When the new Harleys came out earlier this year, included was a water-cooled motor in the lineup. From the backlash across social media, you would have thought the world was coming to end according to some people. How could big H-D possibly come out with a water-cooled motor and destroy the history and lineage of its 110-year lineup? Blasphemy! Well, wait a minute. There’s been a water-cooled motor in the lineup since 2001, so I’m not sure what the hubbub is all about.
RB Customs Choppers is the brainchild of Roman Blum, who has been building bikes for many years. When he was approached by Michael Rodriquez to build him a custom bike, RB fixated on this 2006 V-Rod as the platform. The Revolution motor that powered this bike put out a decent amount of power on its own, but in his eyes there’s always room for more. For that, a Trask Turbo system was used to take the stock 115 hp and bump it up to well past 160 thanks to some intercooled forced induction. Hot air and turbocharging do not make good company, so the water-cooled motor helped keep the incoming mixture a bit cooler.
When it came time for bodywork, a new look was given to the bike front to back. A small front fairing gave the bike more of a café look. A boost gauge was mounted into the gas tank to keep an eye on the power of the “pow” just underneath it. The tailsection of the bike was completely fabricated by RB and gives this custom a more aggressive look and profile as seen commonly in Streetfighter-style bikes from the UK. Finally, the entire bike was coated in a metallic copper to ensure it wouldn’t blend in with any other V-Rod or bike, for that matter.
The combination of motor and makeover on this V-Rod makes this bike something to contend with in the battles of the street. With a trifecta of power, beauty, and handling, it’s just enough change to set it apart in any crowd, air- or water-cooled. So before you go blowing a gasket about how water will ruin the world, make sure and double-check the history books. What’s old is new, and what’s new is old, as they say.