I’d like to go on record with two observations about Harley-Davidson’s 2013 CVO Softtail Breakout…
1. Just running the numbers in my head, even at $27k there’s no way the average consumer could upgrade a stock Softtail to the level of trim and performance of the Breakout for the same kind of money. Of course, that’s true of all CVO models.
2. The bobbed rear-fender looks wrong on that bike. Yeah, yeah… H-D’s designers want to show off that fat, 240mm wide rear tire but I’m a student of the “less is more” school. Make it less obvious by providing a proper rear fender and let buyers decide to hack it down if they want to be more obvious. Oh well, I’m an old guy so what do I know about the target buyer for this bike, e.g., a 30-something with a big wad-o-cash or at least good credit.
OK, getting back to value for money, I think $27k is a good deal because the average consumer would have to buy a complete stock motorcycle before replacing everything that’s not quite up-to-snuff with aftermarket parts, leaving them with several thousands of dollars (retail replacement cost vs. hundreds @ wholesale) of cast-away parts, e.g., engine components, exhaust, wheels, extra set of tins, and a myriad of other small parts that all add-up. Add $10k – $12 of new parts, paint, tax, shipping to your $15k stock Harley — and God help you if you also paid someone to do the work — and you can quickly find you’ve got $27k into your Harley-Davidson without really trying.
So, given that’s the current state of affairs with the MoCo, the CVO really does represent a nice way of paying for the whole package up front and then enjoying a fairly well thought-out machine. Of course, if one of the other 1,899 folks who ponied-up the 27-large (plus tax, license, freight & dealer prep) happens to pull up along side with a nearly identical CVO Breakout at Daytona Bike Week, therein lies a risk to individualism. Hey, 1,900 isn’t a lot of bikes and I believe a 1/3 of them will be headed over seas. Now consider that there are three different color combinations and the odds of seeing another one just like yours drops to a fairly low number.
For context, there were 2,950 examples of my second-favorite looking Harley-Davidson Softtail made, i.e., the first CVO… 2003 FXSTDSE Screaming Eagle Deuce, and you don’t see those all that often.
Ok, the 2003 FXSTDSE is what I consider one of the best-looking H-D’s period: just love the lines of a Deuce as a solo cruiser. Not so much for two-up, which will also be an issue with the CVO Breakout.
So, why didn’t I buy a second-hand FXSTDSE when I decided to get my first Harley? Because I like to ride with my sweetie and it would be a crime to bugger up these CVO creations with saddlebags, backrests, luggage racks and comfortable saddles for two-up riding… well, that and Debbie doesn’t like to be perched up all that much higher than me when we ride and the Deuce has a very low-slung driver’s saddle.
On the bright side, this is also why a CVO Breakout is also something that I can admire without fear of becoming smitten. In addition to not feeling the love with the rear fender, I don’t think it’s as well-suited to two-up riding as our Wide Glide, and Debbie loves our Wide Glide: and so do I. And, hell… if I put new wheels & tires on the Wide Glide + a new paint job on the tins, I’d have about 23 large sunk into the darn thing not including accessories… and I’ve done all of my own installations thus far!
Again, at the end of the day, I think our Wide Glide will keep us more than happy. About the only bike I could see adding to the stable would be a Road Glide, if we ever got into long-distance riding. And those 2012 CVO Road Glides sure are purdy… So many bikes, so little garage space and time to ride them