Every year, Harley-Davidson unveils a limited-production lineup of motorcycles from its Custom Vehicles Operations (CVO) division. Decked out with extravagant paint finishes, unusual custom details, and copious chrome surfaces, these bikes reflect the cutting edge of the Milwaukee manufacturer’s design and construction capabilities, hints of which inevitably trickle down to the rest of the brand’s more terrestrial offerings. For 2015, the CVO family brings four distinctively styled spin-offs: the touring-friendly Limited ($39,349), the imposing Road Glide Ultra ($39,649), the low-slung Street Glide ($36,349), and the nostalgic Softail Deluxe ($28,999).
All of this year’s CVO models are equipped with saddlebags for long-distance riding, but more crucially, they showcase the most powerful engine manufactured by the Harley-Davidson Motor Company: the Screamin’ Eagle 110 cu. in. V-twin motor, which churns out a thumping 115 ft lbs of torque. In the Limited, Road Glide Ultra, and Street Glide models, Harley-Davidson’s Twin-Cooling technology discreetly routes liquid cooling circuits to the engine’s cylinder heads for more comfortable operation. Managing that power is a hydraulically actuated slipper clutch that is more typically associated with high-strung race bikes than laid-back cruisers.
Though the new CVO lineup features bells and whistles like keyless ignition, cruise control, antilock brakes, and Harley’s latest touchscreen multimedia system (in all but the Softail Deluxe model), the custom paint schemes are what clearly distinguish the bikes from mainstream competitors. With names like Scorching Yellow, Starfire Black Flames, and Ultraviolet Blue, the bold hues and finishes set the CVO bikes apart as models that recall the early days of custom motorcycle culture—which helps explain why CVO models sell out briskly every year. (harley-davidson.com)