It seems Harley-Davidson have had a radical change in image. Say goodbye to the tens of square feet of chrome and say hello to blacked out engines, menacing new paintschemes and Harley’s torquest engine to date.
Harley’s Custom Vehicle Operations department have always produced special, limited numbers bikes that are meant to be the pinnacle of what they can achieve. For 2018, they’ve produced three new CVOs that will set hearts, and back tyres, alight: there’s the wile-eyed tourers CVO Street Glide, the bagger-lovers dream come true CVO Road Glide and the daddy, the CVO Limited.
At the heart of each of these bikes is the new 117 engine, which is Harley’s biggest and most powerful engine to date. The new 117 now shovels 1923cc of fuel and air into its gaping maw every time it revolves and in return it gives back a whopping 122ftlbs of torque.
If that isn’t going to put ripples in the tarmac, we don’t know what will. The 117 is dual-cooled on all models too, meaning it utilises both water and oil cooled to regulate the temperatures inside the shuddering metal behemoth.
It also means the bikes should spare the riders thighs from a total roasting, which for riders of older Hogs will be a welcome change.There have also been big changes in the styling department. The new bikes have much darker and more aggressive paint schemes with the most brooding colourways also matched with a blacked out engine.
There are smaller changes to individual models such a colour-coded inner fairings, new wheels (including a 21” one for the Road Glide) and different exhaust finishes.
To overcome the noise of the new engine obviously means a new stereo, including a whopping 900w of speaker power on the CVO Street Glide. There are also some changes under the hood too, which now allows riders to pair Bluetooth headsets with the stereo, replacing the old corded system.
To go with the new CVOs, there are also four new specials: a Street Glide Special, a Road Glide Special plus two 115th anniversary bikes – the 115th Street Glide and 115th Ultra Limited.
All four specials retain the standard 107 engine but they’re blacked out on the Street Glide Special and Road Glide Special for the full ‘murdered out’ look.
The 115th anniversary editions retain all the chrome and fanciness but add special 115th anniversary graphics and logos throughout – including a huge (and slightly questionable one) on the batwing fairing of the Street Glide.