Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Aging & Worn
Joined
·
4,516 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
What's a "FLHTKSE CVO"

So far, all I think I know (dang those acronyms!) is that the "FLH" means Flat Head, which refers to the shape of the outer shell of the heads, right? "CVO" is a type of engine, but I don't know much at all about it.

-Soupy
 

·
Member Map
Joined
·
23,909 Posts
FLH is shorthand for the touring models.

CVO means Custom Vehicle Operations. These are factory-customized limited edition motorcycles that generally have larger displacement engines, fancier paint jobs, and cost at least 50% more than the standard models. It's not uncommon for one to have a $10000 paint job alone.
 

·
Aging & Worn
Joined
·
4,516 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
FLH is shorthand for the touring models.

CVO means Custom Vehicle Operations. These are factory-customized limited edition motorcycles that generally have larger displacement engines, fancier paint jobs, and cost at least 50% more than the standard models. It's not uncommon for one to have a $10000 paint job alone.
Ok, so "FLH" has no connection to the words "Flat Head?"

What about the "TKSE?"

-Soupy
 

·
Member Map
Joined
·
23,909 Posts
On a side note, Harley only chooses a few models per year to give the CVO treatment to. If you didn't pick up a 2014, you missed out on buying a new one of these.
 

·
Member Map
Joined
·
23,909 Posts
Harley stopped making the flat head engine in the 1950's, I believe. I'm not sure if the lettering system had its roots there though.
 

·
Aging & Worn
Joined
·
4,516 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
It's absolutely amazing to me that most of the acronymic designations don't translate out in an obvious way!

Thanks for the lesson........

-Soupy
 

·
Gone.
Joined
·
17,857 Posts
It's absolutely amazing to me that most of the acronymic designations don't translate out in an obvious way!

Thanks for the lesson........

-Soupy
They're more or less sequential and not acronyms. But over the years they've recycled letters and changed meanings as the bikes changed.

Originally "F" denoted bike frame size, then it meant rear wheel size with the "L" denoting equal sized front wheel and an "X" denoting un-equal sized wheel. That's still the actual case, but in common use you know that an "FL" is a touring bike, an "FX" is a cruiser style, and then the further descriptors which narrow it down. (And even I have to look a lot of those up.)
 

·
MODERATOR
Joined
·
7,453 Posts
Good info my friend's:biggrin:

Sam:coffeescreen:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,604 Posts
Acronyms

Tough business Soupy. I knew an FLH was a Harley.
Flat head is a side valve engine, OHV is an overhead valve engine, OHC is an overhead cam engine.
No one picked up on my reference to an F head engine. And after you work on the exhaust valves, you will come up with a different name for it.
Ford and Chrysler were still running flat heads up to about 1955.
Most of the different types of engines date back a long way, lets say between 1905 an 1925.
Kawasaki has a new 1000 cc bike with a blower on it.
WO Bentley put a blower on the 4.5 liter car in the 30s.
Chevy used OHV and hydraulic brakes in its 1920s 2 seater.
Some stuff goes a long way back.

Unkle Crusty*
 

·
Greatest Member Ever
Joined
·
662 Posts
This is why I have the upmost respect for Eye_M_No_Angel... I work on bikes 24/7, but they're mostly Jap bikes. Harley drives me nuts with their "designations"... They make no sense. I understand Dyna Glide, Wide Glide, Heritage Softtail, sportster, etc, but their "letter" designations elude me.
 

·
Member Map
Joined
·
23,909 Posts
I work on Japanese bikes for a living as well, but have to keep a set of SAE wrenches for my personal one. :D

I keep it to about 8 hours a day though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,127 Posts
Rode one a couple of weeks ago at a Harley demo day. It was an Ultra Glide with the 110 engine, and all tricked out with extra farkles and bling. Blue and black two tone paint job with a flash between the two colours.

So the FLHTKSE CVO is the touring, Ultra Glide Special Edition by HD Custom Vehicle Operations. Nice bike to ride, bit heavy when stopped, torque for Africa though! But I'd be happy with just a simple FLHTK version, don't really need that 7 extra cubic inches.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
10,757 Posts
It is confusing. I don't really see the marketing value. It's much easier to remember model names.
I agree, but cars are now doing the same thing. My wife has a Lincoln MKX. I remember when they used to take the time to give a expensive vehicle a proper name.
 

·
Aging & Worn
Joined
·
4,516 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
thanks EVERYONE for helping me out. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who gets frustrated with the descriptive letters and such.

-Soupy
 

·
Gone.
Joined
·
17,857 Posts
It's all in what you're used to looking at.

The names are for the consumer and are where the marketing comes in, as in any brand. The average guy on the street will be proud to tell his friends he just scored a Heritage Springer Classic, with fuel injection. Sometimes I have to think a second about what bike has which name.

The model letters are a factory thing for the most part. Give me a repair order for an FLSTSCi and I know exactly what profile I'm looking for when I'm hunting for that bike to do a pre-delivery inspection. Seven letters tell me the same thing as 5 or so words do. Plus, if I need a part, the breakdowns always use letter designations. Saves space in the book and is more accurate.

Sometimes I have to look up a few letters in the longer designations when I need to get specific information, but that's not an issue in most cases.
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
21,127 Posts
I must be weird for sure. I had to ask on this site what the common name for my 85 FLHTCU was. I guess working in a major computer company for 30 years I was just used to letters, numbers and acronyms.

I never looked at the owners manual. Back then I just asked how many miles before I come back in and for what and gave them all my money. I didn't want to be bothered with maintenance. Retiring and operating a working ranch changed that a little.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top