Home / What Does Harley-Davidson CVO Stand For?

For most Harley-Davidson aficionados, the bikes on display in a dealership represent different aspects of motorcycle design. They all reflect the company’s commitment to excellence, style, and uniqueness, but if you want the ultimate ride, you need to check out the CVO line of limited-edition Harleys. Which automatically leads to the first question: what does Harley-Davidson CVO stand for?

What is the Difference Between a Regular Harley and a CVO?

That’s an easy one. The Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) line is Harley’s exceptional line of limited-edition rides. They incorporate the latest developments in motorcycle design, tech, and performance, and the first thing to know about the 2021 CVOs is that they’ve been juiced up in many ways that feel epic.

The idea was to give the CVO line some extra swagger, which is hardly necessary. Still, Harley-Davidson designers have nonetheless outdone themselves when it comes to meeting the needs of their premiere customers.

So let’s take a deeper dive here. Harley-Davidson has made some exciting decisions with ongoing add-ons, and the results are incredible. It’s an attempt to bring a line with old school lineage into the 21st century, and high-end bike aficionados will love the results.

 The Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) line is Harley's exceptional line of limited-edition rides.

How Do You Tell If a Harley is a CVO?

Any conversations about the attributes of the CVO line have to start with style. Nearly all of these motorcycles come with exclusive paint designs and colors that feature a high level of intricacy and artistry. Many of the new finish treatments represent elegant and unusual options to the traditional chrome finish.

Moreover, the styles have been designed to suit the rides. There are three different style choices for the CVO Glide and CVO Road Glide models, two more for the CVO Limited, and another couple of possibilities for the CVO Tri Glide models.

How Much Horsepower Does a Harley CVO Have?

Now let’s get to the heart of the matter-the most legendary engine Harley-Davidson has ever made. It’s a tried and true veteran of many CVO bikes, and it’s been updated for the 2021 versions.

If you’re a Harley lover, you probably already know what we’re talking about. The legendary Milwaukee-Eight 117 V-Twin engine lives on in these CVO models, and it’s now supported by some of the most advanced motorcycle technology in the business.

At 105 max HP, it’s the most powerful engine offered in any Harley-Davidson line, with a combination of 117 cubic inches and 125 foot-pounds to generate torque and a 10.2:1 compression ratio to support it.

In addition, there’s a high-performance camshaft to help match larger displacement and airflow, plus a high-performance intake system that helps bring more air into the engine.

The new Harley-Davidson CVO line starts at around $40,000.

How Much Does a CVO Harley Cost?

The new Harley-Davidson CVO line starts at around $40,000. While this price tag may seem steep for a motorcycle—or a car or truck, for that matter—this price tag doesn’t come without its perks. In addition to being built in limited numbers, these customized bikes feature a Milwaukee-Eight® 117 engine, advanced technology, and exclusive components—finished off with custom-painted show-stopping finishes and attention to detail that borders on obsessive. 

Let’s explore some of these Harley-Davidson special features:

The Ride

So how does it ride? And ride-wise, what does Harley-Davidson CVO stand for? Those are great questions, but not simple, mainly because the CVO experience tends to be individual for different riders, even though they universally love it.

Start with a smooth throttle at low speeds or high speeds, regardless of the displacement. Then add six gears, and throw in a bike that’s surprisingly maneuverable, nimble even, despite weighing in at over 800 pounds.

Most of the CVO models are the ultimate touring bikes, and most CVO owners fall into one of three categories: new riders, women riders, and first-time Harley owners.

The Showa suspension is often described as plush, and the ergonomics have been specially designed to keep riders comfortable in a neutral position for those long road trips these bikes were designed for.

The ultimate result is excellent stability, and the cruise control is both intuitive and predictable. The integrated mirrors are just where they’re supposed to be, and the windshield protects you perfectly without obscuring the road. The overall quality of the ride embodies the Harley lifestyle to perfection, providing the ultimate experience for riders.

The Harley-Davidson CVO bikes includes the RDRS safety package.

Safety Features

Now let’s talk about the safety features of these bikes. Safety may not sound like the sexiest subject in motorcycle performance. Still, it matters a lot here, primarily because it’s no exaggeration to say that CVO bikes are among the safest on the road.

Why? It all starts with the RDRS package, which has become an industry standard in the motorcycle world. This year it’s been upgraded, and the term Safety Enhancements has been added to the name. The system, which is standard on every 2021 CVO model, matches performance to traction during acceleration, deceleration, and turning, whether you’re going in a straight line or executing a complex cornering move.

The electronic system uses an advanced combination of the latest chassis control, electronic brakes, and powertrain tech to meet the highest safety standards so you can consistently get the ultimate ride.

There are six separate elements to the RDRS Safety Enhancement System. These elements cover braking, traction control, drag torque slip control, a hill-hold function, and tire pressure monitoring.

But that’s not the end of it. These bikes also include the Haymaker Adaptive LED Headlamp, the most advanced headlamp system on any Harley. It comes with patented sensors and electronics, and 12 other additional LED lights are integrated and used for turns and cornering, depending on the lean of the bike. Simply put, what that means is that there are no surprises in corners, and you’ll be able to see the entire road.

State-of-the-Art Sound

Stellar audio systems aren’t something you’d typically associate with a Harley ride, but the Rockford Fosgate sound system is a high-end exception.

The speakers and amps are explicitly designed to fit the CVO ride, with Stage II tri-ax speakers designed exclusively for the CVO Street Glide and CVO Road Glide models.

The Boom! Box Infotainment System’s speakers are designed to deliver clear highs, a clean mid-range sound, and ground-thumping bass, with 150 watts of power and the least distortion of any motorcycle audio system on the market. Whatever you like to listen to when you’re out on the road, this sound system will do it justice and then some.

Ultimate Connectivity 

Now let’s talk about the unique combination of communication and entertainment. Again, not the usual subject for a Harley ride, but the CVO bikes all feature a Boom! Audio 30K Bluetooth Helmet Headset, which connects to the Boom! Box Infotainment System. This headset will keep you in touch with your fellow riders and the world around you, regardless of the conditions.

But rides can be a group endeavor, too, and the Mesh Intercom Network protocol can connect to any number of riders during a group ride while in public mode, which means no more lost connections when someone goes out of range. The private communication mode can connect individual riders up to five miles away, and it also gives you the Apple CarPlay microphone required for the system.

Find new Harley-Davidson CVO models at Harley-Davidson of The Woodlands

Explore Everything the CVO Collection Has to Offer at Harley-Davidson of The Woodlands

We’ve answered the question, What does Harley-Davidson CVO stand for? (and trust us, we could go on and on about the true majesty of the Harley CVO line), but in this case, seeing is believing. Mere descriptions can’t do these machines justice, so you’re better off taking a trip down to Harley-Davidson of The Woodlands and seeing for yourself what makes these bikes so unique. 

While you’re there, don’t forget to check out our showroom inventory of new and pre-owned bikes, plus the Under 10 Hog Pen for deals you’d be crazy to overlook! Our dedicated team of Harley experts is on standby, waiting to help you find the bike of your dreams.


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.