From the moment you cast your eyes across the new 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide, it’s hard not to picture Robert Patrick’s steely-eyed villain. The reinvigorated motorcycle bears a striking resemblance to the police-edition Electra-Glide that the T-1000 rode in James Cameron‘s much-loved sci-fi flick Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Fittingly, it also arrives with some futuristic tech.
For reference, the CVO (Custom Vehicle Operations) bikes from Harley-Davidson represent the best that the brand has to offer within its Grand American Touring range. Importantly, the new update introduces not only the CVO Road Glide but also its larger sibling, the Street Glide. Both new bikes have copped sharper looks and features, not to mention the all-new Milwaukee-Eight VVT 121ci engine.
Design-wise though, Harley Davidson has dialled up the aggression with an edgier new look while maintaining the brawny design that encapsulates its brand values. The CVO Road Glide has a new ‘Sharknose design’ with sleeker LED headlamps while the lines are more muscular now. The Street Glide still retains some of the classic styling including the “T” shape although the fairing has an air vent integrated into the design along with redesigned DRLs.
Elsewhere, both the motorcycles get a redesigned fuel tank which flows neatly into the design plus trimmed front fenders, inverted forks and Brembo brake callipers. The new Combo Cast Laced wheels (19-inch front/18-inch rear) are a perfect mix of modern and retro with a black machine-cut cast-aluminium rim with laced spokes. This also enables the inclusion of TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) on the laced wheel.
Both models would be available with two new paint finishes including a dark platinum colour with pinstriping and colour-matched inner fairing plus a Whiskey Neat/Raven Metallic two-tone with colour-matched inner fairing.
That said, amongst all the delectable styling upgrades, the new powertrain steals the show with a 121-cubic-inch 45-degree V-Twin engine developing 8 per cent more torque and 9.5 per cent more horsepower than the Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight 117 engine. The Milwaukee-Eight VVT 121 also comes with a new cooling system, variable valve timing, and a new intake tract.
Meanwhile, the 6-speed Cruise Drive transmission has been tweaked to make it easier to select and find neutral on the first attempt. Suspension duties are handled by a 47mm Showa inverted fork with the front suspension travel being 4.60 inches. Rear suspension travel is 3.0 inches (76mm) and that’s a sizeable 50 per cent increase in travel compared to the 2022 Grand American Touring models.
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There is plenty of tech on offer with selectable ride modes being offered for the first time in CVO modes plus a new infotainment system with a 12.3-inch TFT touchscreen, LED lighting, a voice recognition system and a built-in user interface on the touch screen which allows you to activate the ECU programming required for adding accessories. A Rockford Fosgate Stage II audio system, USB-C connection and DAB further make these motorcycles the ultimate tourers with all the gadgetry that you need or want.
Prices start at AUD$62,495 for both motorcycles and considering the raft of upgrades on board, it seems money well spent. No problemo!
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