Motorcycles | 13 February 2017Harley-Davidson’s Race-Ready Dragster 2005-2006 Share article facebook twitter google pinterest People who are serious about their rides love to customize them after they leave the showroom floor. The Harley-Davidson Motor Company took notice of that and in 1999, the Harley-Davidson Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) department was born. Now, all sorts of various custom machines were available from the factory, which mixed things up every couple of years with new ideas and machines. From the book Harley-Davidson(R) CVO(tm) Motorcycles: The Motor Company’s Custom Vehicle Operations is a look at a wild, race-ready H-D dragster that the company offered in 2005-2006, the VRXSC Screamin’ Eagle V-Rod Destroyer. VRXSC SCREAMIN’ EAGLE V-ROD DESTROYER MODEL By now, it’s clear the lengths to which the CVO motorcycle program will go when it comes to impressing the motorcycling public with a piece of exclusive, powerful, fully featured moto-art. But there’s another CVO machine that doesn’t quite fit even CVO model’s unconventional mold. It doesn’t have any special paint, it actually had fewer features than the production model it was based upon, and it wasn’t even street-legal. Sound like a dog? You’ve got another thing coming: behold the VRXSC Screamin’ Eagle V-Rod Destroyer model. You’re looking at the only factory racing machine Harley-Davidson has produced since the fabled XR-750 motorcycle, the dirt-track weapon that ate AMA Grand National Championships for breakfast and the road race VR1000 motorcycles. It’s been more than three decades since you could buy an XR-750 motorcycle, but the VRXSC model takes up the torch with pride and power to boot. Just like the XR-750 motorcycle, if you had the cash and the right racing license, you too could mosey up to your local Harley-Davidson dealership and order one for yourself, an honest-to-iron production race bike, built for one purpose: winning races. It was a brilliant and bold move by the CVO motorcycle team, but not a new idea; Harley-Davidson has been a part of motorcycle racing longer than any other motorcycle company, from hill climbs to drag strips, flat tracks, and road courses. “Certainly it’s a significant part of Harley-Davidson history and a significant part of our (CVO) history,” said Jim Hofman. “We are very proud of that bike and the fact that we could really get outside the box with it.” And justifiably so. Winning drag races is no simple feat; it takes careful management of power, timing, and endless practice and development. And yet the CVO motorcycle team put this bike on the pavement after little more than a year of development, unveiling it at Harley-Davidson’s dealer show at the end of 2005. It shows dedication and focus, but the results are even more impressive than the process. First of all, let’s throw out some numbers. Think your bike is quick? The VRXSC model delivers the standing quarter mile in under 10 seconds—if your reaction times are up to it and your reflexes are sharp. Pro AHDRA racers nudged the times down to the 9.2-second mark at the bike’s unveiling, but these are guys who live on the strip and breathe nitro. For the rest of us, the sensation might be a little foreign, not to mention terrifying. “It’s like walking on tiptoes to the brink of Armageddon,” said Mark Hoyer of Cycle World, who squeezed off a respectable 9.7 at the press unveiling. With this kind of power, you’d be timid, too. You may have a friend with a turbo bagger or a big-bore Dyna motorcycle, but this is a whole different animal. With its aluminum construction, the Destroyer motorcycle barely tips the scales over 500 pounds, less than a new 883 Sportster motorcycle. Meanwhile, the engine retains the stock crankcases, but the crank is all-new, highly lightened to raise the rev limit and build revs even faster. It’s also stroked out to bring the total displacement up to 1300cc at a mind-bending 14:1 compression ratio. The four valve heads are also special castings, with massive porting work to bring the gas in and out at the staggering rate required by wide-open launches. Tuned fuel injection delivers just the right amount of race fuel, and exhaust thunders out of a huge 2-into-1 header with no baffles or mufflers to speak of. Aggressive cams are in the mix, of course, delivering massive power but requiring the bike to be idled at 2,000 revs! It’s all good for 165 horsepower, and nearly 100 foot pounds of torque. A milk run machine this isn’t. Unique for a CVO machine, the Destroyer motorcycle doesn’t get points for on-road refinement or rider-friendly features. Every part has one purpose: to devour quartermile sections of pavement. So the custom parts you get are all trick speed equipment from around the industry: a high-pressure Pingel air shifter, a data acquisition system for tracking runs and engine performance, and light racing wheels wrapped in drag slicks. Instrumentation is minimal: just three small status lights to distract you from the massive LED shift light. You do get a nice custom seat, like most CVO machines, but on the Destroyer motorcycle it’s shaped not for comfort but to keep you from flying off the bike at launch! While it’s a powerful and fearsome machine in every way, it’s not numbers that make the V-Rod Destroyer motorcycle important. The essential backstory is Harley- Davidson’s return to grass roots racing, such a beloved and significant part of its heritage and a notion that taps right into our American sense of speed and ambition. V-Rod Destroyer motorcycles may not get treated to the same adornments as other CVO machines, but they do get a special place in history as the motorcycle that put Harley-Davidson racing back on the map. In the words of Jim Hofman, “They’re not for everyone, but are there to show what’s possible.” And on a machine like this, you have to think that anything’s possible. Buy from an Online Retailer Chronicled here for the first time, Harley-Davidson’s CVO motorcycles are pure eye candy. The pinnacle of Harley-Davidson customization–that’s exactly what the Motor Company’s Custom Vehicle Operations(R) motorcycles are: custom-shop details that push the boundaries of style and performance with high-impact paint, killer wheels, big engines, and exclusive technology. Designed in-house since 1999 at Harley-Davidson’s world-class Willie G Product Development Center, built by the factory, and available through Harley-Davidson’s dealer network, these machines set themselves apart from the pack. Harley-Davidson(R) CVO(tm) Motorcycles: the Motor Company’s Custom Vehicle Operations is the first book to showcase these works of two-wheeled art and the story behind them. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.