Blasting your favorite Michael Bolton playlist or Yanni Live at the Acropolis out of these babies has never been more enjoyable!
The CVO Road King’s Wind Splitter windshield is removable and features an interesting vent for what Harley claims to help with buffeting because it’s adjustable to riders’ varying dimensions. We feel it inhibits line of sight.
Throw it out there and see what sticks.
Harley’s Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) program thrives on that philosophy. And whether it’s a Road King, Road Glide, Street Glide, or Electra Glide, Harley bagger owners definitely take notice when CVO launches a new model. For 2013, after a four-year hiatus, the Road King has returned to CVO. And it’s an audiophile’s dream come true.
Nestled in the warm and cozy York, Pennsylvania, plant where the CVO, Touring, and Softail motorcycles are produced, CVO is categorized in the upper echelon of Harley-Davidson’s overall fleet. Consumers automatically associate those three little letters with opulence.
The CVO program came to fruition in 1999 as a way to entice buyers with a “limited-edition” line that included tricked-out, customized Harleys loaded with new Harley parts unavailable anywhere else, exotic leather saddles, heftier Screamin’ Eagle engines, and of course, chrome parts galore. Most of all, CVO was enacted as a rolling advertisement for the new parts set to be released in Harley’s Genuine Accessories catalog, created as a way of seeing what the current custom climate was interested in. And just like in years past, the CVO Road King is no stranger to receiving the royal treatment.
If it’s audio you’re after for your bagger, you’ve come to the right place. Harley’s spruced this King with a speaker smorgasbord. The first factory-installed Road King stereo system features four speakers combined with 200-watt amp output that blasts the included 8GB iPod’s tunes from dual 5x7-inch saddlebag lid speakers and 5¼-inch speakers in each of the lower fairings. All four speakers also include built-in tweeters for even more of a crispy crunch at high speeds. The engineers did their homework because at around 90 mph, the noise elements don’t completely drown out the music. And the speakers don’t inhibit storage space too much in the injection-molded, extended saddlebags.
For $1,000 more the CVO Road King is available as a 110th Anniversary Model, which includes more trinkets than you’d find in an antique store—110th Anniversary serialized cloisonné on the tank console, Midnight Pearl 110th tank medallion, black engine with gloss black covers, and Midnight Pearl engine cover inserts. Just to be clear, not all of the CVO Road Kings are Anniversary models, just one designation which is covered in a svelte 110th Anniversary color option, Diamond Dust/Obsidian with Palladium Graphics. Other paint options include Crushed Blue Sapphire with Cold Fusion Graphics (shown), and Burgundy Blaze with Hot Fusion Graphics. If you hadn’t noticed, Harley implemented a new paint process to the current models featuring hand-finished graphics created with textures and solvents in a multi-step process.
While on the 110 subject … 110 cubic inches of pure Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam fun is sandwiched tightly in between the single spar, rigid backbone, dual downtubes frame. Pumping out a healthy 118 lb-ft of torque, the 110 delivers immediately when rolling on the throttle. The 110ci Twin Cam is comprised of 4-inch bore by 4.38-inch stroken cylinders, pushrod-operated overhead valvetrain design, and 9.2:1 compression ratio. Controlling the fuel flow is Harley’s Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection system, which does a fine job handling the air/fuel mixing duties since after a quick jaunt up to Big Bear, California, from our usual sea level, the King didn’t hiccup, cough, blow chunks, or anything of that nature. And powering up the steep upgrades was never an issue, even in the lower rpm range.
When downshifting, you’ll notice a pleasant silkiness since the CVO was outfitted with Harley’s Assist & Slip Clutch Pack, which provides a slip feature to reduce loading of the driveline. And the hydraulically actuated clutch reduces lever effort so in stop-and-go traffic, your wrist doesn’t hate you. The clutch lever has also been redesigned with ergonomic comfort in mind. Also unique to the CVO Road King is Harley’s newest creation, the Vented Wind Splitter windshield. From a functionality standpoint, it works, from a design aesthetic, not so much. We understand the want or the need to feature ventilation options, but the vent seems redundant when the windshield itself is already a quick-detach windshield. Granted, you can’t quickly detach the windshield and stow it somewhere when you’re away from the homestead, but do folks really focus on that enough to warrant the construction of a vent smack dab in the middle of your line of sight. It’s also a tad annoying and intrusive when riding down the road. Harley claims the Wind Splitter was developed to combat buffeting, but at 5 feet 10 inches, and with the vent closed, buffeting wasn’t an issue. Maybe it would help an NBA starting center, but the average guy isn’t going to be affected.
In the Road King’s cockpit, the solo saddle with removable passenger pillion is a nice touch because of its intricate tuck-and-roll stitching pattern. The pad is also cushy and pliable, and perfect for a long trip. Our passenger mentioned that the backrest was “too low,” not giving her the support she wanted, preferring a taller pad.
Providing the information to the rider is a speedo/tach gauge stuffed in the streamlined dash atop the fuel tank. Grabbing the internally wired, chrome 1¼-inch handlebar doesn’t require much of a reach effort, and when coupled with the floorboard, the riding position is comfortable.
Being that the CVO features the crème de la crème of Harley’s newest offerings for the upcoming Accessories catalog, this motorcycle received the newest of the new from CVO’s Slipstream Collection—hand grips, floorboard inserts, shifter pegs, brake pedal pad, and passenger footpegs. And paying attention to details and customer feedback, the included Customer Care package that includes a toolkit, microfiber detail cloth, kickstand pad, and motorcycle storage cover with the vanity motorcycle cover, it’s the little subtleties that matter when spending an arm, a leg, maybe a couple fingers, or whatever else you care to part with.
Rolling the bike to and fro are Mirror Chrome Agitator Custom wheels with matching Agitator floating front brake rotors (two up front, one in the rear), and standard ABS along with dual four-piston front brake calipers, and a single four-piston rear caliper, bring the almost 840-pound bagger to a halt. Skinning the Agitators are Dunlop’s aggressive bias-plies front and rear. A 180mm rear tire is stuffed under the rear fender, and a more robust 130mm tire can be found up front.
The CVO King features dual hydraulic rear shocks where preload can be adjusted via hand knob. The shocks and 41mm telescopic front fork both work well in providing a plush ride. When it comes to more aggressive riding you can always play with your knob.
We’ve heard the expression, “Once a CVO owner, always a CVO owner,” many times before. We get it that consumers want the best of the best. But to achieve such a thing requires fast action since only 3,620 CVO Road Kings are available (920 of those are Anniversary editions). Drop us a line at email@example.com and let us know your overall impressions of the CVO Road King.
|## Spec Sheet|
|MODEL|2013 Harley-Davidson CVO Road King**|
|ENGINE TYPE|Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam|
|COOLING SYSTEM|Oil/air cooled|
|VALVE TRAIN|Pushrod-operated, overhead valves|
|FUEL SYSTEM|Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)|
|FUEL CAPACITY|6 gallons|
|OIL CAPACITY|4 quarts|
|CHARGING SYSTEM|Three-phase, 50-amp system|
|BATTERY|Sealed, 12-volt, 28-amp|
|TRANSMISSION|Six-speed Cruise Drive|
|CLUTCH|Hydraulic, 9-plate wet clutch with high-performance spring|
|PRIMARY DRIVE|Chain, 34/46 ratio|
|FINAL DRIVE|Belt, 32/68 ratio|
|SEAT HEIGHT|26.5 inches (laden), 27.4 inches (unladen)|
|GROUND CLEARANCE|4.9 inches|
|RAKE/TRAIL|26 degrees/6.7 inches|
|WEIGHT|809 pounds (dry), 838 pounds (running order)|
|REAR|Hydraulic, hand-adjustable rear shocks|
|SWINGARM|Mild steel, two-piece drawn and welded section, forged junctions, MIG welded|
|FRONT|Dual four-piston calipers, 11.8-inch rotors|
|REAR|Four-piston caliper, 11.8-inch rotor|
|ABS|Standard front and rear|
|FRONT|Chrome Agitator Custom, 19x3.5 inches|
|REAR|Chrome Agitator Custom, 18x5 inches|
|TIRES|Dunlop Harley-Davidson series|
|FRONT|BW 130/60B19 61H|
|REAR|BW 180/55B18 80H|
|COLOR|Crushed Sapphire with Cold Fusion Graphics|
|MSRP|$29,999 (Anniversary add $1,000)|