Dawn of a new era for Harley-Davidson CVO models

Harley-Davidson has officially lifted the covers off their next generation of premium motorcycles, with the new CVO Road Glide and Street Glide showcasing enhanced performance and advanced technology.

The mid-year introduction of the two premium 2023 models from Harley-Davidson’s Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) are highlighted by a Milwaukee-Eight VVT 121 engine. The 45-degree V-Twin produces 86kW of power and 183Nm of torque.

The 121 cubic inch motor, with a 1977cc displacement, is equipped with optimised liquid-cooled cylinder heads with a new cooling system, variable valve timing (VVT), and a new intake tract. A single counter-balancer is tuned to cancel undesirable vibration.

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For the first time on the CVO Street Glide and CVO Road Glide, selectable ride modes that electronically control the performance characteristics of the motorcycle and the level of technology intervention, are offered.

There are four modes for the rider to select from, including Road, Rain, Sport and two customisable modes. Each consists of a specific combination of power delivery, engine braking, cornering ABS and cornering traction control settings.

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

The Harley-Davidson RDRS system is also present on both CVO models. The engine played a key role in the overall design of both bikes, with a stunning new look developed to ensure a dynamic flow around key components.

A newly designed fairing, fuel tank, side covers and saddlebags all feature. The result is a dramatic visual transformation that respects and is clearly evolved from the familiar shapes of previous Harley-Davidson Grand American touring motorcycles.

Both CVO variants will be offered in two paint/finish choices which include as standard, Dark Platinum with Bright Smoked Satin pinstriping and colour-matched inner fairings. The powertrain and air cleaner are Gloss Black with Scorched Chrome accents on the engine.

The lower rocker boxes, pushrod tubes and exhaust are finished in Scorched Chrome. Adversary Collection accessories are finished in Black powder coat with machined highlights.

For an additional cost buyers can opt for Whiskey Neat/Raven Metallic two-tone with colour-matched inner fairing. This complex paint scheme is hand-applied. Raven Metallic panels are laid over the deep orange Whiskey Neat base, with airbrush accents.

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

A bright orange pinstripe is also added at the colour break. With this paint scheme, the powertrain and air cleaner are 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 anodised finish. Both bikes are lighter than the previous offerings they replace too, improving every aspect of performance.

Braking, handling and acceleration are all better, as is rider comfort in regard to lifting off the side stand, balancing at a stop and even moving the bike around the garage. High-performance suspension components promote confident handling.

Likewise, it provides a dramatic improvement in rider comfort. Front suspension is provided by a 47mm SHOWA inverted fork with 117mm of travel. Rear suspension travel is 76mm, marking a 50 per cent increase compared to the previous model.

That comes thanks to SHOWA dual outboard emulsion technology shock absorbers with a new remote hydraulic pre-load adjustment knob located forward of the left saddlebag. Braking is provided by premium Brembo components.

Milwaukee-Eight VVT 121
Milwaukee-Eight VVT 121

Offering outstanding braking feel and performance, the front features dual 320mm disc brakes with radially mounted four-piston Brembo callipers. The single 300mm rear brake features a four-piston Brembo calliper.

Lighting is all-LED, designed to deliver style, performance, and to help make the motorcycle conspicuous to other motorists. The headlamps are designed to produce an even spread of light.

A redesigned seat shape and padding materials offer a significant improvement in long- range comfort as well. The CVO Road Glide’s handlebar has a wider, flatter bend, which puts the rider’s hands in a more natural, comfortable position for long-haul riding.

Technology updates include a new infotainment system powered by Skyline OS, with a 12.3-inch TFT screen replacing all analogue instrumentation and most of the switches found on previous CVO motorcycle models.

Bright and well-organised, it offers three distinct views (Cruise, Sport and Tour), and is compatible with Apple and Android devices. The screen also has anti-reflective and anti- fingerprint coatings.

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

The upgraded infotainment system offers additional features including Wi-Fi connectivity, new voice recognition functionality, DAB+ digital radio, and has a new Bluetooth receiver for wireless headsets.

The CVO Street Glide and Road Glide models are equipped with a premium, high- performance Harley-Davidson audio system as well, powered by Rockford Fosgate. The Stage II setup offers a new 4-channel, 500-watt RMS amplifier.

For further information on both CVO models, contact your local Harley-Davidson dealer.

Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin is the ride editor at Exhaust Notes Australia, founding editor of Two Wheel Addicts, a contributor at Bike Review and panel judge for 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.


  1. The dawn of a new era for Harley-Davidson CVO models is here, and Andrew Jenki captures it perfectly! The latest enhancements and innovations have taken these iconic bikes to a whole new level. Exciting times for Harley enthusiasts.

  2. Andrew Jenkin’s article on the new Harley-Davidson CVO bikes is captivating. It’s exciting to see how Harley-Davidson continues to push boundaries and redefine luxury in the world of motorcycles. Can’t wait to see.


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