The Benchmark For Luxury

Harley-Davidson’s Custom Vehicle Operations division always turns out the best toys, and this year is no exception as it sees a number of improvements and new options for its fixed-fairing boulevard bruiser; the CVO Road Glide. The “CVORG” features new body panels with model-year specific paint details and paint packages that present you with a choice between three levels of brightness (or the lackthereof). On top of all that, the MY2019 CVORG boasts the largest displacement (and most powerful) production engine currently made by the MoCo, and Harley’s latest Infotainment system spreads some power to the audio system as well. Since the CVO range serves as H-D’s top-shelf product line, it’s safe to expect the best Milwaukee has to offer. Let’s see how they did.

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

  • 2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
  • Year:
    2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Milwaukee-Eight 117
  • Displacement:
    117 cubic inches
  • Price:
    42339
  • Price:

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Design

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
- image 792131
The real star here is the new Boom! Box GTS feature with its 6.5-inch, color touchscreen interface that responds to pinch/drag/swipe commands even wearing gloves or in wet conditions.

The custom vibe comes out of the gate strong with a full-length but high-sided fender that leaves ample view of the exclusive 21-inch Knockout front wheel. Low and wide, the sharknose fairing houses dual headlights with the front turn signals on standoffs down low; too bad the factory couldn’t work out a way to incorporate them in the new Fang front spoiler that extends the bodywork downward to form a vestigial cowling scoop and chin fairing. Needless to say, this dramatically changes the look of the CVORG, and I for one, actually like it. Somehow, by making that simple addition, the factory managed to make the fairing more attractive, even more integrated than before, so you can go ahead and pencil me in as a fan.

Engine guards lend the bike even more visual weight down low to accentuate the low-and-wide look, and the lack of a windshield keeps the flyline clean and relatively low as well to really sell the custom vibe. Inside the fairing are a pair of analog clocks that reflect the speed and rpm metrics, but the real star here is the new Boom! Box GTS feature with its 6.5-inch, color touchscreen interface that responds to pinch/drag/swipe commands that lets you navigate the various menus with ease, even with gloves on or in wet conditions.

The sound system rocks a total of four Stage II speakers — two in the fairing, two in the bag lids — that put out a combined total of 600 Watts so you can definitely ride around like you’re in your very own music video. Pipe your tunes in through the AM/FM receiver or USB-compatible mobile device, or tune into Sirius satellite radio or the weather band. Bluetooth connectivity pulls your helmet into the network and gives you hands-free control over your smartphone which keeps your hands and attention both where they belong.

There’s necessarily a bit of rise in the handlebar to keep your hands well clear of the fairing, and it places the average rider in a comfortable, upright riding posture with hands up in a position of strength and feet forward in the windsock position. A slammed saddle cradles the rider’s butt at a low 25.9-inches off the ground, providing you weigh at least 180-pounds to compress the system, and that lowness plays right into the custom look H-D was going for here.

Hard bags dominate the rear end and provide 2.4 cubic-feet of storage, and though they don’t really add to the custom look themselves, the spacers between the bags and the fender certainly do and the vertical strip lights look like they could be straight out of an aftermarket catalog. That is a very clean end to a bike that manages to look almost Spartan in spite of all the fat it actually carries.

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Chassis

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
- image 792127
Clearly meant to be a stable ride with good tracking at speed, but also one that may feel less-than-enthusiastic in the corners.

The frame uses a sturdy steel backbone for strength with a double-downtube/double-cradle engine area that completely supports the plant rather than using it as a stressed member. This is Harley’s heavy “FL” frame, and as such, it comes with the large front end that is made to look even larger by the beercan skirts. The large-diameter Showa forks have the Dual Bending Valve technology on board to provide a plush ride, and they are about the best you can get short of adjustable stems but I still gotta’ gig Harley on this point; I can’t be the only one who thinks it’s way past time for adjustable suspension components on both ends.

Out back, an emulsion shock also delivers a far-better-than-vanilla ride with a convenient handwheel that allows you to make quick adjustments without benefit of tools or dirty knees. Dual, four-pot calipers bite the front discs with another four-piston anchor out back for solid braking power and an ABS feature that comes with the standard equipment package so you can safely get the most out of it.

The steering head sets the rake at 26-degrees, which seems a tad short, but the 6.8-inch trail clearly indicates a stable ride with good tracking at speed, but also one that may feel less-than-enthusiastic in the corners. At 64-inches between contact-patch centers, the wheelbase is typical of the range though the front fairing makes it seem like a long bike, and the rolling chassis is rounded out with a 130/60-21 up front and a 180/55-18 out back.

Frame: Mild steel; tubular frame, two-piece stamped and welded backbone; cast and forged junctions; twin down tubes; 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/Wheel Travel: 49 mm Dual Bending Valve/ 3.6 in. (91 mm)
Rear Shocks/Wheel Travel: Premium Low Hand-Adjustable Rear Suspension/ 2.2 in. (55 mm)
Rake (steering head): 26°
Fork Angle: 29.25°
Trail: 6.8 in. (173 mm)
Lean Angle (per J1168): Right: 33.7°, Left: 33.9°
Brakes, Front: Dual 11.8 in. x .2 in. (300 mm x 5.1 mm) floating rotors, 32 mm, 4-piston fixed calipers
Brakes, Rear: 11.8 in. x .2 in. (300 mm x 5.1 mm) fixed rotor, 32 mm, 4-piston fixed calipers
Anti-Lock Braking: Standard
Wheels: Gloss Black and Contrast Chrome Knockout
Wheel, Front: 21 in. x 3.5 in. (533 mm x 89 mm)
Wheel, Rear: 18 in. x 5 in. (457 mm x 127 mm)
Tires: Dunlop® Harley-Davidson® Series, bias blackwall
Tire, Front: D408F BW 130/60B21 M/C63H
Tire, Rear: D407 BW 180/55B18 M/C80H

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Drivetrain

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
- image 792138
Yeah, bet you hadn't realized before now that you're really looking at a drag bike.

Harley shoehorns in its largest engine; the Milwaukee-Eight 117. This is the biggest domestically produced V-Twin with a 1,923 cc (117 cubic-inch) displacement. That’s right, it’s got almost a liter per jug, and thankfully has recovered from the Twin Cam days with an old-school design that sees the return of the single-cam nosecone and the Evolution-and-earlier pushrod geometry.

It’s air cooled, as it should be, but the cooling fins have their work cut out for them ’cause the 10.2-to-1 compression ratio is going to demand at least mid-grade fuel and will generate a fair amount of heat. A 103.5 mm bore and 114 cc stroke gives the mill a long-stroke layout that is typical of the brand, and it’s just that reciprocating mass of the pistons and rods along with the rotating mass of the flywheels that give the Mil-8 117 its 125 pound-feet of stump-pulling torque at 3,500 rpm. Yeah, bet you hadn’t realized before now that you’re really looking at a drag bike.

Power flows through a chain-type primary drive and a standard clutch (still no anti-hop feature on the two-wheelers) before washing through a six-speed transmission and heading down a belt-type final drive. Still no traction control, though it’s certainly on the horizon and only a matter of time before it trickles down from the trike line along with Harley’s unusual drag torque-defeating feature, but for the meanwhile, no dice.

Engine: 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): 126 ft. lb. @ 3,750 rpm (171 Nm @ 3,750 rpm)
Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Exhaust: Dual, with crossover
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®

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Pricing

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
- image 792134
The factory offers the CVORG range for the same price, regardless of color; all for $42k.

In an unusual development, the factory offers the CVORG range for the same price, regardless of color. All of the above can be yours for $42,339. The lightest version rocks Lightning Silver & Charred Steel with Black Hole trim and abundant chrome touches. In the middle of the scale is the Red Pepper & Magnetic Grey with Black Hole trim and blackout paint and smoked chrome details, and at the dark end of the stick is the Mako Shark Fade that darkens from bottom to top for an effect you’d normally not see on a showroom model.

Model ID: FLTRXSE
Standard Equipped: ABS Option, Security System Option, Cruise Control Option, Premium Radio Option
Warranty: 24 months (unlimited mileage)
Colors: Mako Shark Fade, Red Pepper & Magnetic Grey With Black Hole, Lightning Silver & Charred Steel With Black Hole
Price: Custom Color: $42,339

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Competitors

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide
- image 792141
The 2019 CVO Road Glide is one of the defining models for the domestic market, and there is simply nothing out there right now that strikes me as a peer.

What to choose? Harley’s CVO line is kind of in a league all its own right now. Sure, I could grab one of Indian’s baggers like the Chieftain Limited that would hit most of the high points but still fall short of the CVO’s league even though Indian rolled out a Ride Mode feature that elevates it just a skosh. Bottom line is, at $25,999 the Chieftain falls in an entirely different bracket.

Yeah, we’re at the point where the exclusivity of a prohibitive sticker becomes a selling point, and Indian’s Limited doesn’t make the cut. Neither does Kawasaki’s Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ABS that falls even lower on the pricing scale at $16,799 with a concurrent reduction in technology even if the engine is in the right neighborhood as far as displacement is concerned. I could put some more up, but I’m sure you get the picture; the 2019 CVO Road Glide is one of the defining models for the domestic market, and there is simply nothing out there right now that strikes me as a peer.

He Said

“Digging it! Even the fairing is acceptable since the factory extended it down to the chin. That’s right; I’ve never been much of a fan, but I’m definitely feelin’ it now. Still think I prefer the Street Glide, but to each his/her own. It will be interesting to see if Harley moves its traction control system to the CVO bikes next year. Wink nudge, guys.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “The CVO Street Glide has the better audio system and handles better; the CVO Road Glide has the bigger front wheel, but the chassis has been tuned to have that wheel, so you don’t have the wonky handling associated with adding the bigger wheel later and borking the handling all the hell. The Lightning Silver model carries the bling this year, chromed out as opposed to the other two colorways that come blacked out. The Mako color has last year’s tank badging instead of the new CVO graphics, and I really like this fade effect in the paint. The Mako colorway comes with a different seat than the other two colorways and I think it is more comfortable. This is an expensive bike, no two ways about it, but it is one of the most premium bikes out there today.”

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 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): 126 ft. lb. @ 3,750 rpm (171 Nm @ 3,750 rpm)
Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Air Cleaner: Synthetic media, non-oil
Exhaust: Dual, with crossover
Lubrication System: Pressurized, dry-sump with oil cooler
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 down tubes; 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/Wheel Travel: 49 mm Dual Bending Valve/ 3.6 in. (91 mm)
Rear Shocks/Wheel Travel: Premium Low Hand-Adjustable Rear Suspension/ 2.2 in. (55 mm)
Rake (steering head): 26°
Fork Angle: 29.25°
Trail: 6.8 in. (173 mm)
Lean Angle (per J1168): Right: 33.7°, Left: 33.9°
Brakes, Front: Dual 11.8 in. x .2 in. (300 mm x 5.1 mm) floating rotors, 32 mm, 4-piston fixed calipers
Brakes, Rear: 11.8 in. x .2 in. (300 mm x 5.1 mm) fixed rotor, 32 mm, 4-piston fixed calipers
Anti-Lock Braking: Standard
Wheels: Gloss Black and Contrast Chrome Knockout
Wheel, Front: 21 in. x 3.5 in. (533 mm x 89 mm)
Wheel, Rear: 18 in. x 5 in. (457 mm x 127 mm)
Tires: Dunlop® Harley-Davidson® Series, bias blackwall
Tire, Front: D408F BW 130/60B21 M/C63H
Tire, Rear: D407 BW 180/55B18 M/C80H
Dimensions & Capacities
Length: 96.9 in. (2460 mm)
Overall Width: 38 in. (965 mm)
Overall Height: 50.4 in. (1280 mm)
Seat Height: Laden: 25.9 in. (658 mm), Unladen: 26.8 in. (680 mm)
Ground Clearance: 4.9 in. (125 mm)
Wheelbase: 64 in. (1625 mm)
Fuel Capacity: 6 gal. (22.7 l) (warning light at approximately 1 gal.)
Oil Capacity (w/filter): 5.2 qt. (4.9 l)
Transmission Capacity: 1 qt. (.95 l)
Primary Chain Case Capacity: 1.1 qt. (1 l)
Weight As Shipped: 849 lb. (385 kg)
Weight In Running Order: 884 lb. (401 kg)
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 1360 lb. (617 kg)
Gross Axle Weight Rating: Front: 500 lb. (227 kg), Rear: 927 lb. (420 kg)
Luggage Capacity: 2.4 cu. ft. (0.068 m3)
Fuel Economy (Estimated City/Hwy): 41 mpg (5.7 l/100 km)
Electricals:
Battery (per Battery Council International Rating): Sealed, maintenance-free, 12V, 28-amp/hour, 405 cca
Charging: Three-phase, 48-amp system (600W @13V 2,000 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
Electric Power Outlet: Electric power accessory port in fairing
GPS System: New Boom!™ Box 6.5GTS audio system with GPS and touchscreen
Details:
Model ID: FLTRXSE
Standard Equipped: ABS Option, Security System Option, Cruise Control Option, Premium Radio Option
Warranty: 24 months (unlimited mileage)
Colors: Mako Shark Fade, Red Pepper & Magnetic Grey With Black Hole, Lightning Silver & Charred Steel With Black Hole
Price: Custom Color: $42,339

Further Reading

Indian Chieftain Limited

2019 Indian Chieftain Limited
- image 794479

See our review of the Indian Chieftain Limited.

Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero

2015 - 2019 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero / Vulcan 1700 Voyager
- image 737321

See our review of the Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero.

Harley-Davidson Road Glide

2018 Harley-Davidson Road Glide / Road Glide Special
- image 737303

See our review of the Harley-Davidson Road Glide.

Harley-Davidson Street Glide

2018 Harley-Davidson Street Glide / Street Glide Special
- image 731489

See our review of the Harley-Davidson Street Glide.

Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide
- image 792150

See our review of the Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide.

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

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