Pumped up, dressed-out, with killer paint and copious chrome, the 2010 Harley-Davidson CVO lineup serves as a showcase for the H-D platform and as a launching pad for developing new innovations.
It was fitting that the 2010 Harley-Davidson Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) press launch was held at the swank Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, CA. The place is one classy joint, and the hotel’s haute couture could only be rivaled by the factory custom Harley-Davidsons sitting out front. With enough shiny chrome to blind you in its reflection and deep, lustrous paint, metallic flakes shimmering in the midday sun, the CVOs are the pinnacle of Harley-Davidson ownership. Sporting a host of carefully mated accessories from the Harley-Davidson Genuine Motor Accessories & Parts catalog and Screamin’ Eagle performance upgrades to the air intakes, engines, and exhaust, the hopped-up Harleys run with the chops that every Harley owner wishes he had.
This testament to what heights the Harley-Davidson platform can be taken is now entering its 11th year. It has evolved from a two-bike affair into its current four motorcycle format. Besides serving as a showcase, it works as a testing ground for new innovations that often make it into the production line. The CVO group itself is a separate entity within H-D whose year-long mission is to produce the only four motorcycles that are customized in-house and offered to the public. The CVOs are made in limited numbers by a special team of techs at the Harley-Davidson production facilities in Kansas City, Mo. and York, Pa.
Two motorcycles make their first-ever appearance in the 2010 Harley-Davidson CVO lineup. The first, called the 2010
CVO Softail Convertible, is an original H-D concept altogether, giving riders the option to switch from touring motorcycle to cruiser after popping off a host of touring amenities by hand in a only a few minutes. The second, the 2010 CVO Street Glide, replaces last year’s Road Glide, but still gives Harley’s touring class two CVO representatives. The other is the 2010 CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide, which has now made the CVO lineup for five consecutive years. The 2010 CVO Fat Bob is also a repeat performer, making its debut in the 2008 production line.
The CVOs have the honor of running the largest-displacement engine Harley makes, the air-cooled Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110. The1803cc pushrod-operated arrangement features overhead valves with hydraulic, self-adjusting lifters operating in a healthy 4-inch bore. The 4.38-inch stroke compresses the fuel/air elixir at a 9.15:1 ratio, with Harley’s proprietary
The Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110 boasts 1803cc of power and is the largest-displacement engine The Motor Company makes.
Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) maintaining a constant, reliable fuel flow.
The pillar of power provides extra punch to the Harley platform without rattling your bones. It’s still got plenty of V-Twin vibes felt in the seat at idle, but the vibrations become an afterthought once you start rolling through the gears. With chrome covers everywhere and a granite powder-coating that makes the machined edges of the cylinder heads stand out, the engine maintains Harley’s high standard of fit and finish, while 110 Screamin’ Eagle plates near the top of the cylinder heads inform everybody around that you’re rolling with H-D’s best mill. From stoplight launches to freeway roll-ons, the engine gives you more early in the powerband and keeps giving where the TC 96 drops off.
Transferring the Big Twin’s power to the rear is the Bar & Shield’s 6-Speed Cruise Drive transmission. With helical-cut gear teeth initially developed for the VRSC family, the tranny feels more sorted than the standard arrangement and engages into gear a little more mildly. And now that we’ve established what these motorcycles have in common, let’s investigate what makes each unique.