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2010 CVO Fat Bob First Ride

Saturday, July 25, 2009
The CVO Fat Bob made the cut again this year  albeit with a few new wrinkles like its Midnight Pearl finish and a brown  distressed leather seat.
The CVO Fat Bob made the cut again this year, albeit with a few new wrinkles like its Midnight Pearl plating and a brown, distressed leather seat. 
The final member of the Harley-Davidson’s quartet of 2010 CVO models is the CVO Fat Bob. Mechanically, the 2010 CVO Fat Bob hasn’t changed much from its predecessor. You’ve still got a Granite powder-coated TC 110 rubber-mounted in a stamped, cast tubular frame squeezed in between the shorty sport front fender and the long Bobtail rear fender.

The powerplant continues to be fed by a ‘Heavy Breather’ high flow intake jutting off the engine’s right side, but the end caps sport a chrome skull this year. Thick chunks of Dunlop rubber are still spooned on to 16-inch Fang cast-aluminum wheels with chrome rim flanges that have bolt-in ‘fang’ inserts. The aggressive ‘Big Block ‘ tread pattern provides a planted feeling, even when you’re trying to grind down the round footpegs from the new Diamond Black Collection.

The 2010 CVO Fat Bob did get a new brown, distressed leather two-piece convertible seat. The distressed leather-look straight from the factory is a new direction for The Motor Company. Loosening a couple of thumb-screws is all it takes to remove the pillion seat for those seeking to go ‘Lone Wolf.’ The seat design complements the CVO Fat Bob’s design well, and its raw appearance is said to take on new patinas with wear. The thick new seat helps raise seat height up an inch to 26.2-inches, but there’s no noticeable shift in the motorcycle’s center of gravity. And though the seat is higher, the 2010 CVO model tips the scales nine pounds lighter than the 2009 model. The only other notable differences are in the drivetrain, with the 6-Speed Cruise Drive transmission’s gear ratios increasing slightly in 2nd, 3rd, and 5th.

The CVO Fat Bob has a high flow Heavy Breather intake with a rain sock and chrome trim pieces.
The CVO Fat Bob has a high-flow 'Heavy Breather' intake with a rain sock and chrome trim pieces. I'm digging the skull, too.
Coming from the Dyna family, you’d expect the CVO Fat Bob to be one of the better-handling Harleys. It doesn’t disappoint. With a 130mm wide tire tucked in at a 29-degree rake angle at the end of a 49mm front fork balanced on the back by a 180mm rear tire, the Fat Bob transitions well for a bike that weighs in dry at 692 lbs. Granted, it is still a cruiser, but it definitely leans more to the sport side of riding than the lay-back-and-enjoy-the ride setup of the other CVOs.
The exposed twin rear shocks are tight, with only 2.13-inches of travel, making for a firm ride. The combination of the big Twin Cam 110, ‘Heavy Breather’ intake, and Tommy Gun 2-1-2 exhaust mean you’ve got to flex a little muscle to hang on when you roll on the throttle hard. The chrome, blunt-cut muffler are slotted, allowing a peek at the black header pipe underneath, and add to the motorcycle’s rough-and-tumble attitude.
Harley did elect to debut a new plating process on the 2010 CVO Fat Bob. Called Midnight Pearl Finish, it adorns the headlight shell and trim ring, fender strut covers, console cover, and the covers on theTri-Bar LED taillight, horn, timer and derby. The ’10 CVO Fat Bob also gets the same new, easier-to-read two-piece console as the CVO Softail Convertible. The analog speedo and digital odometer sit in a five-inch wide dial at the top of the console and have new diamond black accents. A small round tach is mounted on the 1.25-inch diameter handlebars and has the same black diamond face as the speedo. This diamond-cut pattern is repeated in the footpegs, shifter peg, brake pedal pad and grips of the new CVO Fat Bob, all from the new accessory group appropriately called the Diamond Black Collection.

What  Wheres the black leather  The 2010 CVO Fat Bob features a Harley first  a brown  distressed leather two-piece convertible seat.
What? Where's the black leather? The 2010 CVO Fat Bob features a Harley first, a brown, distressed leather two-piece convertible seat.
The only drawback to the new footpegs is that they are a little stubby and slippery. Keeping flat soles on round pegs is challenging at times. My only other grievance from my time aboard the 2010 CVO Fat Bob is with the short intake tube of the forward-facing ‘Heavy Breather’ that rubs against my right leg and forces my foot out wide on the right foot peg.
On a high note, the 2010 CVO Fat Bob is the most affordable of the bunch. Of course, it’s still going to set you back a cool $25,299. But it’s also the scarcest of the lot, as only 1300 are scheduled for production. Granted, the CVOs are still beyond the means of most. But for the select few that are privy to CVO ownership, I sense they won't be disappointed. These are indeed the crème-de-la-crème of the Harley line.

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Mike -Not a cruiser guy?  December 26, 2010 07:58 PM
I used to tell people that I was not a cruiser guy. I rode rice-burners from 11 years old (Honda Trail 70) till I was 27 (Various 750's). There was nothing I loved more than trying to hit top speeds and dragging my hand-grips on the cement around curves. I'm 50 years old now and haven't been on a bike in over 20 years, but I'll be buying one soon. It's going to be a Harley Davidson and--even though I haven't bought it yet--I have talked quite a bit about it and I just can't believe how many people feel the need to tell me what a bad decision it is, and how HD's are nothing but poser bikes with no power and no performance. I'm here to tell everyone else in the world that when I buy a motorcycle, it will be to make ME happy, not YOU, and I suggest everyone else in the world buy the bike that makes THEM happy and don't spend a second worrying about what anyone else thinks about it.
Ray Valois -2009 Fat Bob  September 12, 2010 04:45 PM
Can I pull A traler with my 2009 Fat Bob Harley Davidson.stingray_10@shaw.ca
diederick kloppers -cvo dyna superglide  March 29, 2010 11:30 AM
man man man what a big bike its lake a reel jet on wheels
casbonano -from sport bikes to cruiser; its gotta be a harley  March 8, 2010 10:16 AM
i've owned two japanese cruiser from when i started riding. I then got into sport bikes and racing and had several of those. after a few years without a bike i am looking at getting one and certainly want a cruiser. REGARDLESS of the fact that i have had to put up with moron comments from harley owners about my japanese sport bikes being "rice burners" or "not real bikes", despite how stupid i think the whole "harley/weekend-rebel-warrior-but-accountant-yuppie-during-the-weekend" (not to mention the entire army of wannabe corporate billboards who wear every article of clothing they can get their hands on that has a harley logo- so pathetic) thing is... despite all of this, Harley Davidson motorcycles are the best cruising machines around. expensive, yes, overpriced? perhaps. but still. they are as close to classic motorcycles as you're gonna get without building one or purchasing a real vintage. Harley can keep their marketing, "culture", and line of logo ridden underwear for "rebels", but, "i sure will take one of them there motor-sickles".
Don Moore - 2009 cvo fat bob verces 2009 vmax  October 26, 2009 03:23 PM
Ride what you like it doesnt really matter. my 09 vmax will sure make your heart beat a little faster and feels great talk about torque and horsepower wow but the harley has a diffrent feel and looks great so a
lot of people have told me.so plese your self ride what you like good
job HD & star
caseys service motorsports -cost of the cvo  September 13, 2009 12:22 PM
We run a motorcycle shop in Sallisaw Ok. I have been in the business for 40 years. We work on and service all brands as well as golf cars and atvs. We like all the bikes. I am riding a 2009 Street Glide and have installed a 106in. big bore kit and Andrews cams. It also has a Powercommander and auto tuner. We sell all kinds of chrome including the Drag Spec line. After all the work on the bike. We have more than $30,000.00 Invested. When you think about all the extras we put on our bikes, it makes the cvo models afordable. We just ordered a cvo convertable. Ride safe Casey
SoloLobo -too little, too much  August 8, 2009 11:12 AM
For the guy (with too much money and no taste) that has to have the most expensive of everything to feel good about himself and supeirior over the other dudes, the perfect bike. Not what I would build with my 35K, but whatever fires your rockets. I must say though, for what Harley charges for their stock bikes, this engine and tranny should be in every one.
Mandello Jason -Original?  August 5, 2009 07:37 PM
Who does Harley have to style their bikes, clowns? Talk about gaudy, glitzy Americana at it worst!!! Apart from the Sportster series, I fail to see the styling attraction in any Harleys.... And to those talking about "bike envy", I do own a bike which is just as expensive as a Harley (seemingly how Harley owners define bikes), offers some actual performance and is a little more individual than something that you see every weekend; people working 9-5 jobs during the week and then doing the whole rebel bikers persona on the weekend, talk about pathetic.... As javajoe says, "there is only one harley", which for those of us that like performance orientated functional motorcycles, are eternally grateful for!!! PS I notice good old moron mike up to his old tricks, making comments which are about as original as the technology in the bikes he loves so much! Is that guy a bore or what? LOL
javajoe -thanks pafatboy  August 1, 2009 06:33 AM
hey pafatboy, thanks for saying what needed to be said...you're absolutely right about the envy, and the post sale value of a metric bike...harley has an international following that's second to none and not to mention the immense availability of after market performance and custom parts..what company can match that? you can't even find after market parts for victory...i appreciate all motorcycles but there's only one harley..
Pafatboy -Comment for dgover  July 31, 2009 10:23 PM
Harley does have the market cornered on factory paint. Their colorcoat/clearcoat system is rivaled only by Mercedes Benz (and only on their TOP model). Harley's paint is 4 mills thick and cars and metric bikes are about 1 mil.

No other bike company has the custom paint that HD has...Bar None! The CVO color schemes are as much as 8 layers with all the striping etc.
You can make a bike look allot like a Harley, it'll never sound like one. Harley is reigning supreme at the NHRA drags, even after protests, 20 pounds were added, to level the playing field. Last week they were still First and Second. Plus they don't sound like a chainsaw going through the quatermile.
Pafatboy -CVO's reviewed  July 31, 2009 10:12 PM
All these negative comments sound like "Bike Envy". I've had Harleys since the 70's. I've seen guys I know by the Knock Off "metric" versions of a Harley, it reminds me of wearing a fake Rolex etc.

Take your "new" metric cruizer or tourer home then decide it's not what you thought it would be......go back to your dealer and he'll give you HALF of what you paid for it. I see them in the newspaper for sale, I can't believe how cheap you can pick one up for.

Say what you want, don't care, I have a Bitchin' Fatboy, it's an original, not a cheap knock off !
dgover -Harley Innovations  July 31, 2009 08:59 AM
Just out of curiosity, does anyone know what new innovations Harley Davidson has contributed to motorcycles in the last 40 years other than maybe self-cancelling turn singles?
GB -2010 HD  July 30, 2009 02:17 PM
yawn......same old crap, just different paint. is Harley ever gonna come into the 21st century?
Tom -@Quik Chanj, 2009?  July 29, 2009 03:23 PM
Djees, what is it with you regressionists? It's not the 1950's anymore.

There's a reason that bodypanels used to be all steel. At that time, it was the easiest deformable material available (press/roll/...) If they would have had plastics with todays quality back then, they would have used it as well.

Now, fast forward to 2009... Plastics are easily formed in molds, at a more cost effective way. (and that's what every manufacturer looks for). As for me, I'd have the advantages of plastic every time.
-no dents

You can't see it when you look at it given a good paintjob, only when you knock on it. But i'm not an oldtimer knocking on every bike I see, having my mind judge quality on the sound coming back to me. That's just stupid and it says nothing about the bike as a whole. Have you looked at a modern car recently?
Quik Chanj -STEEL  July 29, 2009 09:16 AM
You used to be able to say,"at lease the Harleys are made of steel", but even the Harleys have stooped to plastic. Someone, most of us know once said, "if it ain't steel it ain't real". Close enough.
javajoe -cvo's  July 29, 2009 06:26 AM
last summer at this time i bought an '08 fatbob...not a cvo..i paid cash because i could and i have no regrets..i added a stage 1 kit and new mufflers and get 63 mpg if i hold it at 80 mph so i'm not too concerned about hp and torque curves..the only people i know getting this kind of mileage are harley owners with the 6 speed tranny..you guys can knock harleys all you want (and yes, i like the victorys' too) but until you have cruised cross country on one of these, you're just making noise..oh yea, and the cvo's are a better deal than a custom cruiser but still way on the high side..
Cory -WOW! Same bike, new paint and lights  July 27, 2009 12:56 PM
What's all new about these? Is it because of the paint, LED lights and bigger motor? Why do people like these again? They always look the same and not in a good way.
MotoFreak -Amazing  July 27, 2009 12:45 PM
Leave it to Harley and Motorcycle-USA for having me drouling on my keyboard again. It kills me that I can't afford one of these bikes.
dgover -Where's the HP and Torque Graphs  July 27, 2009 10:28 AM
Why is it that articles on Harleys never include torque or HP curves? Are they that embarrassed by the performance of their engines? Are media outlets forbidden to publish the curves? I know – it’s all about the torque with a big V-twin. But here’s the math that they and all media outlets should do which is to compare bike weight to torque. As an example, one of the bikes covered in this article claims 110 ft.lbs. for a dry weight of 725 lbs or 6.59 lbs/ft.lb. A stock 2009 Suzuki GSXR-1000 (per Yoshimura-RD) has 78 ft.lbs. for a wet/curb weight of 448 lbs or 5.74lbs/ft.lb. So who’s really the torque king?
Racer1 -Not my cup of tea, but...  July 26, 2009 07:06 PM
I'm also not a cruiser guy and these would never be near any shopping list of mine. However, even at $25-30K they represent good value when compared to some of the nonsensical customs being offered by small manufacturers (ie. Like the Big Bear POS featured recently or the unrideable Big Dog choppers). While they may be overpriced, relatively slow, heavy and more about form than function, at least Harley has a large, established dealer network, high build quality, good reliability, quality fit and finish and an accessories and parts catalogue to beat the band. If I were in the market for one of these baubles (not in this lifetime) then Harley would probably be the brand I'd stump for. I realize this is damning with faint praise, but this is more a comment about the overpriced, underperforming boutique custom builders than anything else.
JD Smith -CVOs  July 26, 2009 10:54 AM
I've never been a cruiser type, though I can appreciate almost anything with two wheels and a motor. Having ridden many friends' H-Ds, I know they offer superb fit, finish, and attention to detail. But I have to wonder if they understand the changing marketplace. I have no doubt these are fine machines, but those prices seem astounding in this economy and considering the horrible revenue numbers from Milwaukee these days.
Tom -loan, sell?  July 26, 2009 09:19 AM
LOL That's milwaukee mike for you again...

Sell everything you have, take a loan, just to own an overpriced POS bike... Now, that's your American spirit right there, loan loan loan. Not everyone gets a hard on at the mere sight of a harley davidson, as if it should be your only and most important goal in life...

HD's are poserbikes, recreational toys. Buy them if and when you can put all the money down without a problem at the time of purchase. Don't get yourself into debt to buys these.

That's so pathetic, 50+ year olds wanting to loan for something like this. 25.000 dollar and more, for a bike that gets smoked in every possible way by everything else out there? All other bikes in this class are also 1700cc, so big deal.

But by all means, go ahead and buy them :)
Fireflyer239 -Same Old Again  July 25, 2009 07:32 PM
Love my own '02 Road King, greatly appreciate most things about the MoCo, but after seeing Victory's latest offerings, these HD's are finally starting to look...well, just old.
milwaukee mike -CVOs-WOW!  July 25, 2009 02:40 PM
Ok, now this is just what a real HD enthususiast longs for.

It's time to get off your butt, sell your Camry or Accord, put the old lady to work, take a loan from your 401K, or whatever it takes to own a classic HD factory custom.

david brandsma -2010's  July 25, 2009 07:10 AM
great job for the motor company..maybe new in life for the product line!