On June 7, 2023, Harley-Davidson released details about its hotly anticipated 2023 CVO Street Glide and 2023 CVO Road Glide. While the full American debut of these machines in public is still scheduled to take place at the Harley-Davidson Homecoming Festival from July 13 through 16, 2023, here’s all the information you need to know to get acquainted with them before you take a test ride (and yes, test rides of both bikes will be available at Homecoming).
The New Milwaukee-Eight VVT 121 Engine
First things first, let’s talk about the new Milwaukee-Eight Variable Valve Timing (VVT) 121 engine that will exclusively power both the 2023 CVO Street Glide and the 2023 CVO Road Glide. According to the Motor Company, it makes approximately eight percent more torque and 9.5 percent more horsepower than the Milwaukee-Eight 117 mill, and here are all the details.
The new Milwaukee-Eight VVT 121 engine makes a claimed 115 horsepower at 4,500 rpm, alongside 136 pound-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm. Displacement is 1,977cc, or 121 cubic inches. Bore and stroke are 4.075 inches by 4.625 inches. Features of the new engine that aren’t VVT include an improved cooling system that’s meant to enhance rider comfort, particularly at low vehicle speeds; new cylinder heads; new high-performance camshaft; new intake tract with an expanded throttle body diameter (from 55mm as seen on the Milwaukee-Eight 117 to 58mm); and a new, larger 4.0-liter airbox.
Gallery: 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide and CVO Street Glide
On to the new variable valve timing system, which Harley even saw fit to put in the engine’s name. Utilizing computer controls, this system can advance or retard camshaft timing throughout a potential range of 40 degrees of crankshaft rotation, or 20 degrees of camshaft rotation, according to the Motor Company. As such, the firm says, fuel economy may be improved by up to three to five percent over the Milwaukee-Eight 117. (We’ll note here that manufacturer claims are just that until they’re proven via independent testing, but that’s what Harley says.)
Suspension and Brakes
Suspension consists of a 47mm Showa inverted fork up front, offering suspension travel of 4.6 inches. In the back, you get a pair of Showa dual outboard emulsion technology shock absorbers with a new remote hydraulic preload adjuster. Rebound damping is also adjustable on the rear. Both preload and rebound damping adjustment on the rear can be accomplished without the need for any tools, but the rebound damping adjusters (on both shock absorbers) can only be accessed by first removing the saddlebags.
Braking duties are performed by a pair of radially mounted, four-piston Brembo brake calipers and matching 320mm brake discs up front. In the rear, there’s a single four-piston Brembo brake caliper and a single 300mm brake disc. Wheels are Harley’s new Combo Cast laced cast aluminum wheels, with a 19-inch unit up front and an 18-inch unit in the rear. The new design also allowed Harley to install a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) on a laced wheel for the first time.
The 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide and 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide come packed with a variety of electronic rider aids—after all, it is 2023, and these are premium machines. These include cornering electronically linked brakes, cornering anti-lock braking system (ABS), cornering traction control with modes, cornering drag torque slip control, vehicle hold control, and a tire pressure monitoring system.
New for the 2023 CVO Street Glide and CVO Road Glide are five selectable Ride Modes, with each one offering different settings for the rider aids listed above. They are: Road Mode, Sport Mode, Rain Mode, and two Custom Modes.
The 2023 CVO Street Glide and CVO Road Glide also get a brand-new infotainment system powered by Skyline OS. It features a 12.3-inch full-color TFT display with anti-reflective and anti-fingerprint coatings. According to Harley, this screen is functional while a rider is wearing gloves, and is also “not affected by rain or other natural inputs.” Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity are available, and it also comes with HD Radio digital broadcast reception in North America, Australia, and certain other markets.
Both the CVO Road Glide and CVO Street Glide come with media storage drawers equipped with USB-C connection ports so that riders can keep their phones charged while they’re on the road. The CVO Road Glide has two such drawers, located on the left and right sides of the fairing. The CVO Street Glide has a single media storage drawer that’s located just below the infotainment system.
A Harley-Davidson Audio powered by Rockford-Fosgate Stage II audio system comes standard on both the 2023 CVO Road Glide and CVO Street Glide.
Styling and Ergonomics
Of course, the first thing that most people will notice about either the 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide or the 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide are the new fairings. The CVO Street Glide gets a new batwing fairing design with LED lighting, including fully integrated LED turn signals. Meanwhile, the CVO Road Glide updates the traditional sharknose design with a single LED headlight designed to appear as though it has twin elements inside. Once again, integrated LED turn signals are the order of the day on this bike as well.
Both CVO machines will be offered with your choice of two paint and finish choices: a standard Dark Platinum with Bright Smoked Satin pinstriping, which also features Gloss Black and Scorched Chrome accents, or a Whiskey Neat and Raven Metallic two-tone option for an additional charge.
Regarding ergonomics, the seat has been redesigned to reduce fatigue on a rider’s back and neck, particularly on long-distance rides. Seat height is 26.7 inches on both bikes for 2023. Also, the brake lever is now an adjustable unit to accommodate different rider hand sizes and comforts. The handlebar has been adjusted to be both wider and flatter, resulting in a more natural position. It offers 27 degrees of adjustability so you can fine-tune it to your needs.
Heated hand grips come standard and are adjustable both via the grips themselves or via the infotainment display, as a rider prefers. For added warmth, the 2023 CVO models come with two pre-wired connection points for heated gear, which are located just below the seat.
Pricing and Availability
The 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide and CVO Road Glide will both arrive in authorized dealerships around the world starting in mid-July 2023. Pricing may vary by geographic location, so your best bet for information outside the US is to contact your local authorized Harley dealer. If you live in the US, the MSRP for both bikes starts at $42,999.