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Unleashing Power and Style: A Review of the 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide

The Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide has always been a symbol of power, style, and luxury. As one of the most coveted motorcycles in the world, the 2023 edition promises to take the riding experience to a whole new level. In this blog post, we will delve into the details of the 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide, exploring its design, performance, features, and more.

Design and Styling of the 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide

Unleashing Power and Style: A Review of the 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide
Unleashing Power and Style: A Review of the 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide

The 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide is a masterpiece when it comes to design and styling. The bike features a bold and aggressive profile that commands attention on the road. From its sleek and aerodynamic fairing to its muscular fuel tank, every inch of this motorcycle exudes an aura of power and sophistication.

The CVO Street Glide is available in a range of stunning color options, allowing riders to choose the one that best represents their personality. Whether it’s the eye-catching Electric Blue Fade or the classic Obsidian Smoke, each color option adds to the bike’s overall appeal.

Harley-Davidson’s Street Glide has been a best-seller across the US since its original launch in 2006. It was essentially a modified Electra Glide that appealed to both custom and touring enthusiasts, and it kick-started the entire ‘bagger’ trend. However, this all-new CVO version is the most ambitious, advanced, and technically sophisticated iteration to date. It also delivers exceptional performance.

The CVO Street Glide was released alongside the 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide, which differs mainly in terms of its larger frame-mounted fairing, higher handlebars, and a more comfortable riding position compared to the Street Glide’s ‘Batwing’ handlebar-mounted fairing. This new version takes Harley-Davidson into uncharted territory. While the basic architecture of the tubular steel touring chassis and pushrod V-twin motor remains the same, everything else has been updated, enhanced, and improved.

The styling of both bikes represents a significant departure from the past, embracing a more modern look while still retaining the traditional Harley-Davidson signature. Additionally, there are several notable firsts for Harley-Davidson, including the introduction of Variable Valve Timing, liquid-cooling on a Harley Big Twin (previous Milwaukee Eight motors only had partial oil cooling), and the inclusion of riding modes and Brembo radial brakes on a Harley-Davidson touring bike.

However, with all these advancements, the price of the CVO Street Glide comes in at around £38,000, which is over 30% higher than the previous version. This begs the question: is it worth it? To find out, we attended the global press launch in Milwaukee, which coincided with Harley-Davidson’s 120th Anniversary Homecoming, to be among the first in the world to test ride this bike.

Engine and Performance of the 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide

At the heart of the 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide lies a powerful Milwaukee-Eight 131 V-Twin engine. This beastly engine delivers an impressive 131 cubic inches (2,147 cc) of displacement, ensuring that every twist of the throttle unleashes a surge of adrenaline.

With its advanced technology and precision engineering, the Milwaukee-Eight 131 engine offers exceptional torque and acceleration. Whether you’re cruising on the highway or carving through winding roads, the CVO Street Glide provides a thrilling riding experience like no other.

Although on the surface it may seem like just another update to Harley’s traditional air-cooled, push-rod, 40-degree V-twin engine, the two CVOs actually represent the biggest update to the powerplant since its introduction. They include a variety of new technologies for the Milwaukee firm, resulting in significant improvements to performance.

The stroke has been lengthened to increase the swept capacity to 121ci (1977cc), making it Harley’s largest yet. Both cylinders now have all-new liquid-cooled heads, replacing the previous Milwaukee Eight’s partial oil-cooled system. A radiator is positioned between the frame’s front down tubes. These new heads also have higher compression (11.4:1 compared to 10.2:1). Combined with a larger airbox, new inlet tracts, and a larger diameter exhaust, these changes improve gas flow and performance.

Additionally, for the first time ever on a Harley, there is a rudimentary Variable Valve Timing system. A phaser is positioned between the cam sprocket and camshaft, which alters valve timing according to revs, further enhancing high and low-end performance. The overall result is a claimed 115bhp at 4500rpm (a 10% increase) and peak torque of 139lft at 3000rpm. These figures are quite impressive for an old, mostly air-cooled, pushrod V-twin engine, and there is a noticeable improvement in performance. However, the CVO bikes have also undergone a substantial weight loss program and have an improved electronics package.

The weight loss is significant. By using lighter gauge steel for the new fuel tank, introducing new lightweight triple clamps (which alone save 7lbs), and reducing engine mass by 12lbs, the CVO Street Glide is now 30lbs lighter than the stock model. The CVO Road Glide is even lighter at 35lbs less than stock. In addition, both bikes are the first Harley tourers to feature switchable riding modes, with a total of five modes to choose from (Sport, Road, Rain, and two Custom modes), allowing riders to customize their performance experience. The end result is a noticeably more dynamic, powerful, and faster accelerating machine.

However, it’s important to note that the CVO Street Glide remains a bagger with a low-revving nature and a traditionally clunky gearchange (which Harley intentionally kept). It is not a pure sports machine. Nevertheless, with its 115bhp engine, riding modes, and newfound agility that was unimaginable on the original 2006 model, it is now a lively and respectable machine.

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Handling & Suspension of the 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide

On the surface, the handling of the new CVO Street Glide may appear to be the aspect of the bike that has been least affected by the numerous updates to its powertrain, styling, and equipment. However, this is deceiving. Although the twin loop frame remains largely unchanged, there are some notable improvements. For instance, the front forks are now held by new lightweight triple clamps. The front suspension units themselves are entirely new, featuring 47mm Showa inverted forks. At the rear end, the twin shocks now offer 50% more travel to minimize jarring over potholes and include a convenient remote preload adjuster.

The brakes have also been upgraded, with Harley’s first radial four-piston calipers on one of its touring bikes gripping onto 20mm larger 320mm dual discs. When you consider the weight loss mentioned earlier, you begin to understand how the CVO Street Glide’s handling and ride have improved compared to the stock version. Overall, the bike is easier to manage, with more powerful and responsive braking. It feels more nimble when navigating through S-bends and offers a plusher ride in a straight line. Admittedly, many of these improvements can only be fully appreciated when comparing the old and new bikes side by side. Nonetheless, the CVO Street Glide remains a substantial tourer. However, it now feels more modern, controlled, and crafted with contemporary materials and methods.

Compared to the other new CVO model, the CVO Road Glide, the Street Glide is slightly more manageable and less imposing. The Road Glide’s higher, wider bars and larger, more distant fairing create a roomier feel but also make it more difficult to handle and more unwieldy than the CVO Street Glide. By comparison, the Street Glide feels almost cute and nimble.

Comfort and Ergonomics of the 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide

Harley-Davidson understands the importance of comfort during long rides, and the 2023 CVO Street Glide is no exception. The bike comes equipped with a range of features designed to enhance rider and passenger comfort.

The plush seating ensures optimal support and reduces fatigue, while the ergonomically designed handlebars allow for a comfortable riding position. Additionally, the advanced suspension system absorbs bumps and vibrations, providing a smooth and enjoyable ride even on rough terrains.

Harley claims that its new liquid-cooled, variable valve-timed 121ci engine is not only more powerful and has more peak torque than the version in the stock Street Glide, but that it’s also 3-5% more fuel efficient.

For now, we’ll have to take their word for it as it was impossible to check during our short 150-mile test ride. What was easy to determine was the level of comfort offered by both new CVOs. With both bikes featuring all-new bodywork, their seats are naturally new as well, and according to Harley, they have been “ergonomically redesigned.” In this regard, both bikes are identical.

However, they differ significantly ahead of the fuel filler cap. The CVO Road Glide has a new, larger, frame-mounted fairing and high and wide handlebars, while the CVO Street Glide has a new, smaller, handlebar-mounted “Batwing” styled fairing, along with lower and narrower handlebars.

This difference makes the CVO Street Glide’s “cockpit” appear much more compact, which may be more suitable for smaller riders and also slightly less awkward when navigating turns. The smaller fairing and low screen also make the CVO Street Glide seem less protected from the elements, although a high screen alternative is available as an accessory.

In terms of pure comfort, both bikes are capable of all-day riding with little to complain about, although I did begin to develop “bum ache” towards the end of our ride.

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Technology and Connectivity of the 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide

The 2023 CVO Street Glide incorporates cutting-edge technology to enhance the overall riding experience. The bike features a state-of-the-art infotainment system with a high-resolution touchscreen display. Riders can access navigation, music, and other essential information at their fingertips.

Furthermore, the CVO Street Glide comes equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, allowing riders to seamlessly connect their smartphones and enjoy hands-free calling or streaming music while on the go. This integration of technology ensures that riders stay connected without compromising their safety.

Here’s where things truly start to get impressive, technologically speaking. And yes, I just said that about a Harley! In addition to the VVT and electronic riding modes added to the engine, as well as the Brembo radial calipers and emulsion forks added to the chassis, both new CVOs not only have all-new bodywork, including larger panniers, fancy LED headlights, and integrated indicators but also boast arguably the most impressive instrumentation, infotainment system, and standard features of any touring bike.

The standout feature of this is the new, massive, 12.3in TFT touchscreen display, which not only outshines most competitors but is also impressively comprehensive and clearly laid out. Three custom designs are available, with built-in satnav (complete with a voice recognition system), Bluetooth connectivity and now Wi-Fi connectivity to your smartphone.

On top of all that, there’s an upgraded audio system with a four-channel 500w amp and four upgraded speakers, two built into the dash and two others into the panniers. Equally impressive is the all-new switchgear designed to navigate and control all of this. The right-hand switch pod is now mostly dedicated to the audio system, along with the starter and kill switch, and right-hand indicator which also doubles as a ride mode selector. The left-hand unit, on the other hand, has a pleasingly similar design but is devoted to machine functions and information, along with the left-hand indicator switch, light controls, and so on.

It may sound like a mish-mash, but it’s actually clear, relatively simple, easy to operate, solid, and intuitive. And if all of that isn’t enough, the CVO Street Glide (and Road Glide version) now also come standard with heated grips. Suddenly that nearly £30K price is sounding more justifiable…

Safety Features of the 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide

Safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to riding motorcycles, and Harley-Davidson has placed a high emphasis on this crucial aspect in the 2023 CVO Street Glide model. The motorcycle is meticulously designed and equipped with an advanced braking system that delivers unparalleled stopping power, even in the most urgent and unexpected situations. This cutting-edge braking system offers riders a sense of security and peace of mind, knowing that they are in full control of their bike’s movements.

Moreover, the CVO Street Glide boasts an array of sophisticated safety features that take rider confidence to new heights. One notable feature is the advanced traction control, which ensures maximum stability and grip on various surfaces and road conditions. This means that riders can confidently navigate through wet or slippery terrains without compromising their safety or the overall control of their motorcycle.

Another noteworthy safety component of the CVO Street Glide is the ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) technology. This innovative system prevents the wheels from locking up during sudden braking, thus allowing riders to maintain control and stability while coming to a stop. By eliminating the risk of wheel lock-up, the ABS feature enhances rider safety and reduces the likelihood of accidents caused by skidding or loss of control.

All these remarkable safety features integrated into the CVO Street Glide are designed to instill a sense of confidence in riders. By prioritizing safety, Harley-Davidson enables riders to fully immerse themselves in the exhilarating experience of riding without being burdened by constant concerns about their well-being. This means that riders can focus solely on enjoying the ride, discovering new horizons, and creating unforgettable memories on their Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Customization Options of the 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide

Owning a Harley-Davidson motorcycle offers a unique opportunity to personalize it according to your own style. The 2023 CVO Street Glide takes this concept to new heights by providing an impressive range of customization options. Riders can transform their bike into a one-of-a-kind masterpiece with various choices, including custom paint jobs and performance enhancements. Harley-Davidson offers a wide selection of genuine accessories and upgrades to cater to diverse tastes.

Whether you prefer a sleek and sophisticated look or want to make a bold statement, the possibilities for customization are endless. With the 2023 CVO Street Glide, Harley-Davidson empowers riders to express their individuality and create an extraordinary motorcycle that reflects their unique personality.

Technical Specification of the 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide

New price From £38,295
Capacity 1977cc
Bore x Stroke 103.5 x 117.5
Engine layout 45-degree V-twin
Engine details Pushrod, 2 valves per cylinder, liquid/air cooled, electronic fuel injection, VVT
Power 115bhp (86KW) @ 4500rpm
Torque 139lb-ft (189Nm) @ 3000rpm
Transmission 6 speed, belt final drive
Average fuel consumption 47mpg claimed
Tank size 22.7 litres
Max range to empty 235 miles
Rider aids Cornering ABS, Cornering traction control, 5 x riding modes
Frame Tubular steel double cradle
Front suspension Dual Bending Valve Showa 47mm forks
Front suspension adjustment None
Rear suspension Twin Showa shocks
Rear suspension adjustment Preload
Front brake 320mm discs, radial four-piston Brembo calipers
Rear brake 300mm disc, four-piston Brembo caliper
Front wheel / tyre 130/60-19 Dunlop Harley-Davidson series
Rear wheel / tyre 180/55-18 Dunlop Harley-Davidson series
Dimensions (LxWxH) 2410mm x N/A x N/A
Wheelbase 1625mm
Seat height 715mm
Weight 380kg (wet)
Warranty 24 months unlimited mileage
Servicing 5000 miles / 12 months
MCIA Secured Rating Not yet rated

Pricing and Availability of the 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide

As a flagship model, the 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide comes at a premium price point. The exact pricing may vary depending on factors such as location and optional extras. It’s advisable to visit your local Harley-Davidson dealership or check the official website for accurate pricing information.

Regarding availability, Harley-Davidson typically releases new models in limited quantities, so it’s recommended to contact your nearest dealership for details on availability and pre-order options.

There are two ways of looking at this: the Street Glide is the slightly cheaper, slightly less flashy version of the two new CVOs, so it is arguably more affordable. On the other hand, it is only £500 less, and with both costing close to £40,000, neither is exactly cheap. In terms of specifics, the new CVO Street Glide is priced at £38,295 (plus on-the-road charges) upon launch, while the CVO Road Glide, with a bigger fairing, starts at £38,795. Unfortunately, the “starts at” price does not tell the whole story. Both of these prices apply to the “Dark Platinum with Pinstripe” base color option (think “grey”).

If you want the fancier “Whisky Neat with Raven Metallic” option (think “brown”), which involves some hand-applied treatments, it costs significantly more – £6000 more for the CVO Road Glide and a whopping £6400 more for the CVO Street Glide, which I honestly don’t understand (since the Road Glide has more painted surfaces) and can’t justify at all. Regardless, it seems that plenty of people can justify it; in the US, the “Whisky Neat” CVO Road Glide has already sold out.

Of course, thanks to PCP and HP, the initial cost doesn’t have to be as high. As usual, Harley UK’s website has a user-friendly finance calculator where you can explore different options and find monthly plans that fit your budget. As a rough guide, the cheapest “Platinum” CVO Street Glide on PCP with a £10K deposit will cost around £424 per month over three years. Production for both models is already underway, and deliveries are expected before the end of summer.

Verdict of the 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide

The 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide is more than just a motorcycle; it’s a statement of power, style, and individuality. From its captivating design to its exhilarating performance, this bike is sure to turn heads wherever it goes. With its combination of comfort, technology, and safety features, it offers an unparalleled riding experience that will leave any motorcycle enthusiast craving for more. So gear up and get ready to unleash your inner rebel with the 2023 CVO Street Glide!

There are two ways to view the CVO Street Glide. On one hand, it is undoubtedly the best version of Harley’s most popular bike. The Street Glide has been a success for HD since its introduction in 2006, effectively creating a new class known as baggers. In the US, the Street Glide remains not only Harley’s top-selling bike, but also the best-selling bike overall. Consequently, it has inspired numerous imitations and a culture centered around custom shows, events, and magazines. The fact that the new CVO version is more powerful, lighter, better suspended and braked, arguably more stylish, and certainly better equipped suggests that its success is assured, at least in the US.

On the other hand, there is the “elephant in the room” – its price of over £38K. This is more than £10K higher than the stock version, and if you opt for the fancy ‘Whisky’ paint, it is an additional six grand. Personally, I’m uncertain if I can justify such a price. While the CVO bikes are undoubtedly a huge leap forward in almost every aspect compared to Harley’s ‘old’ Street and Road Glide models, and the technology is impressive, the modernist style is a welcome evolution, the performance increase is necessary, and the new dash and infotainment system is brilliant, I still can’t help but feel that £40K should offer more in return. After all, at the end of the day, it is still just a 115bhp ‘bagger’ (albeit a nice one).

See more at: Moto In World

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