2010 CVO Fat Bob First Ride

July 25, 2009
Bryan Harley
Bryan Harley
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Our resident road warrior has earned his stripes covering the rally circuit, from riding the Black Hills of Sturgis to cruising Main Street in Daytona Beach. Whether it's chopped, bobbed, or bored, metric to 'Merican, he rides 'em all.

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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