First teased in April, Harley-Davidson has revealed full information about the new models in its premium CVO line. The 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide and CVO Road Glide employ the new Milwaukee-Eight VVT 121 engine, with the VVT referring to a variable valve-timing system.
More obvious is the new styling of the models, which adds sharper edges to create more contemporary design sensibilities. “Exclusive and dramatic new visual designs present a transformative revision of the Harley-Davidson Grand American Touring platform,” says the MoCo.
Keep in mind that the bikes’ new styling will surely migrate to non-CVO models, featuring fairings with integrated venting and LED signature lighting with integrated turnsignals. Additional design elements include a trimmed front fender, saddlebags with a three-dimensional shape to blend in with the fairings, and new fuel tanks with side bevels. New Combo Cast Laced wheels have a black machine-cut cast-aluminum rim and laced spokes for a unique appearance, a design that enables TPMS (tire-pressure monitoring system) on a laced wheel.
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The new fairings feature a “floating” windscreen design that is said to improve aerodynamics and rider comfort, augmented by adjustable air-control vanes in the center vent. H-D reports that helmet buffeting is reduced by an average of 60% in wind-tunnel testing compared to previous models.
“With the all-new CVO Street Glide and CVO Road Glide models, our mission is to advance every aspect of the Grand American Touring motorcycling experience,” said Jochen Zeitz, chairman, president, and CEO of Harley-Davidson. “These models set a new standard for Harley-Davidson performance, technology, and style, accelerating the evolution of the world’s most desirable motorcycle brand.”
The new 121-cubic inch Milwaukee-Eight VVT 121 ramps up power and reliability, featuring liquid-cooled cylinder heads, variable valve timing, a new intake tract, a higher compression ratio, and a freer-flowing exhaust system. The 1,977cc V-Twin boasts 9.5% more horsepower (115 hp at 4,500 rpm) and 8% more torque (139 lb-ft at 3,000 rpm) than the previous Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight 117 engine.
Variable valve timing helps expand the engine’s powerband by advancing or retarding camshaft timing over a range of 40 degrees of crankshaft rotation, which also improves fuel economy by up to 5%. Redesigned 4-valve cylinder heads incorporate new channels for coolant flow around the exhaust valve areas using an electric pump to circulate coolant to a heat exchanger (radiator) located low on the front of the frame. A new 4-liter airbox offers a 50% improvement over the former Heavy Breather intake and combines with a larger throttle body to improve power. The transmission is upgraded with a new shift drum that supposedly makes it easier to select neutral.
The CVOs also offer selectable ride modes (Road, Sport, and Rain) that electronically control power delivery, engine braking, Cornering-Antilock Braking System (C-ABS), and Cornering-Traction Control System (C-TCS) settings.
All baggers are heavy, so it’s nice to see the new Glides have trimmed some fat. Dry weight of the Street Glide has been cut by 31 lb, while the Road Glide is 35 lb lighter. New triple clamps use a liquid aluminum forging process that reduces weight by about 7 lb, and the 6.0-gallon fuel tank is formed from lighter-gauge steel.
The new CVOs use Showa suspension components that “promote confident handling and provide a dramatic improvement in rider comfort compared to previous CVO models,” with rear suspension travel increased by 50% to 3.0 inches, and a new remote hydraulic preload-adjustment knob is located forward of the left saddlebag.
Braking performance should be significantly improved with the adoption of radially mounted 4-piston Brembo calipers up front.
The Glides receive new instrumentation with a 12.3-inch TFT color touchscreen replacing the former bikes’ analog instruments and most switches, providing 400% greater screen area. Powered by H-D’s new Skyline OS, the display is customizable within three view options and is compatible with Apple and Android devices.
A high-performance audio system features four Rockford Fosgate Stage II speakers that are powered by a new 500-watt amplifier. Wi-Fi connectivity enables wireless connection to a rider’s device, and a Bluetooth receiver for wireless headsets is built into the system. Both models feature expanded media storage compartments with a USB-C connection point. Heated grips are now standard and can be adjusted through the infotainment display or on the grips.
CVO Street Glide
The SG’s iconic batwing fairing gets a thorough overhaul, updated to present a faster overall look with the splitstream vent now fully integrated into the design and pronounced undercuts beneath the LED headlamp. Amber LED turnsignals are seamlessly integrated into the left and right lamp elements, cleaning up the overall appearance. A shutdown sequence keeps the signature lighting illuminated for 10 seconds after the vehicle is turned off for a dramatic curbside effect.
CVO Road Glide
The Road Glide’s distinctive sharknose fairing gets updated for a more modern appearance, “with more surface tension and the definition of a well-trained athlete.” The trailing edge of the fairing now better matches the shape of the fuel tank. The horizontal LED headlamp appears to have twin elements, mimicking the styling of previous RGs. Amber turnsignal lamps are integrated within the outer portions of the signature lighting, eliminating the previous bullet turnsignals.
The Road Glide now has a wider handlebar with a flatter bend, which purportedly puts the rider’s hands in a more natural position for long-haul riding and enables 27 degrees of adjustability.
Both Glides feature a redesigned seat shape and padding materials to offer improvement in long-range comfort. The seats (at 26.7 inches when laden) are shaped to rotate the rider’s hips to a neutral position relative to the spine, said to reduce fatigue on a rider’s back and neck.
Both the Glides will be offered in two finish options. The Standard Dark Platinum finish uses Bright Smoked Satin pinstriping with color-matched inner fairing panels. Engine components are Gloss Black with Scorched Chrome accents on the engine inserts. The lower rocker boxes, pushrod tubes, and exhaust are finished in Scorched Chrome.
An optional upgrade is the Whiskey Neat/Raven Metallic two-tone with color-matched inner fairing, a paint process applied by hand. Raven Metallic panels are laid over the deep orange Whiskey Neat base, with airbrush accents and a bright orange pinstripe at the color break. The engine and air cleaner are finished in Gloss Black with orange accents on the engine inserts. The lower rocker boxes and pushrod tube collars are painted Whiskey Neat. Pushrod tubes and exhaust are chrome. Adversary Collection accessories feature a Black and Orange double anodized finish.
The CVO Street Glide and CVO Road Glide models will make a U.S. public debut in Milwaukee during the Harley-Davidson Homecoming Festival, July 13-16, 2023. Both models will reach authorized Harley-Davidson dealer showrooms globally in mid-July with an MSRP of $42,999.