Blue Chip At Its Best

Harley-Davidson’s Custom Vehicle Operations division is at it again with a revised CVO Street Glide model for 2019. The newest “SG” sports a new Boom! Box infotainment system with some serious speaker packages, and it comes with a choice of three distinct finish categories; bright, dark and really dark. Power comes from the Milwaukee-Eight 117 that makes its sophomore appearance and brings its “guns” to the table with oodles of torque and a new color band as a model-year identifier. There’s plenty more to see, so let’s get into the details of Harley’s top-shelf custom-tour bike.

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

  • 2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide
  • Year:
    2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Milwaukee-Eight 117
  • Displacement:
    117 cubic inches
  • Price:
    40899
  • Price:

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide Design

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide
- image 792143
All in all, a really nice specimen, but this is one acorn that definitely fell close to the tree, at least visually.

This is my favorite bagger design from the MoCo with plenty of old-school charm inherited from the earliest FL models, but it’s the vented Batwing fairing that really sells the look. It borrows from the old barn-door it replaced, and anything is better than the Sharknose fairing on the Road Glide, says I.

A full-length front fender makes another historical tie-in with cut-down sides that leave plenty of the blackout Talon rim visible, and that’s a good thing since the blackout treatment and “contrast chrome” highlights add a bit of bling to the brighter Charred Steel/Lightning Silver model. It’d be a shame to cover that up any more than you have to. The darker models run Talons as well, but with a muted anodized finish instead of eye-piercing chrome. Beercan fork skirts dress up and protect the inner fork tubes, but as with the rims, come in varying levels of brightness depending on which color scheme you pick, and the two dark packages double down with darkened fork sliders to boot.

Lower fairings protect your legs and house two of the six Boom! Stage II speakers. The remaining cones are mounted in the inner-front fairing and the saddlebag lids to round out the sound system that rocks a total of 900 Watts from three separate amplifiers so you can definitely bring enough to share with the class. You have complete control of your tunes through the new Boom! Box GTS that uses a 6.5-inch color touchscreen that lets you pinch, drag, and swipe your way around the musical menu, as well as the navigation screen, bike systems display, and mobile phone interface to cover all the bases. It’s Apple CarPlay compatible, and though the touchscreen works in wet or dry conditions, with gloves or without, and you can even go touch-free through the voice-recognition feature that pipes your phone into your bucket via Bluetooth.

A spread of round analog gauges, indicator lights and LED screens deliver the critical metrics in a more traditional manner along the top of the wide fairing. One of my favorite things about the Batwing look is the way the mirrors are mounted on the inner fairing, rather than waving around in the wind, and that look works out well with the low-profile windshield. (Again with a finish variation; clear on the brightest package and smoked on its swarthy siblings.)

A six-gallon fuel tank carries enough fuel for, well, for more miles than your butt can handle with a 246-mile range. Hard-side bags provide 2.4 cubic-feet of storage space and easy opening, even with gloves. The clean custom looks persist till the bitter end with a sexy pair of vertical LED taillights to handle the rearward lighting from their positions on the filler pieces that plug the gaps and visually tie the bags into the rear fender. All in all, a really nice specimen, but this is one acorn that definitely fell close to the tree, at least visually.

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide Chassis

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide
- image 792145
For a big bike, it's reasonably proportioned and delivers gobs of tracking stability.

The tubular-steel frame follows a familiar pattern with a double-downtube/double-cradle layout that completely supports the engine, rather than the other way around. Beefy Showa forks buoy the front end with the dual bending valve technology that doesn’t quite make up for the (continued) lack of front-suspension tweakage, but does deliver an otherwise superior ride that you just can’t get from a pure-vanilla front end. Out back, emulsion shocks spring off the yoke-style swingarm with a handwheel that lets you quickly adjust the preload, sans dirty knees and that little spanner wrench.

FL models have ever been about the open highway, and the CVO Street Glide shows that DNA in its bones. The steering head is kind of moderate at 26-degrees, but the trail measures out at a whopping 6.7-inches for gobs of tracking stability. A 130/60-19 leads the way ahead of a 180/55-18 for a nice, fat contact patch and plenty of traction, and that gets some protection from a stock ABS feature that works with the dual, four-piston front brakes and matching caliper on the rear. For a big bike, it’s still reasonably proportioned with a 64-inch wheelbase and 26.1-inch, laden seat height.

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: 49 mm Dual Bending Valve
Rear Shocks: Premium Low Hand-Adjustable Rear Suspension
Suspension Travel: Front: 4.60 in. (117 mm), Rear: 2.15 in. (54.6 mm)
Rake (steering head): 26°
Fork Angle: 29.25°
Trail: 6.7 in. (170 mm)
Lean Angle (per J1168): Right: 32°, Left: 31°
Brakes: 32 mm, 4-piston fixed
Brakes, Front: Dual 11.8 in. x 0.2 in. (300 mm x 5.1 mm), floating rotors
Brakes, Rear: 11.8 in. x 0.28 in. (300 mm x 7.1 mm), fixed rotor
Anti-Lock Braking System: Standard
Wheels: Gloss Black and Contrast Chrome Talon
Wheel, Front: 19 in. x 3.5 in. (483 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 130/60B19 61H
Tire, Rear: D407 180/55B18 80H

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide Drivetrain

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide
- image 792149
This represents the largest production engine you can get from the MoCo, so if you're looking for inches, look no further.

The stage is set; time for the main event. A massive, 1,923 cc (117 cubic-inch), 45-degree V-Twin drives the CVO SG with a thrilling 125 pound-feet of torque that delivers low in the rpm range and maxes out at 3,500 rpm. It’s air-cooled, so there’s no escaping the heat wave at stops, but if you’re like me, it’s worth it to avoid having a radiator up front.

Since the drivetrain has returned to the classic, single-cam design, the nosecone area once again looks like it should, right along with the pushrod tubes that run up to the four-valve heads that contribute to the engine’s name. The heads cap 103.5 mm bores with a 114.3 mm stroke for the brand-typical, under-square layout that couples with a heavy set of flywheels to develop the grunt that makes this mill hit so hard.

Compression ratio clocks in a little higher than normal at 10.2-to-1, and induction control falls to a mechanical-cable system and a single throttle body that, unfortunately, doesn’t benefit from the backtorque-limiting tech that debuts this year on the trikes. It doesn’t get traction control either, but H-D’s method of TC works using the rear brake instead of modulating the engine in contrast to current trends, and like the Drag-Torque Slip Control, it’s limited to the trikes for the time being.

A six-speed transmixxer crunches the ratios and sends power to the rear wheel via a quiet belt drive. Folks, this represents the largest production engine you can get from the MoCo, so if you’re looking for inches, look no further. Giggity.

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): 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 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®

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide Pricing

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide
- image 792146
Harley was never one to use price as a selling point, so you know there's gonna be some sticker shock.

There’s a bit of sticker shock attached to this one, but, you had to know that was coming. Never one to use price as a selling point, H-D asks $40,899 for the 2019 CVO Street Glide, but in a surprising move, it offers all three paint packages for the same price. At the light end of the spectrum is the Charred Steel/Lightning Silver package that rocks all the chrome bits and bobs. Next down is the Black Forest/Wineberry palette with a smokey chrome finish sprinkled around and at the dark end of the range is the straight-up Black Forest model that sports blackout just about everywhere except the tappet blocks, pushrod tubes and cooling-fin edges.

Warranty: 24 months (unlimited mileage)
Standard Equipped: ABS Option, Security System Option, Cruise Control Option, Premium Radio Option
Color: Black Forest, Black Forest/Wineberry, Charred Steel/Lightning Silver
Price: $40,899

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide Competitor

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- image 794201
2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide
- image 792151
Both top-shelf luxury on two wheels, one is 25 percent less at the checkout counter.

One top-shelf bagger deserves another, and I believe there is nothing in the world that makes a more likely match than the Chieftain Elite from Indian Motorcycle. Polaris has really turned around the defunct marque, and the limited-edition “CE” is about as bourgeois as it gets, so let’s get to it.

Honestly, the overall shape is typical of American baggers, with most of the same visual points of interest as the Harley, but with that unmistakable Indian flavor. The dome-like front fairing sports an electrically-adjustable screen with recessed pimp lights on each side of the large cyclops headlight for a much different entry. I love the flathead-esque engine and solid body panels in back that make the CE look so dated and typical of the old-school bikes, and the paint, well, that hand-laid stuff is really cool plus it makes each of the 350 models unique.

Harley scores with its plush front forks, but the Indian rocks an air shock out back for a butter-smooth back end. ABS is also a constant across the board. Indian powers the CE with its boss-looking Thunder Stroke that not only mimics the old flathead look with faux cooling fins on the rocker boxes, but the parallel pushrod tubes really sell the look. Most importantly, it produces 119 pound-feet of torque against 125 pounds from H-D, so it also looks good where it counts the most. Indian manages to keep prices down with a $31,499 sticker that is mighty attractive in the face of the Street Glide’s sticker.

He Said

“Hate to say it, but as much as I like the CVO SG, that Indian really brings the hurt to Harley with its comparable looks, tech and historical appeal and a much lower sticker. Of course, if money is an object, you’re looking at the wrong bikes, anyway. That said, there ain’t a thing wrong with our main subject today; as long as you don’t mind paying enough money to buy a small house.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “After Harley gave some lovin’ to the CVO last year, I was surprised to see the changes for 2019, and significant changes, too. The new Kahuna Collection brings a lot of accessories items to the table and the new Infotainment system is huge. And believe me, if you like bling, the Charred Steel/Lightning Silver model, all chromed out is very bling-tastic.”

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Street 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): 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 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: 49 mm Dual Bending Valve
Rear Shocks: Premium Low Hand-Adjustable Rear Suspension
Suspension Travel: Front: 4.60 in. (117 mm), Rear: 2.15 in. (54.6 mm)
Rake (steering head): 26°
Fork Angle: 29.25°
Trail: 6.7 in. (170 mm)
Lean Angle (per J1168): Right: 32°, Left: 31°
Brakes: 32 mm, 4-piston fixed
Brakes, Front: Dual 11.8 in. x 0.2 in. (300 mm x 5.1 mm), floating rotors
Brakes, Rear: 11.8 in. x 0.28 in. (300 mm x 7.1 mm), fixed rotor
Anti-Lock Braking System: Standard
Wheels: Gloss Black and Contrast Chrome Talon
Wheel, Front: 19 in. x 3.5 in. (483 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 130/60B19 61H
Tire, Rear: D407 180/55B18 80H
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length: 95.9 in. (2435 mm)
Overall Width: 37.8 in. (960 mm)
Overall Height: 53 in. (1345 mm)
Seat Height: Laden: 26.1 in. (663 mm), Unladen: 27.4 in. (695 mm)
Ground Clearance: 5.1 in. (130 mm)
Wheelbase: 64 in. (1625 mm)
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): 5.2 qt. (4.9 l)
Transmission Capacity: 1 qt. (.95 l)
Primary Chain Case Capacity: 1.1 qt. (1 l)
Weight As Shipped: 842 lb. (382 kg)
Weight In Running Order: 877 lb. (398 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)
Elecrticals:
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): 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 system7, 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:
Warranty: 24 months (unlimited mileage)
Standard Equipped: ABS Option, Security System Option, Cruise Control Option, Premium Radio Option
Color: Black Forest, Black Forest/Wineberry, Charred Steel/Lightning Silver
Price: $40,899

References

Indian Motorcycle Chieftain Elite

no article
- image 794202

Review Pending

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 731488

See our review of the Harley-Davidson Street Glide

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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