September 21 2010 by Jason Fogelson
Ever since the 1999 model year, Harley-Davidson has produced a limited number of very special, premium motorcycles out of their Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) unit. More than just mules for bolt-on accessories, the CVO bikes are showcases for the talents and abilities of Harley designers and engineers. They feature unique paintjobs, hopped-up powertrains and acres of chrome. Each CVO bike has become an instant collectible.
The first CVO bikes were the 1999 FXR2 and FXR3. Two CVO models followed each year until 2005, when the program expanded to three models. In 2007, the number of CVO models increased to its current level, four models.
For 2011, the four CVO models will be: The CVO Road Glide Ultra ($35,999); the CVO Street Glide ($32,499); the CVO Softail Convertible ($29,599); and the CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide ($36,499). This year, a heavy emphasis on touring and versatility pervades the CVO lineup.
All new for 2011, the CVO Road Glide Ultra is a sleek touring bike. It will feature a Road Tech® zumo® 660 GPS navigation system, upgraded harman/kardon Advanced Audio system with BOOM! Bagger speakers and an 8GB iPod® nano® and dock, and a two-up suspended touring seat with dual heat controls, adjustable backrests and leather insert surfaces.
The other three CVO bikes are reprise editions from 2010. The CVO Street Glide returns with a new 19" Agitator front wheel. The CVO Street Glide is a touring bike with an attitude, sporting a chopped windshield, a streamlined batwing fairing and a new sound system with a 100 watt amplifier and a saddlebag-mounted 8GB iPod® nano®. The CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide is the ultimate luxury touring machine, and this year a new heated, suspended seat amps up the comfort quotient even further. The CVO Softail Convertible is perhaps the most versatile of the CVO models, featuring a detachable fairing and leather saddlebags. The bike can go from touring to cruising in a heartbeat, and will look great doing both.
Each 2011 CVO motorcycle gets custom paint, numerous special accessories, and a fuel-injected Screamin' Eagle Twin Cam 110TM V-Twin, the largest-displacement engine produced by Harley-Davidson, rated at up to 115 ft. lbs. of torque. This engine is only available from the factory in CVO models.
The 2011 CVO model lineup will be hitting dealer showrooms soon. If the sales performance of previous editions is any indication, they won't last long.