To maintain their exclusivity, Harley-Davidson has limited production of motorcycles in its Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) line to about five percent of total annual production. For 2013, that amounts to roughly 12,500 units spread over four models. 2013 is also Harley’s 110th anniversary, and less than 3,000 CVOs will be offered with special paint, custom seats and serialized badges, for an extra $1,000. That’s like getting into the VIP room, and then being granted access to the double-secret door in the back.
Cream-of-the-crop CVO bikes are all equipped with the Twin Cam 110B V-twin (90.5 horsepower and 109 lb-ft of torque; Rider, August 2012), anti-lock brakes, electronic cruise control and Harley’s Smart Security System. New for 2013 is the hydraulic Assist & Slip Clutch Pack, which slightly slips the clutch on downshifts to smooth out gear changes and reduce wear, while also reducing effort and improving feel at the lever. CVO buyers also get an indoor/outdoor cover, Customer Care Package (toolkit, detailing cloth and kickstand pad), a commemorative CVO key in a display box and a special 1-year membership to the Harley-Davidson museum.
Returning for an eighth year is one of the most popular CVO models, the Ultra Classic Electra Glide, equipped with a premium audio system (Harmon/Kardon AM/FM/WB/CB/XM, 8GB iPod nano, amplifier and Boom! Audio speakers and bass booster ports), Garmin Road Tech 660 GPS, power locks, custom dual-control heated seats with backrests and new perforated leather inserts, plus components from Harley’s new Slipstream Collection—foot and hand controls, heated grips, windscreen trim and a chrome billet extended-reach heel shifter that increases foot room. The ultimate Ultra absolutely swaddles you in comfort and convenience, and it’s available in three color schemes for $37,599 and in 110th anniversary livery for $38,599—the most expensive production Harley ever offered.
Back for its sophomore year is the CVO Road Glide Custom (see full test of 2012 model in Rider, August 2012). Upgrades for 2013 include an additional 200-watt amplifier, 5 x 7 saddlebag lid speakers, an antenna hidden in the fairing and Harley’s first-ever LED headlight—called the Daymaker—which improves punch, spread and output while reducing power consumption. Other new touches include diamond-pattern leather inserts in the seat, a fat 1.25-inch ergonomically shaped and internally wired handlebar and a ghosted H-D graphic on the windscreen. It’s available in two color schemes for $32,999; add $1,000 for the anniversary edition.
Back for the fifth time (after a hiatus) is the CVO Road King, which for 2013 adds an audio module with handlebar controls, a 200-watt amplifier, speakers in the fairing lowers and saddlebag lids, and an 8GB iPod nano with dock and holder. It also gets a detachable, vented windscreen, a custom solo seat with detachable pillion, a 1.25-inch ergonomic, internally wired handlebar, low-profile console with combo speedo/tach and programmable back lighting colors, and the Slipstream Collection. Available in two color schemes for $29,999; add $1,000 for the anniversary edition.
Replacing the Softail Convertible is an all-new Softail model, a “super premium long custom” called the Breakout. This eye-popping machine features all-new Turbine wheels, rotors and sprocket, with a 21-inch front wheel with a 130mm tire and an 18-inch rear wheel with a 240mm tire. Wide front and rear ends accommodate the wide tires, and custom touches include an ultra-low tank console, 1.25-inch handlebar, leather seat accented with hornback gator pattern, detachable pillion, single-rib chrome oil tank and one of three stunning, one-of-a-kind paint jobs, two with hand-polished tanks and a third with a hand-applied lace pattern. Long on style, the Breakout is short on cornering clearance and suspension travel. At $26,499, it’s the least expensive CVO model, and since it’s brand new it won’t be offered in an anniversary edition.
(This article We Are the 5% was published in the November 2012 issue of Rider magazine.)
For more information on the 2013 Harley Davidsons, click here.