Regular Hogs won't ever be the same for poor Korfie now that he has tasted the fruit of H-D's 2007 Custom Vehicle Operation (CVO) lineup.
For Harley-Davidson aficionados, ownership just isn't enough. Most motorcycle enthusiasts will tell you they want to customize their bike to suit their personal tastes. However, owners of the black and orange take it to a new level. Whether its chrome bolt-on components or performance accessories, few brands inspire their respective owners to purchase upgrades and additional hardware like Harley-Davidson.
Back in 1999, H-D set out to give a select few customers the opportunity to own a specialized machine from The Motor Company - complete with custom paint, ample chrome hardware, and Screamin' Eagle performance accessories - at a price that was significantly less than if they had purchased all the components individually. Thus, the Custom Vehicle Operation program was born. With a simple goal of inspiring and fueling the passion of H-D owners, Harley-Davidson simultaneously found a way to showcase the aesthetic charm of their bikes while proving the performance capabilities on an OEM machine.
At the outset of the CVO program it was clear to anybody with a calculator that the end product was far more economical than buying the individual parts. This simple mathematical equation wasn't lost on H-D, and it became a way for them to deliver exclusive machinery at a reasonable price to H-D enthusiasts. Over the subsequent eight years, the CVO team demonstrated the breadth of the Genuine Parts and Accessories Catalogue with some spectacular designs. In an effort to take the CVO project to the next level, the team started to improve performance, and this year it appears they have topped all expectations with some truly monstrous additions.
For 2007, Harley-Davidson is unleashing an unprecedented four models in the CVO lineup, including the Softail Springer, the Dyna, Road King, and Ultra Classic Electra Glide
. This year the bling is back, but the real story isn't how great they look (they do look phenomenal) but the inclusion of a wicked Screamin' Eagle 110-cubic-inch Twin Cam and six-speed Cruise Drive transmission.
Harley introduced its impressive new Twin Cam 96 motor in all its Big Twin models for '07, so the CVO team upped the ante with 4-inch bores and new forged pistons to bring displacement up 110 ci. The intake valves are slightly larger, measuring in at 2.08 inches, and have an automatic compression release. Included in the new powerplant are new heads, head gaskets, cases, 255 cams, and cylinder base o-ring. The touring models will be fitted with an oil cooler adapter to keep the 110 TC running cool during long trips. According to data from the H-D pony shop, the all-new 110 ci offers a whopping 13% increase over the Twin Cam 103.
On top of cosmetic changes like chrome and bolt-on accessories, the primary upgrade for the CVO Harleys is the beefier 110 ci Twin Cam motor.
On the road the new the '07 CVO powerplant proves to be a riotous ride, regardless of model. Sure, the beautiful workmanship and custom components increase the number of heads turning on the roads. However, the real fun begins with a twist of the throttle. I hate to say it, but standard equipment just won't do after bombing around the Central Coast with 110 cubic inches at my disposal. Twist the wrist and the light brown hills of the Central Coast start to melt into mountains of honey. Part of the CVO mission is to test new equipment for use as standard on future models. Let me say right now that every H-D owner in the world deserves access to power like that delivered by the 110 Twin Cam.
The amount of zip provided by the 110 varies depending on the overall weight and basic agility of each bike. Clearly, the lighter bikes like the Dyna and Springer felt significantly more powerful than the heavier CVO models, but nonetheless, the 110 will have most, if not all, power-hungry junkies smiling from ear to ear.
The 2007 CVO lineup will also be fitted with a nifty security system. Like many car manufacturers which eliminate the traditional turn-key ignition, H-D provides owners with a key fob. When the "key" is within a few feet of the bike, the ignition switch can be turned to the on position and the bike can be fired up. When the key fob isn't present, an attempt at ignition will result in a warning and then a siren.
2007 FLHRSE Screamin' Eagle Road King
The Road King makes its third appearance in the CVO lineup for 2007. This year's model continues the tradition of offering owners phenomenal on-road performance and classic H-D styling. Given the Road King's history and abilities on the open road, increased performance and improved appearance simply serve to make an awesome bike even better.
The CVO Road King received significant upgrades over the stock version, including the already mentioned 110-inch Twin Cam and a host of chrome bits and pieces from the Genuine Accessories catalog. While the new TC doesn't quite hit on the Road King like it does on the Dyna and Springer, it certainly gives the Road King the muscle it deserves. Few machines can tour over longer distances while still maintaining boulevard street cred like the Road King.
"Twist the wrist and the light brown hills of the Central Coast start to melt into mountains of honey." Yeah, you could say the CVO lineup made a positive impression on our correspondent.
A stroll around the CVO Road King reveals enough aesthetic upgrades to make even the most ardent custom fan giddy. The first aspect of the Road King that stands out is the custom paint job. H-D offers up three different paint schemes with Burnt Gold Leafing and hand-painted pinstripes. The end result is nothing short of spectacular, and under the shining California sun, the details jump off the bodywork.
H-D improved an already impressively styled machine with small but impressive changes. Up front the 18-inch chrome Road Winder Forged Aluminum front wheel is covered by a Fat Boy-styled front fender. Out back, a 17-inch Chrome Road Winder forged aluminum rear wheel puts the power to the ground. Move your gaze up from the rear wheel and you'll spot H-D's special tombstone tailight assembly and matching chrome hoop.
The Screamin' Eagle Road King comes prepared for longer trips as well, with new leather-wrapped saddlebags with raised flame patterns on the lid tops. Additionally, the RK comes with adjustable and detachable backrests for both the rider and passenger.
The Accessory catalog's Ironside Collection graces the controls up front, while billet and chrome components grace the bars and instrument cluster.
Harley-Davidson is expected to produce 3,500 Screamin' Eagle Road Kings that retail for $28,495.
2007 FXSTSSE Screamin' Eagle Softail Springer
Despite the multitude of custom bikes at the 2007 CVO introduction, one in particular stood out from the crowd, and that was the Springer. In addition to its instantly recognizable front end, H-D outfitted the Softail CVO with some wicked paint. The Springer in our group was dressed in Amarillo Gold with Candy Tangerine and Tribal Flame Graphics.
While the 110 TC made the Road King feel like a spry little Sportster, the new powerplant turned the seemingly docile Springer into a wicked street drag machine. Despite weighing in at 692 pounds dry (claimed), the Springer fitted with the 110 TC was a blast. Throw in a custom air cleaner cover and insert which includes a stage 1 air cleaner kit, and straights turned into obligatory drag strips. Simply whack the throttle open and all 110 cubic inches work in unison to rip the visor right off your Shoei.
The Springer also comes with a sixth gear and hydraulic clutch which make frequent shifts easy. The attached saddle seemed to fit my rump fairly well, while the geometry of the Springer is maxed out by my six-foot frame. Larger riders may want to keep the Springer on the boulevard because it's not as forgiving on longer rides.
Up front a 21-inch front wheel separates the chrome from the asphalt while a 17-inch chrome Revolver wheel bounces the reflecting sun all over the road. The Springer is outfitted with 200mm rear rubber out back, while Revolver brake discs and sprockets help bring it to a stop.
One of the most notable aesthetic upgrades to the CVO Road King is the addition of a Fat Boy-styled fender up front, along with its three different custom paint schemes.
The Springer also gets the requisite dose of chrome around the instrument cluster, including the LED fuel indicator and mini tach with chrome mounts. Forward controls are courtesy of the New Centerline Accessory collection (grips, footpegs, shifter peg, and brake pedal pad), which were developed specifically for the CVO line. The final highlight of the Springer CVO machines is the tri-bar LED taillight with smoke colored lens cover.
Overall, the Springer was my favorite ride of the bunch and looked the most impressive up close and personal. It looked as a custom bike should: elegant, simple, and beautiful over every inch of the machine.
H-D will produce 2,500 CVO Springers, which retail for $24,995.
2007 FXDSE Screaming Eagle Dyna
The 2007 CVO Dyna enters the proverbial OEM custom fray with decidedly Pro Street styling. A host of chrome components and specialized parts dress up the Dyna for its premier in the CVO lineup. With a matched frame, swingarm, battery box, electrical panel cover, coil cover and chin spoiler, the Dyna is ready to rock the boulevard.
Up front the custom components are a veritable sea of chrome. Slickly integrated into the 1.25-inch diameter handlebar is the spun-aluminum metal-faced tachometer. While some of the other machines require the rider to remove their eyes from the road to see where the needle is bouncing, the Dyna offers the rider a glimpse of the tach with a flick of the eyes. The chrome-laden hardware looks gorgeous and offers the pilot a little eye candy to smile about while on the road.
The Dyna also comes complete with the Knurled Accessory Collection, which includes; footpegs, shift peg, brake pedal pad, grips, axle nut covers, and electrical panel cover inserts. While the hardware looks phenomenal, more than a few riders during our introduction test had difficulty working the forward controls, especially shorter riders. The geometry on the Dyna requires a pretty long reach to the pegs, which makes riding difficult for shorter riders. Coupled with unusually slick Knurled footpegs, keeping ones feet connected to the bike requires more concentration than it deserves.
Other trick components come in the form of a 43mm inverted fork with forged aluminum triple clamps. Out back, chrome-covered shocks with hand-adjustable preload gives the Dyna its characteristic gunslinger look. On the road the suspension works to deliver a rather comfortable ride, though not nearly as worthy for long hauls as the Road King or Electra Glide
. However, this bike was made for short trips and showing off on the street - and that's exactly where it will turn heads.
H-D plans on producing 2,500 of the Dyna CVOs and they will be offered in three different paint schemes: Silver Rush and Midnight Black, Inferno Red and Desert Black, and Twilight Blue with Ice Blue Pearl. Harley will produce 2,400 Dyna CVOs that retail at $24,995.
2007 FLHTCUSE Screamin' Eagle Ultra Classic Electra Glide
The 110ci powerplant doesn't wow us on the Road King in quite the same way as it did on the other CVO models; but it is still a welcome upgrade and gives the H-D tourer the extra grunt it deserves.
When it comes time to put some serious miles in on the road, H-D loyalists will tell you there is no better way to do it than on the Ultra Classic Electra Glide
. Now, H-D not only has one of the best touring machines on the market, but it's likely the best looking as well.
The Ultra, already a sharp touring machine, received an injection of chrome and leather to improve overall appearance. Most of the hardware comes from H-D's Ironside Accessory Collection, including: rider and passenger footboards, heated hand grips, shifter pegs, brake pedal pad, and highway pegs. The passenger footboards are adjustable and allow your companion to get as comfy as possible on those long riders.
The Motor Company realizes the difference between a good tourer and a great tourer are the small things. So, they turned their attention towards convenience with special features like the Power-lock Tour-Pak and saddlebag system. A simple flick of the finger locks and unlocks all the bags at once, with no need to do them individually.
Heat is a wonderful thing when you're touring through cooler climes, and the Ultra offers up plenty of ways to keep you from freezin' on the road. The heated grips are a nice touch and keep the blood warm in the extremities. However, the best feature might be the heated seat. Those saddles can get awfully cold during the night, and hopping on a warm saddle is a fine luxury for many tourists.
Helping riders navigate the great wide open spaces of the U.S. is a GPS-based Advanced Audio Navigation System. The sound system offers digital XM Satellite radio with three months of introductory service in addition to a single disc CD/MP3 player. Having just returned from a Damian Marley concert, I couldn't help but tune in some tasty reggae as my soundtrack during our tour through California's Central Coast.
The 110 TC comes as standard equipment on the Ultra, as does the 6-speed transmission that is fitted to all of Harley's Big Twins for 2007. Power is sapped a little by the sheer weight of the Ultra - after riding around, I can't imagine touring without the larger powerplant. The fuel-injected motor is augmented with a custom oil cooler with chrome cover and a chrome cross-over dual exhaust with 4-inch touring mufflers.
The explosion of chrome on the Springer CVO extends to the instrument cluster. Meanwhile, the forward controls were purpose built for the CVO line as a part of the New Centerline Accessory collection.
The Ultra Classic Electra Glide
will be offered in three color combinations: Lightning Blue Pearl and Midnight Pearl, Black Ice and Electric Orange, and Light Candy Cherry and Black Ice. Harley-Davidson will produce 2,500 units, which will retail for $33,495 each.
The CVO program continues to be the showcase for Harley-Davidson's abilities with aesthetic design and asphalt-folding performance. The 2007 lineup proves that they not only achieve their goals of creating exclusive machines that exhibit style, attitude, and performance, but have gone above and beyond the expectations of the H-D faithful. If you are in the market for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and you want to set yourself apart from the HOG crowd on and off the highway, look no further than the 2007 CVO lineup.
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