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2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide First Look Preview

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Each year, Harley-Davidson handpicks a few Custom Vehicles Operations models and sprinkles their off-the-rack offerings with some limited-production, hand-crafted gems. The latest CVO family member is the new CVO Road Glide ($40,999), a mid-season addition that joins the Tri Glide ($48,999), Limited ($44,039), and Street Glide ($40,539) for 2020.

The new CVO Road Glide against a more conventional model; while anyone can order a standard-issue Road Glide, the CVO model will be as rare as hen’s teeth.
The new CVO Road Glide against a more conventional model; while anyone can order a standard-issue Road Glide, the CVO model will be as rare as hen’s teeth. (Harley-Davidson/)

The new CVO Road Glide, available in any color as long as it’s Premium Sand Dune (a sort of satiny eggshell with a pearl topcoat), stands out against its darker-hued stablemates and goes by Harley’s lettering nomenclature as FLTRXSE. It also cuts a unique niche for itself, not being a massive touring bike (Limited), three-wheeler (Tri Glide), or more conventional bagger (Street Glide, whose fork-mounted fairing and less streamlined bodywork conveys more nostalgia than sleekness).

This CVO’s paint is available only in one color: Sand Dune monotone, which is finished with a pearl topcoat. Look closer, and you’ll see gloss black and black onyx finishes.
This CVO’s paint is available only in one color: Sand Dune monotone, which is finished with a pearl topcoat. Look closer, and you’ll see gloss black and black onyx finishes. (Harley-Davidson/)

The Road Glide packs a Milwaukee-Eight 117 V-twin, a CVO-specific powerplant Harley says is the largest, most powerful engine it has ever offered. Feeding the mill is a high-performance Screamin’ Eagle Heavy Breather intake for better airflow into the engine. The nearly 2-liter twin produces 125 pound-feet of torque thanks to the revised intake and more aggressive camshaft; horsepower output is not quoted. Larger-diameter, 21-inch front and 18-inch rear split seven-spoke wheels add an airier look to the Road Glide’s profile, while aerodynamically resculpted bodywork ensures bits like the Fang front spoiler don’t adversely affect high-speed stability. A wind tunnel-tested shark nose fairing promises adequate protection from gusty breezes (as do heated handgrips), with triple slipstream vents to reduce uncomfortable buffeting. Mounted to the fairing are Daymaker LED reflector headlamps for appropriately blinding forward vision at night. Although the panniers won’t exactly swallow bulky objects like helmets, the molded saddlebags do incorporate One Touch latches for single-handed operation.

The front three-quarter view reveals clean lines and sleek contours.
The front three-quarter view reveals clean lines and sleek contours. (Harley-Davidson/)

Although it seems contrary to the old-school potato-potato vibe, Harley’s suite of tech manages to plant the CVO (somewhat reluctantly) into the 21st century. For starters, H-D Connect is Harley’s subscription-based cellular connectivity package that allows cellphones to tap into key info on the bike’s mechanical health, security status, and service needs. The Reflex Defensive Rider Systems uses cornering ABS and traction control along with features like a drag-torque slip control system to manage the motorcycle’s dynamics. The CVO also gets a wireless headset linked to the Boom! Box which uses 600 watts to power bi-amped speakers, and integrates a 6.5-inch touchscreen with navigation and Apple CarPlay.

An aerodynamically tested and developed fairing promises smooth high-speed riding.
An aerodynamically tested and developed fairing promises smooth high-speed riding. (Harley-Davidson/)

While custom bits like the Kahuna Collection muffler end caps and brake pedal cover are sure to garner attention, the CVO Road Glide’s ultimate secret weapon is its rarity: With only one or fewer bike available per dealership, this small-batch bike likely won’t last long.

Although it lacks the attractiveness of the Screamin’ Eagle Heavy Breather air cleaner, the left of the CVO still manages to look sharp.
Although it lacks the attractiveness of the Screamin’ Eagle Heavy Breather air cleaner, the left of the CVO still manages to look sharp. (Harley-Davidson/)

2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide Specifications, Features, And Price

PRICE $40,999
ENGINE 1,923cc (117ci) OHV four-stroke V-twin
BORE x STROKE 103.5mm x 114.3mm
COMPRESSION RATIO 10.2:1
FUEL DELIVERY Electronic sequential port fuel injection
CLUTCH Hydraulically actuated, wet
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE 6-speed/chain
FRAME Tubular steel
FRONT SUSPENSION 49mm dual bending valve; 3.6-in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION Hand-adjustable shock; 2.2-in. travel
FRONT BRAKES 4-piston caliper, dual 300mm discs w/ ABS
REAR BRAKE 4-piston caliper, 300mm disc w/ ABS
WHEELS, FRONT/REAR Split seven-spoke; 21.0-in. / 18.0-in.
TIRES, FRONT/REAR 130/60-21 / 180/55-18
RAKE/TRAIL 26.0°/6.8 in.
WHEELBASE 64.0 in.
SEAT HEIGHT 25.9 in.
FUEL CAPACITY 6.0 gal.
CLAIMED CURB WEIGHT 893 lb.
WARRANTY 24 months, unlimited mileage
AVAILABLE Now
CONTACT harley-davidson.com
The Screamin’ Eagle Heavy Breather air cleaner steps up the CVO’s street appeal.
The Screamin’ Eagle Heavy Breather air cleaner steps up the CVO’s street appeal. (Harley-Davidson/)Dual-disc 300mm brakes work in conjunction with a series of electronic aids to maximize safety.
Dual-disc 300mm brakes work in conjunction with a series of electronic aids to maximize safety. (Harley-Davidson/)Apart from the red and black CVO graphics at the rear, the new bike manages to look strictly sparse and minimal.
Apart from the red and black CVO graphics at the rear, the new bike manages to look strictly sparse and minimal. (Harley-Davidson/)

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