Now imagine that example of chrome and fantasy parked on the golfing greens of one the world’s poshest resorts. You’d expect to find celebrities and dignitaries hob-nobbing with Willie G in a place like this, but instead you've got me and the 2010 Harley-Davidson CVO model launch.
Now in its 11th year, the mission of the Custom Vehicles Operation program is to design and build limited-production, factory-custom motorcycles for customers who appreciate brilliant chrome, exquisite paint, thundering power and the exclusivity of owning and riding a very special motorcycle.
As is typical for the original American iron builder, new CVO bikes are announced before that of the standard OE lineup – apparently, those CVO employees like winning races. Most often we’re treated to improved favorites of the preceding year’s OE lineup, wrapped in that Custom Vehicle Operation blanket of limited production runs, exclusive and pioneering technologies and the freshest bling available from the bar-and-shield parts and accessories catalog.
Model year 2010 is no different. Any possible new models from the world’s most popular V-Twin builder won’t happen at this event. If you’re wondering if Harley has anything to compare to the new Victory models you just read about on Motorcycle.com, you’ll have to wait for Kevin Duke’s report next week
As Harley’s test bed and incubator for P&A catalog items, Harley presents a pile of new goodies to drool over today.
With all the market research and metal probing H-D marketing teams do on rally-going riders and owners, they know a lot about the typical CVO buyer and continue to create a club membership with lofty entry fees and high expectations. With MSRPs sometimes reaching 50% higher than standard-model retail prices, exclusivity and the exotic nature of the CVO bikes has its price. CVO buyers like it that way, too, spending even more money to further customize their otherwise premium factory-custom motorcycles.
For 2010, the CVO team introduces two new models to the family: a Softail Convertible and the Street Glide. Plus, two models return with refreshed new faces: the Ultra Classic Electra Glide for its fifth year and the Fat Bob for its second.
Culling from the massive Harley-Davidson Parts and Accessories Catalog of past and future, each CVO is decked out with the best parts that Harley builds, and then wrapped in three new CVO-exclusive paint schemes.
Since all these new CVO models are built around Harley’s largest powerplant to date, the familiar fuel-injected Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110 (and 110B) V-Twin, we’ll focus on what amounts to cosmetic additions and examples of H-D ingenuity and extravagance. Like the greens surrounding our host hotel, Harley and the Ritz-Carlton know how to put on a show.
2010 FXDFSE CVO Fat Bob
$25,299; limited production of 1300 units
Returning for its second year at bat, the CVO Fat Bob continues to impress with a collection of new model highlights and tough-looking paint. With tommy gun 2-1-2 exhaust pipes and a Screamin’ Eagle Heavy Breather high-flow intake scoop, the ‘Bob is looking for a fight.
Standing stout on a pair of the 16-inch powder-coated and chrome-plated CVO Fang wheels (new in 2009) wrapped with Dunlop blackwalls, the 130 front and 180 rear tires underpin a smooth-rolling machine that’s happy cruising the boulevard as well as carving the canyons.
For 2010, Harley added more proprietary plating techniques and paint technologies to the Big Twin Dyna for a truly special looking motorcycle. Possibly my all-time favorite looking saddle on any motorcycle has got to be the rustic brown distressed-leather two-piece convertible mono/duo saddle you’ll find on the bike. Couple that with the Satin Pewter with Sandstorm Grind paint scheme, and Harley’s got one great looking package. I couldn’t take my eyes off the bike.
Other specially painted surfaces and features have to be seen for yourself, as my words won’t do this bike justice. The Fat Bob comes in three custom colors: Cryptic Black with Hellfire Flames; Opal Blue with Hellfire Flames; and the Pewter I’ve already mentioned. The 2010 CVO Fat Bob has an MSRP of $25,299.
2010 FLHXSE CVO Street Glide
$30,999; limited production of 3500 units
The CVO Street Glide is an all-new model to the line and possibly the best in the bunch. My pal Pete Brissette calls the standard Street Glide “quite possibly my favorite Harley,” as it straddles the line between the tough-guy cruisers and touring-manic FLs. After my first ride on a Glide, I can’t argue.
The CVO version of the SG is equipped with a laundry list of features like a Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110 powertrain, a pair of blackened 18-inch, seven-spoke Agitator contrast-chrome wheels with matching full-floating rotors, hand-adjustable rear shock preload, standard ABS and cruise control, security alarm, electrifying paint and a 40-watt Harmon/Kardon stereo system.
Packed with the same 6-speed Cruise drive you’ll find on all the CVO models, the Street Glide is built on the same Touring chassis as introduced in 2009 on the OE Glide. The stiffened single-spar backbone frame and newly-designed swingarm is a huge improvement, and Pete reported that the new chassis is “very stable compared to the previous frame; no more vagueness or flexi feeling. It instills confidence in the rider.”
Where the Street Glide lacks in storage when compared to the Ultra’s Tour-Pak, the 2010 model grows a few liters in overall capacity with a redesign of the saddlebags. An accessory for last year’s OE model included a false extension to the bottom of the bag to extend the visual appeal as low as possible but contained no extra carrying capacity. The new bags do, so look for that on the 2011 models if you don’t pick up a set from the P&A catalog before that – or buy the CVO Street Glide. Included in the new bags are integrated stop/tail/turn lights.
Built where Harley once built my Sporty, York, PA, the 2010 CVO Street Glide delivers with three more decadent paint schemes: Candy Concord with Pale Gold Leaf Graphics; Spiced Rum with Gold Leaf Graphics; and Tequila Sunrise with Pale Gold Leaf Graphics. The 2010 CVO Street Glide has a suggested U.S. retail price of $30,999.
2010 FLHTCUSE CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide
$35,999; limited production of 3450 units
If you’re one of those riders with the time and money to ride all over this great nation in high style and for weeks on end, you’re gonna want to pile it all on the Ultra Electra Glide. I know I would.
As the CVO veteran in the line-up, the Ultra returns for it’s fifth year on the bill with a focus on the tail end of the motorcycle.
The Ultra is also built upon the same new Touring chassis as the CVO Street Glide, rolling on Harley’s Roulette wheels – 17-inch front, 16-inch rear – with the same 130/180 Dunlops you’ll find on the Fat Bob.
In addition to the standard CVO color-matching frame and swingarm, the Ultra comes with a color-matched and LED-equipped Tour-Pak with integrated brake and tail lights and a push-button LED on the underside for illuminating down into the saddlebags. Switching from an incandescent bulb taillight to LED lighting not only offers brighter lights but also frees up storage capacity within the Tour-Pak. Another upgrade is the change from Powerlet-type 12-volt sockets to cigarette-lighter-style outlets. Fender filler strips and engine guard fairing lowers also match the paint scheme of the inner fairing assembly.
Pumping out of that gauge-packed dash is an 80-watt Harmon/Kardon Advanced audio system with CB, intercom and navigation systems.
Increasing two-up comfort and tourability, the Ultra now sports an adjustable rider backrest and a two-way adjustable (up/down, in/out) lumbar support in the passenger backrest for making the miles more comfortable for everyone aboard.
The Ultra’s color palette also delivers in three mouth watering schemes: Scarlet red Pearl/Dark Slate with Flame graphic; Riptide Blue/Titanium Dust with Flame graphic; and Burnt Amber/Hot Citrus with Flame graphic. Boy that’s a mouthful!
The 2010 CVO Ultra has an MSRP of $35,999. An accessory wheel option includes a chrome, profile laced aluminum wheel for $500.
2010 FLSTSE CVO Softail Convertible
$27,799; limited production of 2500 units
All-new for the CVO family is the two-bikes-in-one Softail Convertible. Replacing the CVO Softail Springer of 2009, the FL-based Convertible is built to offer both cruising good looks as well as comfortable light-touring abilities with a set of detachable creature comforts. The detachable kit includes a compact fairing with color-matched paint and smoke windscreen, leather-covered saddlebags with buffalo-hide inserts, and a leather passenger pillion and backrest, both with matching buffalo-hide inserts. All parts are quickly removable without tools to transform the Convertible from a touring bike into a stripped down boulevard cruiser. See the Softail video for a real-time demonstration.
Packed into the tubular steel frame is a rigid-mounted and counter-balanced version of Harley’s biggest powertrain available, the Twin Cam 110B. The counter-balanced motor produces a claimed 110 ft-lbs at 3000 rpm versus the 115 ft-lbs found on the TC110 found in the other CVO models for 2010.
During Motorcycle.com’s 2009 Luxury Touring Shootout, we found out the 2009 TC110 pumps out 75 hp at 5,100 rpm and 88 ft-lbs at 3,800 rpm to the rear wheel. That’s just enough for propelling these steel horses around the world’s highways and byways, but who wouldn’t want more?
Simplifying the handlebar and dash for double duty as fashionable cruiser or travel roadster, the Convertible includes a new combo digital speedo with analog tachometer embedded into the two-piece chrome and color-matched tank console.
The Softail’s hidden suspension and 200mm rear offers more duplicity in cruiser fat-tire looks without compromising the steering ability and touring comfort. With a pair of 18-inch Chrome Stinger cast aluminum wheels wrapped in Dunlop radials (all other CVO’s roll on bias-ply tires), the Convertible is slammed down another inch from it’s 2009 OEM configuration to rank as Harley’s lowest saddled bike at 24.4 inches.
The Convertible shares front fenders with the Fat Bob, exposing more of both those great looking wheels, but the new tire-hugging rear fender includes a new light bar with stop/turn/tail lights
The Softail Convertible in CVO form, comes in three color schemes: Inferno Orange with Vivid Black and Silver Braze Graphics; Abyss Blue with Sapphire and Silver Braze Graphics; and Crimson Red Sunglo with Autumn Haze and Black Candy Grind.
Double trouble or twice the fun, anyway you name it, the CVO Softail Convertible gets the job done is high style. The 2010 CVO Softail convertible retails for $27,999.
For the past 10 years, the CVO teams have been bringing us the best of the Harley with their parts-catalog azimuths. And while a CVO model is priced much higher than a standard OE version, they deliver plenty of value for that dollar when you add up the cost of building your own CVO parallel atop an OE model.
Always one for showing off and wanting the golden goose, there’s no doubt you’ll be wanting to get your fringed-fingered gloves on one of next year’s bikes ASAP. With both old and new blood in the 2010 CVO line-up, finding a favorite shouldn’t be hard to do. Shipping in a myriad of electric rainbow colors like spiced rum, crimson red sunglo and tequila sunrise, you’re sure to stand out in any crowd.
Hardcore riders will dig the Fat Bob with its tough guy looks. Leaders of the pack will surely gravitate towards the Street Glide. Mack-daddies are gonna strut their stuff on the Ultra. And the man on the streets, the guy getting the job done for the rest of us, is gonna love the Softail Convertible. Work or play, there’s something for everyone in this year’s CVO line-up.
The Stud's Duds
The Stud’s Duds returns again with the addition of a new FXRG leather mesh jacket and an HD-branded flip helmet. The convertible nature of the HJC-constructed Sun shield modular helmet plays a similar double duty role – comfortable both in the city or on the highway. The additional in-shield sun visor eliminated the need for carrying extra shields for day and night riding conditions.
This Harley-branded helmet proved to be much lighter and better balanced than my Fulmer flip helmet. Riding with the jawbar in the upright position doesn’t cause my head to wanna fall forward with the displaced weight, nor does it catch wind like a sail when trolling around town. In the full-face configuration, the channeling ventilation is rather remarkable, as cooling airflow is readily apparent. The simple looking, closeable venting system works.
The SunShield Modular helmet comes in a stylish black color (ever hear of it?) and retails for $325 (P/N 98211-10VM).
The jacket you see in the photography for this event is the FXRG perforated leather jacket with Cordura mesh-backed and reflective piped leather for strength and safety. It is equipped with CE-approved body amour in the shoulders, back and elbow, and comfort and versatility are enhanced with a removable kidney belt and removable Gore-Tex Windstopper liner.
The diamond plate-like ventilation holes keep your entire torso cool while riding, and the heat- and sun-deflecting leather treatment reflects away the sun’s rays and helps to keep you cool when you’re stopped. Soft and comfortable, the FXRG jacket retails for $625 (98521-09VM)
|Short Course Recap|
|Model||Street Glide||Softail Convertible||Ultra||Fat Bob|
|Built||York, PA||York, PA||York, PA||Kansas City, MO|
|Features, Standard||ABS/Cruise/Alarm/ESPFI||ESPFI/ Alarm||ABS/Cruise/Alarm/ESPFI||ESPFI/ Alarm|
|History||All-new for CVO||All-new for CVO||CVO Elder at 6 years||2nd year CVO|