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Turbo V-Rod Road Test - Vision Blurring Acceleration

The Turbo V-Rod welds to the moment with serious focus
Go from comfort cruising machine to vision burring acceleration
An easy upgrade to serious fun

August 2005

Custom Performance is a Phoenix based company, well known in the performance world, for building extremely fast bikes.

Thanks to Charlie Mitchell and Nick Trask for letting me test drive one of their Turbo V-Rods.

I brought my old buddy Jerry, along with his stock V-Rod for a basis of comparison. Charlie and Nick provided a thorough walk-around and technical explanation of the test bike---- utterly stock except for Turbo Kit and Legend air ride shocks. Included with the kit is a high-performance clutch. Not withstanding Charley and Nick’s exceptional courtesy and patience, we were there to ride, not look. So ride we did.

Riding through town, it occurs to the rider that there is really nothing different about the bike from an ordinary V-Rod; not a bad thing in itself. There’s nothing to indicate this is a beast other than the hissing sound of the blow off valve on the surge tank when you let off the throttle. It sounds like a miniature version of the sound that a semi makes when the brakes are applied; and disappears from the consciousness after a few minutes. Even the lever effort for the heavy duty clutch was, if anything, a little lighter than stock.

After turning on the I-17, I eased the throttle on in third gear at about 50 mph. The response was very fast. It was not a delayed response but a very reassuring continued concrete grabbing thrust that makes you sit up and pay attention.

After riding for awhile and not having any traffic around we were able to simulate a passing test to see the performance compared to a stock V-Rod. We simulated three different situations. One simulation from each gear; 3rd gear, 4th gear and 5th gear from about 50mph.

On the first test I rolled on the throttle at about 50mph in 3rd gear as did Jerry. I checked the mirror and thought that maybe he decided not to go for it. Too noisy to talk, so I signaled him to come up again and this time I held out four fingers and we downshifted to fourth and we hit it again. This time I let him hit it first to make sure that I did not get the jump on him. Again, it looked like he was not trying. Not sure what to think now. But one thing I know for sure… this is one screaming machine. You go from the comfort cruising machine to a serious holding on and vision burring acceleration. One that grabs a hold of all the ADD that I have and welds it to the moment with serious focus. Damn, that is some powerful medicine.

After easing on to a side road someplace north, Jerry looked at me and said, “That just isn’t fair. You just disappear. That Turbo brings to life a completely different dimension of acceleration and speed.”

I’ve rode several V-Rods in the past and loved the acceleration that the stock ones have. The V-Rod weighs around 625 pounds. Add a 150-pound driver and that brings the package to around 775 pounds. Now you take the stock V-Rod with around 105HP and you get 7.3 pounds per HP. That is good for about a 12 to 12.5 second quarter mile run. That is pretty respectable for a bike out of the box. Now you add 60 HP to that and the math comes out to 4.7 pounds per HP. If you check Valerie Thompson’s (vtracegirl.com) times on her Turbo V-Rod you will see that they are in the low 10’s and about 135 MPH in the quarter. Now, that can explain some of the disparity of the two V-Rods. The visuals of the two paired off really revealed the differences. It just didn’t seem possible.

Stock V-Rod & Turbo V-Rod Dyno Chart from Nick

More info on the
Turbo V-Rod Kit

Finally for the last simulated pass test in 5th gear. We were going about 50 MPH and did a roll on to full throttle. I made sure he got the advantage so we could be side by side for a short time. I wanted to do this because at that low RPM there is not a lot of boost and the horsepower range is about the same. It worked this time. Just for a short hesitation, we were side by side. Then I stared to pull away, then run away, then I was off to the races leaving Jerry to be just a little image in the mirror.

Jerry's Comments

Now I have to ask you. Do you need it? No. Do you have to have it? That is up to you. Do you want it? Yes! It is like having a fist full of money. It is always in the bank and you do not have to spend it, but the temptation is there. It is like having a docile bike on steroids. And I am sure abusing the steroids is not associated with longevity.

This is a true find. A very easy upgrade to serious fun without the hassles of rebuilding and milling and a lot of bolt on extras. Still runs on pump gas and the Turbo Kit can easily be taken off if you decide that you don’t need it or upgrade to a new V-Rod or maybe sell it on eBay.

Thanks Nick and Charlie. You have put together a great package.
P. S. They told me that they can put a Turbo on just about any Harley now.
If you have any question about the Turbo Call Nick or Charlie at 623-879-8488
or use the ask Nick a tech question email support link

Ride safe

Kirk

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without the permission of Kirk at phoenixbikers.com.