Harley-Davidson CVO Softail Convertible 2012 Review ~ Motorcycle News…

18 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Harley-Davidson CVO Softail Convertible 2012 Review ~ Motorcycle News…
Harley-Davidson FLSTSE CVO Softail Convertible

Harley-Davidson CVO Softail Convertible 2012 Review

I’ve befriended many Harley owners over the years, and have met even more while at various events or when I’m out for a ride. Yet despite the number of Harley fans and loyalists I encounter, it never ceases to surprise me how few of them either know very little about, or haven’t ever heard of, Harley-Davidson’s line of in-house customs known as Custom Vehicle Operations, or CVO for short.

Crafted from existing standard model Harleys, a CVO is adorned with a laundry list of Harley’s own aftermarket goodies, as well as possessing a number of items or features unique to each model.

Harley-Davidson’s CVO Convertible is at one time both a light-duty tourer and boulevard-profiling cruiser. As a CVO model the Convertible wears premium Harley components, effectively making it an in-house custom motorcycle directly from The Motor Co.

CVOs are notably pricier than the standard models they’re derived from, but by comparison to many high-end, high-priced cruisers from independent shops with low-volume production, the CVOs offer some serious value. Attempting to build something close to a CVO one piece at a time would lead to a sum total cost well beyond a CVO’s MSRP.

And in terms of value, what revs most folks’ engines is getting more than what was bargained for, especially when the deal nets you something on the order of two-for-one. The $29,699 Harley-Davidson CVO Softail Convertible is just such a two-for-one deal.

With a windshield, a pair of speakers for tunes, a Garmin Zumo GPS, saddlebags and passenger backrest, the Convertible is ready for a long weekend on the road.

Model-year 2012 is the third year for the Softail Convertible in the CVO lineup. When it first surfaced in 2010 we discovered how crafty and practical Harley could get. With a few twists and turns of release knobs and latches this bike transforms from stripped-down stylin’ cruiser to destination-driven touring bike by way of its quick-release windshield, saddlebags and passenger pillion with backrest.

The Convertible’s quick-release components are so well integrated into the bike’s overall styling that when removed there’s almost no indication the bike was wearing saddlebags and a backrest only minutes prior. Even the passenger saddle removes lickity split by way of a simple knurled knob.

All that’s left in the passenger seat’s absence is a set of stylish ribs, for lack of a better term, that keep the top of the rear fender from suffering abrasion by the underside of the passenger seat. These protective bumpers look like intentional design elements made to enhance the fender’s styling, and wouldn’t lead most unsuspecting observers to think they’re anything other than decorative.

This example of a detail -– how the bike looks with the pillion removed – speaks to what’s at the core of CVO motorcycles: ultimate attention to the little things, not just here or there, but in every aspect of the motorcycle with which a rider might interact.

The Screamin’ Eagle 110 is the big Twin powering all CVOs.

The Convertible is largely the same bike it was when it first entered the CVO family, but for 2012 Harley continued to refine a few of the bike’s touring elements.

After listening to customer feedback Harley decided to increase the windshield’s height by approximately 1.0-inch and width by 2.0 inches, while also adding venting and adjustable lower wind deflectors. According to Harley, this new taller and wider screen eliminates a significant amount of wind pressure on the rider’s head, as well as reducing turbulence in the cockpit. Considering the screen’s modest size it does a good job of keeping most of the windblast away, with only a moderate amount of buffeting during freeway speeds.

Although the windshield employs Harley’s tool-less attachment system, it’s nevertheless a little intimidating the first few times you attempt to gently ease the screen from the handlebar and the fork. My trepidation stemmed from not wanting to damage the windshield’s integrated speaker system wiring. However, once the speaker wire is easily disconnected, all that’s necessary to remove the screen is a firm pull.

Replacing the screen requires some finessing to line up the attachment points, but after a half-dozen or so practice runs the whole process is pretty effortless.

2012 CVO Convertible: Harley Treats on a CVO

Harley-Davidson FLSTSE CVO Softail Convertible
Harley-Davidson FLSTSE CVO Softail Convertible
Harley-Davidson FLSTSE CVO Softail Convertible
Harley-Davidson FLSTSE CVO Softail Convertible
Harley-Davidson FLSTSE CVO Softail Convertible
Harley-Davidson FLSTSE CVO Softail Convertible


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