FIRST LOOK: 2016 Harley-Davidson CVO Touring Models

With Across-the-Board Updates and Individual Tweaks, H-D’s Premium Models Truck On

Not to be lost in the other news swirling around Harley's 2016 lineup are three updated CVO models. CVO, short for Custom Vehicle Operations, has been Harley's skunkworks of sorts, a way for H-D to develop special and high-performance variants that wouldn't make sense on the normal production line. These luxury bikes are Milwaukee's avante garde, limited production, expensive, and ultimately desirable.

For 2016, all Harley-Davidson CVO models receive tire-pressure monitoring, including displays through either the digital odometer or on the BOOM! Box infotainment system. A new key fob combines the luggage locking system and the proximity security system, so you need to carry just one fob. Finally, LED turn signals are now standard.

“Each year we work to make the new CVO motorcycles even more exclusive with content not available on a regular-production Harley-Davidson, along with an extreme level of attention to detail in design and finish,” proclaims Brian Nelson, Harley-Davidson Principal Stylist. “The goal is to create motorcycles that are visually exciting and thrilling to ride. Some CVO bikes make a wild statement, others express premium exclusivity, but they are all special motorcycles.”

Here are the three models in the 2016 CVO lineup:

CVO Road Glide Ultra

The Road Glide Ultra might just be making a reappearance in the main line, but it’s already part of the CVO family. As the top CVO offering, the RGU throws everything Harley has at the high-performance, luxury-touring segment. It starts with the Twin-Cooled TC110 engine, six-speed transmission in the now-familiar FL touring chassis, Linked ABS brakes are standard, as is the BOOM! Box 6.5 GT infotainment system. Heated seats with “distressed” inserts, a sumptuous passenger perch, and a full three-box luggage system (with standard removable liners) with all the Project Rushmore updates all are part of the package. Pretty much anything Harley offers as a standard feature or accessory in this market appears on the RGU.

An exclusive 1.25-inch diameter chrome handlebar offers more pullback and height to position the rider for optimal control and long-haul comfort. New this year, according to Harley: “Touring comfort is further enhanced by improved seat and backrest shapes and foam density for rider and passenger.” The whole shebang rolls on polished chrome Slicer custom wheels.

Three paint combos are offered: Ruby Red/Palladium Silver, Stardust Silver/Palladium Silver, and Charcoal Slate/Carbon Dust. MSRP is $40,299.

CVO Limited

If you’re the type who wants an over-the-top touring rig but thinks that most people’s definition of the term is far, far too conservative, consider the CVO Limited. According to Harley, “A new super-premium cover material for the rider and passenger seating surfaces combines vinyl and perforated leather for improved comfort. Refined by Project Rushmore, the CVO Limited is equipped with Daymaker LED lighting, Reflex Linked Brakes with ABS, and the color touchscreen BOOM! Box 6.5 GT infotainment system with 3D GPS and 6.5-inch BOOM! Bagger speakers with 75-watt-per-channel amplification.” Phew. Somewhere in there is a motorcycle.

Other styling details include the “Airflow Collection” with “black rubber and brilliant chrome highlights on heated hand grips, the brake pedal pad and shifter peg and rider and passenger floorboards.”

The new paint scheme is offered in three color combinations: Palladium Silver/Phantom Blue, Carbon Dust/Electric Red Pearl, and Charcoal Slate/Palladium Silver. MSRP is $39,999 and that includes everything.

CVO Street Glide

Often described as a sound system masquerading as a motorcycle, the CVO Street Glide rolls into 2016 with new wheel selections to “complement each paint color combination: Five-spoke Contrast Chrome Aggressor wheels and a blacked-out engine are paired with the dynamic Carbon Crystal/ Phantom Flames and White Amethyst/Black Licorice Flames colors; Polished Chrome Aggressor wheels and a Granite and Chrome engine are matched with the Atomic Red/ Candy Apple Flames or Black Licorice/Midnight Cobalt Flames colors.” Got that?

Otherwise the CVO Street Glide carries on as before, using the potent Twin-Cooled 110ci engine. The sound system is the BOOM! Box touch-screen setup but with two 300-watt, four-channel amps driving three-way speakers in the fairing and saddlebag lids. That “thump thump” you hear might not actually be the engine.

MSRP is $36,799 with ABS and cruise control standard.