't mind stopping every 125 miles to fill up, stretch and rest anyway. Love your story. Enjoy life fully!

  6. I too fell in love with the looks of the V-rod and purchased a 2005. I love how weight is distributed because of the gas tank under the seat. Even though I have the 3.8 gallonl tank, I still can get 150 mile to a tank. Every man has commented “isn't that too much bike for her?” Uh, no. With 120 horsepower and a Porsche engine, the guys have to keep up with me.

  7. Thanks Brenda for the input on the V-Rod, I loved it when it first came out also! I am 5-feet-2 and knew I couldn't fit on it, but lowering the seat and switching out the pipes sounds perfect. (I like the chrome pipes better also.) Something for me to think about!

    I keep holding out hoping for something to come out that would be perfect for my size, with more power and bigger. I considered the Fat Boy Lo also, but again the pipes are a problem. I love the look of the fat tire on the back also. Your article helped me to eventually go for what I want and love. Thanks again!

  8. I have an '06 Night Rod and love it more than any bike I have previously owned. I've done several 1-week-plus tours on her including a 15 day ride from Florida to Colorado this summer. I also have the Reach seat on mine which is comfortable for the long haul. There may be a true touring bike in the distant future for me, but I will always have my curvy, fast V-Rod! She's a keeper!

  9. Dear Brenda,
    What a lovely article and congratulations on your new V-Rod. Last summer I got my Night Rod Special and I am so happy I did. Like you, it was the biggest bike I ever owned and it's speed and size and the big fat rear 240 had me really nervous. I wanted to let the other ladies know that they should listen to you, ignore the boys and don't let their stories about the V-Rod intimidate them. It's a lovely bike, gets lots of looks and is so much fun to ride.

    As for the intimidation factor, one more thing. If you do ever get on it really hard please have a death grip on the bike when you hit 6,000 rpm. At 6,000 rpm it totally explodes into warp speed and it's a huge adrenaline rush.

    Mine is just over a year old now, with more than 15,000 miles, and with a Universal Fit T-Bag I've been able to do long weekend and week long trips on my V-Rod just fine.

Scroll to Top