2016 - 2015 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Ultra
Harley-Davidson and Project Rushmore is a match made in heaven. The CVO Road Glide Ultra is one of the Harley lineup out for 2016 that benefits from the improvements and innovations of Rushmore, on top of being one of the limited-edition, extra-special swanky CVO line.
CVO — Custom Vehicle Operations — says it all. Everything on the CVO Road Glide Ultra is bigger, badder, faster, smoother, more powerful, more stylish and more luxurious than the Road Glide; but at twice the price, it had better be.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Ultra.
2016 - 2015 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Ultra
Displacement:110 cubic inches
CVO Road Glide Ultra has all the wonderful Rushmore innovations: the dual Daymaker™ Reflector LED Headlamps, brighter brake lights, ergonomic hand controls, awesome Infotainment system with voice activated blah, blah, blah and on and on. What jumps out at me right off the bat, though, is the redesigned shark-nose front fairing. The “Jet stream” wind deflectors and triple Splitstream vents are awesome, but I’ve never been a fan of the frame-mounted fairing. Yes, functionally it rocks, but I don’t care for the aesthetics. Petty, I know and I’ll get over it.
One thing I really like about Project Rushmore is that the folks at Harley also listened to passengers. By getting input from folks who’ve spent countless hours and thousands of miles on the pillion, Harley has given us a larger seat, more legroom, and controls that can be reached and operated with one hand. If you’ve ever ridden 1,200 miles on a seat that’s just a tad too small with saddlebags rubbing your calves, you’ll greatly appreciate these features.
On top of that, as part of the 2016 update, the pillion is an inch wider and longer, and the speakers are moved out a total of two inches. As if that wasn’t enough room, they moved the saddlebag guards down so your passenger has more legroom and is even less likely to rub calves. I just can’t stay in the saddle if the saddlebags rub my legs, ya know?
New for 2016, the CVO Road Glide Ultra comes standard with a tire pressure monitoring system. The tire pressure is viewable through the Infotainment center or the odometer and pop-up messages with low-pressure warnings appear in the Infotainment center.
Two additional new-for-2016 features are the LED front turn signals and a new integrated key fob. The key fob is an all-in-one for the functions of the electric luggage locking system and the proximity-activated security system. This eliminates the need for two separate fobs. The new LED turn signals give you long bulb life and higher visibility — both features that are welcome on a motorcycle.
As a comfort feature, the restyled custom seat with leather inserts comes with suspended, dual control heat for 2016, as well as a narrow-profile primary cover and clutch inspection cover. The new covers give your legs a straighter line to the ground, so even us shorties don’t have to do the bow-legged tippy-toe on the 30-inch seat height.
With the exclusive, 1.25-inch diameter chrome handlebar you get more pullback and height, allowing for an upright, touring posture that is comfortable for the long haul in the saddle.
Brembo brakes: check. Reflex™ Linked Brakes with ABS: check. Locking up a front wheel or going for a slide because of a rear-wheel skid is a thing of the past, even on wet pavement. The CVO Road Glide Ultra has four-piston front and rear calipers and dual front rotors for stopping power at any speed, and the premium adjustable-air rear suspension let’s you fine-tune your ride.
The new Mirror Chrome Slicer custom wheels come with a 90-degree valve stem. I think that’s worth a small mention, but sometimes it’s the little things that impress me the most. To finish up the roundy-round parts, Harley put Dunlop® Multi-Tread 16-inchers on the rear and 17-inchers on the front.
Thanks to the Twin-Cooled™ Twin Cam 110™ engine and six-speed Cruise Drive® transmission, the CVO Road Glide Ultra has the fastest 60-to-80 mph 5th gear acceleration of any bike in the history of Harley-Davidson. That means passing power, sure, but it also means you have the ability to accelerate out of harm’s way when panic braking just won’t do. Shifting is solid, smooth and quiet, and with 115 foot-pounds of torque, you’ll feel like you’ve tamed the monster and now it does your bidding.
The CVO Road Glide Ultra comes equipped with the Assist & Slip Clutch Pack. This feature acts as a slipper clutch to reduce back-torque on downshifts and prevent wheel-hop and loss of traction at the rear tire.
Riders said they wanted a sound system to rival that of any enjoyed by a cage-driver, and Harley listened. The BOOM!™ Audio SiriusXM® radio is standard equipment on the CVO Road Glide Ultra, as is the Jukebox with a USB port for your iPod or iPhone and voice recognition Bluetooth. With 75 watts per channel at one percent distortion and a factory-tuned, optimized equalizer, you can go loud without distortion.
If you can afford it, you won't have to ask how much it costs.
Harley offers custom two-toned paint choices that were new for 2015: Abyss Blue & Crushed Sapphire, Burgundy Blaze & Typhoon Maroon, or Carbon Dust & Autumn Sunset. For 2016, we get all new paint schemes — Ruby Red/Palladium Silver, Stardust Silver/Palladium Silver, and Charcoal Slate/Carbon Dust — and new tank badges.
Whichever color combo you choose, the CVO Road Glide Ultra starts at a whopping $40,299 — $650 more than in 2015. Yes, it’s pricey, but it’s gorgeous and it’s the ultimate bagger for hard-core bagger folks. If you can afford it, you won’t have to ask how much it costs.
When I look around for something to compare to a CVO bike, I feel like the pickin’s are slim. The CVO line is all about high-end luxury, so how do I match head-to-head a $40,000 motorcycle? There are two bikes that come to mind: a fully-loaded Gold Wing from Honda and a K 1600 GTL Exclusive from BMW. Let’s pick a few points and see how they stack up.
Harley’s Twin-Cooled Twin Cam 110 (1,801 cc) comes in just shy of the Gold Wing’s 1,832 cc engine and it’s shy on torque when put up against the BMW — 115 pound-feet vs 129 pound-feet — but the CVO Road Glide Ultra doesn’t have to wind up nearly as tight to find maximum grunt.
All the competitors come with heated seats and an alphabet soup of technical acronyms, fancy navigation and audio features, and put a high emphasis on comfort. What really sets the Gold Wing apart, for me, is the electric reverse and an airbag. I don’t know of anyone else putting an airbag on a motorcycle….yet, so props to Honda.
Price-wise, the CVO is in last place up against the BMW at $30,395 and the fully-loaded Gold Wing going for 30,599. Are the CVO features worth at extra $10,000? If money were not part of the equation, I’d probably go CVO Road Glide Ultra hands down.
My husband and fellow writer, TJ Hinton, says, "I like a lot of the features, but they can be had on other bikes, such as the Ultra Limited Low. I never have liked the large fixed fairing and this model is no exception. For the money, I’d go with one of the other baggers that has the batwing front fairing."
"I like the bike overall and I like the concept. As a passenger, however, I love the bike. It’s Harley at its most elegant — the bagger to make other baggers green with envy."
|Engine:||Twin-Cooled™ Twin Cam 110™|
|Displacement:||110 cubic inches|
|Fuel System:||Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)|
|Engine Torque Testing Method:||J1349|
|Engine Torque:||115.1 foot-pounds at 3,750 rpm|
|Primary Drive:||Chain, 34/46 ratio|
|Gear Ratios (overall):||1st - 9.593, 2nd - 6.65, 3rd - 4.938, 4th - 4.0, 5th - 3.407, 6th - 2.875|
|Exhaust :||Chrome dual exhaust with four-inch touring mufflers and touring muffler shields|
|Lean Angle, Right:||31.9 degrees|
|Lean Angle, Left.) :||31.8 degrees|
|Wheel, Front:||Mirror Chrome Slicer Custom Wheel|
|Wheel, Rear:||Mirror Chrome Slicer Custom Wheel|
|Brakes:||32 mm, four-piston caliper fixed front and rear|
|Tires, Front Specification:||Dunlop® Multi-Tread BW 130/80B17 65H|
|Tires, Rear Specification:||Dunlop® Multi-Tread BW 180/65B16 81H|
|Seat Height, Laden:||28.4 inches|
|Seat Height, Unladen:||29.7 inches|
|Ground Clearance:||4.7 inches|
|Screen Size:||6.5 inch|
|Colour Choices:||Orange (default), Blue, Brown, Green, Gray, Purple, Red|
|Watts Per Channel:||75.0|
|Speaker Size:||6.5 inch|
|Bass Port Rear Speakers:||Standard|
|Distortion (THD) :||one percent|
|Headset Specifications (if equipped) :||16-64 ohms|
|AM:||Dependent on Region|
|Weather Band (WB) :||Dependent on Region|
|MW:||Dependent on Region|
|LW:||Dependent on Region|
|MP3 - USB Connection:||Supported|
|SD Card - via USB Connection:||Supported|
|Flash Drive - via USB Connection:||Supported|
|iPod Device Presets:||20.0|
|USB-Storage Device Presets:||20.0|
|Media Player Device Presets:||20|
|Global Presets:||Selectable, up to 20 presets|
|Favorites:||One FAV hardkey plus six favorites|
|Interface languages:||English (US/UK), German, Spanish (Mexico/Spain), French (Canada/France), Italian, European Portuguese|
|Hands-free Mobile Phone - via Bluetooth:||Standard|
|Voice Recognition Languages: Phone functions only:||English (US/UK), German, Spanish (Mexico/Spain), French (Canada/France), Italian, European Portuguese|
|Voice Recognition Languages: Tuner/Media/Navigation:||English (US/UK), German, Spanish (Mexico/Spain), French (Canada/France), Italian, European Portuguese|
|"Vehicle Information Screen (Air temperature, oil pressure and engine temperature)" :||Standard|
|Software Update via USB interface:||Standard|
|Text-to-Speech (TTS) Languages:|
|Fuel Capacity:||6 gallons|
|Recommended Fuel:||Premium Unleaded|
|Oil Capacity (w/filter) :||4 quarts|
|Weight, As Shipped:||905 pounds|
|Weight, In Running Order:||943 pounds|
|Luggage Capacity-Volume:||4.7 cubic feet|
|Fuel Economy: Combined City/Hwy :||41 mpg|
|2015:||Abyss Blue & Crushed Sapphire, Burgundy Blaze & Typhoon Maroon, or Carbon Dust & Autumn Sunset|
|2016:||Ruby Red/Palladium Silver, Stardust Silver/Palladium Silver, and Charcoal Slate/Carbon Dust|
|Price:||2015 - $39,649. 2016 - $40,299|