2016 Harley-Davidson CVO Pro Street Breakout Review

Tom Roderick
by Tom Roderick

The Breakout returns to its CVO origins

If you’ve been salivating over Harley-Davidson’s Breakout since its CVO introduction in 2013, you’re in luck. After a year hiatus, the Breakout returns for 2016 in CVO form with a variety of changes (upgrades?), and for a price tag $800/$1,200 less than its predecessors ($26,499/$26,899 MYs 2013/2014 vs $25,699 MY 2016). There’s the standard Breakout for $18,799, but we’re going big, and when you go big you go CVO.

2016 Harley-Davidson CVO Pro Street Breakout

Editor Score: 88.0%
Engine 18.25/20
Suspension/Handling 13.25/15
Transmission/Clutch 8.75/10
Brakes 8.25/10
Ergonomics/Comfort 8.5/10
Appearance/Quality 9.75/10
Desirability 9.5/10
Value 7.0/10
Overall Score88/100

2013 Harley-Davidson CVO Breakout Review

Like the original CVO Breakouts, the 2016 iteration is powered by a Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110B V-Twin, with a Screamin’ Eagle Heavy Breather Elite air intake, and an Assist & Slip clutch that lightens clutch pull and reduces reverse engine torque. Claimed torque remains at 112 lb-ft at 3,500 rpm, while claimed wet weight increases from 728 lbs to 730 lbs, and seat height increases by a claimed 0.2 inches from 25.8 in. to 26.0 in. Harley doesn’t mention changes to the frame, so we’ll assume the switch from a 21-inch front wheel to a 19-incher (and possibly the new fork) are responsible for the wheelbase reduction of 1.2 inches from 67.3 in. to 66.1 in. and a change in rake/trail from the original’s 37°/5.7 in. to the new model’s 35°/7.7 in. Some of the most notable differences to the 2016 Breakout, however, are visual.

The drag strip-inspired speed screen fairing sets the styling tone for new Breakout. 1.25-inch drag bars clamped by a “technical triple clamp” follow suit. Note the LED headlight arrangement, and three-bolt lower triple tree.

The 2016 CVO Breakout comes dressed in drag… drag strip, that is. Pro Street styling begins at the front with a drag-strip inspired speed screen fairing, chin spoiler, and a 1.25-inch drag bar. From there it travels back to a new race-inspired seat with CVO badging, all rolling atop new 5-spoke Aggressor wheels.

2013 Harley-Davidson FXSB Breakout Review

Unmistakably different from the flashy paint and chrome of the original CVO Breakouts (the Hard Candy Gold Dust and Liquid Sun with Pagan Gold remains one of my all-time favorite paints), the new CVO Breakout is subdued in Starfire Black/Starfire Black, White Gold Pearl/Starfire Black (pictured) paint schemes. Still remarkably beautiful and seemingly dripping wet in a dark and brooding kind of way.

Sorry, Evans, but photographs just don’t do justice to the subtle beauty of Harley’s new Smoke Satin Chrome seen here on the exhaust header shields, oil lines and lower rocker cover. The timing cover (and matching derby cover) are mechanical in appearance finished in either solid Starfire Black or two-tone White Gold Pearl/Starfire Black.

Harley designers used the CVO Breakout to showcase its new Smoke Satin Chrome finish. The contrast between it and the gloss black paint is simply delicious. We’ll let Harley-Davidson’s Senior Stylist, Dais Nagao, explain. “We’ve carefully placed Smoked Satin Chrome next to a black surface so it creates a layered effect. For example, the top rocker cover is gloss black, and the lower cover is Smoked Satin Chrome. It’s on the exhaust header shields next to the black engine and black mufflers. We used Smoked Satin Chrome on the oil lines and fittings to add an unexpected detail.”

The 2016 CVO Breakout utilizes the same powertrain as previous models but there are two major improvements in performance: an inverted fork and dual front disc brakes. Where the 2013/14 models wore a traditional 49mm telescopic fork, the 2016 Breakout’s front end is suspended by a pair of 43mm inverted fork legs. The Breakout’s stopping power was doubled with the addition of second front brake caliper and rotor.

Improved front end performance comes in the form of upside-down fork legs, and dual front disc brakes. Cornering clearance is slightly less going from Right/Left 25.3°/26.2° on the older models to Right/Left 24.8°/25.5° on the 2016 Breakout.

While still wearing the fat 240-series rear, the 2016 CVO Breakout comes equipped with a new 19-inch front in lieu of the 21-incher on the old model. The smaller diameter wheel quickens the Breakout’s turning ability, and helps lessen the effect of leveraging the large rear tire off its wide center patch. Speaking of leverage, the drag bars aren’t as wide as the old buckhorn bars, but the leverage provided by the wider bars on past models isn’t as necessary for turning the smaller diameter front wheel.

Power from the Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110B V-Twin flows as smooth as can be coming through the 6-speed Cruise Drive transmission with Isolated Drive System (IDS), and the Assist & Slip clutch. Throttle response is crisp with no abruptness, and no driveline lash. Forward thrust is exhilarating, but the bike’s 730-pound wet weight stifles what should otherwise be an intense rush of 112 lb-ft of torque.

2016 Harley-Davidson CVO Pro Street Breakout

+ Highs

  • Improved suspension/brakes
  • Assist & Slip clutch
  • Reduced MSRP

– Sighs

  • Reduced cornering clearance
  • Weighs as much as a K1600GT
  • Doesn’t feel as fast as it should

I found the new race-inspired seat to be incredibly comfortable. It also does a great job of supporting your lower back when traveling for extended freeway periods, as well has hold your ass in place when being applying prodigious amounts of throttle. The new drag bars force more forward lean than that of the buckhorn bars, but nothing to really complain about, especially considering its pro street style.

Analog tach with digital speedo, GPI, odometer, trip meters, etc. The gauge turns colors to account for bright daylight or dark nighttime riding. The breakout retains the same twin tank breather tubes and flush-mount fuel cap. The CVO Breakout is also equipped with a keyless ignition, cruise control, and a security system.

The pro street look is new, but the Breakout continues the tradition of exclusivity, performance and style customers have come to expect from Harley-Davidson’s Custom Vehicle Operations. If you didn’t get one the first two go-arounds the 2016 CVO Pro Street Breakout offers more performance for less money – a better deal, in our opinion.

2016 Harley-Davidson CVO Pro Street Breakout Specifications

Engine TypeScreamin’ Eagle Air-cooled, Twin Cam 110B V-Twin
Bore and Stroke4 in./4.374 in.
Compression Ratio9.2:1
Torque (claimed)112.1 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm
Transmission6-speed Cruise Drive
Final DriveBelt
Front Suspension43mm Inverted
Rear SuspensionHidden, horizontal-mounted, coil-over shock
Front Brake4-piston fixed, ABS
Rear Brake2-piston floating, ABS
Front Tire19 in x 3.5 in.
Rear Tire18 in x 8 in.
Rake/Trail35°/7.7 in.
Wheelbase66.1 in.
Seat Height26 in.
Curb Weight (Claimed)730 lbs.
Fuel Capacity5 gal.
ColorsStarfire Black/Starfire Black, White Gold Pearl/Starfire Black
Warranty2-year, unlimited miles
Tom Roderick
Tom Roderick

A former Motorcycle.com staffer who has gone on to greener pastures, Tom Roderick still can't get the motorcycle bug out of his system. And honestly, we still miss having him around. Tom is now a regular freelance writer and tester for Motorcycle.com when his schedule allows, and his experience, riding ability, writing talent, and quick wit are still a joy to have – even if we don't get to experience it as much as we used to.

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