2012 Harley-Davidson CVO Models Roll Out

New Road Glide Gets the CVO Spotlight, Joins CVO Street Glide, Softail Convertible and Ultra Classic for 2012

Call it a classic case of serendipity, or just sheer dumb luck, but Harley's release of its recent financial numbers earlier this week - a report of broad performance improvements in the second quarter of 2011, with strong earnings growth, increased shipments and a bump in motorcycle sales both in the U.S. and abroad - came just at about the same time the Motor Company chose to unveil the first of its true 2012 models - the CVO lineup. Though select 2012 carryover models in the Sportster and Touring line were announced several weeks ago, the 2012 CVOs usher in the new model year with a bit more pizzazz and excitement. An overview of the new models follows here, and you can read our riding impressions of them in the December issue of Motorcycle Cruiser magazine, on sale 10/11/2011.

You know the CVO party line by now: Harley-Davidson Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) unit represents the Motor Company's leading edge of style, technology and performance (and come with an equally awesome price tag). So it was fitting that Harley chose the relatively sleepy town of Calistoga, perched at the top of California's decidedly un-sleepy Napa Valley, as the backdrop for its unveiling. As we've come to expect, four new limited-production machines were rolled out for 2012, all wearing bold paint, gleaming chrome, high-output audio and the most-powerful V-Twin engines offered in production Harley-Davidson motorcycles. In Harley's mind, each "CVO model is a rolling object of desire for the discerning motorcyclist." With a town full of hot springs, mud baths and cool wines lurking in the background, it was hard to argue that point.

All four of the 2012 CVOs now get powered by the fuel-injected Twin Cam 110 V-Twin, the largest-displacement engine offered in a Harley-Davidson machine. With a claimed 122 ft./lbs. of torque, this power plant is only available from the factory in CVO models. The CVOs are further tricked out using premium accessories and components - some of them being introduced for the first time - and paint treatments combined with a grab bag of items from the vast Harley-Davidson Genuine Motor Accessories catalog. All the CVO motorcycles are backed by a two-year, unlimited mileage warranty.

As is customary for the CVO series each year, an all-new model gets highlighted, and for 2012 it's the 2012 CVO Road Glide Custom.

This new riff on the popular shark-nose bagger (you can still get a stocker in the regular lineup) combines that distinctive, frame-mounted fairing with a road-hugging profile. A high-output, amplified Harman/Kardon Advanced Audio radio features CD/AM/FM/WB and delivers 100 watts per channel to five-by-seven-inch fairing-mount speakers and two-inch dash-mount tweeters. An included 8GB Apple iPod nano connects via an interface located in the right-side saddlebag. Features unique to this model include a smoked, aerodynamically designed Wind Splitter windshield, a two-piece custom seat with removable pillion and color-coordinated stitching, and a color-matched, low-profile fuel tank console with illuminated CVO graphic insert. Brushed nickel skull medallions adorn the fuel tank and fairing, and a 19-inch Contrast Chrome Agitator Custom front wheel leads the newest member of the CVO family down the road. Other details include a "Heavy Breather" style air intake with a black anodized cover and a black ergonomically-designed, internally wired handlebar to maintain the bike's "sinister" theme. And this year, all CVO models get an indoor storage cover with embroidered CVO(tm) logo as well as a commemorative CVO ignition key as well as a custom tool kit.

The CVO Road Glide Custom can be had in three custom color schemes, each with a gloss black powdercoat powertrain, a color-matched inner fairing and speedometer/tachometer housing, color-matched upper fork sliders, license plate light cover, and rear fender strut covers. Take a deep breath now, however| the CVO Road Glide carries a U.S. retail price of $30,699, with production limited to approximately 2,100 units.

The rest of the 2012 CVO lineup includes three returning models, each featuring new paint schemes and features.

The 2012 CVO Street Glide reprises its high-performance bat-wing fairing bagger vibe again, but this year it also gets enhanced audio performance with a two-amp/eight-speaker system (with integrated iPod) that includes speakers in the fairing, fairing lowers, and now also in the saddlebag lids, driven by 100 watts of power per channel. Also new is a custom two-piece solo FL seat (with a detachable pillion should you choose to bring a passenger) with an embossed insert pattern and backrest pad. Also very nifty (and quite handy) is the lower hand-adjustable hydraulic rear suspension, which easily accessed for in the field tweaking. You'll find Diamond Cut Charcoal faces on the speedo and tach gauges, as well Diamond Cut Charcoal engine cover inserts. The CVO Street Glide offers up three new exclusive color combos:

  • Dark Slate/Black Diamond with Phantom Flame graphics
  • Hot Citrus/Antique Gunstock with Phantom Flame graphics
  • Ruby Red/Typhoon Maroon with Phantom Flame graphics.

Retail price is set at $32,699, with a limited production run of 3,500 units.

Also returning for the third time is the CVO Softail Convertible, with several new improvements for 2012. The same nifty, detachable compact fairing, saddlebags, passenger pillion and backrest system that allow you to switch the Convertible from touring to cruising mode remains the same, but Harley reps said consumers requested more wind protection, so for 2012, a redesigned windshield to reduce turbulence makes the scene. This year, the Convertible also integrates a Road Tech(tm) zumo 660 GPS Navigator with an MP3 player in the windshield fairing, so now turn-by-turn voice commands can play over the two-speaker audio system. The swanky detachable leather saddlebags (lockable, too) match the seat and passenger backrest in either distressed brown leather or black leather with reptile inserts, and a welded mini-ape handlebar adds a custom touch. Electronic cruise control, a keyless ignition (we love this feature) and an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) round out the list of smart amenities. The 2012 Convertible lists for $29,699, and is available in three new graphics combinations:

  • Crimson Red Sunglo with Scarlet Crystal Graphics
  • Abyss Blue with Catacomb Graphics
  • Satin Pewter with Catacomb Graphics. It's limited to 1,500 units.

Last (but certainly not least) is the 2012 CVO Ultra Classic® Electra Glide. The ultimate long-haul tourer motorcycle gets even more groovy amenities, as well as additional style and swagger for 2012. The updates start with BOOM!(tm) Audio High Performance BOOM! Bagger(tm) Speakers plus new BOOM! ™ Audio Bass Booster Ports in the Tour-Pak bottom liner. All that sonic exclamation gets powered by an amplifier tuned to match the dynamics of the speakers as well as the riding environment, with an 8GB Apple iPod nano and iPod interface to complete the package. This Ultra rolls on new Mirror Chrome Chisel Custom wheels with matching brake rotors, and the King Tour-Pak features new chrome LED brake/tail lamps as well as a new Diamond-cut Charcoal Tour-Pak insert. The suspended, dual-control heated, two-up seat and adjustable passenger backrest have an H-D Bar & Shield monogram and pebbled pattern texture. Electronic Throttle Control (ETC), cruise control, and ABS are standard equipment. The three new color combinations for the CVO Ultra are a mounthful:

  • Electric Orange/Black Diamond with Big City Lights graphics
  • Crystal Citron/Diamond Dust with Big City Lights graphics
  • Wicked Sapphire/Stardust Silver with Big City Lights graphics.

All the stuff comes at a hefty price though; for 2012, MSRP is $37,249, and 3,400 units will be produced.

Specifications:

2012 FLTRXSE CVO Road Glide Custom

MSRP $30,699
Colors White Gold Pearl and Starfire Black with Real Smoke graphic (Black seat with gold stitching) Maple Metallic and Vivid Black with Real Smoke graphic (Black seat with grey stitching) Candy Cobalt and Twilight Blue with Real Smoke graphic (Brown seat with gold stitching) | Warranty| 24 months, unlimited mileage
****Engine****
Type air-cooled, 45-degree Twin Cam 110 v-twin
Displacement; bore x stroke 1802cc; 101.6 x 111.3mm
Valve train Pushrod-operated OHV, 2 valves/cylinder
Compression 9.15:1
Fuel system ESPFI
Transmission 6-speed Cruise Drive
Final Drive belt
Chassis
Overall length 96.2in.
Wheelbase 63.5 in.
Wet weight 845 lbs.
Seat height 27.6 in.
Rake/trail 29.3 deg./6.69 in.
Front tire 130/60B-19 Dunlop
Rear tire 180/55B-18 Dunlop
Front brake 300mm dual discs, 4-piston calipers; ABS standard
Rear brake 300 mm disc, 4-piston caliper
Front suspension 41.3mm telescopic fork; 4.6 in. travel
Rear Suspension dual hydraulic dampers, adjustable; 2 in. travel
Fuel capacity 6 gal.

2012 FLHXSE3 CVO Street Glide

MSRP $32,699
Colors Dark Slate/Black Diamond with Phantom Flame graphics Hot Citrus/Antique Gunstock with Phantom Flame graphics Ruby Red/Typhoon Maroon with Phantom Flame graphics
Warranty 24 months, unlimited mileage
Engine
Type air-cooled, 45-degree Twin Cam 110 v-twin
Displacement; bore x stroke 1802cc; 101.6 x 111.3mm
Valve train Pushrod-operated OHV, 2 valves/cylinder
Compression 9.15:1
Fuel system ESPFI
Transmission 6-speed Cruise Drive
Final Drive belt
Chassis
Overall length 97.2in.
Wheelbase 63.5 in.
Wet weight 807 lbs.
Seat height 27.2 in.
Rake/trail 33 deg./5.6 in.
Front tire 130/60B-19 Dunlop blackwall
Rear tire 180/55B-18 Dunlop Blackwall
Front brake 300mm disc, 4-piston calipers (ABS standard)
Rear brake 300mm disc, 4-piston caliper
Front suspension 41.3mm telescopic fork; 4.6 in. travel
Rear Suspension dual adjustable shocks; 2 in. travel
Fuel capacity 6 gal.

2012 FLSTSE3 CVO Softail Convertible

MSRP $29,699
Colors Crimson Red Sunglo with Scarlet Crystal Graphics - Abyss Blue with Catacomb Graphics - Satin Pewter with Catacomb Graphics
Warranty 24 months, unlimited mileage
Engine
Type air-cooled, 45-degree Twin Cam 110B v-twin
Displacement; bore x stroke 1802cc; 101.6 x 111.3mm
Valve train Pushrod-operated OHV, 2 valves/cylinder
Compression 9.15:1
Fuel system ESPFI
Transmission 6-speed Cruise Drive
Final Drive belt
Chassis
Overall length 94.9 in.
Wheelbase 64.2 in.
Wet weight 788 lbs.
Seat height 26.2 in.
Rake/trail 32 deg./5.8 in.
Front tire 130/70R-18 Dunlop
Rear tire 200/50R-18 Dunlop
Front brake 292mm disc, 4-piston caliper (ABS standard)
Rear brake 292mm disc, 2-piston caliper
Front suspension 41mm conventional fork; 5.1 in. travel
Rear Suspension single horizontal coil-over; 3.3 in. travel
Fuel capacity 5 gal.

**2012 FLHTCUSE 7 CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide **

MSRP $37,249
Colors Electric Orange/Black Diamond with Big City Lights graphics - Crystal Citron/Diamond Dust with Big City Lights graphics - Wicked Sapphire/Stardust Silver with Big City Lights graphics
Warranty 2 yrs, unlimited miles
Engine
Type air-cooled, 45-degree Twin Cam 110 v-twin
Displacement; bore x stroke 1802cc; 101.6 x 111.3mm
Valve train Pushrod-operated OHV, 2 valves/cylinder
Compression 9.15:1
Fuel system ESPFI
Transmission 6-speed Cruise Drive
Final Drive belt
Chassis
Overall length 98.8in.
Wheelbase 63.5 in.
Wet weight 927 lbs.
Seat height 29.8 in.
Rake/trail 26 deg./6.7 in.
Front tire 130/80B-17 Dunlop blackwall
Rear tire 180/65B-16 Dunlop blackwall
Front brake 300mm dual discs, 4-piston calipers (ABS standard)
Rear brake 300mm disc, 4-piston caliper
Front suspension 41.3mm telescopic fork; 4.6 in. travel
Rear Suspension dual air-adjustable dampers; 3 in. travel.
Fuel capacity 6 gal.

2012 Harley-Davidson CVO Models Roll Out - Motorcycle Cruiser Magazine