Harley-Davidson introduced the VRSC Night Rod in 2006 and then made a few changes for the 2008 model year before discontinuing it that same year. Its companion model, the Night Rod Special, is still in production. Harley introduced the V-Twin Racing Street Custom, known as VRSC, in 2001 when it was known as the V-Rod. Harley designed the motorcycle to compete against Japanese muscle bikes. The V-Rod featured the Revolution engine that Harley developed with Porsche. The engine also is significant in Harley’s manufacturing history because it marked the first time the American manufacturer made a motorcycle with overhead cams and a liquid-cooled engine. The V-Rod also differs from other Harleys because the gas tank is located under the seat instead of in front of the driver. You’ll still see a ""tank"" there, but it is just an element to hide the frame. This motorcycle is made for drag racing, hence the ""rod"" in its name.
Harley increased the size of the Revolution engine from 1130 cc to 1250 cc for the 2008 model year in both the Night Rod and Night Rod Special. The Wisconsin manufacturer also replaced the old clutch with a slipper clutch and added factory-installed anti-lock brakes (ABS) as an option. The 2008 Night Rod Special has drag bars as well as more parts powder-coated in black than the basic Night Rod. The Special also has painted racing stripe graphics. Additionally, the Special has a 25.2-inch seat, which is the lowest of any of the VRSC models.