Well, I really love the VRSCR. Great straight line performance and a lot of fun in the twisties for an HD. Awesome brakes and with a few minor mods the bike is pretty comfortable for the rider. The fit and finish is as good as it gets and the bike has tons of eyeball. As with all of the V-Rod line these are not your typical HD bikes - no leaks, no pieces fall off, no need to carry tools. The problem for HD in my opinion is that this bike doesn't fit into any defined market segment. It won't appeal to the sport bike riders (the thing still weighs 650lbs), the typical cruiser guy probably won't like the aggressive riding position (high seat, mid controls), and it doesn't work real well as a sport tourer (limited luggage options, passenger riding position is uncomfortable for any length of time as pegs are too high). The last reason is primarily why I started looking for a second bike. When I decided on the R12R I had no intent on selling the Street Rod - I figured my riding time would be split between the two bikes. After finding myself riding the R12R at every opportunity I realized that apart from the coolness factor of the V-Rod, the BMW did just about everything I needed or wanted a bike to do. Furthermore, here in northern Canada the riding season is far too short to be spending time polishing a bike that doesn't get ridden much - not to mention the demand for anything in the V-Rod line here in Alberta seems to be far in excess of dealer supply this year thereby allowing me to get most of my money out of the Street Rod. I'm already looking for another bike (nothing wrong with two in the garage) but it will be something completely different.
As far as comparisons go between the VRSCR and the R12R, well...they are both naked bikes. Straight line performance is similar and probably have similar numbers in a 1/4 mile but I miss the way the Rod goes about it's business. Handling in the twisties the BMW wins hands down - while the Rod may be the best handling consumer HD ever, you just can't overcome the approx 200lb extra weight it carries compared to the BMW. Both transmissions are very nice and while the Rod is a 5 spd, there is really no need for a sixth gear on that bike. Braking performance on both bikes is very good but I'll give the nod to the R12R as I like having ABS. Suspension is better on the BMW. Rider ergonomics - the BMW works great for me out of the box whereas a few mods were needed on the HD. Pillion ergos go to the BMW hands down. Luggage options - BMW wins again. The gauge package/computer on the BMW has a few more bells and whistles and is easier to see when riding at speed but I still prefer the look of the clocks on the HD. I also prefer the switchgear on the Harley and I still hate the way the signals work on the BMW. Maybe its a left brain/right brain thing but I still beep the horn occasionally when trying to cancel a left signal or end up cancelling a non existent signal when trying to sound the horn. On the Harley, press once to turn on and they self cancel immediately after taking the corner...and not before or a block after. If you want to turn off the signal, simply press the same button again. One button on left side for left signal one on right side for right signal - why the hell do we need a separate button to cancel on the BMW. (rant off) In the looks department the Rod wins hands down - pull into a parking lot and it gets a lot of attention whereas the BMW goes pretty much unnoticed.
I guess in a nutshell the VRSCR is a good blend of form and function; the R12R is all about function and execution - it is the better motorcycle for sure but I would readily recommend both bikes and they will both put a smile on your face.
2007 R1200R (now sold)
2008 Sprint ST