News of the world of motorcycling > 2007 Harley-Davidson CVO Softail Springer

9 Jun 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on News of the world of motorcycling > 2007 Harley-Davidson CVO Softail Springer
Harley-Davidson FLSTSC Softail Springer Classic

FXSTSSE translation: 110-cubic-inch power, Springer style, CVO exclusivity

By Richard Ried, photos by Kevin Wing


Alphabet soup to some, but to those in the know, these groups of letters represent four of Harley-Davidson’s most exclusive models for 2007. The key? The last two letters, SE, which stand for Screamin’ Eagle, the Motor Company’s performance division.

They denote that each is a limited-edition machine hand-built by Harley’s own Custom Vehicle Operations.

Whether it’s the long-distance comfort of the Ultra Classic, the versatility of the Road King, the pro street styling of the Dyna or the retro-cool of the Softail Spinger, there’s something in the CVO lineup for everyone who wants to stand out from the crowd.

Well, not quite everyone. It’s first-come-first-served for these exclusive customs. The CVO program will produce a total of 12,500 bikes for 2007, making them considerably rarer than any of Harley’s standard models.

And considerably more expensive: Prices for the CVOs range from $24,995 for the Springer and Dyna, up to $33,495 for the Ultra Classic.

The CVO program dates to 1999, when Harley introduced its first factory custom, the FXR2. Just 900 were produced. A year later, the CVO program unveiled its first performance model, the Screamin’ Eagle Road Glide, a customized touring machine with the added kick of a 1,550cc version of the Twin Cam engine.

Since then, all CVO models have featured significant performance upgrades over their stock counterparts.

And for 2007, Harley has upped the ante in CVO performance even further by taking its all-new 96-cubic-inch, air-cooled V-twin, modifying the cases, boring it out to a full 110 cubic inches, and topping it off with new high-compression cylinder heads featuring larger intake valves.

These mods translate into a serious increase in torque, especially at lower rpms. The two Screamin’ Eagle touring models, the Road King and the Ultra Classic, pump out an impressive 115 foot-pounds at just 3,000 rpm, a healthy 13 percent increase over the hot-rodded 103-cubic-inch Twin Cam mill that powered the ’06 CVOs.

While the new CVOs have plenty of go, they’ve also go lots of show, thanks to custom hand-painted graphics (unavailable to owners of standard models, even through Harley’s Color Shop), color-matched frames, unique wheels, and, of course, chrome. Lots of chrome.

Chrome brake levers, chrome shift levers, chrome engine covers, chrome voltage regulators, chrome master cylinders, chrome belt guards, chrome switch housings, chrome wheel spacers, chrome valve caps, chrome head bolt covers—well, you get the picture.

Let’s summarize: Big motor. Head-turning graphics. Enough chrome to blind pilots of low-flying aircraft on sunny days. Did I want to ride one? You bet!

Fortunately, I recently had the chance to spend some quality time with a Screamin’ Eagle Softail Springer in the rolling California countryside just north of San Luis Obispo.

The Springer is a good-looking machine which gets its name from the retro leading-link exposed-spring-and-shock front suspension that replaces a conventional fork. It immediately sets the bike apart and gives the Springer’s front end the visual weight it needs to balance the bike’s impressively wide 200/55R-17 rear tire.

Other styling touches include 21-inch front and 17-inch rear 10-spoke Revolver wheels, a chrome mini tach mounted to the ‘bars just behind the chrome headlamp nacelle, and grips, pegs and pedals from Harley’s new Centerline accessory collection.

One of the neatest bits on the Springer is the trick fuel gauge on the left side of the five-gallon Fat Bob tanks that looks like a solid metal cap—until the motor’s fired up. Then a row of LEDs and a gas pump icon magically appear through the reflective chrome surface of the gauge, showing how much gas remains. Very trick indeed.

As I throw a leg over the big twin, it feels comfortable and balanced. The forward controls are located at just the right point—far enough forward to let me stretch out my legs, but not so far that I struggle with the brake and shift levers, while the flat, wide 1.25-inch-diameter handlebar puts the grips right where I need them.

Harley-Davidson FLSTSC Softail Springer Classic

And, as slice my way down through the brown hills on Adelaida Road just west of Paso Robles, I find the Springer’s got the handling to match those comfortable ergos. While the lowered rear suspension can run out of travel on rough pavement, you’ll have to work hard to touch any hard parts in a corner, thanks to those high-mounted shotgun pipes. Throw in the natural anti-dive tendencies of the springer fork and you’ve got a custom that’s fun to ride, even when things get twisty.

All too quickly I leave the hills behind and re-enter the world of stoplights, SUVs and minimarts. But even here, the big custom provides ample entertainment. The deeply dished leather seat holds me firmly in place as I tap into that seemingly endless supply of CVO-supplied torque, the big mill propelling me from light to light and giving traffic a great view of the smoked LED taillight and the oh-so-wide rear tire as I neatly pull away.

A quick jaunt down Highway 1 demonstrates that, while not a touring machine, the Springer is also perfectly capable of relaxed freeway travel. The top cog in the six-speed gearbox acts as an overdrive, dropping the revs to a sedate 2,300 or so at speeds that come just shy of what will earn you a ticket in most states. That deep seat and those flat bars help keep wind blast (and the accompanying fatigue) to a minimum.

Between the near-perfect ergonomics, solid handling and that retro-cool front end that really works, the Springer is a bike that is as much fun to ride as it is to look at. And the fact that there will only be 2,500 of these world-wide makes it even better. Anyone want to loan me $24,995?

The other 2007 CVOs

The Harley-Davidson CVO bikes are designed to do more than just satisfy the demand for high-end, off-the-shelf customs.

“We also put these motorcycles together to show our customers what they can do with their bikes,” said CVO Senior Team Manager Ken Lussow. “And we work with Willie G. to define his vision of styling and test new concepts as complete bikes.”

So if you can’t get one of these limited-edition models yourself, you can use them as inspiration for customizing your own Harley.

Designed to look fast standing still, the CVO Dyna features an inverted 43mm front fork, a color-matched chin spoiler, an integrated speedo/tach gauge pack mounted to the handlebars, and covered, low rear shocks that are hand-adjustable for preload. The pro-street-inspired machine is available in Silver Rush and Midnight Black, Inferno Red and Desert Black, and Twilight Blue and Granite with Ice Blue Pearl with an MSRP of $24,995.

Screamin’ Eagle Road King

Back by popular demand after a four-year hiatus from the CVO lineup, the new Road King features a detachable smoked windscreen, a 170mm rear tire mated to a 130mm radial front, custom leather-wrapped saddlebags with embossed flames, and detachable rider and passenger backrests. It’s available in Black Ice with Pewter Leaf Graphics, Candy Cobalt with Pale Gold Leaf Graphics and Razor Red with Burnt Gold Leaf Graphics for an MSRP of $28,495.

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