2013 Harley-Davidson FLTRUSE CVO Road Glide Ultra ReviewNOW IN ITS 13th year, Harley-Davidson’s Custom Vehicle Operations division continues to build exclusive motorcycles to target customers willing to pay steep prices for the privilege of owning a Harley that is a cut above a standard production machine. How steep? Consider that the 2013 CVO Softail Convertible’s Prices MSRP of $29,599 is nearly $5000 more than what Harley’s regular-production touring flagship, the Electra Glide Ultra Limited, cost in 2010!
What Harley-Davidson offers this so-called “Alpha” customer in return for his or her considerable investment, however, are limited-edition, high-end custom motorcycles that bristle with stunning paint, eye-catching polished surfaces and feature the cutting edge in Harley-Davidson’s technology, some of which eventually finds its way onto H-D’s production models. Like last year, all CVOs are powered by Harley-Davidson’s sequential port fuel-injected Screamin’ Eagle 110 cid V-twin engine rated at 115 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm (or 110 lb.-ft. @ 3000 rpm for the dual counterbalanced “B-engined” models). All feature Harley’s 6-speed Cruise Drive overdrive transmissions, and the three FL-based CVOs utilize the Harley-Davidson Touring chassis with its more torsionally rigid single-spar backbone and larger, stiffer swingarm, introduced for the 2012 model year.
New for 2013, the Harley-Davidson FLTRUSE CVO Road Glide Ultra gives customers the option of a full-dresser CVO with Harley’s distinctive “shark nose” frame-mounted fairing, which reappears with the addition of a 16" tall windscreen. First introduced on the Tour Glide in 1980, the frame-mounted fairing has long been renowned for making the FL chassis’ steering feel lighter when compared to the Dean and Stan Wixom-designed, fork-mounted “Batwing” fairing found on Electra Glide models. On the flip side, Harley customers have complained that the frame-mounted fairing allows too much air to flow upward through the opening around the triple clamps, compromising wind protection.
Harley has finally addressed the situation on the 2012 FLTRUSE CVO Road Glide Ultra, which uses wind-tunnel-tested wind deflectors to reduce turbulence in the cockpit. For maximum touring capability, the rear of the CVO Road Glide Ultra features hard saddlebags and Harley’s full-size Deluxe Tour-Pak with an Air Wing Tour-Pack rack, same as the CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide.
On the navigation front, the FLTRUSE CVO Road Glide Ultra features a Road Tech Zumo 660 GPS navigation system that interfaces with the stereo to provide voice-prompted driving directions. The Zumo system no longer requires CDs for downloading of new maps. Owners can now download current maps at the touch of a dash-mounted button. Delphi ABS (the brake hardware is still made by Brembo) and cruise control are standard equipment on the Harley-Davidson FLTRUSE CVO Road Glide Ultra, as is Harley’s proprietary Smart Security System with remote-control key fob that cuts the ignition and locks down the Tour-Pak and saddlebags when the rider is more than 6' away from the vehicle.
Harley-Davidson engineers have also attempted to further improve ergonomics by fitting the FLTRUSE CVO Road Glide Ultra with a new, heated seat with separate controls for the rider and passenger and a redesigned seat pan that is narrower in the thigh area, making it easier for inseam-challenged riders to reach the ground. Extra passenger comfort was also a priority, so Harley engineers added two “springboard-style” support rails that run lengthwise down the chassis under the passenger seat to better isolate the passenger from the road. The passenger backrest now features adjustable lumbar support, too.
But paint, fit and finish are what really make the CVOs stand out at first glance, and the Road Glide Ultra comes with a full complement of shiny bits from Harley’s Rumble Collection line of aftermarket accessories, including rider and passenger footboard inserts, shifter pegs, brake pedal, highway pegs, saddlebag latch covers and heated hand grips. Diamond-cut trim inserts for the CB pod, Screamin’ Eagle 110 intake, and Tour-Pak lid further enhance the Road Glide Ultra’s custom look. The FLTRUSE CVO Road Glide Ultra is available in three custom color combos: Rio Red/Black Ember with Quartzite Graphics; Charcoal Slate/Black Twilight with Quartzite Graphics, and Frosted Ivory/Vintage Gold with Quartzite Graphics. All three schemes are offset by a Granite powdercoat powertrain.
2012 Harley-Davidson FLTRUSE CVO Road Glide Ultra Prices MSRP is a whopping $35,999, and production will be limited to approximately 3000 units