The Harley Davidson Breakout was first released by the company in 2013, the new model joined the Softail line up. It was actually the first in Harley’s range to be produced as a CVO before being released as the standard Breakout model.
It was essentially a muscular modern chopper paired with lightweight design to ensure impressive high performance.
By working on the CVO model first all Harley had to do was strip the bike of all the fancy features and extras before deeming it fit for purpose as standard and more accessible.
The Harley Davidson Breakout blended the bikes of the past with the original custom chopper scene and then added in a sprinkle of muscle and modern practicality – the result was the Breakout and it was met with praise.
The Harley Davidson Breakout remained in its lineup from 2013 up until 2020 when it was dropped from the range in the US, it does however remain in some European markets like the UK.
Let’s dig into the Breakout and figure out what it is all about.
Harley Davidson Breakout Review
Engine and Transmission
The best place to start is with the ever faithful Harley Davidson V Twin engine.
In this case the Breakout was originally fitted with the Twin Cam 103 V twin, a 1,690cc monster that packed a soul satisfying rumble.
It produces 129 Nm of torque which gives you plenty of passing power across the rev range, you get quick acceleration and for a heavy muscle bike somewhat more akin to a Cadillac than a motorcycle, it’s pretty sporty.
This is a Harley that slammed critics saying the American cruisers couldn’t be energetic or exciting.
Out of the exhaust comes that pure sound you expect out of a big Harley Davidson although for some it will never satisfy the need for more noise and quite often stock exhausts are the first things to be modified.
Overall the 103 engine offered a responsive ride that impressed riders at the time who otherwise had few nice things to say about HD’s.
If you had ridden the CVO Breakout fitted with the Twin Cam 110B powerplant you would notice less oomph and top end particularly as the CVO was fitted with the Screamin’ Eagle Stage 1 system. However, that is something super easy to do on the base model to open up your 103 motor a bit more.
Over the years different powerplants were offered in the model with the latest variant from 2017 onwards having been fitted with the Milwaukee-Eight 114 V twin.
Chassis, Styling, Handling
Housing the motor is the Softail chassis that closely resembles a classic hardtail frame but has hidden rear suspension to make the ride more comfortable and offers support to a rider’s lower back.
The frame retains practical functionality but is responsive unlike the early hardtail models, some of which were sketchy to say the least.
HD used a racing style cartridge fork on the front to provide top feedback to the rider, rolling over bumps on your trip isn’t jarring and the rigidity of the chassis means spirited riding is encouraged.
The bike has big wheels, a tall skinny front, and fat rear added to the chopper styling and giving the model an overall slammed look.
The original 2013 Harley Breakout set the bar for how the model would develop and its styling over the years didn’t change all that much.
HD designers had given the bike a hardtail look and the concept behind the model was lean muscle. When you strip back some bikes they can be very skinny and meek looking, the Breakout is stripped back with overall reduced weight but proudly displays its muscle.
Chopped fenders, lots of rubber on display and the jewel of the crown is obviously the V twin centre piece.
A super low seat height puts the rider at ease and this continues with the relaxed riding position of feet forward and arms out front. Harley is well known for providing accessories for their models so adjusting the bike specifically to your needs with different bars etc is an easy task.
Braking isn’t incredible, so while the Breakout pulls like a freight train it also slows like one. That might be a bit dramatic but the single front disc could do with a friend to assist that’s for sure.
Overall the cockpit works pretty well with all the information you need displayed quite nicely, in the later models the display was integrated into a unit in the handlebars.
You get all the data you need including a speedometer, odometer,tachometer indication, fuel level and clock.
The 2017 onwards model is favoured today as it received substantial performance based refinements including the engine, new double cradle Softail frame, on trend styling, it is overall cleaner and meaner which is exactly what a brute like the Breakout needs to be.
Harley Davidson Breakout Performance
The Breakout was Australia’s top performing Harley and it has done equally well in Europe and the US.
It is a simpler cruiser than some of the other touring based cruisers, it has less features and is solely focused on the ride; which I am happy to say clearly some riders still enjoy!
MCN rate the latest generation 4/5 stars.
Harley Davidson Breakout Specs list (2013 Model)
Engine and Transmission
Engine – Four-stroke, Twin Cam 103, Pushrod-operated, overhead valves with hydraulic self-adjusting lifters, two-valves per cylinder
Capacity – 1690cc
Bore x Stroke – 98.4mm x 111.1mm
Compression Ratio – 9.6:1
Cooling System – Air cooled
Starting – Electric
Induction – ESPFI
Transmission – 6 speed
Final Drive – Belt
Clutch – Wet, multi-plate
Chassis and Dimensions
Frame – Steel tubular, rectangular section backbone, swingarm mild steel
Front Suspension – 41.3mm telescopic forks
Rear Suspension – Hidden, horizontally-mounted, coil-over
Front Brakes – Single 292mm disc, 4 piston caliper
Rear Brakes – Single 292mm disc, 2 piston caliper
Rake – 35 degrees
Trail – 145mm/5.7″
Wheelbase – 1,710mm/67.3″
Length – 2,445mm/96.3″
Seat Height – 663mm/26.1″
Fuel Capacity – 18.9 Liters/5 US Gal
In 2012 the CVO Breakout was revealed.
Chrome turbine wheels
Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110B
Other chrome components
Custom Paint work
The 2013 standard Breakout lacked the riders assist features and extra custom components of the CVO model, it was instead equipped with the Twin Cam 103 powertrain. Much of the bikes parts were painted gloss black and there was no extra chrome dotted around.
CVO Pro Street Breakout
In 2016/17 Harley Davidson introduced the CVO Pro Street Breakout model. It was essentially an updated version of the original CVO model with a much darker aggresive styling edge to it.
Finding a Harley Davidson Breakout For Sale
You can still find 2020 Breakout models for sale in the US at dealers, prices vary depending on individual deals the seller can do.
As a start the MSRP is $20,499 however, I would think dealers will be keen to get these gone now and there will be deals to be had depending on availability.
In the UK the Breakout starts from £21,395 new.
There are obvious benefits buying a new motorcycle from a dealer such as the fact it will come with a guarantee but there are plenty of Breakouts on the used market available that can save you a great deal of cash.
Prices in the US start from around $15,000, as the bikes aren’t very old, many are in excellent condition and are low mileage examples. For CVO variants you can expect to pay quite a bit more – around $20,000 and for custom Breakout’s prices can escalate to $30,000.
In the UK prices start at around £14,000 on the used market. There are plenty around the £16,000 mark with less than 3,000 miles.
There are very few Breakout models in a dire state of condition, so unless you find a Breakout that has been in an accident and is need of a rebuild not much will need restoring on them.
However, there are plenty of OEM parts and custom parts available for the Breakout, so you can get it back to 100% condition if needs be. As with all Harley motorcycles, HD branded parts aren’t cheap.
The Harley Breakout is favoured as a model to customise and there are plenty of manufacturers who produce the parts you would need to turn your’s into a very individual custom bike.
Remember that custom bikes are very subjective and just because you may spend $10,000 on modfications doesn’t mean the bike will be worth that at the end of it all, you would need to find a seller with the same tastes as you.
Are Harley Breakouts any good? I love me some American iron, and actually the Harley Davidson Breakout has always been one of my favourite models. It bridged the gap between traditional Harley cruisers and the potential performance ability of today’s modern motorcycles. Add to that some pretty classic badass styling and I’m sold.