2012 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide FLHXSE3
Milwaukee’s Best Bagger Ever?
By Toph Bocchiaro, Photography by Courtesy Of The Harley-davidson Motor Company, Toph Bocchiaro
Essentially, the frequency response of a speaker is the range of musical notes a speaker c
Extensive testing was done for the best sound and weather protection for the new speakers. For weather protection, each speaker has a one-piece cone without a seam and a seal surround to keep out the elements. Speakers were treated to testing that put them through the extremes. For water resistance the speakers were put into a chamber that replicates the worst rain imaginable, the so-called 100-year downpour. The “HOGwash” test was used to simulate a one-hour powerwashing. The speakers were even filled with water and frozen solid before turning on the radio. Apparently, as soon as the signal was applied to the speaker, the vibration immediately began melting the ice. That may sound extreme but Harley needs to stand by thousands if not more speakers that will be subject to all kinds of abuse. We’ve seen H-D employees riding motorcycles in the winter. Speakers were left out in the Arizona sun and subjected to dust and dirt to make sure they would withstand anything a rider could throw at them. A simulated 18,000-mile ride over bumps was done while cranking the music at high levels.
Once all of those attributes were developed it was time to actually listen to and tweak the speakers even more. A lot of on-road testing was performed because a stereo might sound great in the parking lot and terrible once up to speed. Even the angle of the saddlebag speakers had to be taken into account, as the mechanical movement of a speaker cone can be altered and sound different when highway speed wind hits a speaker. Harley-Davidson has state-of-the-art sound facilities that are used for development of motors, exhausts, etc. This acoustic lab facility was used to further tune the frequency response of the speakers with and without engine and exhaust noise.
We have to say that the audio system rivals some of the best home audio equipment we’ve ever heard. After riding home from work we found ourselves hitting the beach and just parking the bike to wind down with some tunes. Because of the system aspect of the eight speakers the dynamic range is amazing—producing thumping bass that can be felt in your chest to the highest cymbal crashes. Even at speeds well above the speed limit the audio is crystal clear, able to discriminate the most subtle of musical passages. We’ve said this before and it’s never been more true: big audio is the new loud pipes. This audio system will easily get you noticed and pulled over by the police if possibly just to know who makes such a fine system.
It’s no secret that the Street Glide has been a favorite motorcycle of this magazine. The 2011 CVO Street Glide was an awesome bike but for 2012 the CVO Street Glide fills in the audio gaps. With the inclusion of Harley’s premium speakers and amps we have dubbed this FLHX the BOOM! Glide. If we had our choice this is the one bike we would own. It’s not as plush or smooth as an Ultra due to the lowered and tuned suspension, but all in all this machine delivers outstanding performance, style, and unmatchable sound.B
By Toph Bocchiaro
Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!