Home / A Slow Harley That Delivers Comfort and Power on the Open Road

When most people think of Harley-Davidsons, they picture a low and slow machine built for cruising—not a racing bike built to take tight turns at higher speeds. But even among the roster of already-slow Harleys, there’s one bike that displays little interest in speed, relying instead on its sheer presence and brand power, both of which it has in spades.

What is the Slowest Harley-Davidson?

Although it boasts Harley’s largest production engine, the CVO Tri-Glide is the slowest Harley on the market. Think of this slow Harley as the motorcycle equivalent of Land Rover’s performance-obsessed SVR Division.

The CVO Tri-Glide has an old-school Milwaukee-Eight V-Twin engine with a 117 cubic ft displacement that can pump out 125 pound-foot of torque at a surprisingly low RPM, making for an incredibly comfortable ride. But where does all that power go if it’s not giving the bike a boost in speed? 

Weighing in at just under 1,300 lbs, the CVO Tri-Glide is a veritable beast that needs the extra oomph supplied by its impressive engine to power this three-wheeled behemoth. The third wheel allows for a super comfortable ride, but it takes a lot of complex technology to get the CVO Tri-Glide to act like one of its two-wheeled cousins, so let’s take a look at how Harley-Davidson did that.

The Harley-Davidson CVO Tri-Glide in red

The Slow Road to Success

While most brands have turned their attention to newer technology, Harley remains devoted to an old-school approach that includes push-rod technology with air-cooled engines. Coupled with the bike’s style and design, this approach means less airflow into the engine, which makes it harder to cool.

To make up for that, Harley-Davidson builds big displacement engines with tons of torque, creating a feel that is entirely different than that of a sportbike. Harleys have a red-line of about 5,500 RPM, while sport bikes tend to feel lethargic at anything below 10,000 RPM. The CVO Tri Glide, however, has a massive 3,133 cc engine that supplies huge amounts of torque in the low-rev range, allowing riders to feel the engine’s pull from as low as 3,750 RPM.

That might seem like a serious compromise, but these big Harley cruisers are built for comfort, not speed. Many modern Harley-Davidson cruisers have very comfortable seats and can be outfitted with taller windscreens, making it easy to buzz along at highway speeds. 

The handling aspects of these cruisers are designed with many of the same comfort-driven goals in mind. The fat tires offer plenty of grip, and the ABS brakes will slow these bikes down very quickly, allowing both older riders and novice riders to handle this bike with ease.

The CVO Tri-Glide up close

Can You Go Fast on a Harley Cruiser?

Technically, yes, but the extra weight will definitely factor into the equation. Harley opted for heavier mild-steel members as part of the frame, which gives the bike serious stability. But this stability comes at the price of sacrificing speed and acceleration.

Despite this, the CVO Tri-Glide can still go from 0 to 60 in a very respectable 7.4 seconds, and if you build up enough torque in its high-compression V-Twin engine, the CVO Tri Glide will even comply with a self-balancing wheelie!

Harley-Davidson also added some aesthetic upgrades that affect the CVO Tri-Glide’s speed, including custom alloy wheels that add to the bike’s impressive heft. This weight, though, does limit the bike’s potential for speed, topping out right around the 100-mph mark.

The slow Harley, the CVO Tri-Glide, provides a comfortable ride

The Most Comfortable Highway Cruiser is the CVO Tri Glide

Harley-Davidson aimed to produce a comfortable highway cruiser, and the CVO Tri Glide does not disappoint. The bike’s initial testers and evaluators even responded with a hearty combination of thumbs up and feedback stating Harley had accomplished their mission.

But what all does the CVO Tri Glide offer, besides impressive heft and unsurpassed comfort?

This bike boasts a six-gallon tank and 40-mpg mileage rating that together create an impressive cruising range. Plus, its extra weight and stability combine to help reduce rider fatigue.

The CVO Tri Glide also features a complete instrument pane that tells riders everything they need to know. Once again, the layout is designed for comfort, with the panel tucked behind a wide front fairing that includes a full-color TFT display with four round gauges. The front fairing can even act as a wind deflector, further increasing the bike’s comfort factor.

As you roar down the highway, the rumbling purr of the heavy-duty engine isn’t the only thing you’ll hear. There are four speakers (two in the front, two in the rear), offering plenty of sound to enjoy for entertainment purposes. 

Last but certainly not least, both drivers and passengers get backrests, although the one for passengers is larger and also includes armrests.

Find a wide selection of Harley motorcycles at Kingwood Harley-Davidson

Your Next Ride is Waiting at Harley-Davidson of The Woodlands

The CVO Tri Glide may be a slow Harley-Davidson, but what this bike lacks in speed, it more than makes up for in superior comfort and cruis-ability. 

Whether you’re looking for a laid-back cruiser or something a little higher octane, Harley-Davidson of The Woodlands has options for everyone! From new riders looking to score a deal on their very first pre-owned motorcycle to long-time Harley aficionados hoping to add a brand new bike to their collection, we’ve got you covered.

Come visit our showroom to see our selection of riding gear, apparel, and new and pre-owned bikes, or schedule a test ride for the CVO Tri Glide today!


Harley Davidson of The Woodlands

Harley-Davidson of The Woodlands has been serving Southeast Texas for more than 20 years. We provide the Greater Houston area with new and pre-owned motorcycles, riding apparel, parts, maintenance service, and more at our state-of-the-art dealership. Whether you’re a new rider or a seasoned Harley vet, our friendly team of Harley-Davidson experts is ready to help you find the perfect bike today. Stop by and visit the Harley-Davidson of The Woodlands Showroom off of I-45 North in The Woodlands, TX.