Sunday, July 27, 2008

First Ride: 2009 Harley-Davidson CVO models














by Jeremy Korzeniewsk

There is no doubting that Harley-Davidson motorcycles have stood the test of time. Though sales of both mainstream and higher-end models from The Motor Company are down, Harley-Davidson has seen fit to continue its line of factory custom models. Custom Vehicle Operations offers complete models featuring Screaming Eagle parts.

HD has no problems selling its entire allotment of CVO SE bikes each year despite their high cost of entry, so we surmise that folks looking for full custom bikes complete with Harley-Davidson warranties must have fairly deep pockets. Surely then, these machines had better be quite different from their more standard countarparts. Let's take a closer look.

Gallery:





CVO Softail Springer

The CVO Springer uses the Twin Cam 110B engine. It's fairly smooth and offers 110 lb.-ft. of torque in this application. Every surface that could be chromed has been, and while it's a bit much for our personal tastes, it certainly stands out from the crowd. The available finishes are Black Diamond with Emerald Ice flames, Candy Cobalt with Blue Steel flames or Sunrise Yellow Pearl with Volcanic Fury flames. If you really want to be seen, the chromed-out CVO Springer in yellow will clearly do the trick. If you want one, you'd better get your name on the list for one of the estimated 2,500 that are planned for the year.

Gallery:


CVO Road Glide



All Touring models get a revised frame with a new rubber mounting system for the engine. Considering that the SE TC110 engine offers up 115 lb.-ft. of torque in the Road Glide, that the overall machine felt so solid bodes well for the rest of the updated Touring lineup. We especially appreciate the revised exhaust on the new models, which keeps the hot pipes further from the legs of the rider and passenger. Brembo ABS brakes provide ample stopping power. The bike has been lowered a bit and extensions on the rear bags and fender make it appear even more so. Eighteen-inch wheels make the Road Glide unique among HD's line of tourers. Some 3,000 examples will be produced this year in Yellow Pearl with Charcoal Slate highlights, Stardust Silver with Titanium Dust and Electric Orange with Vivid Black.

Gallery: First Ride: 09 HD CVO Road Glide




CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide

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Up front, a seventeen-inch wheel is shod with a 130 mm tire while the rear gets a sixteen-incher with 180 mm rubber. The rider will enjoy heated hand grips and a full Harmon/Kardon sound system that adds a CB radio and intercom to the AM/FM stereo with CD and MP3 player. Also standard are cruise control, ABS brakes, XM radio and navigation. An air-adjustable suspension keeps things as comfortable as is possible, aided by an extremely well-padded seat. Color choices for the CVO Ultra qare Ruby Red with Typhoon Maroon, Autumn Haze with High Octane Orange and Stardust Silver with Twilight Blue.

Gallery:First Ride: 09 HD CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide



Each of the '09 CVO models brings something different to the table. While we thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent with the bikes, they cost as much as many of the automobiles we feature every day on these pages. Interestingly, though, HD claims that it would cost the consumer thousands more to replicate the bikes themselves. If you feel the desire to ride the ultimate expression of the classic American motorcycle, Harley-Davidson would like you to pay them a visit. And a fair sum of money, to boot.

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