What’s this, you say? A convertible motorcycle? Isn’t riding in the open air inherent to all bikes? Yes, for most it is, but for Harley-Davidson it means the ability to quickly convert a touring motorcycle into a cruiser, sans help, no tools required. Unlatch the two pins holding the compact fairing and smoked windscreen in place, slide the leather saddlebags off, remove the passenger pillion and small upright backrest and you’ve got a solo cruiser. CVO Softail Convertible Team Manager Jeff Smith took everything off in two minutes flat. Getting all the grooves aligned to slide the components back into place took a few minutes longer, but the factory has made the process as simple as possible.
Up front, a small, color-matched fairing houses a dark, smoked windshield. The buffer against the wind rises to about chin level and directs a good amount of windblast over a rider’s head. It is affixed to a 41.3mm telescopic fork with meaty chrome ‘beer can’ covers. Wide on top, the fork tapers down to an 18-inch Stinger wheel, a five-spoke star arrangement that looks sharp draped beneath the deep-welled front fender. With 32-degrees of rake, the CVO Softail Convertible tracks solidly in the turns until reaching the limits of the claimed 26-degree lean angle. By that time, you’re chewing up the bottom of the small floorboards, which hinder sharp cornering.