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Posts Tagged ‘CVO Street Glide’

2018 CVO Lineup

It’s arrogant at best and obscene at worst.

I’m talking about the CVO pricing that Harley-Davidson management approved for the 2018 models.  Now that we’ve had a couple days to digest the euphoric feeling of the new 2018 models, we’re left with a gnawing and burning sensation in our stomach that even a spoonful of sodium bicarbonate won’t put an end too.

I can’t help but wonder if the new head of design, Brad Richards, who replaced Willie G. after more than 40 years is singing that new Taylor Swift single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” after going full-tilt Goth and dripping black on so many of the new designs.

2018 CVO Street Glide

Unless you’ve won the lotto, you’ll be crunching numbers very late into the night to learn how to squeeze a new Harley CVO into the garage without breaking the discretionary entertainment budget!  They are expensive!  In a small way, we have Polaris to thank for exiting the market with Victory motorcycles and reducing Harley-Davidson pricing pressures.

I’m reminded of the Mylan EpiPen scalping gone wrong in the pharmaceutical industry.  Will we see the motor company deploy industry “experts” to justify the value of overtly expensive models and purport to quantify the net social benefits of belonging to the riding “lifestyle?”  If they do, it’s likely to be based on a complicated economic model and include scholarly speeches, articles, blogs and conferences to lend prestige on the whole “we’re doing everything in manufacturing to keep our prices down” lobbying blitz.

2018 CVO Road Glide

The fact is, Harley-Davidson is a luxury brand cleverly disguised as a blue collar, workin’ man’s brand.

Millions of marketing dollars are spent every year on campaigns to drive home the point that it’s name is synonymous with regular, working class folk.

But, have you seen their luxury price increases on the 2018 CVO models?  Harley-Davidson has exceeded the price range of BMW and Ducati, two brands with a public perception of being expensive toys for the upper-class.

Most of us will never get to experience the CVO results of Harley-Davidson’s labors for ourselves, thanks to prices ranging from $40,000 to $43,000.  Specifically the MSRP pricing is:

2018 CVO Road Glide — $41,399 (not available in 2017)
2018 CVO Street Glide — $39,949 (+$2150 above 2017 price)
2018 CVO Limited — $42,949 (+$1950 above 2017 price)

2018 CVO Limited

I’ve written about Harley-Davidson’s sales and marketing woes.  Much of it outside their control, but we can’t absolve the motor company of any responsibility for these arrogant price hikes.  Harley-Davidson owns this one.  The pricing backlash has already begun across the motorcycle forums and the whole thing leaves a bad taste in consumers’ mouth — of all age groups!

For example, the CVO Limited jumped $1950 from 2017 to 2018.  Beyond paint, there are NO significant upgrades on the 2018 model.  Looking at web pages indicates the only “NEW” item was the addition of a Bluetooth wireless connection module to the stereo.  This may have been as simple as a firmware update to the BOOM stereo system.  Let’s assume it was a hardware addition.  A Cardo bike-to-bike intercom with dual handsfree to connect up multiple bluetooth-enabled mobile phones retail for less than $300.  That would mean the price increased $1650.

Let’s look at the 2018 CVO Street Glide — Harley-Davidson removed the radiator and abandoned water cooled heads as the lowers now have speakers along with another power amp to drive the sound “bubble.”  They’ve provided similarly configured models in the past.  The company added Bluetooth wireless connection to the stereo and created a “NEW” Gun Metal grey paint, however, they jacked the price up over $2100 above the 2017 model.

The CVO Road Glide is a bit trickier to do a price comparison as the last time they offered a similarly stripped down version of the CVO Road Glide was back in 2013 (remember the Cat Whisper paint stripe scheme which was priced at $33,999?) and it was based on the old 110cu.in. engine, old radio and outdated fairing, frame etc.  Harley-Davidson skipped a year and then for 2015 they offered up that behemoth CVO Road Glide Ultra at $36,649 which included all the accouterments which was based on ‘Project Rushmore’ enhancements that other touring bikes received.  It’s not a pure apple-to-apple comparison, but this basically equates to a $7,400 price increase over a 5 model year period.  Which is incredible given the low rate of inflation and manufacturing cost reductions.

Are the financial analysts really scratching their heads wondering why riders don’t line up to lay down these $$ on a motorcycle?

In fairness, Harley-Davidson does make some decent, affordable bikes in their Street lineup.  But they still have a bit of that stigma — which is backed up by most of their current lineup — of putting heritage before innovation and that’s turning some of the riding youth away from the brand.  Harley isn’t as strong a competitor in terms of bang-for-the-dollar with the likes of Triumph, Ducati and the Japanese manufactures.

Even the blue collar, workin’ man who can afford a nice bike will certainly take a look at the local Indian dealer and realize that the competition is making all-American cruisers that indeed have an appeal and nearly every model is priced less than a new Harley-Davidson.

It boggles the mind how according to Harley-Davidson management, the new 2018 motorcycles are less expensive for Harley to manufacture, with simpler frames and more commonality of parts yet they’ve rolled out what looks like an orgy of price scalping.

Photo courtesy of Harley-Davidson

All Rights Reserved (C) Northwest Harley Blog

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UPDATED: April 24, 2017Added a tab “Engine History” on the blog home page with updated V-Twin engine history including the Milwaukee Eight.

"M-8" top view showing tubular rockers

“M-8” top view showing tubular rockers

It happens every year and often it’s big news.

This year the launch of the Harley-Davidson 2017 motorcycle line-up is anchored by the new Milwaukee-Eight™107 and Milwaukee-Eight™114 power plants.

A couple weeks ago I posted about a new eight-valve Big Twin and now we know the rumors are true.  The displacement of the standard version is 107ci (1,750cc) or in the CVO version it’s 114ci (1,870cc). The 2017 touring models get these engines first and may waterfall down to other models later in the year.  The 107 uses precision oil-cooled cylinder heads and will be in the Street Glides, Road Glides, the Electra Glide Ultra Classic, and Freewheeler trikes.  A Twin-Cooled version with liquid-cooled cylinder heads and radiators will be in the Ultra Limited models, the Road Glide Ultra, and Tri Glide models.  The CVO Limited and CVO Street Glide models will have the Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight 114.

M-8: Four-valve combustion chamber and the dual spark plugs

M-8: Four-valve combustion chamber and the dual spark plugs

You might recall that the last major design evolution of the Twin Cam — and a significant part of the Project RUSHMORE and marketing campaign — was anchored on improving power plant cooling.  This took the form of circulating liquid coolant in tubes around each cylinder head’s hot exhaust valve seat and then to external radiators.  Many riders neglected to notice much in the way of decreased heat from this method of trying to get more power out of the 103.

So let’s talk details of the new eight-valve “M-8”.
ksksksksk

M-8:  Cutaway shows cooling areas of circulating liquid (Blue)

The 107 (3.937 x 4.375-inch bore and stroke) is cooled by pumping oil through it and then through a “chin radiator” ahead of the crankcase. In the 107 and 114 Twin-Cooled models (the 114 has 4.016 x 4.500-inch cylinder dimen­sions), water/antifreeze coolant is circulated through a cored heart-shaped passage that encircles the exhaust valves and then through radiators mounted forward to either side of the engine, as we’ve seen.  The new engine uses a nearly flat chamber of minimum surface area with four valves and abandons the large surface area of the traditional deep, modified hemi two-valve combustion chamber found in the old design.  The new engine operates at high compression ratios (as high as 10.5:1).  As a result, the 2017 Touring motorcycles will provide 10 percent more torque.  Harley states that will translate into two to three bike lengths faster from 0–60 mph, and one to two lengths quicker in top-gear 60–80-mph roll-ons along with improved fuel economy.

Overall airflow capacity of the “M-8” is 50 percent greater versus previous Big Twin engines, and the throttle body now has a 55mm bore.  Each cylinder has an acceleration-type knock sensor along with ECM control which protects the engine from detonation.  The new system is an improvement over the previous ion-sensing knock detection.  The exhaust components, including the catalyst, have been relocated to help move engine heat away from rider and the new engines have a single four-lobe camshaft with automatic hydraulic tensioner in place of the Twin Cam’s pair which will help reduced mechanical noise.

And in a first for the rubber-mounted Big Twin is a single counter-rotating internal balancer.  It’s meant to eliminate 75 percent of the engine’s primary shaking force.  In addition, idle rpm has been cut from 1,000 to 850 rpm all in a effort to give riders improved engine smoothness.  Other engine items of note is a new higher capacity alternator along with a new 1.6 kW (2.14 hp) starter that replaces the previous 1.2 kW (1.6 hp) units.  There is a self-torque-boosting clutch with Brembo hydraulic actuation for a lighter lever pull and the engine ECM has been changed from a mapped system to torque-based which will be interpreted as a call for a specific torque level, not a specific throttle angle.

On the motorcycle side, the front and rear suspension is new.  The new 49mm fork contains “dual bending valve fork technology” and uses cartridge-style variable-orifice damping valves, which Harley claims will deliver improved control at low speed without harshness over sharper bumps.  This wasn’t achievable with the old system of fixed damping.  Touring fork travel is 4.6 inches on standard models and 3.9 inches on low models.

After doing a quick H-D web site scan on the CVO Street Glide and CVO Limited models — it looks like the MSRP price went up $1K from 2016 ($36,799) to 2017 ($37,799).  The same $1K increase is also shown for the CVO Limited ($39,999 to $40,999).

Only you can decide if the new 117 engine, the new suspension along with the radio power adjustment warrants the price increase.

Photos courtesy of H-D.  Engine detail/stats courtesy of Cycle World.

All Rights Reserved (C) Northwest Harley Blog

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2015 Road Glide

2015 Road Glide

Ideas are a dime a dozen.  Execution is everything.

We know that behind the success is a lot of unseen work by the employees and dealers, but is Harley-Davidson ever executing!

Success is hard work and very few want to do the heavy lifting.  Because it’s boring, because its challenging, because no one is paying attention and it might not pay off in the long run.

However, passion and excitement are contagious and leading the Q3’14 financial news announcement is how the new 2015 Road Glide models were the best-selling 2015 Harleys!  The Road Glide was the highest selling model from the new line-up, yet only constituted 4% of the net retail sales this quarter, down from 8% in Q3 2013. This was because the model was only available since the latter part of the quarter, and is now expected to spur domestic sales in Q4.

2015 CVO Street Glide

2015 CVO Street Glide

Sure there was continued strong demand for Street Glides and Ultras, which contributed to the strong sales and the new Rushmore models including the CVO Street Glide, the Electra Glide Ultra, Classic Low and Ultra Limited Low and the Freewheeler, a trike all contributed.

Retail sales at dealers in the US, which account for two-thirds of Harley-Davidson’s business, jumped 3.4 percent in the third quarter as domestic dealers rolled out 50,167 new motorcycles onto the highways.  Keep in mind that motorcycle sales rose this quarter despite a tough comparison with last year’s huge launch of Project Rushmore touring bikes, which had fueled a U.S. sales surge of more than 20 percent.

The stiffer competition from Indian didn’t seem to materialize, but there was a profit hit from an unprecedented number of motorcycle recalls, which cost the company $14 million in the quarter or approximately $0.04 on EPS.

Here are some of the financial stats for Q3’14:

  • There are now more than 1,450 H-D dealers in 90 countries
  • U.S. market segment share (MSS) was flat at 56.3%
  • Harley reported that net income for Q3’14 was $150.1 Million, or 69 cents per share, a decrease of about 8 percent compared with $162.7 Million, or 73 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.  The company cut shipments to dealers who had been saddled with inventory after a slow Q2.
  • Revenue for Q3’14 was $1.3 Billion, down from $1.34 Billion. Supply chain problems with the Street, its newest motorcycle platform, caused the company to delay shipping the motorcycles.
  • Harley dealers worldwide sold 73,217 new motorcycles, up from the 70,517 sold in the third quarter of last year.
  • Harley expects shipments in the fourth quarter of 2014 to increase by3.5 to 5.5 percent from 2013, which had been a record year for sales.
  • 30-day delinquency rate for motorcycle loans was 3.0% vs. 3.11% in 2013.

Congrats to everyone at H-D on the great execution in the quarter!

Photo courtesy of H-D.  Full disclosure:  The author does not own HOG stock or have a financial vested interest in the company.

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110th Anniversary Logo

Well not officially, but according to this site, they’ve obtained a double top secret (read: “leaked”) list of the new Harley-Davidson 2013 model lineup.

No sources were provided, no color schemes or was there any validation via a photo or a scanned copy of the leaked list provided so take all this with a grain of salt.

Motorcycle enthusiasts are well aware that 2013 is the 110th Anniversary for the motor company and similar to the 100th and 95th anniversary celebrations there were a lot of special color combinations and special badging on a broad range of models so we can expect the same for 2013.

For 2013 in the top-of-the-line CVO’s, there will be the CVO Road Glide Custom Anniversary Edition, the CVO Road King, the CVO Road King Anniversary Edition and the CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide Anniversary Edition. The 2012 CVO Softtail Convertible and CVO Street Glide are dropped.

That last one means the price just went up for any stragglers in the dealer showroom floors on this year’s 8-speaker, 1000 Watt, aural bubble machines, i.e., the CVO Street Glide!

Moving down from the CVOs there’s the new 2013 Road King Anniversary Edition and for “trike” crowd there will even be a three wheel Tri Glide Anniversary Edition.

On the Sportster line-up, there is the Sportster 1200 Custom Anniversary Edition, and the Nightster is being dropped.  On the Dyna and Softail lines there’s the new Fat Boy Special Anniversary Edition, Heritage Softail Classic Anniversary Edition and Super Glide Custom Anniversary Edition.  According to the report the “Anniversary Edition” means black paint and some special badges.

In related news, on Monday (June 25th) the Harley-Davidson CEO, Keith Wandell and members of his management team will be in New York to ring the closing bell at the NYSE commemorating the company’s 25th anniversary on the exchange.  It wouldn’t be unheard of them to take Experience Square and transform it into a mini-showroom and have some 2013 models on display.

When I get more information I’ll update this post.

UPDATE: September 9, 2012 – An updated post on the 110th models is HERE.

Photo courtesy of H-D.

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They’ve launched!  Well sort of…

H-D announced a 2012 product launch on their web site HERE.

What could be described as a new “slow drip” marketing campaign vs. previous years where it was a rolling thunder.  Today they drip, drip, dripped 15 new models (Touring, Trike (U.S. only) and Sportster) onto dealers.  Additional 2012 models will be announced on July 20th at the H-D summer dealer meeting in Anaheim, CA.

These new 2012 products will go on sale immediately in an effort to capture consumer mind share/interest and provide consumers the newest ride/model for the largest block of time in the riding season.  While that is true I can’t help but think the accelerated shipment of these 2012 models to dealers will get people to the showroom and allows the dealer to capitalize on the peak summer selling season.  Either way if you’re in the motorcycle market its cool to see them launch a month early!

I’ll do a deeper scan on feature/enhancements for a later blog post, but on the surface it looks like only minor adjustments.  On the Touring models all are powered by the 103 cu in with automatic compression release (ACR) and an integrated oil cooler.  Looks like the 96 cu in goes out with little fan fare.  There are 6 new colors or color combinations among the various paint choices.  There is also reference to a new “tubeless” chrome laced wheel option for ease of tire replacement and repair.

There were 6 Sportster models launched.  H-D is using the H-D1™ Bike Builder factory customization process for those who want more control on the customization direct from the factory.  There was a reference to new Michelin Scorcher tires on all Sportster models which have been tested and matched to the motorcycle.  There are 7 new color options and minor tank graphic changes.

Worth a ride into the dealer?  Yeah, I need to pick up some synthetic oil and will check it out any deals on the 2011 model close out.

UPDATE: July 20, 2011 – Got a text this morning from Anaheim, CA., where the annual dealer rollout of new models is in process with the typical business training.  All the new 2012 models are online now.  The “SwitchBack” model is HERE. The CVO’s have new color combinations and H-D dropped the CVO Road Glide Ultra and replaced it with the CVO Road Glide Custom.  Very good looking motorcycle.  The CVO Street Glide gets another 100W power amp to drive 8-speakers.  Two of which are located in the touring bag/lids.  Talk about a “100W Smile”…

UPDATE: July 25, 2011 – Brief update/post on the models and various changes HERE.

Photo courtesy of H-D.

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2011 CVO Ultra Classic Electric Glide

I’m talking about the Harley-Davidson CVO (Custom Vehicles Operation) division and their customers.

CVO versions take an existing Harley motorcycle, then add a host of additional parts, usually cosmetic but some are mechanical, including the 1,803cc (110 cubic inch) version of the stock Harley motor.  The bikes they design and build are by any definition “mass-produced,” so they’re not true “custom’s” in the purest sense of the word.  But, based on rider demand the CVO division makes specialized versions on a few Harley models each year.  The people who purchase these want to customize their motorcycles but don’t have the time or skills.

But they do have money!

I was out yesterday at lunch and did a local H-D dealer “drive-by” when I noticed they had two 2011 CVO Touring bikes on the show floor:

  1. CVO Street Glide (MSRP: $33,880 (includes shipping costs)) – Asking Price was $36,400
  2. CVO Ultra Classic Electric Glide (MSRP: $36,880 (includes shipping costs)) – Asking Price was $40,300

2011 CVO Street Glide

Whoa!  A $40K Harley-Davidson.  That’s a first.  And neither had the optional 200 Watt “Boom! Audio Bagger” package which would have pushed the asking price even higher.  The CVO models always sell out and I’m sure 2011 will be no different because H-D deliberately under produces to maintain a perception of exclusivity.

So what’s my point?  I think purchasing the CVO takes all the fun away from doing your own customization.  The research, planning, procuring and incremental accessory installations are what provides motorcyclists winter projects and if you purchase a CVO your relegated to just washing it, right?

For example a comparable bike to #2 above is the Electra Glide Ultra Limited which includes the Power Package (103cu in plus ABS/Security) with an asking price of $27,200K (MSRP: $25,280 (includes shipping costs)).  With very similar paint schemes (minus flames) it looks like the dealer is asking about a $13,000 premium for the CVO version.  Sure it has the 110 cu in and several other accessories, but the price difference gives a person a lot of room for upgrades and chrome that you specifically want vs. what the motor company decides you need.  H-D doesn’t care either way as long as you just buy a new 2011 model.

I’m thinking the dealer is wishing for a lot here with their additional mark up during these financial times.  It will be interesting to see how long the CVOs stay on the showfloor as $40K buys a lot these days.

Photo courtesy of H-D and Telegraph.co.uk/ Double Red.

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H-D CVO Road Glide Ultra - 2011

Harley-Davidson released their 2011 model lineup at 10am (pacific).

There are minor feature improvements across the board and three new bikes: the Road Glide Ultra, Sportster SuperLow, and XR1200X.  In addition,  for select touring models new in 2011 is an optional $1,995 PowerPak package, which adds ABS, a security system, and bumps up the 96 cubic inch motor to 103 cubic inches. Touring models also receive a narrower seat with revised cushioning. Softails receive new hand controls with a single hazard button and trip switch, and the larger odometer which adds gear and rpm info.

On the CVO front, H-D is building one new model (CVO Road Glide Ultra) and three models return for 2011: the Street Glide, Ultra Classic Electra Glide, Softail Convertible.  All are powered by Screamin’ Eagle 110 engines.  The models are:

  1. CVO Road Glide Ultra — Priced at $35,999, and gets an upgraded BOOM! bagger audio speaker system.
  2. CVO Softail Convertible — Priced at $29,599, and features a new mini-ape handlebar, larger saddlebags, a two-speaker stereo with an iPod, cruise control, and ABS.
  3. CVO Street Glide — Priced at $32,499, and gets to wear a 19″ front wheel (the largest ever on a touring Harley)
  4. CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide — Priced at $36,499 and it includes a Road Tech zumo 660 navigation system, a power locking system, ABS, and a new dual-heated hammock-style suspended seat.

The new lineup features a drop from last years 38 bikes to 32 motorcycles, with four of those comprising the CVO lineup.  There is a lot more information and photo’s on Basem Wasef motorcycle blog.

So what are your thoughts about the 2011 Harley-Davidson model lineup?

Photo courtesy H-D.

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