Top-Of-The-Line Touring

Harley-Davidson’s “Limited” has always been a top-shelf machine, so how do you improve on something that already comes with all the bells and whistles? Why, you turn it over to the Custom Vehicle Operations division, of course. The CVO Limited represents the pinnacle of Harley’s tourbike development with all the gadgets and gizmoes of the Ultra Limited, plus the pure-D awesome-sauce that comes with “CVO-ification”. An updated infotainment system joins the brushed-up, year-model specific design details to boost curb appeal, and the MoCo shoehorns in the largest production mill it has ever built to drive it all. Like the rest of the CVO line, the Limited comes with three distinct paint packages with varied levels of bling, so without further ado, let’s dive into Harley’s premium two-wheeled performance tourbike.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson CVO Limited.

  • 2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited
  • Year:
    2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Milwaukee-Eight 117
  • Displacement:
    117 cubic inches
  • Price:
    43889
  • Price:

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited Design

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited
- image 792124
Nestled in the fairing is the upgraded infotainment system: Harley's new Boom! Box 6.5GTS

The classic references are hard to miss. It starts in the very bones of the beast with a typical “FL” build using its heaviest frame with beefy front forks that lend as much visual weight as actual. It ties into the days of old with beercan fork skirts that both hide and protect the swept area of the forks. A full-length front fender provides ample coverage where it’s needed, but the sides are cut back so as to leave as much of that stylin’ new Tomahawk rim visible as possible.

Passing lamps and front turn signals also make a connection, though not with the old whisker-bar mounting system; it mounts to the fork cover that looks a lot like the bottom of an old-school headlight nacelle. A cyclops headlight rides partly recessed in the Batwing fairing just below the intake vents that help to relieve the vacuum of the protective pocket in order to minimize the head-buffet effect where pocket and slipstream meet. Just the thing for low-stress cruising at interstate speeds.

Inside the fairing you’ll find a quartet of round analog gauges complete with idiot lights and an LCD screen for all the important metrics, but nestled in between is the real pièce de résistance, the upgraded infotainment system. Harley’s new Boom! Box GTS feature brings pinch-and-drag function to the table through its 6.5-inch, color touchscreen interface. Check you tire pressure, pull up the navigation feature, share your tunes with the class or use the Bluetooth connection to network your helmet and mobile phone for hands-free operation. Pipe your tunes in through the USB port, or tune in using AM/FM/Weatherband or even satellite radio for just the right jams for the situation.

No matter which color package you opt for, the rocker boxes carry a Blaze Red band that marks the mill as a 2019 model with bits and bobs from the new Kahuna Collection scattered about for even more custom flavor. A round fuel door and panel split the six-gallon fuel tank ahead of a deeply scooped seat that slings your butt at a low 28-inches off the ground, if you have at least 180-pounds of body weight to compress the suspension from its 30.1-inch resting height.

The pillion is lofted considerably with a backrest and armrests mounted to the Tourpak that sets this ride apart from the bagger family. Extra LED lights mark the rear end, so if you’re into that “parade of lights” thing, you’ll start with a leg up. And, if not, you can be confident that the cagers around you won’t look right through you. One-touch hard bags finish out the cargo space for a total of 4.7 cubic-feet of dry storage and plenty of room for touring, weekending or just making a serious grocery run.

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited Chassis

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited
- image 792114
It has rock-solid tracking at speed, yet the stability doesn't turn every corner into a wrestling match.

Tubular-steel members make up the traditional “FL” frame that relies on a heavy backbone for its structural integrity, and sports a double-downtube/ double-cradle engine section completely supporting the mill rather than using it as a stressed member as so many manufacturers do. A heavily-built steering head sets the forks at a 26-degree angle with a long, 6.7-inches of trail that gives the Limited rock-solid tracking at speed with 34.3-degrees of lean to the right and 33.4 to the left, so the stability doesn’t exactly turn every corner into a wrestling match.

New Tomahawk rims round out the rolling chassis with a 130/60-19 up front followed by a 180/55-18 to provide a nice, fat contact patch. Showa’s Dual Bending Valve technology makes for a plush ride up front, and yeah, that’s not quite as swanky as adjustable stems, but they’re a sight better than plain vanilla forks.

Out back, an emulsion-type shock does its bit with a remote-mount handwheel for quick and easy preload adjustments so you can dial in for changing passenger and cargo loads. That’s important, given the Limited’s great cargo capacity. H-D’s proprietary Reflex Linked-Brake system electronically balances braking effort between the front and rear anchors to aid in stability, and it comes with ABS as part of the stock package.

Frame: Mild steel; tubular frame; two-piece stamped and welded backbone; cast and forged junctions; twin downtubes; bolt-on rear frame with forged fender supports; MIG welded
Swingarm: Mild steel; two-piece drawn and welded section; forged junctions; MIG welded
Front Forks: 49 mm Dual Bending Valve
Rear Shocks: Premium standard height hand-adjustable rear suspension
Rake (steering head): 26°
Fork Angle: 29.25°
Trail: 6.7 in. (170 mm)
Lean Angle (per J1168): Right: 32°, Left 31°
Suspension Travel: Front Wheel: 4.60 in. (117 mm), Rear Wheel: 3 in. (76 mm)
Wheels: Gloss Black and Contrast Chrome Tomahawk
Wheel, Front: 19 in. x 3.5 in. (482 mm x 89 mm)
Wheel, Rear: 18 in. x 5 in. (457 mm x 127 mm)
Brakes, Front: Dual 11.8 in. x .2 in. (300 mm x 5.1 mm)floating rotor, 32 mm 4-piston fixed calipers
Brakes, Rear: 11.8 in. x .28 in. (300 mm x 7.1 mm), 32 mm 4-piston fixed caliper
Anti-Lock Braking System: Standard

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited Drivetrain

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited
- image 792116
It's true that with a wet weight just shy of half-a-ton it's got a lot of work to do, but I assure you, the roll-on in any gear will give you a thrill.

Harley crammed its biggest/best/newest powerplant into the Limited; the Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight 117. That’s right sports fans, it packs a total of 1,923 cc (117 cubic-inches, hence the ingeniously clever name) into its air-cooled, 45-degree V-Twin, and I’m pleased to note that the Mil-8 design returns to the single-cam valvetrain of yesteryear, having retired the aging (and ugly) Twin-Cam plant. That brings back the distinctive nosecone area and classic pushrod-tube geometry, much to the delight of the purists.

The longstroke layout is typical of the marque with a 103.5 mm bore and 114.3 mm stroke and 10.2-to-1 compression ratio. You’d expect it to shake, rattle and roll quite a bit with that much reciprocating mass thrashing around, but a balancer tunes most of the sting out of it and leaves the engine with a pleasant vibration that reminds you that you are, indeed, straddling a Milwaukee monster.

Electronic fuel injection and a single throttle body manage the induction, and while it comes with cruise control, there are none of the higher engine-control electronics present such as ride modes and traction control. The latter is being tested on the trikes, but has yet to come down the pipe. Maybe next year, right guys?

Power figures are impressive with a whopping 125 pound-feet of soul-crushing torque that peak at a low 3,500 rpm. Horsepower? Who cares. Did I mention 125 pounds o’ grunt? While it’s true that with a wet weight just shy of half-a-ton at 939-pounds it’s got a lot of work to do, I assure you, the roll-on in any gear will give you a thrill.

Power goes through a chain-type primary drive ahead of a standard clutch and a six-speed transmission that keeps you in the usable rev range and sends power down a low-maintenance, carbon-reinforced belt to the rear wheel. Mileage clocks in at 41 mpg, plenty to make the fuel last longer than your butt will, at a stretch.

Engine: Twin-Cooled™ Milwaukee-Eight® 117, Pushrod-operated, overhead valves with hydraulic, self-adjusting lifters; four valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 4.075 in. x 4.5 in. (104 mm x 114 mm)
Displacement: 117 cu. in. (1,923 cc)
Compression Ratio: 10.2:1
Engine Torque (per J1349)(North America): 125 ft. lb. @ 3,500 rpm (169 Nm @ 3,500 rpm)
Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Exhaust : Dual, with crossover
Lubrication System: Pressurized, dry-sump
Primary Drive: Chain, 34/46 ratio
Final Drive: Belt, 32/68 ratio
Clutch: Hydraulically actuated 10 plate, wet Assist & Slip
Transmission: 6-Speed Cruise Drive®
Gear Ratios (overall) U.S.: 1st: 9.593, 2nd: 6.65, 3rd: 4.938, 4th: 4, 5th: 3.407, 6th: 2.875

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited Pricing

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited
- image 792120
All color choices are Custom colors, so the $44k price tag applies across the board.

Unlike most of the rest of Harley-Davidson’s fare, the CVO Limited can be had for the same $43,889 price, regardless of color choice because they’re all Custom colors. The brightest package runs with an Auburn Sunglo & Black Hole finish with Rich Bourbon touches and ample chrome treatment. The next darker package rocks a Magnetic Grey over Wineberry with Red Pepper striping, and at the darkest end of the spectrum, the Magnetic Grey Fade gets darker the higher you look with blackout just about everywhere else.

Model ID: FLHTKSE
Warranty: 24 months (unlimited mileage)
Standard Equipped: ABS Option, Security System Option, Cruise Control Option, Premium Radio Option
Colors: Magnetic Grey Fade, Magnetic Grey & Winterberry with Red Pepper, Auburn Sunglo & Black Hole with Rich Bourbon
Price: Custom Color: $43,889

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited Competitors

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited
- image 792126
2016 - 2018 Indian Roadmaster
- image 799210
Neither brand is known for using price as a selling point, but the Roadmaster rolls for far less than the CVO Limited.

While there are plenty of full-dress tourbikes out there, none of them hit all the domestic selling points quite like the Roadmaster from America’s oldest manufacturer, Indian Motorcycle. H-D’s longtime stateside foe puts together a solid ride that leads the way with a full front fender and iconic war bonnet that will be familiar to longtime fans of the marque. Indian sinks the pimp lights into the fairing for a same-but-different look up front with a power-adjustable windscreen that gives a bit of flexibility the Limited lacks.

Infotainment systems are constants across the board, and both manufacturers really acquit themselves admirably with touchscreen yummy-goodness and multi-media sourcing as part of the standard equipment package. For what it’s worth, Indian’s interface measures at seven-inches, corner to corner; half an inch larger than the Harley screen, but both work with gloved hands and under wet conditions.

The rolling chassis are similar in their hang-on gear, though the Roadmaster rocks a cast-aluminum skeleton where H-D opts for welded-steel tubing instead. Both come with ABS, but the Roadmaster’s actual brakes lack the “linked” feature of Harley’s system. Sure, it’s no substitution for skill, but the H-D is inherently more stable because of it.

Indian powers the Roadmaster with its Thunder Stroke 111 bringing a singularly retro-tastic look to the table with faux cooling fins on the rocker boxes and parallel pushrod tubes that bring to mind the V-twin flathead engines of old. It ain’t all show and no go, far from it with 119 pound-feet of torque that, while a skosh shy of Harley’s numbers, is still a respectable amount of grunt, and that power difference should not be a dealbreaker. I can tell you what may be an issue; the pricetags. Neither brand is known for using price as a selling point, quite the contrary in fact, but the Roadmaster rolls for $28,999, far below the sticker on the Limited.

He Said

“On the one hand, that is quite a price gap. However, if you’re seriously considering a CVO Limited, you’ve obviously got cash to burn and aren’t liable to be enticed by a lower price. Besides, the Roadmaster is a great bike, but it is not a CVO.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “The Limited is the top of the TOP of the top of the line, and you can’t really find anything to compete with it, not on this grand scale. The bling is on the Auburn Sunglo model, which is a fade-color brown, and it’s the only chromed-out CVO this year (so far). The CVO models have the Mil-8 117 engine this year, which is really just the epitome of awesome. I don’t know what else to say. It’s so comfortable, easy rider posture for long-haul touring; it costs more than I paid for my first house.”

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Twin-Cooled™ Milwaukee-Eight® 117, Pushrod-operated, overhead valves with hydraulic, self-adjusting lifters; four valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 4.075 in. x 4.5 in. (104 mm x 114 mm)
Displacement: 117 cu. in. (1,923 cc)
Compression Ratio: 10.2:1
Engine Torque (per J1349)(North America): 125 ft. lb. @ 3,500 rpm (169 Nm @ 3,500 rpm)
Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Air Cleaner: Paper, washable
Exhaust : Dual, with crossover
Lubrication System: Pressurized, dry-sump
Primary Drive: Chain, 34/46 ratio
Final Drive: Belt, 32/68 ratio
Clutch: Hydraulically actuated 10 plate, wet Assist & Slip
Transmission: 6-Speed Cruise Drive®
Gear Ratios (overall) U.S.: 1st: 9.593, 2nd: 6.65, 3rd: 4.938, 4th: 4, 5th: 3.407, 6th: 2.875
Chassis:
Frame: Mild steel; tubular frame; two-piece stamped and welded backbone; cast and forged junctions; twin downtubes; bolt-on rear frame with forged fender supports; MIG welded
Swingarm: Mild steel; two-piece drawn and welded section; forged junctions; MIG welded
Front Forks: 49 mm Dual Bending Valve
Rear Shocks: Premium standard height hand-adjustable rear suspension
Rake (steering head): 26°
Fork Angle: 29.25°
Trail: 6.7 in. (170 mm)
Lean Angle (per J1168): Right: 32°, Left 31°
Suspension Travel: Front Wheel: 4.60 in. (117 mm), Rear Wheel: 3 in. (76 mm)
Wheels: Gloss Black and Contrast Chrome Tomahawk
Wheel, Front: 19 in. x 3.5 in. (482 mm x 89 mm)
Wheel, Rear: 18 in. x 5 in. (457 mm x 127 mm)
Brakes, Front: Dual 11.8 in. x .2 in. (300 mm x 5.1 mm)floating rotor, 32 mm 4-piston fixed calipers
Brakes, Rear: 11.8 in. x .28 in. (300 mm x 7.1 mm), 32 mm 4-piston fixed caliper
Anti-Lock Braking System: Standard
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length: 102.4 in. (2,600 mm)
Overall Width: 42.5 in. (1,080 mm)
Overall Height: 56.7 in. (1,440 mm)
Seat Height: Laden: 28 in. (711 mm), Unladen: 30.1 in. (764 mm)
Ground Clearance: 4.9 in. (125 mm)
Wheelbase: 64 in. (1,625 mm)
Tires: Dunlop® Harley-Davidson® Series, bias blackwall
Tire, Front: D408F BW 130/60B19 61H
Tire, Rear: D407 BW 180/55B18 80H
Fuel Capacity: 6 gal. (22.7 l) (warning light at approximately 1 gal.)
Fuel Economy (Estimated City/Hwy): 41 mpg (5.7 l/100 km)
Oil Capacity (w/filter): 5 qt. (4.7 l)
Transmission Capacity: 1 qt. (.95 l)
Primary Chain Case Capacity: 1.1 qt. (1 l)
Weight As Shipped: 901 lb. (410 kg)
Wight In Running Order: 939 lb. (426 kg)
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 1360 lb. (617 kg)
Gross Axle Weight Rating: Front: 500 lb. (227 kg), Rear: 926 lb. (420 kg)
Luggage Capacity: 4.7 cu. ft. (0.132 m3)
Electricals:
Battery (per Battery Council International Rating): Sealed, maintenance-free, 12V, 28-amp/hour, 405 cca
Charging: Three-phase, 48-amp system (600W @13V, 2000 RPM, 625W max power @ 13V)
Starting: 1.6 kW electric with solenoid shift starter motor engagement
Lights (as per country regulation):
• Headlamp (LED): 34-watt, 915 lumen low beam, 37-watt, 915 lumen high beam with switchable 20-watt, 1,220 lumen LED Fog Lamps. Total of 2,136 lumen output at low beam with fog lights
• Tail/Stop Lights: LED
• Front Signal Lights: LED
• Indicator Lamps: High beam, running lights, front fender running lights, directional lights, neutral, low oil pressure, engine diagnostics, accessory, speakers, turn signals, security system, gear indication, battery, low fuel warning, cruise control, ABS, miles to empty display, fog/aux lamp indicator, Tire Pressure Monitoring System indicator
Gauges: Custom gauges styled to complement each CVO vehicle. Display features odometer, trip A,
trip B, range to empty and gear indicator; and larger tell-tale indicators
Auxiliary Lamps (except where prohibited by law): Two LED @ 20W each
Electric Power Outlet: Electric power accessory port in fairing and Tour-Pak®
GPS System: New Boom!™ Box 6.5GTS audio system with GPS and touchscreen
Details:
Model ID: FLHTKSE
Warranty: 24 months (unlimited mileage)
Standard Equipped: ABS Option, Security System Option, Cruise Control Option, Premium Radio Option
Colors: Magnetic Grey Fade, Magnetic Grey & Winterberry with Red Pepper, Auburn Sunglo & Black Hole with Rich Bourbon
Price: Custom Color: $43,889

Further Reading

Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited

2017 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited / Ultra Limited Low
- image 718172

Review Pending

Indian Motorcycle Roadmaster

2016 - 2018 Indian Roadmaster
- image 766933

See our review of the Indian Motorcycle Roadmaster.

50 New Harley-Davidson Models In Five Years?
- image 788828

Read more Harley-Davidson news.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: harley-davidson.com, indianmotorcycle.com

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