A look at a pretty special H-D CVO:
Although it’s a fabulous looking motorcycle, there’s more to the 2016 CVO Pro Street Breakout than just the look.
It’s powered by the latest 110B (1,801cc) Screaming Eagle high performance engine. The 111.1mm stroke is the same as the familiar 103B motor, but it has been bored out to 101.6mm (from 94.4mm).
And that means the solid mounted, counterbalanced unit is a real torque monster - it’s smooth, compliant, pleasant and strong. It tends to pulse more than vibrate and is equally at home on the freeway, in town or on country roads.
Harley claims maximum torque of 151nm @3500rpm and it’s delivered in a very pleasing manner.
As you would expect from one of H-D’s Custom Vehicle Operations a range of premium Screamin’ Eagle parts are pre-installed – like the heavy breather, Which no-doubt helps the excellent fuelling and overall performance of the engine.
the Blacked-out staggered exhaust system produces quite a pleasant note, but is is 2016 compliance friendly – or relatively quiet
The cruise drive six speed gearbox shifted very positively, reliably and neutral was easy to find even when stationary. It’s also fitted with a ‘wet assist’ slipper clutch that I didn’t bring into play during the test.
The CVO also features an efficient and easy to use cruise control and the switchgear is top notch. Harley’s self-cancelling indicators are still the best system on a motorcycle.
The fame is the same reliable Softail we’re familiar with but the 110 cube powerplant and CVO goodies added – it makes for truly lust-worthy motorcycle.
Things like the foot pegs, grips and general bling are from the top shelf of the accessory catalogue. And it’s often the little touches that are really noteworthy. The hand grips for example are the most comfortable I’ve used. Even the ‘luxury’ keyless security fob on the Breakout is classy.
It’s also a surprisingly comfortable motorcycle. The ‘race inspired’ saddle is very plush and gave me no grief after several touring-length days aboard. The wide forward control foot pegs offered more foot position options than the other Softails – even those fitted with foot boards - and they seem to give it more cornering clearance (although lean angle isn’t a big feature of the bike – but we are talking about a Softail).
Overall I really liked the riding position. The Satin-finish drag bars were again among the most comfortable I’ve used. They are at just the right angle for comfort and control (or ‘prowling’ according to Harley). Mounted below the bars is a compact instrument cluster that features analogue Tacho and a stylish Digital display for Speedometer and trip computer functions. Warning lights are set into the handlebar mounting.
The paint is also what you’d expect from a CVO: The best. The Breakout’s custom black on black is embellished with a deep fleck and a hand applied burnished highlight that is simply stunning.
It looks stunning from the rear quarter too with its 240 section rubber, ‘Aggressor’ cast alloy wheels and minimalist rear end too.
Like all the 240 section and wider rubber – the big tyres do take noticeably more cornering effort and tend to follow irregularities on rougher tarmac more than the narrower Softail rear ends - but some of the Breakout’s wide arse manner is compensated for by its high-tech front end – fitted with raked 43mm upside down forks and new triple trees, it runs a 19” front wheel.
The Breakout feels very solid on the freeway and that wide wheel does get the power and big torque hammer to the ground mighty nicely. The rear end has an extra 10mm of suspension travel over some other model softails - further adding to its overall comfort levels.
The twin 300mm fronts take Softail brakes to the next level. They are simply super stoppers - comparable to the twin Brembos on a new V-Rod.
It’s just a magnificent machine to sit astride.
That saddle, the LED headlight, the trick instruments, the custom paint, the wheels, the gloss, slipper clutch and all the other CVO niceties that come pre-installed contribute to its $42,495 Australian price.
But then, it is a rather special motorcycle.
To ride and to look at.