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2011 Harley-Davidson CVO Softail Convertible

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

2011 CVO Softail Convertible
If you can't choose between a custom street cruiser and a long distance tourer, then the Softtail Convertible may be the bike for you.
Those motorcyclists seeking the best of both worlds would appreciate the $29,599 CVO Softail Convertible. It can quickly transform from custom touring to custom cruising within minutes courtesy of its removable front fairing, leather saddlebags, passenger pillion and backrest. Based off the standard Softail platform, the CVO Softail Convertible adds a clever detachable fairing that can be removed quickly without tools. Simply unlatch the two pins that hold the fairing, pull off the soft leather saddle bags, remove the passenger seat and back rest and you’re ready to hit the boulevard.

In addition to a short windscreen the fairing houses a simple two speaker audio system with a pocket for the included iPod nano MP3 player. The Convertible comes in three colors: Scarlet Red Pearl and Dark Slate Pearl with Metal Grind Graphics, Midnight Sky and Candy Cobalt with Blue Ice Graphics, and Maple Metallic and Roman Gold with Burnished Copper Graphics, our favorite being the latter. Additionally, both the frame and the swingarm match the exterior color. Lastly, it rolls on a set of 18-inch diameter Stinger chrome wheels.

As opposed to the other CVOs, the Softail uses a counterbalanced version of the Twin Cam 110 engine. It’s then mounted rigidly to the steel frame. Additional engine performance comes in the form of a high-flow Ventilator engine air intake, while spent gases travel through a chrome twin pipe exhaust system.
The CVO Softail Convertible has limited ground clearance.
Riding position on the 2011 Softtail Convertable is a bit more forward than expected and wouldn't beias desirable for those longer weekend rides.

Once seated in its wide, thick saddle the first thing you notice is how low the seat is. Seat height is only two feet above the ground which makes this bike a good option for women or shorter riders. The seat sports Alligator-style inserts on it as do the saddlebags and passenger seat.

Reach toward the mini-ape style handlebar and you’ll notice that it’s much less of a stretch as compared to the larger dedicated touring steeds, but it does take a moment to get accustomed to how high your hands rest on the bar. The seat and position of the bars equate to a more forward-biased riding position and it isn’t that comfortable unless you’re only planning on going for a short ride.

Overall, the Softail doesn’t feel that big which makes it slightly easier to maneuver in the parking lot than the CVO touring steeds. Even though it feels smaller it still weighs a considerable amount, tipping the scales at a claimed 754 lbs. On the road the 2011 Softail Convertible doesn’t deliver as comfortable a ride as the dedicated touring bikes, even with the touring fairing installed. While the suspension does deliver a more intimate feel of the road, it comes at the price of overall ride quality. On rough pavement the Softail will wear out the rider quickly. It also has extremely limited ground clearance, evidenced by the dragging of hard parts at moderate cornering speeds.

The 2011 Harley-Davidson CVO Softail Covertible retails for  29 599.
The 2011 CVO Softtail Convertible is the jack-of-all-trades in the Harley-Davidson line-up.
While the Softail lags behind in handling and ride quality, it makes up for it in acceleration. While the engine vibrates a bit more, it also accelerates faster than the other CVO’S due to its reduced rolling mass. Equally as pleasing is the sound emitted from its twin chrome mufflers and the action of the transmission and clutch.

So who is the CVO Softail Convertible for? Riders looking to maximize their investment because in essence you get two motorcycles for the price of one, a bike that can be loaded up for the ride to your favorite rally then quickly stripped down to cruise the scene that night. For Harley purists looking to join the exclusive CVO ownership club, the Softail Convertible comes with the lowest sticker price of H-D’s 2011 CVO models.

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rad -professional biker  January 20, 2011 10:04 AM
I choose to ride my 2005 softail..you all ask why ? Answer, I LIKE IT.
I don’t care what anyone rides as long as they can ride. I don’t ride to please anyone, I don’t ride because it is as some put it a lifestyle. I ride because I love riding and love riding what I am on..aprox 23000 trouble free miles last year. if you don’t do maintenance any bike will break down sooner or later. By the way the rubs (rich urban bikers) make me sick. Anyway I will comment more later I have to go take a Suzuki and wipe my Harley hater.

Ruth -???  September 22, 2010 04:47 PM
"expert craftsmanship that is on par with the best motorcycles being produced in Europe and Japan" Come on guy's....how do you reviewers sleep at night?

Putting an ABS system on a Harley is like putting GPS on a shovel.
Gracias -Grand Tortilla  September 10, 2010 06:53 PM
HD has been pumping out the same garbage for 40 years. This bike is exactly the same as every other piece of garbage except for the plastic tack on "accessories." If you want a real bike get something with some balls.
arenot@live.com -2011 soft tail  September 9, 2010 04:02 PM
I saw a this model and it would fit my legs good, however the man riding it looked like he was folded up in a lawn chair with his long legs,too.
old school -Short man syndrome  August 11, 2010 04:26 PM
Have you ever noticed the virulent way that metric riders attack anything Harley?

It's a form of compensation.

I ride Harley's..the last 6 bikes, anyway. They have taken me there in the sea to sea in 48 (Jacksonville to San Diego in less than 48 hours) and provided many long days of riding enjoyment.

Not to say that I didn't enjoy my BSA (except the electrics), my Honda's, my 900 kaw, my monster 750, etc. I like the Harley for what it is..and I have never had a maintenance problem.

I do still keep a VMax for stop light fun and straight line acceleration...
Scottie -there and their  August 9, 2010 02:09 PM
Does anyone on this thread know the difference between "there" and "their".
Living in Germany -Mr.  August 9, 2010 05:20 AM
Sorry for the ones who bought an 08 model. Nobody wants them. In 09 they fixed the heat and gave the touring machine a new chasis. For those who say they vibrate too much, leak and fall apart, you do need to do some recent research on a new machine. The German motocycle magazine "Motorad" conducted an endurance performance test on 20 motorcycles in 2008, mostly sport bikes or sport tourers of all makes. Overall rider experience, performance and above all cost to operate and maintain were evaluated. After 50,000 km (30,000 miles) the bikes were torn down under the supervision of a factory tech and all critical parts were measured for wear. A Harley Road king won. Now, would I spend $30,000+ for chromed technology that is laging behind? No. Would I spend $20,000? Yes. For teh way I ride, I love the ride (which includes the autobahn), the look and the fact that it is not a civic in two wheels. It's also not made by the folks that gave us Pearl Harbor.
Bob -Mr.  August 3, 2010 03:06 PM
I have owned and ridden bikes for 42 of my 52 years here on this earth starting with a CT-70, going up to a CB360T, KZ900, GPZ1100, etc etc. and now I own a 2005 ZRX1200. Wonderful bike that only had 1723 miles. I took almost 6 months to find exactly what I wanted. So far I've owned Hondas and Kawasakis exclusively. I have, many times, ridden other bikes with the intent of purchasing one or, just at the behest of a friend. I have always likes Hondas and I have always like Kawasakis. Never cared for Suzuki or Yamaha, but, that's just preference, I can see why some people like them. BMW, well, they've always been the "gentlemanly" bike, at least until this year with the new S1000RR. I have ridden them and, if I was touring, I would want a BMW, although I did dress up my 76 KZ900 with a full Vetter fairing and rode it YEAR ROUND in Massachusetts - snow, sleet, ice, YEAR ROUND. I do plan to test ride the S1000RR and may consider one next year. The only bike that has consistently sucked has been the Harley, and that is just too bad. I LIKE BUYING AMERICAN. I drive a Ford, my wife drives a Dodge and my kid had a Ford until it died and is going to be getting a Pontiac. Yes, I would REALLY LIKE to buy American, but even MORE important than that is that I will N OT BUY JUNK and that's exactly what this crap is, junk. I have a friend here at work that has a Harley. I laugh at him every time I see him sit on it and start it up. He sit there shaking like he's an epileptic. I just cruise on by him with my 2005 ZRX1200 and shake my head, and I know his head is shaking, just at a higher rpm :^)
Snail -There is a hope!!!  August 2, 2010 08:12 PM
Somebody is coming back....
Mike in WV -To Wildpig  August 2, 2010 06:26 AM
Fit and finish is world class and superior to any other brand of bike??? Tell ya what Mr Wildpig...take a look at the back of the covers on the upper forks of the touring bikes. See that ugly ass seam with the crimp marks? That is worldclass fit and finish? Well...at least HD did make sure it was in the back of the fork so others couldn't see it as well...but you won't find that on other bikes. Granted, HD has nice paint...but the bikes themsleves are no batter than anyother brand out there. Performance wise, they are lower on the totem pole there chief so if chugging along in something the likes of a winnebago turns your crank...have fun on your Griswald vacation. lol I've owned Harleys as well as other makes...when you can get a better bike for a better price, the only reason to stay with HD is the life style...I got rid of all my HD paraphernalia when I got rid of my last Harley and haven't missed any of it since. There's nothing wrong with liking what you ride...but stop telling others that they're posers or their bikes are crap because they're not HD. The negative stabs at HD are after all the years HD riders put everyone else down...and now with HD's troubles and refusal to upgrade...people are jumping at the chance to voice their dislike. Like hyiennas jumping on a dieing cow. lol Make no mistake...if HD keeps going the way they are, they will die.
wildpig -mr wildpig  August 2, 2010 05:32 AM
i am harley i am truimph i am bmw {pos} btw. WHAT most of you BRAND X RIDERS fail to realise is the HARLEY CROWD THAT TRAILERS ARE POSERS AND TRAILER QUEENS. another mistake yall make is the great ride a big twin can offer. most of envy is the fact that many brand x ers cannot afford harleys. kinda like bimoto or aprillia. fact is -- ever motorcycle company out there has a line o bikes which is its specialty and in that specific area the bike does its job very well. say what u will about harley but the fit/finish is world class and superior to any other brand out there.
Rick -Amazing  August 2, 2010 03:57 AM
What amazes me is all of the c#@p that is spewed by people that do not seem to have anything better to do with their time. The references to trailers and oil leaks are nonsense. I ride a 2009 street glide and put over 1000 miles per month on the bike and have never broken down and have no oil leaks. My wife and I can ride 600 miles a day in comfort but, you're right I can not keep up with a sport bike on a twisty road. Then, that is not important to me or, I would have purchased a sport bike. There are so many different kinds of motorcycles because riders have different preferences and every make and model has it pros and cons. I had a VTX 1300 before the street glide and it was a good bike too. It's funny that most of the intolerance I read is from the sport bike crowd. Must have something to do with a level of maturity. You think?
"One Finger Frank" -1FNGR  August 1, 2010 08:27 PM
Sure they are eye catching and all but $30,000.00 plus for a bike. Get real, You'd be better off to buy a 3 or 4 year old FLH and cruise around on. There isn't any fantastic improvements that have been upgraded or magically installed to make that big of a difference. Don't get me wrong, I ride American Made, Buell. Buy the older FLH and stuff the rest of the money back in the bank. 1FNGR
BOBBYBHB -BORING  August 1, 2010 04:24 PM
Dear Willie, I have had a love affair with HD since I was thirteen and now I am 56 have made the divorce final. HD has lost me in their wake of overpriced ho hum redone bikes. Ducati can run air cooled and water-cooled side by side in the showroom. Other manufacturers have updated the technology including Triumph, Victory and even Royal Enfield has come out with new technology. Good bye Willie Bobby B
Matt -Exclusivity  August 1, 2010 11:51 AM
I understand that the CVOs main appeal is "exclusivity" but for the price tag you can buy a base model and REALLY make it exclusive and one of a kind with all the bells and whistles you want with some effort and a set of tools. But as long as there are those that would prefer to swipe a platinum card rather then crank a wrench I guess there will always be a market for a $36,000 Harley.
Skip -Poor Ralph  August 1, 2010 06:36 AM
Afford one - LOL. More like stupid enough to buy one. Price has nothing to do with it Mr. Ralph. It is the lemmings like yourself that make me laugh. I would also suspect that you have your official Harley vest with 20 lbs of pins on it and your official Harley belt buckle. Harley Davidson motorcycles are overpriced and way behind the times in technology so what are you really paying for that outdated piece of junk? Wait until you get smart and decide to sell that boat anchor. I ride a Victory and it cost just as much as a Harley so don't give me that worn out line of crap. The Harley cost was part of Harley Davidson's financial services mess. Harley could charge whatever the market would bear because they financed 90% of Harley sales. Buyers did not care what the bike cost - they just wanted a motorcycle and HD was there to give them one. That fell flat as HD had to borrow 650 million from Warren Buffet to bail out the financial services division. HD was getting back all those over priced bikes and now they are sitting in warehouses because HD does not want to flood the market with used Harleys's and make the used market for HD worse than it is. I will bet that you even have the screaming beagle kit. Most sucker for that. My bike came with enough horsepower to pass cars with not unlike a Harley. Pay a high price and then pay more so you can have more horsepower and then it still is a joke. Everything on the road can pass you with ease.
ralph magoo -Sir  July 31, 2010 10:18 PM
All you folks that don't like harley's sure do make a lot of noise trying to convince other folks that you may be correct in your narrow minded,cheap thinking. If you like another bike --- buy the d--n thing and be happy. I ,for one, am sick of reading the cheap,snide remarkes of those unable to afford a product that is cherished by those fortunate enough to be able to buy one. All you folks that do not like Harleys, please find something to do with your life---other than bad mouthing a viable product that is enjoyed by millions of people that can afford one !
Thomas in Wisconsin -Broken Record  July 31, 2010 10:01 AM
Harley Davidson is like a broken record. We just get the same thing each year. I guess when the current buyers of Harley Davidson motorcycles, the boomer's, are no longer able to ride then Harley will design a new motorcycle. It might be too late by then. 90% of the younger generation will not consider a Harley as a purchase. They are not at all interested in the moronic Harley "lifestyle" of beer runs and poker runs and dressing up like an idiot. The younger generation wants the latest in technology and performance and Harley Davidson has none and with there current line up, never will. Harley had a good idea going with the V-Rod even though it is over priced and weighs too much. It at least was a little step into the future. The V-Rod motor should replace the old air cooled v twin but that will never happen. Harley Davidson sells most of its bikes because the purchaser likes the engine sound without a muffler. The V-Rod motor can not replicate that sound so it does not sell. It is a shame that the only reason a bike sells is because the buyer likes the way it sounds. Community noise ordinance's nation wide will put a stop to the loud motorcycles and also the death knoll for Harley Davidson. There bikes are way overpriced compared to competitive motorcycles. For example the Honda Gold Wing will put any Harley Ultra too shame. Both Honda and BMW are coming out with an all new touring motorcycle the will put Harley further on the back shelf. These companies are light years ahead of Harley Davidson in style and technology and pricing. It is too bad that Harley Davidson want to play the American public as suckers and keep throwing these aging motorcycles at us and calling them new models.
Jake R. -Not a Boomer  July 30, 2010 09:00 AM
Harley Davidson sells there bikes to the baby boomer generation. They buy one and take the muffler off and ride around town hoping everyone will think they are a bad ass Harley biker. Truth is they realize they made a huge mistake and now the newspapers are full of used Harleys. Harley Davidson always relied on there financial division to pull there sales buy lending money to anyone who could crawl in the door. Those days are over as Harley had to borrow 650 million at 15% interest to keep afloat. Now they are offering you your money back if you trade in for a more expensive model. Harley Davidson knows there bikes now longer have any resale value and the market is flooded with used Harley s. If Harley Davidson released all the bikes that the struggling financial division has repossessed the bottom would fall out of the Harley market. Harley Davidson has thousands of repossessed bikes just sitting in storage. I am sure the lenders will force HD to unload these bikes soon. Harley Davidson just keeps selling the same bikes every year to all the lemmings out there who are after the lifestyle. 35K for a Harley - get real....
EAB -Broken Record  July 30, 2010 08:06 AM
HD has it's audience, and these bikes are fine for them. I have no issue whatsoever with these bikes. Triumph, Honda, Suzuki, Kaw, and the rest all make bikes like this. But sitting beside them are technical wonders like sportbikes and full on touring machines. But if you are basing your whole future on one niche machine, that's a problem. Again, broken record, treating Buell like a redheaded stepchild and ultimately shutting it down will go down in history as the "jump the shark" moment for The Motor Company. They really really should have buried money into Buell and made it it's own company, separate from HD. Stupid, stupid, stupid!!!
Rob -Wild pig ,wild pig  July 29, 2010 07:16 PM
In my other post OUTTA THE GD WA!..stay on the FLAT roads where you belong...shouda kept Buell and cut H-D.
Rob -30 g's!!!  July 29, 2010 07:05 PM
30 g's for mid 19th century technology!..ohh i guess it's about ego-manic stereotypes who "think" if you "aint gotta Hardly you ain't got a motorcycle" and ride off with there "real motorcycle" on a trailer along with a 55gal drum of oil and a toolbox bigger than there H-D edition truck!...and there ruining the Dragon(Deals Gap)They ride down here and buy a t-shirt saying "I slayed the dragon" (really the other way around!)have a few beers and ride off with there peanut shell helmets with NO gear and crash all over the place and have the NCHP all over the f'in place checking for DOT stickers on helmets and other shite!...A good sign though...NC/TN may be passing "full face" helmet laws in the NEAR future...good luck to the pirates!" it's all about freedom man" untill your skint like a squid with rash and bones out your skin! Do our EMT's a favor and if it's got 318 curves in 11mi...YOU ain't welcome! Sportbikes & Supermoto's run the Dragon now..get over yourselves and stick to I-40/74! AM I TOTALLY clear...US LOKEY's don't want you anymore...all you do is bring in the POLICE!
WILDPIG -YOU CAN CALL ME -- MR WILDPIG  July 29, 2010 06:52 PM
BTW-- should a couple o you stumble onto main street an you see me you'll know it cuz i'm the only one that wears the tee shirt that says in bold letters -- BIKERS ARE A RARE BREED. HARLEY RIDERS ARE A DIME A DOZEN. AND IN CASE ANY OF YALL THINK YOU'RE GONNA COPY THAT --THINK AGAIN -- I HAVE IT TRADEMARKED AN I DO ENFORCE THE COPYRIGHT LAWS........
WILDPIG -MR WILDPIG  July 29, 2010 06:46 PM
now i realise this is slightly off topic but i bet none o you CANDY ASSES are going to sturgis.......... welp as usual i am ,,, 2000 miles 1 way-- just a nice lil ride in my opinion-- and no trailer queens allowed.............. a lotta you arm chair "riders"? i wont dignify yall by callin you bikers,, u have to earn that right-- from what i seen most of yall ride yer puter chairs an got execellant excuses.............. welp -- all i can say is -- heres to cold beer on MAIN STREET...........
Mike in WV -Junk!  July 29, 2010 02:10 PM
What a piece of junk! The windshield and handlebars look ridiculous and the bike doesn't ride well. Even the reviewer commented that it wasn't a comfortable ride and it scrapes solid parts in moderate turns. Wow HD, you really out did yourself with this piece of junk. The comical part is you're asking $29.6k for this garbage. Fortunately for you there are morons out there like Milwaukee Mike who would jump on a bike like this. They say you can't polish a turd, but I'll be darned if HD can't sell them to people. Your marketing guy is the real brains of HD...I'd send that guy to engineering school and fire your current design personnel. I know it's expensive to design new power plants and go into production...but the younger American MC maker seems to be doing just fine. Keep up HD or get out of the way...and another thing...throwing the same tour trunk on the back of the Road Glide is not innovation...it's salvaging through the parts bin so you can call it new. How about a different saddlebag design that holds more? The saddlebags haven't changed since the 70's. You use the same bags on the RK, RG, SG and Electras...doesn't exactly say individual does it? I though HD riders like to be exclusive?!?! lol Well they are...they all pay too much for a sub-par bike. I've owned HD's...never again unless they get up to speed with the other makers. Deep down I hope they turn the company around...get out of debt, and build a bike that moves forward design wise. I applauded the Rocker and V-Rod because they were different...and people bought them...so keep going HD. Don't be afraid...otherwise Victory will eat your lunch and when you finally do decide to change your design, people will say that you're a Victory wannabe...just trying to look a modern bike.
Mark -Old, Old, Old  July 29, 2010 12:58 PM
Hell, my 1986 Yamaha Maxim 750 is more advanced and more powerfull than this bike. I only paid 600 for it!
EAB -Oh, and THEY don't get it...  July 29, 2010 06:52 AM
The real issue is that if HD put a reliable, technically sound machine on the road, they couldn't keep em in stock. Honestly, think about it. If you took the Yamaha (Star??) Venture, with the liquid cooled V-4, and just put an HD badge on it, made it in America, and priced it somewhere north of 25K, you'd have people standing in line. I really believe that. No one is really bitching about the quality anymore as the HD's do seem to stay screwed together and leak free. No one really complains about the price as the price in and of itself isn't the problem. The problem is that for the money, you are getting essentially a machine that simply doesn't cut the mustard anymore. My biggest disappointment is that the Japanese have taken a bit of a bath trying to imitate the obsolete design that pirates love so much. That's why Honda had to quit making the VTX1800. Really, 15K for a bike that is in no way better than a 10 year old Shadow 1100 or a new VTX1300 for that matter, is ludicrous. So, bottom line, give me an Ultra with a V-4 liquid cooled engine and shaft drive; and I'll be first in line. And for every "damn the liquid cooled, give me an air cooled anchor for an engine" person, there are probably 20 people like me that won't touch the pushrod antique with a 10 foot pole.
GB -milwankee mike  July 29, 2010 12:44 AM
you said "So why would anyone look to polaris, honda, kawasaki, yamaha, or even bmw, when these iconic machines are available at your nearest HD dealer?"
maybe they want a dependable, better ride and don't wanna be hosed by the stealership at every turn. or maybe there are enough of you sheep out there already???
iconic?? my butt.
John -Patriotism  July 28, 2010 01:03 PM
You have to admit, Adam is pretty patriotic to write such a glowing piece on an American icon. Too bad the Motor Company jumped on the subprime lending bandwagon, hemorrhaging money, and still hopes to sell a $35,000+ motorcycles with only a two year warranty. That business plan sounds like my sewer pipe theory...paint the sewer pipes nice, pretty colors, even plant fowers around them, but the same old crap runs though them.
TG -Bikes are bikes  July 28, 2010 10:11 AM
There was a time when Harley's appreciated...that day is done. Now they are on the same program as everything else, a 40% loss of value over teh first two years - big deal. If you're buying a motorcycle as an investment, you need to talk seriously to an investment banker (as you're clearly off base).

To the bikes at hand, the CVO line seems like the only HD to get. Sure, the price is out there; but if that was your real concern, you would be looking metric. No one buys a HD for value, they buy for exclusivity, and to say "The Motor Company". Now, if that appeals to you, wouldn't you want the ultra rare CVO model? Hell yes. Not to mention, they are great looking bikes (much better looking than ANY Victory I've seen). Furthermore, they are making the CVO models based upon the standard models that best represent the company. There are a load of IBA riders on these HD's, and seem to love them. It's not my bag, but just because I'm not into it doesn't mean the people who are, are morons. (Really, think about the practical uses for your superbike.)

As to the purchase price for trade in: HD Financial has been taking such huge hits on repo's I'm sure they're not concerned with a $4-8k loss on a trade in. They are losing double that at auction.
Mitch -Too High  July 28, 2010 06:47 AM
I paid $34K for my 08 Ultra and sold it for 23K so 40% loss from WingMan seems a little steep. I had a lot of dealer installed options that I took a bath on though. Worst bike that I have ever owned.
WingMan -Been There  July 28, 2010 06:29 AM
I agree with "dumplips" - a Gold Wing will spank any Harley on the road and do it in style. I also have to admit that after selling my 2008 Ultra I was not very enthused about the whole experience. I do not fit in with the typical Harley rider so I felt out of place at the Harley dealers. The dealers were constantly trying to sell me $$$$ worth of aftermarket Harley stuff like a screaming eagle kit for thousands of dollars. I left my Ultra bone stock and it ran well but it was no match for my 2005 BMW LT or my 2003 Gold Wing. The Harley was well behind the pace when compared to my past bikes. The only thing that Harley has going for it is the "lifestyle". Other Harley riders were constantly trying to get me to go on poker runs etc. These people ride all dressed up like idiots and everyone has a loud exhaust system which is a nuisance. I truly believe that is every motorcycle was, by law, to have a quit muffler and a catalytic converter installed Harley Davidson would be out of business. Every time I was with a group of Harley riders they all stand around and compare the loud exhaust. The loud exhaust must give the Harley rider a feeling a power that the bike does not have so they make up for it in noise. An ordinance has been passed and will take effect in my city August 15th. All motorcycles must have the factory exhaust system and factory catalytic converter installed or face a $500 fine and the 2nd offense will be impounding of the bike. These morons have brought this on themselves. Well, I am glad I sold my Ultra as it was not an enjoyable bike to ride. The engine heat was unbearable and so was the vibration. Harley really needs a more modern motor. The new Gold Wing due out in 2011 and the new BMW K1600GT will really slam the door on Harley Davidson as far as touring bikes go. These bikes have smooth 6 cylinder motors with no vibration, plenty of power and real brakes. My Ultra had no passing power and the worst brakes of any motorcycle I have had. How can anyone expect a 900lb motorcycle to perform with a 75 hp air cooled twin? It just does not work and Harley just comes up with stupid paint jobs every year and the lemmings flock to the dealer in awe. I have had my Harley experience and it was not worth it - especially the terrible price I had to take to get rid of my Ultra. There are just too many Harley's for sale to get a decent price for your used Harley. I sold my Gold Wing and BMW in less than 2 weeks and it took almost 6 months to sell the Ultra at a huge 40% loss.
EAB -I don't get it....  July 28, 2010 06:01 AM
You take a liquid cooled mount with proper ducting and deflecting of heat, and it's ok. But these new cruisers with 1800cc+ of air cooled heat between the legs, I can't imagine it would be comfortable. I think after about 1000cc, you really need to think about a radiator if for no other reason than you can manage where the heat goes or, more important, doesn't go (passengers). The rear engine shutoff is but a bandaid for an inadequate design. And before anyone screams about me being anti Harley, my remark applies to all of the air cooled big twins. Do a google on "Victory Vision heat" and you'll see what I mean.
Snail -don't believe Mr. Wildpig  July 28, 2010 01:20 AM
ever own a BMW bike, he couldn't spell BMW....
chris -dont want it  July 27, 2010 06:13 PM
Here we are it's 2011 model time and we get the same old overpriced underpowered junk from the so called Motor Company, In the past i have owned 6 Harley's I am now proud to say I do not own any of them anymore.I now own a BMW RT 1200 ,a Ducati Monsster and a Ducati Streetfighter and a 2009 Buell xb12 and all are so superior to anything I have ever ridden from HD.They continue to amaze me with there stupidity,They say they are trying to lure younger riders with this crap .They also say they have a long Racing history .Yeah rightI give them five years and they will be all done.
wildpig -mr wildpig  July 27, 2010 06:11 PM
well MR RT BMW OWNER --let me tell u a horror story, one you prolly wont like. i ve had em all and onwed em all. got a hankering for a 08 r1200r-- which is your bike without the touring package-- lousiest bike i ever owned. zero dealer support,, zero support from corporate bmw/na, totally over priced,, parts mark up is beyond crasy. Why not tell the board bout the FINAL DRIVE FAILURES BMW WILL NOT ACKNOWLEDGE? Why not mention the ANTENNA RING FAILURE? Why not mention the SUDDEN BATTERY DEATH SYNDROME BMW REFUSES TO ADMIT? Why not mention the outrageous maintenance annual upkeep costs on your BMW? Why not mention the AUTOMATIC 35% LOSS RIGHT OUT THE DOOR ON RE-SALE VALUE? Every bmw owner i talk to knows nottin bout low resale value-- wanna know why? cuz they dont accept what ever body else knows-- just what an over rated bike a bmw really is. Wana talk about ride quality/comfort--I got news for you- A ROAD KING has a ride far superior to your bmw.. yep I bought 2 bmw's the day i bought my r1200r -- my first one an my last one-- oh by the way --DID I FAIL TO MENTION 149 BMW DEALERS-- NATION WIDE?AND AS YOU KNOW BMW DEALERS RARELY CARRY MUCH PARTS OR INVENTORY AT HAND.........
dumplips -my typing is bad  July 27, 2010 06:07 PM
Correct to the likes of a Ducati.......
dumplips -Overpriced and underperforming  July 27, 2010 06:03 PM
I`l tell you why other bikes sell Mike. A bone-stock Goldwing will drop these things like a bad habit. Any other manufacturer who offers a model at a huge price premium does so with more to offer than an outdated engine design and loud graphics. You can scream all you like, but blind brand loyalty is just silly. Look at a Harley up close. You will see weld spatter all over the frame and hardware store fasteners. At this price point compare this to the lies of a Ducati. Look at the bits, name on the gas tank be damned.
RT_Rider -Scary Test Ride  July 27, 2010 04:36 PM
I traded my 08 BMW R1200RT for a friends Softtail for a 70 or so mile ride last weekend. Good God I could not wait to get my bike back. My hands and fingers were numb from the vibration, my thighs were almost cooked from the engine heat and my butt was numb from the vibration. The bike had no power, or at least power that I am used too. I was unable to get pass cars no matter what gear I used. I should say that we were on a twisty road so on a straight 4 lane maybe I could pass cars if I had the lead time. All in all it was the worst motorcycle that I have ridden in my over 40 years of riding motorcycles. This was the 2nd Harley that I have ridden. The first was a sportster about 10 years ago and that bike is not ever worth the time to comment on. I feel that these bikes are too expensive for what you get. Steve likes his Harley but then he rides with a bunch of Harley guys and they all dress up like the Village People and have the leather vests with about 100lbs of pins and patches on them. I'll stick with my BMW. Also, the softtail has the worst brakes of anything that I have ever been on - they scared the hell out of me. I mentioned this to Steve and he just said that you have to get used to Harley brakes. Forget it.......
Real World -Out Dated Motorcycles....  July 27, 2010 04:25 PM
Well if Mil Mike is going to be a sucker so be it. If I was going to buy a Harley I would pick up the local newspaper. Any local paper is full of used Harley's that can be bought real cheap. Lots of suckers found out what they really bought and will sell them cheap just to get rid of them. These bikes are way overpriced for the 1960's technology that comes with them. Harley Davidson must believe there is a sucker born everyday with the asking prices for this crap. The Harley V-twin motor is an absolute antique. It is heavy and has no horsepower. My best friend has a new 2010 Ultra. He swears by it but he is always the last one in line when we ride. He does not have the horsepower to keep up with us, especially when we pass. If we pass more than 1 car he can not keep up with us. He needs a good straight so he can get a run at it. He even suckered for the extra horsepower add ons that the dealer sold him. I can tell he is not happy with the bike but he will never say so. He gets the worst gas mileage of our 14 bike group. If someone wants the Harley life style bullshit then fine, go ahead and overpay for your motorcycle. If you do not want that then there is no reason to pay a ridiculous price for such an outdated motorcycle. A Honda Gold Wing will put any Harley Ultra to shame. It is almost a joke to look at a Harley Ultra and what people pay for them. They are ugly, heavy and slow.
milwaukee mike -29.6K is a small price to pay for exclusitivity  July 27, 2010 02:57 PM
I'm not gonna buy Softail, but I'm looking at a 2011 Ultra. All of the CVOs are truely amazeing machines. So why would anyone look to polaris, honda, kawasaki, yamaha, or even bmw, when these iconic machines are available at your nearest HD dealer?
Superbikemike -way too expensive....  July 27, 2010 02:27 PM
did i read this right.... they are producing 3700 of this model @ $32.5k and they expect to sell that many? really?!?! in this economy...get real
ridepastu -Really wanted to like  July 27, 2010 01:43 PM
Wow, a lot of criticism against Harley Davidson. Why, the all american motorcycle. Hey, they got the new xr1200x with the fully adjustable suspension. Right? Well, back in April of this year my wife vacationed in Tampa. Rented a Harley Street glide and rode to St Augustines. approx. 4 to 5 hours. Well let me tell you, I really wanted to like the bike. But even the wife was not impressed. Funny, she said it was not fast. Guess she's used to our old FJR1300. Anyway, the street glide had some potential. Nice stable chassis, ircredible ground clearance. Very impressed with the turning and low center of gravity. Scary weak brakes; grabbed a hold of the lever, and a little more forward momemtum than I am used to. But the one GREATEST WEAKNESS of this bike was that stupid windscreen. We always ride with full gear and full face helmets. But I just could not get out of the bikes dirty air from the front fairing. Just unbelievably ridiculous. When we returned to the dealer, I expressed my experience to the salesman. He was just completly clueless. Said something about an "aero" screen. Overall, I really wanted to like this bike. But I'll stick with my state of the art jap bike.
Stephen -Fake Article - Total Sham.....  July 27, 2010 01:12 PM
Hey this road test is a fake. Why don't you use a real Harley rider. Put a guy on the bike with a big beer gut, assless chaps, t shirt with a skull on it, fingerless nose picker gloves, do rag and of course a big Harley belt buckle. I have never in my life seen a guy on a Harley dressed like the guy in your article. Get with the times guys and I am sure you can find all kinds of Harley riders for your articles. This is a total sham.......
No Scuker -Over Priced !!!!  July 27, 2010 01:07 PM
The prices for this junk is unreal. The Honda Gold Wing looks better every day. With the new Gold Wing coming out and Victory improving there line-up every year HD is going to have to do something besides change the color every year. Maybe HD should spend some R&D money on the motorcycles instead of the new line of belt buckles and screaming beagle nonsense. Ape handle bars - HD's new item for 2011. How about some decent brakes guys or a new motor instead of the present boat anchor. The V-Rod motor is the best motor in there line of bikes but the Harley morons don't like it because it does not sound "cool' without a muffler. Harley has to pay Warren Buffet back the 650 million dollars they borrowed to stay in business plus the 125 million they lost shutting down Buell so I guess there isn't much money in the closet for new advancements in the ancient line of bikes.
Not Impressed -Wow  July 27, 2010 12:44 PM
Oh wow - I am so impressed. A all new line up of Harley Davidson. Lets see I have a brochure from the 1980 line up
Skip -skip1380@yahoo.com  July 27, 2010 12:42 PM
Well, once again Harley Davidson marvels us with all there engineering in the new 2011 line up of last years bikes with new colors, more or less chrome and a new higher price. This is the same old same old that Harley has been pulling off for years. Why don't they really bring out something new for once. Same old overweight, overpriced, under powered crap.
Snail -Expensive Boat Anchors  July 27, 2010 12:25 PM
Newsflash! There is a better American made Bike, its called Victory Motorcycle! Where is Milwaukee Mike? He probably un-employed, got laid-off from the HD assembly plan...