The Bottom Line
- Exclusive; only 4,200 examples will be built
- Screamin' Eagle engine offers a satisfying performance edge
- Much-improved chassis makes for less disconcerting handling
- Suspended seat offers a cooler riding experience
- Occasionally funky ergonomics and windflow
- A touch unrefined... but that's the point, right?
- MSRP: $35,499 ($35,699 in California)
- Rubber-mounted, fuel injected Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110 engine with granite and chrome finish
- Suspended dual control heated seat with passenger backrest
- 6-Speed Cruise Drive transmission
- Deluxe Ultra King Tour-Pak with Air Wing luggage rack, LED interior light and color-matched wrap-around lights
- Standard Brembo Anti-lock Braking System
- Internally-wired one-inch chrome handlebar with electronic throttle control
- The usual, mile-long list of Custom Vehicle Operations components
- 160-watt CD/AM/FM/WB/MP3 Harman-Kardon audio, CB and intercom, cruise control, XM Radio and integrated navigation system
Guide Review - 2009 Harley-Davidson CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide
The 2009 Harley-Davidson CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide is an exercise in excess—all 924 lbs, 1,800ccs, and $35,499 worth of it. Though it’s the most expensive CVO bike (and the priciest of the 2009 Harley lineup), it also gets the biggest production run of the CVOs: 4,200.
All 2009 Harley touring motorcycles receive a new, robotically welded modular two-piece frame, a new 180mm rear tire, and a new 2-1-2 exhaust system, among other improvements.
Throwing a leg over the CVO Ultra can be a bit awkward- especially when the removable backrest is in place- but the riding posture is generally comfortable, especially thanks to the new suspended seat which feels cooler than last year’s model. But the highway pegs feel far away, and the backrest isn’t very supportive when you’re leaned back (at least for my 5’11” frame.)
On the bright side, the stout 110 cubic inch Screamin’ Eagle twin (the largest available in a Harley) produces tons of torque- 113 ft-lbs at 3,750 rpm, to be exact- and throttle application is entertaining at almost any speed. The 6-speed shifts with a smooth clunk that’s either reassuring or annoying depending on your personal taste, and speed builds quickly when you’re aggressive with the electronic throttle. Though the Ultra’s ultra heavy at slow speeds, weight becomes more manageable as velocity mounts. New dual-compound Dunlops aid handling, and as long as your inputs are smooth the Ultra will manage most twisty roads with just a bit of scraping when lean angles get excessive. Confidence inspiring Brembo ABS brakes round out the bike’s satisfying performance.
From its reinforced saddlebags to its new chassis, the CVO Electra sticks to its old school roots with just a touch of added modernity. For most Harley fans, it’s just the right balance of old and new.