New 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide and CVO Street Glide

The 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide and Street Glide have landed, bringing new tech, stying and VVT to the grand touring sector

Harley-Davidson Road Glide CVO

Harley-Davidson has today officially released details of two new 2023 models, the Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide and CVO Street Glide.

The two new CVO ( Custom Vehicles Operations) bikes make up the upper echelons of the H-D range, and for 2023 they have both been significantly updated and improved, with new technology, heavily revised styling, enhanced rider and passenger comfort, and a new powertrain, in the form of the brand new Milwaukee-Eight VVT 121ci engine. Both the new CVO models will be landing in UK and Ireland showrooms in August 2023.

What’s new with the Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide and Street Glide

Starting at the top, the biggest news with these two models is the introduction of the big-cubed engine, the Milwaukee Eight 121 VVT engine. 

Harley-Davidson Milwaukee Eight VVT 121 details

The 121ci (1,977cc) unit features a traditional 45-degree V-twin architecture, although for the first time on a Milwaukee-Eight motor Variable Valve Timing (VVT) is used to boost performance and improve the economy.

The engine runs a 103.5mm x 117.5mm bore and stroke, with a compression ratio of 11.4:1. The result is 115 hp at 5,020 rpm, and 135 ft-lb of torque at 3,500 rpm. Compared to the 2022 117ci CVOs (106hp and 126 lb-ft), the new bikes make a healthy chunk more power and torque. But the numbers on the spec sheet are only part of the story, as the VVT system also helps to clean up exhaust emissions while boosting torque in the areas of the rev range it matters most.

The computer-controlled VVT can advance or retard camshaft timing infinitely through a potential range of 40 degrees of crankshaft rotation (20 degrees of camshaft rotation). The net result is a claimed 3 to 5 percent improvement in fuel economy over the Milwaukee-Eight that’s found in the previous CVO models.

Joining the VVT system are new cylinder heads which feature a revised cooling system which focuses on keeping the exhaust valve cooler. The system first cools the hotter rear cylinder head, before the electric pump channels the coolant to the front cylinder and then back into the low-mounted radiator.

Helping the new engine to breathe more freely, both CVOs wear new intakes, airboxes and a larger diameter exhaust system. The aluminium intake manifolds feature improved flow and a more direct route from the airbox to the inlet valve. The inlet is matched to the new exhaust system, which features a larger diameter outlet (114.3mm compared to the 101.6mm system found on the previous generation CVO models). While helping the new engine to breathe more freely, the new inlet, airbox and exhaust combo is claimed to also improve the aural experience of the new Milwaukee-Eight engine.

2023 Road Glide and Street Glide CVO styling and design

Crowning the front end of the new Road Glide CVO is an all-new and thoroughly modern looking fairing that Harley still describes as a ‘sharknose’ design. Compared to the current Road Glide models it’s more taut and muscular, with new LED headlights and integrated LED indicators that clean up the look thanks to the deletion of the previous ‘bullet’ indicators.

The Street Glide also receives a similar update to the front end, although this bike retains a more classic-looking headlight that makes it more easily recognisable as Harley’s Street Glide model. Its distinctive ‘Batwing’ fairing now features an integrated cool air vent, and the indicators are now incorporated into the fairing and the DRLs flow out along the left and right of the front end.

Moving backwards from there, both models feature a re-shaped fuel tank, which flows into the seat unit and is backed by revised side panels and re-shaped panniers.

2023 Road Glide and Street Glide CVO chassis, suspension and brakes

For 2023 Harley has moved away from the more traditional front suspension design and is instead using thoroughly modern Showa 47mm USD forks that provide 117mm of front-end travel. The interesting point with these is that for the first time on one of the brand’s grand American tourers, the hardware is unshrouded and there for all to see. Matched to the new front forks are radially-mounted four-pot Brembo calipers, which bite down on larger diameter 320mm discs. Backing up the brakes is a new ABS system that joins Cornering Electronically Linked Brakes and conventional Cornering ABS.

The rear suspension is also new and should help make the new CVO models more compliant on the road. The in-board Showa shocks provide 76mm of travel, a claimed 50 percent increase over the previous CVO models. The rear brake on the new bikes features a 300mm disc which is acted on by a four-pot Brembo caliper.

2023 Road Glide and Street Glide CVO technology

On top of the aforementioned ABS and LED lighting, the new CVOs are brimming with tech. First up is a new infotainment unit featuring Skyline OS. It’s the starting point for making changes to the bikes’ settings, accessing the Bluetooth features and altering the stereo and MP3 player. Harley is claiming it to be the most ‘tech-forward display’ ever fitted to one of its bikes as it replaces all traditional analogue instruments and switches. The system has three different display views, Cruise, Sport, and Tour, and it is compatible with Apple and Android devices. The expansive new dash doubles as a touchscreen, meaning the rider can change the settings and make selections even when wearing thick riding gloves. 

Within the new display are five riding modes to choose from, Road, Sport, Rain, and two customisable modes. Road is designed to provide a balanced riding experience, with higher levels of cornering ABS and traction control intervention and a progressive throttle map and less mid-range engine power. Sport mode delivers full power with the most direct throttle map and reduced levels of cornering ABS and traction control. Rain, as you’d expect, softens the delivery of the engine and the throttle map. Engine braking is reduced and the cornering ABS and traction control intervention is increased. Custom modes allow the rider to create two distinct modes tailored to the way they ride. The rider can alter the engine delivery, engine braking, throttle response, cornering ABS and traction control levels, all via the touchscreen Skyline OS.

2023 Road Glide and Street Glide CVO UK price and colours

The two new CVO models will be hitting the showrooms this August and will be getting a full reveal at the 120th Anniversary celebration in Budapest that Visordown will be attending. The Road Glide and Street Glide CVO will come as standard in a Dark Platinum with Bright Smoked Satin pinstriping colour scheme. An optional Whiskey Neat and Raven Metallic two-tone scheme will also be available for an extra charge. 

UK Pricing for the CVO Street Glide Dark Platinum £38,295 CVO Street Glide Whiskey Neat £44,695

UK pricing CVO Road Glide Dark Platinum £38,795 CVO Road Glide Whiskey Neat £45,195

More information on both these models can be found on the official Harley-Davidson website.

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