ROAD TEST: 2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide 117ci Review

The CVO moniker is the pinnacle of all things Harley-Davidson. Custom Vehicle Operations pulls out all the stops once a year and a few select models get the star treatment. The Street Glide is one of the Motor Company’s top sellers and the 2019 CVO rolls out with all the bells and whistles, topped off with a ferocious Milwaukee-Eight 117ci engine. The Blaze Red band on the engine rocker boxes identifies the upgraded engine, while the new Kahuna Collection features a red Bar and Shield inset on some components (shifter pegs, brake pedal cover, muffler end caps, heated grips, and rider & passenger boards). It’s the largest stock engine displacement ever offered by Harley-Davidson and available only in CVO models which include upgraded Screamin’ Eagle power and rated at up to 125 ft/lbs of torque.

We’ve seen CVO’s muscle grow gradually over the recent few years: The Twin-Cooled Twin Cam 110ci debuted in 2015.

The Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight 114ci came out last year, and for 2019 the 117ci CVO Street Glide pumps up to 1925cc, but ditched twin cooling. This motor depends on oil and air flow to keep the motor cool. Because this engine relies so heavily on oil for cooling, they have a high output oil pump with larger gears than the water cooled models. Oil is pumped out of the cam compartment, via external lines, towards the top of the motor. From there it enters the cylinder head, is channeled around the exhaust valve guides and then back out of the head and to the return side of the oil pan, creating a standalone oiling system for the heads.

Since the Street Glide CVO 117ci lacks radiators, the lowers now house speakers for the bad ass “Boom!” 6.5GT infotainment system.  We’re talking six Boom! Stage II bi-amped speakers (paired in the fairing, lowers, and saddlebag lids) with 150 watts per channel from three separate 300-watt amplifiers (900 watts total power) for their over-the-top factory-installed audio system, Harley has turned it up to 11.

You have complete control of your tunes through the new Boom! Box GTS featuring 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, you can even go touch-free through the voice-recognition feature that pipes your phone into your helmet via bluetooth.

As with all Custom Vehicle Operations, the devil’s in the details, the paint is spectacular, chrome and powder coat all tie this extraordinary motorcycle in a bow. A full-length front fender makes another historical tie-in with cut-down sides that leave plenty of the blackout Talon rim visible; it’d be a shame to cover it. The blackout treatment and muted anodized finish highlights the Wineberry/Black Forest with Contrast Anodize Talon wheels.

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.

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. Showa forks handle the front end with the dual bending valve technology that delivers an otherwise superior ride that you just can’t get from a stock front end. Emulsion shocks spring off the yoke-style swingarm with a hand wheel that lets you quickly adjust the preload.

The CVO Street Glide front end sports a 130/60-19 and 180/55-18 rear, Dunlop tires and a stock ABS feature that works with the dual, four-piston linked 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.

The hand controls are for manly men (or womanly women) and the 117ci just wants to jump out of its skin. The clutch is predictably hard and late engagement of the hydraulic clutch lever took some getting used to, but when you let this beast out of its box look out, the results are almost frightening.

The CVO security system has a one-button lock on the fob that locks the saddlebags and the fork. Of course the stretched hard bags come full of goodies like a bluetooth headset and saddlebag liners.

So what does all this add up to? Like all CVO’s, you own a stunning Harley-Davidson Custom Vehicle Operations limited edition motorcycle that sells out every year. When you roll up to the local watering hole sporting the latest Harley custom bling with 900 watts turned to 11, they’ll know you’ve arrived.

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide


  • Colors: Charred Steel/Lightning Silver with
  • Contrast Chrome Talon wheels
  • •Wineberry/Black Forest with Contrast Anodize Talon wheels
  • •Black Forest with Contrast Anodize Talon wheels.    $40,899 MSRP

2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide


Type: Milwaukee-Eight V-twin

  • Displacement: 117ci (1923cc)
  • Bore x stroke: 4.075” x 4.5”
  • Maximum torque: 126 ft/lbs @ 3750 rpm
  • Compression ratio: 10.2:1
  • Valve train: Pushrod, 4vpc
  • Exhaust: Dual, w/crossover
  • Cooling: Air
  • Lubrication: Dry sump
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  • Clutch: Hydraulically actuated assist and slip
  • Primary drive: Chain
  • Final drive: Belt


  • Front suspension; travel: Showa 49mm
  • Dual Bending Valve fork; 3.6 inches
  • Rear suspension; travel; Spring-preload
  • adjustable Showa shocks; 2.2 inches
  • Wheels: Gloss Black and Contrast Chrome
  • Knockout
  • Front wheel: 21 x 3.5”
  • Rear wheel: 18 x 5”
  • Tires: Dunlop Harley-Davidson Series
  • D408F and D407
  • Front tire: 130/60 x 21
  • Rear tire: 180/55 x 18
  • Front brakes: 300mm floating rotors w/
  • 4-piston calipers
  • Rear brake: 300 fixed rotor w/ 4-piston caliper
  • ABS: Standard


  • Wheelbase: 64 inches
  • Rake: 26 degrees
  • Fork angle: 29.25 degrees
  • Seat height: 26.8 inches
  • Fuel tank capacity: 6 gallons
  • Estimated fuel consumption: 41 mpg
  • Curb weight: 884 pounds

* Specs & Additional Info provided by Harley-Davidson