The Best Of The Best In The World As Far As Production Trikes Go

Harley-Davidson’s Tri Glide has always been a top-shelf machine, but the MoCo takes it to the Nth degree with its CVO treatment. The Custom Vehicle Operations division is where bikes, and in this case trikes, go to be elevated to greatness, and the 2020 CVO Tri Glide is a better example than usual as Harley uses it as a platform for all its all new electronic goodies. H-D joins the 21st century with its Reflex Defensive Rider Systems that counters the inherent issues with the traditional two-in-back trike layout to make this a machine that can compete with the burgeoning Delta-trike sector. Best of all, H-D powers the CVO Tri Glide with its largest production engine to date, the Milwaukee-Eight 117 Twin-Cooled Engine that churns out well over 100 pound-feet of torque with not one but two generous contact patches to put the power to the pavement.

  • 2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide
  • Year:
    2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Milwaukee-Eight 117
  • Displacement:
    117 cubic inches
  • Top Speed:
    100 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    48999
  • Price:

2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide Design

2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide
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2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide
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2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide
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In keeping with the CVO line, the Tri Glide comes in exclusive, pain-stakingly applied colorways for a finish that surpasses elegance.

As usual, the front end on the CVO Tri Glide looks like it could have come off one of its “FL” dressers that run the Batwing fairing, and there’s the ubiquitous historical influences as well. A cut-down fender controls the front-wheel fling in between beefy front forks that sport the good old-fashioned beercan fork skirts to hide and protect the swept area of the inner fork tube.

A cyclops headlight rides recessed in the Batwing with a pair of pimp lights and bullet-style blinkers set in a manner similar to the old whisker bar, just without an actual bar, plus there’s a DRL ring that helps improve your visibility to the rest of the world. All the lighting front-and-rear is of the LED variety, so the forward projectors really split the night and the rear lights are nigh impossible to ignore.

A pair of ports between the headlight and the chopped down smoked windscreen on the Batwing fairing relieves the vacuum behind the fairing and combats that wearisome head-buffet effect for some long-distance comfort. Chrome engine guards mount traditional-looking fairing lowers to extend the protection to your legs, but they hide a secret. Hidden from view are the radiators that make the Twin-Cooled aspect of the engine work.

Inside the fairing, a quartet of round gauges join a full-color TFT touchscreen to handle the instrumentation. In the tips of the wings you’ll find the forward speakers for the Boom! GTS Infotainment system while the wings themselves keep the wind from blasting your meathooks.

A classic chrome panel and fuel door adorn the six-gallon fuel tank, but I’m not a fan, ’cause that much chrome can fairly blind you under bright conditions. The flyline tumbles down the teardrop tank profile to a deep-scoop seat that comes stock with a rider backrest and a full-width pillion throne complete with passenger armrests. Below the armrests are the remaining two speaker cones that complete the stereo effect and allow you to share your tunes with the rest of the world. Like the other full dressers, the CVO Tri Glide has a Tourpak complete with luggage rack above a proper trunk for a total of 6.8 cubic-feet of secure dry storage.

2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide Chassis

2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide
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2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide
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2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide
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With new-for-2020 technology, Harley has defeated the trike's overstable nature to make it less wooden in the corners and more competitive in the market than before against the funny backwards trikes.

While the frame on the CVO Tri Glide is something of an odd bird with the usual hardware up front opposite the two-wheeled rear, it holds to convention with welded mild-steel members in a double-downtube/double-cradle format. The steering head sets a rake angle of 26 degrees with a surprisingly short trail of 3.94 inches, but since the machine doesn’t lean, you can’t quite judge what that does for you the same way as you would a two-wheeler.

There’s 65.7 inches between the front and rear contact-patch centers, so the overall length is comparable to the rest of the touring line, and the ground clearance measures at 5.1 inches off the deck which is ample for civilized roads. Cast aluminum “Tomahawk” wheels mount Dunlop hoops in a 130/60-19 up front with dual, automotive-style 215/45-18 hoops out back and a stock Tire Pressure Monitoring System that lets you keep track of your inflation in real time.

Premium front forks come sans adjustments, but the Showa Dual Bending Valve technology gives it a ride that’s far superior to a pure vanilla suspension. A handwheel allows for quick and easy preload adjustments of the rear shocks without benefit of tools, or even dirty knees, so you can keep it dialed in for changing passenger/cargo loads. A pair of four-pot calipers bite dual front discs, and in the rear, a single-piston anchor on each of the two wheels takes care of business complete with a parking brake.

It’s at this point that we encounter the first of the higher safety electronics new-for-2020 in the form of the Cornering Enhanced Linked Braking, Cornering Enhanced ABS, and Vehicle Hold Control features. As the devilishly clever name suggests, the systems read data from the inertial measurement unit and modulate their levels of intervention based on the calculated available traction.

The ABS works like you’d expect. It and the Linked Brakes both share braking pressure between front and rear, but also work to help the CVO Tri Glide remain stable in the corners and keep you from straightening out a curve, which is one of the traditional complaints of this two-in-back trike configuration. That’s right sports fans, Harley has defeated the trike’s overstable nature to make it less wooden in the corners, so it is more competitive in the market than before against the funny backwards trikes.

Wheel, Front: Gloss Black and Contrast Clear Tomahawk
Wheels, Rear: Gloss Black and Contrast Clear Tomahawk
Tire, Front: 130/60B19 M/C 61H
Tires, Rear: P215/45R18 83T
Brakes, Caliper: Front: 32 mm 4 piston fixed, Rear: floating 36 mm piston integrated park brake
Wheels, Optional Style: Charcoal Grey with Contrast Satin Tomahawk

2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide Drivetrain

2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide
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2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide
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2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide
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The CVO Tri Glide packs the largest production V-Twin to come out of Milwaukee in the Milwaukee-Eight 117.

The engine is almost always the star of the show in a Harley-Davidson product, and this chrome-over-black wrinkle Big-Twin lump in the CVO Tri Glide is extra special. First off, it’s the largest production V-Twin to come out of Milwaukee with a whopping 117 cubic-inches packed away in the 45-degree V. As usual, it’s a long-stroke mill with a 4.075-inch bore, 4.5-inch stroke and 10.2-to-1 compression ratio that’ll require high-octane pump champagne to prevent knock, ping, and run-on.

The factory claims a total of 125 pound-feet of torque at a relatively low 3,750 rpm, which is pretty impressive, but it’s pushing a machine that weighs 1,269 pounds soaking wet. Not only is it heavy, but there’s a lot of windage, so you can count on a combined mileage of around 40 mpg.

A ride-by-wire throttle control sends its signal to the ECU, which in its turn, controls the fuel-injected throttle body to manage the induction, and for a real treat, the CVO Tri Glide carries a bona fide Cornering Enhanced Traction Control System and Cornering Enhanced Drag Torque Slip Control System, both new-for-2020 as part of the RDRS system. The traction control comes with two modes – one for dry conditions and one for inclement weather – so you can dial in for the prevailing conditions. As for the C-DSCS, it gooses the throttle a bit when excessive backtorque threatens to break the rear end loose as indicated by lateral acceleration in order to maintain traction, so you won’t fishtail if you hammer it a little too hard as you exit a corner.

These last two features are a huge leap forward for the MoCo, and they put H-D in a good position moving forward into the 2020s. To tie all the electronics together, the H-D Connect Service networks with your smartphone so you can monitor the vitals and even keep an eye on the trike remotely through the security system.

Engine: Twin-Cooled™ Milwaukee-Eight™ 117
Bore x Stroke: 4.075 in. x 4.5 in.
Displacement: 117 cu in
Engine Torque (J1349): 125 ft-lb @ 3,750 rpm
Compression Ratio: 10.2:1
Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Exhaust: Chrome, 2-1-2 dual exhaust with slash cut mufflers
Primary Drive: Chain, 34/46 ratio
Gear Ratios (Overall): 1st: 10.534, 2nd: 7.302, 3rd: 5.423, 4th: 4.392, 5th: 3.741, 6th: 3.157

2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide Pricing

2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide
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2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide
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2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide
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Premium machines come with premium price tags, so it's no surprise that the 2020 CVO Tri Glide fetches a lofty $49k.

Premium machines come with premium price tags, so it’s no surprise that the 2020 CVO Tri Glide fetches a lofty $48,999 in its base configuration. The exclusive paint packages available this year are Black Stardust with Magnetic Gray and Wicked Red graphics or Blizzard White Pearl with Lightning Silver and Stormcloud graphics.

Standard Equipped: ABS Option, Reflex™ Defensive Rider System (RDRS), Security System Option, Cruise Control Option, Premium Radio Option
Colors: Black Stardust w/Magnetic Gray & Wicked Red, Blizzard White Pearl w/ Lightning Silver & Stormcloud
Price: Custom Color: $48,999

2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide Competitors

2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide
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Potential buyers can no longer use poor handling as an excuse for passing on Harley-Davidson's top-shelf touring trike.

Barring the many trike kits and custom rides out there, the CVO Tri Glide really is without peer as far as stock trikes are concerned. Sure, you could look at the Can-Am Spyders for something that’s as tour-tastic in nature, but you won’t find them in the high-end finishes or feature packages. If you really stretch I suppose you could make arguments for the Polaris Slingshot, but as far as a proper old-school trike, Harley-Davidson has the only game in town. And now, potential buyers can no longer use poor handling as an excuse for passing on H-D’s top-shelf touring trike.

He Said

“The handling may be better, and truly it is, but that price tag is going to be off-putting for much of the potential buyer base. Oh well, H-D has never been one to use price as a selling point, and they gotta’ pay those union wages somehow. One thing about this ride; it may be heavy, and the top speed maxes out right around 100 mph or so, but those wide rear wheels have generous contact patches and will really put the power to the pavement. You can rely on some blistering holeshots and an engine that has something to give at almost any rpm and any gear.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, “Let me clarify right up front that the RDRS system was equipped on the trikes for 2019 even though it is touted as part of the new-for-2020 electronics. Fit and finish on the CVO Tri Glide is superb, as you would expect out of the CVO line, though the audio system on this isn’t quite as good as the system on the CVO Street Glide. Both are top shelf, one is just a little more top than the other. It has all LED lighting, and it’s the new style of LED lighting that came in with the revamped Softail line in 2018. The CVO Tri Glide is the best of the best in the world as far as production trikes go.”

2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Tri Glide Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Twin-Cooled™ Milwaukee-Eight™ 117
Bore x Stroke: 4.075 in. x 4.5 in.
Displacement: 117 cu in
Engine Torque (J1349): 125 ft-lb @ 3,750 rpm
Compression Ratio: 10.2:1
Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Exhaust: Chrome, 2-1-2 dual exhaust with slash cut mufflers
Primary Drive: Chain, 34/46 ratio
Gear Ratios (Overall): 1st: 10.534, 2nd: 7.302, 3rd: 5.423, 4th: 4.392, 5th: 3.741, 6th: 3.157
Chassis:
Wheel, Front: Gloss Black and Contrast Clear Tomahawk
Wheels, Rear: Gloss Black and Contrast Clear Tomahawk
Tire, Front: 130/60B19 M/C 61H
Tires, Rear: P215/45R18 83T
Brakes, Caliper: Front: 32 mm 4 piston fixed, Rear: floating 36 mm piston integrated park brake
Wheels, Optional Style: Charcoal Grey with Contrast Satin Tomahawk
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length: 105.1 in.
Seat Height, Laden: 25.9 in.
Ground Clearance: 5.1 in.
Wheelbase: 65.7 in.
Fuel Capacity: 6 gal.
Fuel Economy: 40 mpg
Oil Capacity (w/Filter): 5 qt.
Dry Weight: 1,239 lb.
Curb Weight: 1,269 lb.
Luggage Capacity: 6.8 cu ft
Top Speed: 100 mph (est)
Electric:
Lights (As Per Country Regulation), Indicator Lamps: High Beam, running lights, battery, neutral, low oil pressure, engine diagnostics, cruise control, low fuel warning, reverse, park brake, fog/aux lamp indicator, traction control, security/fault indication, coolant temp, turn signal, ABS, TPMS
Gauges: Speedometer, tachometer, fuel, and voltage gauges; display features odometer, trip A, trip B, range to empty, gear indicator, and tire pressure
Infotainment:
Infotainment System: Boom!™ Box GTS
Type: Full Color TFT
Watts Per Channel: 75
Speakers: 4, Stage I
Headset Specifications (If Equipped)Boom Audio Wireless Headset
AM/FM/Weather Band: Standard
SD Card, Flash Drive And MP3 - Via USB Connection: Supported
Siriusxm Presets: 20 - P&A Upgrade (USA & Canada only)
Languages: English (US/UK), German, Spanish (Mexico/Spain), French (Canada/France), Italian, Portuguese (Portugal/Brazil), Russian, Czech, Polish, Dutch, Turkish, Japanese
Rider/Passenger Intercom: Standard
Vehicle Information Screen (Air Temperature, Oil Pressure And EITMS): Standard
USB: USB/MTP/iPod/iPhone
Bluetooth: phone/Media Supported
Details:
Standard Equipped: ABS Option, Reflex™ Defensive Rider System (RDRS), Security System Option, Cruise Control Option, Premium Radio Option
Colors: Black Stardust w/Magnetic Gray & Wicked Red, Blizzard White Pearl w/ Lightning Silver & Stormcloud
Price: Custom Color: $48,999

Further Reading

Harley-Davidson Launches New Models and New Technology for 2020

Harley-Davidson Launches New Models and New Technology for 2020
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See our look at Harley-Davidson’s new models and new technology.

Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide
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See our review of the Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide.

Harley-Davidson

ALLYN IMAGES: DO NOT DELETE
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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

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