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2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide

Harley-Davidson crowned their 120th anniversary spectacularly with the release of two new CVO models, the Road Glide and Street Glide. They were revolutionary and not like any previous CVO model that had come before them and the result, the pinnacle of cruising on so many fronts, however that pinnacle does come with a hefty price tag.

We were invited along to Harley Australia headquarters to receive an introduction to the two new CVO models. The upper brains trust of the Harley technical team would present to us all the new tech, suspension, braking and of course the mighty new 121 cubic inch water cooled motor which now features variable valve timing.

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide
2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide

As we listened intently to the presentation, our eyes glanced over the Street Glide CVO which was set up as our demo and display unit. The new styling stood out and looked sharper and more modern than previous models. The long stretched saddlebags were now a thing of the past, with designers drawing inspiration from the King of the Baggers racing series in the US to make the bike more performance orientated.

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At the completion of the presentation we were led to our press bikes which we would be taking home. To tell the truth we were just excited to be taking one of the CVO models home, so we were happy to let others pick and take the left overs so to speak and we ended up inheriting the Road Glide in Dark Platinum w/Pinstripe.

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide

To be completely transparent all of the available press bikes were available in this colour scheme with none of the optional Whiskey Neat paint coloured bikes available, although it is worth noting you will be paying a $7,810 premium for this option.

A quick walk around had us loving a lot of the features of the all new CVO Road Glide although we did pick up one of the only faults we could find on this motorcycle. It may be just yours truly but when paying a premium for a custom motorcycle, we expect perfection.

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide

The rear suspension adjustment knob pokes outwards and looks completely out of place. We would have liked to have seen this at the very least rotated 90 degrees or better yet like on my 2017 Roading hidden behind the pannier.

Some will argue that this is not convenient, we will however stand firm with how easy it is to remove a pannier on the touring bikes and it is a much better solution and in all honesty it isn’t that often you will be adjusting the suspension settings.

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide - rear suspension adjustment knob
2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide – rear suspension adjustment knob

Back to the good and trust us there is a hole lot of good. The 19 inch front wheel is stunning, and sets off the Dark Platinum paintwork brilliantly. Not to be outdone the smoked chrome exhaust is exquisite and adds cool custom contrast to the other black and chrome highlights on the bike.

The headlight is magnificent, the LED with Harley Davidson embossed through the centre is cool, although at first we were not sure about the front fairing, that was until we climbed into the pilots seat and it all makes delightful sense.

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide

Ergonomically the CVO Road Glide is brilliant. Yours truly is approximately 180cm with a long torso and a decent portion of guts and shorter limbs. The handlebars are in perfect reach and the floor boards work well allowing for stretching in the saddle when putting in long kilometres on day or multi day rides.

Controls are all new for the CVO Road Glide again giving a more contemporary and modern feel to the flowing lines of the motorcycle. Simplicity remain key with all buttons still nice and large and easy to engage. The joystick for infotainment control is gone with the introduction of new electronics.

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide

The dash is now a full blown 12.2 inch TFT experience. The TFT touchscreen display replaces the outgoing analogue gauges and puts music, navigation and all the infotainment including Apple CarPlay at the riders fingertips, although to utilise Apple Carplay you will need to utilise your headset.

Sound distribution can either be carried out through a paired bluetooth device straight into the riders helmet or premium Stage Two Fosgate speakers which do an admirable job. We chose the later option as it is our opinion by sharing our quality music tastes with the youth of today we are doing a community service for the greater good of mankind.

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide

This did bring us to our second disappointment though and thankfully our last. With all the new tech on the CVO models, we can’t help but think that Harley may have missed a trick by not included adaptive cruise control considering again the price point of this bike.

Our ride home would see us hit not so great weather, in fact we were greeted by storms and rain, just what you want when your becoming acquainted with a very expensive 393kg cruiser. However it did give us the opportunity to flick into rain mode and see how the Road Glide handled the wet.

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide

That’s right, the CVO Road Glide and CVO Street Glide for that matter are the first Milwaukee eight motors to feature selectable ride modes. The 121 VVT engine is as smooth as a butter and delivers power effortlessly. Rain mode worked a treat and made the ride home in less than perfect conditions hassle free.

A little more on that 121 cubic inch water cooled power plant that features VVT. It’s 1977cc produces 86kW (115hp) and a massive 183Nm of torque which in real world terms is better than what a 114 Milwaukee Eight motor would produce with a stage 3 Screaming eagle motor kit installed.

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide

The VVT and new intake tract help improve fuel economy as well and even riding in sport mode more enthusiastically had us averaging over 400klms out of a tank of go-go juice.

Getting the big Glide into some of our favourite twisty roads on the central coast in good conditions really brought out the best of the CVO though. This is where the Road Glide shines, in twenty years plus of riding Harleys – it is the best handling cruiser hands down the motor company has ever produced.

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide

The smile and explicit vocabulary coming from underneath my Shoei we should probably not type, but it is safe to say as we punted it through the corners we were amazed how planted it felt as we exited corners with a fist full of throttle imaging we were racing at Circuit of Americas on the big bagger.

That suspension setup features 47mm inverted front forks whilst dual emulsion units with remote preload and threaded preload are fitted on the left and right on the rear of the bike respectively. How this near on 400kg bike changes direction the way it does is mind-blowing.

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide

The brochure states 32 degrees lean angle either way from The CVO Road Glide, but it felt much better as we rode through the tighter corners with more of an effort required for the floor boards to kiss the bitumen. The increased handling dynamics were also noted as we rode away from other Harley riders in the group with what seemed like minimum effort.

Stopping is impressive as well with twin 320mm discs with Brembo four piston callipers fitted up front providing plenty of confidence to brake late into corners. The rear also performs well and overall the braking package is an improvement over other touring bikes in Harley’s current Line up.

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide

Now to the price and the premium point at which the CVO Road Glide sits in the market. There is no doubt that this model is a game changer for Harley-Davidson and the pricing reflects the technology and development that have gone into this bike.

Pricing starts from $62,495 ride away and the Whisky Neat colour scheme which by the way is sold out started at $70,305. That is a lot of money, but lets take a minute to put into perspective. As a former owner of a 2012 CVO Electra Glide, we can tell you that in these times of high inflation that back in 2012 that bike new cost a tad over $63K.

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide

Taking that into consideration and the market of Harley enthusiast this bike is aimed at, we will let you decide if the bike represents value. For us though, if we could afford one – there would be one in the garage in a heartbeat. Now to get us the CVO Street Glide to review.

For more information, talk to your local Harley-Davidson dealer, or visit their Australian websiteOur test bike was provided by Harley-Davidson Australia. To find out more about the 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide, contact your local Harley-Davidson dealer.

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Ride Experience
10
Style and Comfort
9.5
Braking and Handling
9.25
Overall Performance
9.5
Value for Money
9
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkinhttp://twowheeladdicts.com.au
Andrew Jenkin is the founding editor of Two Wheel Addicts, ride editor at Exhaust Notes Australia, a contributor to BikeReview and Drivetribe as well as being a panel judge of Harley Davidson's Breakout Boss competition. Andrew has a love for anything on two wheels whether that be sports, naked or adventure bikes, with a guilty pleasure for cruisers.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Nobody in their right mind is going to pay 50 grand for a motorcycle let alone 60 or 70 this is stupid of Harli and that technology does not match up to what we currently have on the street with aftermarket. Sorry, but I am not impressed and I’m deeply disappointed that Harli would try to price gouge loyal riders like this.

  2. Melvin
    I own a 2023 CVO and have to agree Harley is price galgening their customers. I don’t see that many improvements for that amount of money. They might be pricing their selves out of business 😞

    • Hi Melvin, We have to agree it certainly is a big wad of cash to be dumping on a bike. The 2023 CVO models will hold their target appeal to Harley enthusiasts, however being lucky enough to ride a few CVO’s now, I must admit I do appreciate the inverted forks and the addition and responsiveness of the VVT engine. The upgraded tech is also a huge plus of the model and when you take into consideration the new touring models will only just be under 50K is it that bigger jump in price for some additional extras

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Harley-Davidson crowned their 120th anniversary spectacularly with the release of two new CVO models, the Road Glide and Street Glide. They were revolutionary and not like any previous CVO model that had come before them and the result, the pinnacle of cruising on so...2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide