Well, it is about freakin’ time! Not that there is all that much new happening in the 2016 Harley Lineup. Now, I did not say there was nothing new, just less dramatic than what we saw in the years following the Centennial Birthday.
First off, I have to tip my hat to the paint gods out there… Finally, in 2015, Harley re-released its Jade Sunglo Pearl paint (actually, it’s a little different, Deep Jade Pearl, but close enough). I just love that color. In fact, I like to call it, “ArtBiker Green.” I have been waiting for this color to be back since it disappeared from the 2004 lineup with the Night Train holding on to the last minute with that gorgeous color. And you bet your tuckus, it is available for the 2016’s.
But, WTF do you care about color? Like Ford said, “any color you want, as long as it’s black.” And while black may still be the favorite of the Harley community, the young upstarts on their Sportys and, gasp, Even… Smaller… Bikes… just may be drawn in by the bass boat styling that Harley has latched onto (about four years late, but trends move through the hallowed halls slowly in The Company, which I can understand. I certainly wouldn’t want to be the one to say, “Hey, the hottest thing right now is a medium to large flake purple, chameleon paint that changes color with every angle and includes, purple, red, blue, gold, green, and pink… and at night, IT’S BLACK!” You know that guy got his walking papers just about the time he finished up his diatribe.
So, I suppose you would like a little info then. Well, how about if we point out a few cool surprises? Sound good to you? Me too. OK then, let’s work our way from the babies to the old geezer glides.
First, we have some cool news about the Street 750 and 500. Both bikes will take advantage of a shift in brakes. H-D and Brembo came together to create matching front and rear with 34mm pistons, and tugging against 300mm brake rotors. There have been a few additional, stylistic, and ergonomic changes with both the brake pedal and the clutch/brake levers, which will clean things up a bit as well as make the use more comfortable.
The Iron 883 was put on a little diet consisting of lightening holes, clipped fenders, and spoked, cast aluminum wheels, which reduces the un-sprung weight of this baby by 8 lbs. The big news however is the new suspension kit. It includes a cartridge-style fork and emulsion rear shocks with progressive-rate springs and a threaded pre-load adjustment collar. In fact, all the sportys got an upgrade in the suspension department! Dialing in the perfect ride just got sooo much easier.
I have always liked the Iron, but personally preferred the XL1200N, which was perhaps the most fun bike I have ever ridden (maybe second to the 49 Pan, but this baby started EVERY time and didn’t wear out my knee). But, the Nightster was not an easy decision… I was also infatuate by the Forty-Eight. This bike has always had a bit of a more aggressive look and is reminiscent of café racers of years gone by. The bike sports chopped fenders, an aluminum fork brace, and slotted guards as well as a 130mm front tire to balance out the new 49mm forks.
Now the big(ger) news; this year shows us two limited edition Softails that have been packed with the CVO’s 110 engine. That’s right baby… the big guns. The Fat Boy S and Softail Slim S both have the upgraded engine as well as: cruise control, abs, and security system. But, say the Fat Boy or Slim just aren’t your gig? Maybe you dig the Breakout, or you fancy a Dyna. Well, you are not totally left out of the power dept. (that is, unless you want a Street Bob, which did not get upgraded). Yup, the remaining Softails and Dynas have gotten the High Output 103” engine, which includes a high flow air box and a performance camshaft.
The Heritage Softail Classic gets a little refresher as well, although you may not pick them out right away. First, better saddlebag supports were implemented. Then, a few tweaks to the seating and backrest, as well as new leather tank panel set to match the backrest. So, while the changes are mild, they are there. Good news is that the FLSTC is the other model to get the ABS and Cruise Control thrown into the package. You can get it on the other models, but yer gonna have to pay extra.
Now as far as the FL’s go, there is not too much change. But the Road Glide Ultra has returned to the lineup. There are a few minor tweaks, but really nothing to write home about. If you are a fan, simply be happy this ol’ gal is back.
As we turn our attention to the CVO Models, you know, the ones that will leave you with a payment equal to, or exceeding your monthly mortgage AND property tax bill; one does have to think that Harley is getting a little classy. Self-Monitoring Tire Pressure Gauges? Isn’t that an option on like a Mercedes, Audi, or something? I mean, cool! Bring it on! But I am still not putting on some white tennis outfit and prancing around the parking lot with joy because my tires are at exactly 36 and 40 lbs., respectively.
But it is nice to The Company try to keep up with the times. I am impressed and very happy with the move to a workable ABS system (although I would still prefer front and rear brakes not be linked. Sometimes I break the rules and use my rear tire for upwards of 60% of my stopping power… like when I do not want to grab the front brake and downside on a mountain road, which happens to be looking over the most gorgeous, and the most deadly drop into oblivion I have ever seen. Or when I am overloaded and have a majority of weight on the back of the bike. But, hey, maybe it is just me and perhaps I will ride one and think to myself, “you know what? This pre-programmed ratio that takes all the complex and unique details out of the riding situation and relies on an average approach to quality braking, might just be the ticket for me!” Hey, it could happen.
But enough, what follows is the press release set out by Harley-Davidson, discussing the ins and outs of the CVO line in 2016. Enjoy that third mortgage, and drop me a note from somewhere 2500 miles from home.
What follows is an official press release from Harley-Davidson:
2016 CVO Limited –
New styling details include a color-matched splitstream vent in the Batwing fairing, replacing the previous black vent. A new color-matched bezel for the wrap-around lighting on the Tour-Pak luggage replaces the previous black bezel. A new super-premium cover material for the rider and passenger seating surfaces combines vinyl and perforated leather for improved comfort. Refined by Project RUSHMORE, the CVO Limited is equipped with Daymaker LED lighting, Reflex Linked Brakes with ABS, and the color touchscreen BOOM! Box 6.5 GT infotainment system with 3D GPS and 6.5-inch BOOM! Bagger speakers with 75-watt-per-channel amplification. The Airflow Collection combines black rubber and brilliant chrome highlights on heated handgrips, the brake pedal pad, and shifter peg and rider and passenger floorboards. Premium removable luggage liners, backlit hand control and dash switches, and a high-output charging system are also standard equipment. The CVO Limited rolls on polished-chrome Slicer custom wheels. The new paint scheme is offered in three-color combinations: Palladium Silver/Phantom Blue, Carbon Dust/Electric Red Pearl, and Charcoal Slate/Palladium Silver.
2016 Road Glide Ultra –
The distinctive frame-mounted, Shark-nose fairing of the CVO Road Glide Ultra motorcycle features triple splitstream vents and a 13.5-inch touring windshield to virtually eliminate head buffeting. An exclusive 1.25-inch diameter chrome handlebar offers more pullback and height to position the rider for optimal control and long-haul comfort. Improved seat and backrest shapes and foam density further enhance touring comfort for rider and passenger. A new color-matched bezel for the wrap-around lighting on the Tour-Pak replaces the previous black bezel. The fairing is equipped with brilliant Dual Daymaker Reflector LED headlamps. The color-matched inner fairing holds a color touchscreen BOOM! Box 6.5 GT infotainment system with 3D GPS and 6.5-inch BOOM! Bagger speakers with 75-watt-per-channel amplification. The influence of Project RUSHMORE includes Reflex Linked Brakes with ABS, One-Touch design latches, and a stout 49mm fork. A dual control heated seat, polished chrome Slicer custom wheels, premium removable luggage liners, back-lit hand control and dash switches and a high-output charging system are also standard equipment. The paint scheme features flowing color in three new combinations: Ruby Red/Palladium Silver, Stardust Silver/Palladium Silver, and Charcoal Slate/Carbon Dust.
2016 CVO Street Glide –
You’ll hear Harley’s top-shelf bagger comin’ thanks to a “premium audio system unmatched for sonic quality in the motorcycle category – a BOOM! Box audio system driving four dual-amped three-way speakers through a pair of 300-watt, four-channel amplifiers, meticulously engineered to deliver extraordinary sound optimized for the motorcycle-riding environment. A color-matched splitstream fairing vent replaces the previous black vent in the batwing fairing. The CVO Street Glide also features a side-fill fuel tank topped by a slammed console with illuminated CVO logo, extended saddlebags, Airflow Collection accessories from handgrips to muffler caps, a custom CVO seat, Daymaker LED headlamp, and aerodynamic Wind Splitter windscreen. Project RUSHMORE features include an iconic Batwing fairing with splitstream vent to reduce head buffeting, Reflex Linked Brakes with ABS, and the BOOM! Box 6.5GT infotainment system with touch screen and GPS. For 2016, wheels are selected to complement each paint color combination: Five-spoke Contrast Chrome Aggressor wheels and a blacked-out engine are paired with the dynamic Carbon Crystal/ Phantom Flames and White Amethyst/Black Licorice Flames colors; Polished Chrome Aggressor wheels and a Granite and Chrome engine are matched with the Atomic Red/ Candy Apple Flames or Black Licorice/Midnight Cobalt Flames colors.