Well, I have been waiting on the edge of my seat for months now… as I do every year. You see, my beautiful wife and I celebrate our anniversary on July 20th, and each year it is something I am proud of and excited to celebrate! But, this year was a touch different. You see, this year, instead of having to wait until Sturgis, the announcements of the new Harley line up happened on, you guessed it, my anniversary! Now, that is not to belittle my big day with the ol’ lady; of course I wait with baited breath each year to celebrate that milestone. This year was no different and I could not wait for our Anniversary Date, just as soon as I was able to get to the Harley shop and get the inside scoop from the Dealer’s Meeting.
So here’s the skinny:
2012 really does not have much new. Now, there are some big changes, but not a whole lot new.
The biggest news is that many of the line up have finally received a boost in the ol’ muscle department. The 103 engine that was first introduced in the CVO models a few years back, has trickled down to the standard fleet. For those who think a bit differently about those numbers, a 103 is about a 1688cc engine. More importantly for many is that the HP numbers are approx. 100 from the factory (which will probably change before you leave the parking lot as I am sure you are gonna put on a better breathing system and exhaust, maybe a Power Commander, and possibly even a hotter cam).
So, the 103 is found in all the touring models (including the standard Road King which was left out last year), all the Softails (cause we all know they are the Blvd. hot rods), and many of the Dynas. My guess is that the Dyna line will all get the update in another year or so… keeping some costs down and some entry models more affordable with the 96ci. (The Wide Glide, Fat Bob, and new Switchback got the 103 and the Street Bob and Super Glide Custom were held back with the 96).
The other big change in availability is that you can now get ANY of the big twin models with ABS. Some will like it, some will not. It is an option so you certainly don’t have to get it. I personally am looking forward to it because Harley is one of the few that have an independent system, meaning that the front and rear brakes are NOT integrated. This allows me to use the front or rear brake, as I see fit not a power transfer between the two. I don’t care what you say, I know the importance of each brake and if I want just front or back, then I want just front or back… ‘nuff said.
On to the new models:
The Night Rod® Special is updated with new tapered tail section, lighter-weight wheels, an inverted front fork and improved ergonomics.
- NEW Black, split five-spoke cast aluminum wheels are three pounds lighter than previous wheels.
- NEW Tapered tail section with flush-mount LED taillight.
- NEW Pullback handlebar places controls three inches closer to the rider and optimizes overall feel with a low, wide position.
- NEW Reduced reach, forward-mounted rider footpegs.
- NEW Inverted front forks.
- NEW Two-up seat with custom stitching.
- NEW Stylized, black speed screen visor.
- NEW Slim design, center-mount license plate.
Harley-Davidson celebrates a decade of power cruising with the V-Rod® 10th Anniversary Edition motorcycle, finished in Brilliant Silver Pearl bodywork that evokes the anodized aluminum bodywork of the original V-Rod model that introduced the liquid-cooled Revolution V-Twin engine in 2002. All V-Rod models will carry V-Rod 10th Anniversary badges.
The new Dyna® Switchback combines hard saddlebags and a windshield with the eager handling and Twin Cam 103 performance of the Dyna chassis. It’s a custom-touring bike ready for a long weekend trip, until the detachable bags and windshield are removed. Then in seconds the Switchback becomes a custom street cruiser with a gleaming headlamp nacelle, five-spoke cast-aluminum wheels and a mini-ape handlebar. This convertible concept makes the versatile Switchback two motorcycles in one.
The new CVO™ Road Glide® Custom is one of four limited-production 2012 models from Harley-Davidson Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO)™, each turned out with bold paint, gleaming chrome, and the most-powerful V-Twin engines offered in production Harley-Davidson motorcycles. CVO Road Glide Custom is a hot-rod bagger with a frame-mounted fairing topped with a smoked Wind Splitter windshield, a high-output, amplified Harman/Kardon® Advanced Audio system, and a color-matched, low-profile fuel tank console. This model takes the place of last year’s Road Glide Ultra CVO.