Harley-Davidson adds to its Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) family with the 2015 CVO Softail Deluxe. At a glance, it looks similar to the well-established Heritage Softail Classic, but if you look closer, the differences become apparent.

From the Twin Cam 110 engine, to the Project Rushmore-inspired innovations, this bike represents Harley’s continuing efforts to blend classic design with modern engineering. It’s easy to say that it just emulates the look of the Heritage, but the roots go much deeper than that, as the Heritage itself was an effort to recapture the looks and lines of bikes going back to the 1950s, and even back to 1936 if one ignores the hydraulic fork front suspension! I must admit that I have always had a certain affinity for this design through its various iterations.

When I was a younger man working in a dealership, I have to say that I found them attractive but considered it an “old man’s bike,” maybe because of who I saw buying them, and maybe because of the design features like the big windshield and even bigger saddlebags. Having grown up a bit, and having put many state lines and thousands of miles behind me, I can better appreciate having the increased storage capacity and protection from the wind and flying objects.

Continue reading to learn more about the Harley-Davidson CFO Softail Deluxe.

  • 2015 Harley-Davidson CVO Softail Deluxe
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Engine:
    Air-cooled, Twin Cam 110B™
  • Displacement:
    110 cubic inches
  • Price:
    28999

Design

2015 Harley-Davidson CVO Softail Deluxe Exterior
- image 619431

It is impossible to overstate the classic looks of this bike. As with all Softails, the rear swingarm is designed to look like the rigid frames of old, with the shocks neatly tucked away out of sight beneath the transmission. Though this looks really cool, there is a harsh reality to be considered, as the suspension has a fairly limited range of motion, giving the bike a rather unforgiving ride, though granted it is not as unforgiving as the rigid frame that it emulates.

The fender design contributes to the vintage look, and the front fender offers a clear view of the big front wheel. As with all Softails, the small rider triangle, low seat height and low center of gravity makes the bike very “small rider” friendly, and bound to appeal to certain sectors of the Harley-riding community. Overall, the lines of the design, the vintage-looking sheet metal and many other details give this bike a pedigree that is impossible to ignore.

Chassis

2015 Harley-Davidson CVO Softail Deluxe Exterior
- image 619430

Here we start to see the innovations that bring modern engineering and classic design philosophies together. Blessed with anti-lock brakes, the ABS brake components have been redesigned to look sleek and not stick out like a sore thumb. Little details like the detachable windshield and saddlebags give the bike flexibility, allowing you to quickly configure the bike for around-town riding (read: barhopping), or somewhat longer trips. I say ’somewhat’ because the rear suspension issues and rigid-mounted engine will contribute to rider fatigue if you try to act like you are on a proper touring bike and hit the interstate for a long trip.

The wheels themselves depart from the traditional laced design, and instead are chrome nine-spoke aluminum “mag” wheels. I’m a fan of laced wheels, but having trued more of them than I care to remember, I appreciate not having to deal with that particular headache. And you can forget about the usual black frame, at least with the Bermuda Blue paint package, as the frame comes with the same blue used on the sheet metal.

Drivetrain

2015 Harley-Davidson CVO Softail Deluxe Exterior
- image 619444

Ok folks, this is where things get fun. While the bike invokes images of older RUBs (Rich Urban Bikers) puttering around town, the powerplant will appeal to the fiery-eyed peg draggers. The 110-cubic-inch engine produces a generous 107.7 pound-feet of torque that is sure to give the bike a sporty holeshot while providing plenty of throttle response when you need to achieve “escape velocity” to avoid dangerous traffic situations. A low-maintenance belt final drive connects the 16-inch rear wheel to the six-speed Cruise Drive transmission, and the top-gear ratio of 2.79-to-1 means you can rely on a relaxed engine pace even at interstate speeds – for as long as you can stand it.

Pricing

2015 Harley-Davidson CVO Softail Deluxe Exterior
- image 619435

The base price for the CVO Softail Deluxe is $28,999, and all available options other than the California emissions package are included in that price.

He Said

"I love the combination of power and looks, and personally have always found Softails to be a comfortable platform. This bike would make a good barhopper-on-steroids, but if you want to do any serious long-distance riding, a proper tour bike will give you more bang for the buck. All that aside, I think that this is a sexy little beast that lends itself well to cruising."

<She said

My wife and fellow writer, Allyn Hinton, says, "Low seat height: oh so important for me as a shorty, and the low center of gravity makes it that much more attractive since the 782-pound running weight could be a bit much to muscle around. I love the limited-edition CVO line, but probably not enough to pay half again more than the Softail Deluxe. Still, it’s a classy-looking bike."

Specifications

Engine: Air-Cooled, Twin Cam 110B™
Bore: 4 inches
Stroke: 4.374 inches
Displacement: 110 cubic inches
Compression Ratio: 9.2:1
Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Engine Torque Testing Method: J1439
Engine Torque: 107.7 pound-feet
Engine Torque (Rpm) : 3,000
Lean Angle, Right (Deg.) : 25.8
Lean Angle, Left (Deg.) : 27
Fuel Economy: Combined City/Hwy: 43 mpg
Primary: Drive Chain, 34/46 Ratio
Gear Ratios (Overall) 1st: 9.311
Gear Ratios (Overall) 2nd: 6.454
Gear Ratios (Overall) 3rd: 4.793
Gear Ratios (Overall) 4th: 3.882
Gear Ratios (Overall) 5th: 3.307
Gear Ratios (Overall) 6th: 2.79
Exhaust: Chrome, Shorty-Dual Exhaust W/ Slashdown Chrome Mufflers And Chrome Heat Shields
Wheels, Front Type: Chrome, 9-Spoke Cast Aluminum
Wheels, Rear Type: Chrome, 9-Spoke Cast Aluminum
Brakes, Caliper Type: 4-Piston Fixed Front; 2-Piston Floating Rear
Length: 95.7 inches
Seat Height, Unladen: 25.8 inches
Ground Clearance: 4.7 inches
Rake (Steering Head) (Deg) : 32.1
Trail: 5.8 inches
Wheelbase: 64.2 inches
Tires, Front Specification: MT90B16 M/C 72H
Tires, Rear Specification: MU85B16 M/C 77H
Fuel Capacity: 5 gallons
Oil Capacity (W/Filter) : 3.5 quarts
Weight, As Shipped: 749 pounds
Weight, In Running Order: 782 pounds
Gauges: Grey Tint Combination Digital Speedometer / Analog Tachometer
Price: $28,999
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