THE Harley-Davidson CVO range is due for an update in 2023, and after the teaser images and leaked patent drawings, we can now finally see and hear the updated all-America stars of the H-D family tree.
We’ve known about these two bikes for some time, with the official press shots being released earlier this month – and leaked images allegedly showing the styling of the front end and badging appearing prior to that. What it all shows is a completely new direction for the most famous American Tourer, with potentially a few new tricks up its sleeve just for good measure.
This video though is the first time we’ve seen the bikes in motion, and just for a split second (if you crank the volume up) we can now get a listen to that updated V-twin engine. The big news here is (revised and more modern styling aside) a brand new Milwaukee-Eight 121ci (1,982cc) VVT engine. The increase in capacity isn’t the big news, the inclusion of the VVT system very much is. This would be one of the first traditional H-D V-twins to gain VVT, with the only other bikes already featuring the tech being the liquid-cooled Revolution Max units found in the Pan America 1250, Sportster S, and Nightster. The VVT system on both CVOs should not only help to deliver the grunt where the rider needs it (which on a Harley really isn’t hard) but more importantly it’ll help Harley to clean up the exhaust emissions, a key battleground for any modern motorcycle maker. A by-product of this technology could also be that the updated and incoming Milwaukee-Eight makes a bit more power, something that would help Harley as it is looking to head off any competition from home and abroad. Indian’s equally America Pursuit puts out around 120hp, and with just over 100hp coming from the previous 117ci Milwaukee-Eight, it’s a gap Harley-Davidson is likely keen to make up.
Oily bits aside, the styling of both the CVO Road and Street Glide has been totally revamped. The Bender (from Futurama) front end of the old CVO Road Glide is gone, and in its place in an equally distinctive, but much easier-on-the-eye design. It features a main headlight located dead centre in the fairing, with a DRL that swoops beneath it. The rest of the fairing looks quite similar to before, just tightened up and slightly more muscular.
The Street Glide is still instantly recognisable as a Street Glide, just with a much more modern front end. The front headlight is more square than before, and the DRLs on the front of this bike are integrated into the wings of the ‘Batwing’ fairing. It’s a neat look and not something we’ve seen before. The front fender is also new and features a simmer design. It now shrouds the wheel much less than before and overall looks to be shorter in length. The panels that sit beneath the rider are also changed, with a crease running along the length of them making them look more angular.
Another major change for this year is the suspension and braking system. The previous CVO models used traditional-looking forks and brakes which, while modern within, looked like they could have come from the 1980s. Harley is changing that for 2023, as both the new bikes will be shod with proper USD forks and radially mounted brakes. We aren’t sure of the maker of the forks, but they look very similar to the items found on the Pan America 1250 Special. If that is true it not only means it’s Showa kit, but also that there could be a semi-active electronic element to them. Exciting stuff! The brakes are immediately recognisable as Brembo four-pots with proper radial mountings. It’s a big step for a big bike, and big bikes need big brakes.
We have limited images of the bike to go on of course, as the full reveal of the new 2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide and Street Glide doesn’t take place until the 7th of June. Before that though, take a look at this video and let us know what you think.
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