ROAD TEST: 2016 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Ultra Review

Story and Photos: Koz Mraz

Harley’s collection of limited-production Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) models, aka “big wheels, big paint, big motors, big price” with factory warranties for 2016 are the CVO Limited, CVO Road Glide Ultra and CVO Street Glide. Harley says that owners of its Road Glide and Road Glide Special models ride the most miles per year of any of its customers. This year may inspire even more miles with the cooler-running Twin-Cooled High Output Twin Cam 110 engine on tap, which powers the new Road Glide Ultra CVO. A combination of air cooling and precision liquid cooling allows the higher-compression engine to maintain peak performance under higher loads, and contributes to its higher peak torque output…yadda, yadda, yadda. i.e. this massive motorcycle launches like a rocket. The Road Glide’s “sharknose” frame-mounted fairing gives the bike lighter, more precise steering than the Electra Glide’s fork-mounted “batwing.”

After a two-year absence, the Road Glide returned for 2015 with an all-new sharknose that is more stylish, aerodynamic and flows air more smoothly with less buffeting due to its Triple Split stream vent system. The frame-mounted shark nose fairing absorbs the windblast while directing a good amount of it over and around the rider. Not having to fight wind buffeting is obvious to any long-haul rider. In addition to airflow holes on each side of the headlights, the Triple Split stream vent virtually eliminates head buffeting, which also reduces fatigue significantly. Electronic cruise control is extremely easy to operate and works flawlessly. It’s also easier to manipulate the right-side joystick control of the Boom! Box 6.5 GT menu when you don’t have to keep the throttle grip twisted.

Speaking of which, there are a myriad of functions available through the dashboard menu for the Boom! Box 6.5. Navigation to communication, as well as the audio system and because it’s so rich in features, you’ll need to spend some time getting familiar with the 200 page owner’s manual. I kinda miss the old days of a CD player and iPod but, I’m old. I would also like a higher-resolution screen, as the small lettering can sometimes be difficult to read quickly while riding…because I’m old.

The 2016 Road Glide Ultra also benefits from all of the 2014 Project Rushmore enhancements, including a new 49mm fork, Reflex linked brakes with ABS, sleeker fenders, One-Touch bag latches and vents, lighter cast wheels, improved hand controls, instrumentation and comprehensive infotainment systems.

Suspension on the Road Glide Ultra handles bumpy roads, transitioning pavement and freeway speeds gracefully. The Dual Daymaker Reflector LED headlights give a secure view at freeway speeds. The 49mm front forks, courtesy of Project Rushmore, feel solid in turns, both tight and long sweepers. Not too soft, but cushy enough to absorb the rough stuff, the Road Glide Ultra’s suspension is well balanced and provides an impressively comfortable all-day ride.

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The open freeway is where this 943 lb. Road Glide Ultra really shines— eating up miles of straight long roads without wearing out the rider. The bike barrels down the high-speed open road solid as a rock thanks to a fat footprint on the 17-inch Harley-Davidson Dunlop front tire creates a secure footprint all the way into the upper 80 mph range. (Cruise control only works until 85 Mph, above that it won’t engage.)

The New Single Integrated Security & Locking Fob is the factory-installed next-generation security system on the CVO™ Road Glide® Ultra motorcycle features a hands-free fob that locks and unlocks your machine plus automatically arms and disarms its electronic security functions as you approach and walk away from the bike. Harley advises you stick the fob on your ignition key ring and let it do all the work but in reality owners will probably just keep it on the bike because of its sheer size.

This is a couple’s cruiser dream ride. With a virtual lazy boy passenger seating, passenger control of music and volume, heated seats, grips, back massager and cappuccino maker (just kidding on the massage and coffee). Anywhere you land a crowd will gather gawking at the exquisite detail on every single part of this incredible Harley-Davidson CVO motorcycle.

From the cool clear LED taillights to the laser etched spectrum emblems it’s a beauty to behold and when they ask the price tag, gawkers will be even more impressed. Starting at $40,299.00 (gulp) it’s available in Ruby Red/ Palladium Silver, Stardust Silver /Palladium Silver and Charcoal Slate/ Carbon Dust. A limited number of these Custom Vehicle Operations Road Glide Ultras are available and most assuredly, they will sell out fast because: It’s as good as it gets.

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SPECIFICATIONS:

Security Option – Standard
ABS Option – Standard
Cruise Control Option – Standard
Premium Radio Option – Standard

DIMENSIONS

Seat Height, – 29.7 in.
Ground Clearance – 4.7 in.
Rake – (steering head) (deg) 26
Trail – 6.7 in.
Wheelbase – 64 in.
Tires, Front Specification BW
130/80B17 65H
Tires, Rear Specification BW
180/65B16 81H
Fuel Capacity – 6 gal.
Weight, In Running Order – 943 lb.
Luggage Capacity -Volume 4.7 cu ft

INFOTAINMENT

SCREEN – 6.5 inch Color

AUDIO OUTPUT

Watts Per Channel – 75
Speakers – 4
Speaker Size – 6.5 inch
Headset Specifications (if
equipped) 16-64 ohms

AUDIO SOURCES

AM Standard
FM Standard
Weather Band (WB) Standard
SD Card, Flash Drive and MP3 – via
USB Connection Supported

VOICE RECOGNITION

Hands-free Mobile Phone – via
Bluetooth Standard
Voice Recognition Languages: Phone
functions only English (US/UK),
German, Spanish (Mexico/Spain),
French (Canada/France), Italian,
European Portuguese

OTHER FEATURES

Rider/Passenger Intercom – Standard
“Vehicle Information Screen (Air
temperature, oil pressure and engine
temperature)” Standard
USB USB/MTP/iPod/iPhone
Bluetooth Phone/Media Supported
SiriusXM Presets 20.0

ENGINE

Engine Twin-Cooled™ Twin Cam
110™
Bore 4 in. Stroke 4.374 in.
Displacement – 110 cu in
Compression Ratio – 9.2:1
Fuel System Electronic Sequential
Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)

CHASSIS

Exhaust Chrome dual exhaust with 4 in. touring mufflers and touring muffler shields
Wheels, Front Type 9 Mirror Chrome Slicer Custom Wheel
Wheels, Rear Type Mirror Chrome Slicer Custom Wheel
Brakes, Caliper Type 32 mm, 4-piston fixed front and rear

PERFORMANCE

Engine Torque – 115.1 ft-lb
Engine Torque (rpm) – 3,750
Lean Angle, Right (deg.) 31.9
Lean Angle, Left (deg.) 31.8
Fuel Economy: Combined City/Hwy – 41 mpg

2016 - Harely-Davidson CVO Road Glide Ultra

 

About Koz Mraz

Koz Mraz has published over 200 tour stories and articles for Quick Throttle Magazine, Baggers Magazine, American Iron, Cruiser and Bikernet. His book, Piers of the West Coast, explores piers from Mexico to Canada. In Motorcycle Mysteries, Koz travels to fascinating and unique destinations. His popular Tales of the Midnight Rider series: Midnight Rider on a Graveyard Run, Thundertaker, Hoka Hey and Neptune’s Net are available on AMAZON. “I’ve spent much of my life exploring the roads less traveled. Whether journeys are well planned or impromptu it’s always the unexpected that casts the spell of adventure.” Koz Mraz