Riding Harley’s 2020 Road Glide Limited and CVO Limited

H-D turns up the tech for its latest luxury tourers in the new model year.

Harley’s newest touring machine is the 2020 Road Glide Limited, a “premium luxury tourer” that brings a full suite of long-haul amenities to the table.
Harley’s newest touring machine is the 2020 Road Glide Limited, a “premium luxury tourer” that brings a full suite of long-haul amenities to the table.Harley-Davidson

At last month's 2020 model year Harley launch, the main event was the Second Coming of the Low Rider S, but there were plenty of other bar-and-shielded rigs scattered around the staging area too. So after our day-long rip on the newest Softail, the Motor Co also gave us some seat time on the new touring models they had on hand and we split our next few rides mostly between the new-for-2020 Road Glide Limited and the 2020 CVO Limited. To sum up, the Touring line is looking very healthy these days.

If it looks familiar, that’s because the Road Glide Limited is a dead ringer for the dearly departed Road Glide Ultra, shark nose fairing, Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine and all. Here it is in the two-tone Silver Pine/Spruce colorway.
If it looks familiar, that’s because the Road Glide Limited is a dead ringer for the dearly departed Road Glide Ultra, shark nose fairing, Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine and all. Here it is in the two-tone Silver Pine/Spruce colorway.Harley-Davidson

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited Changes

You could be forgiven for mistaking the 2020 Road Glide Limited with last year's 2019 Road Glide Ultra, but alas, the Ultra is no more. The RG Limited shuffles into the Touring group for the 2020 model year, where you'll still find three Road Glide variants; the Road Glide, the Road Glide Special, and now the Road Glide Limited. It's basically a zero sum game since probably 90 percent of the new Limited is a carbon copy of the Ultra, but we'll give credit where credit is due—no one's calling it "all-new." The "premium luxury tourer" Limited retains much of the same luxurious goodness we saw on its predecessor, like a Boom! Box GTS infotainment system, a nicely contoured 13.5 inch touring shield and the hearty Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine.

Harley’s Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine powers the new 2020 Road Glide Limited. If you opt for the Black Finish, the air cleaner cover, heads, and pipes all get a coat of the dark stuff.
Harley’s Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine powers the new 2020 Road Glide Limited. If you opt for the Black Finish, the air cleaner cover, heads, and pipes all get a coat of the dark stuff.Harley-Davidson

The differences are a bit less flashy. The RG Limited rolls on a pair of 18-inch Slicer II wheels versus the Ultra's 17 and 16 inchers front and back (respectively, the tires are still Dunlop bias ply blackwalls), and hallelujah, there's a fresh palette of new paint and finishes to choose from, including the brooding Black Finish option, and now those tall-ish pullback handlebars have heated grips. There are also fresh badges and Harley says the fuel tank is "new" too, but that ever-menacing shark nose frame-mounted fairing with dual Daymaker LEDs remains the same as it ever was.

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited Electronics

But the RG Limited receives a direct benefit of some of the new tech first seen on the Live Wire too; the RDRS package option includes lean-sensitive cornering ABS, traction control, and even a hill-hold feature. The Reflex Linked Brembos with ABS are still standard issue for the stock Road Glide Limited, but now all the Harley Touring models (except the Electra Glide Standard) can be had with the optional suite of electronic rider aids that’s collectively referred to as RDRS. It’ll add $995 to the pricetag.

The paint is rich, the full color TFT infotainment screen is deep, the speakers are 5.25 inches, and the grips are heated on the new Road Glide Limited.
The paint is rich, the full color TFT infotainment screen is deep, the speakers are 5.25 inches, and the grips are heated on the new Road Glide Limited.Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson RDRS Breakdown

To break it down further, RDRS stands for Reflex Defensive Rider Systems, and comprises a sophisticated suite of electronics designed to match the bike’s performance to available traction during acceleration, deceleration, and braking—even while cornering. The whole enchilada includes Cornering Enhanced ABS (C-ABS), which balances front and rear braking, even when leaned over; Cornering Enhanced Traction Control System (CTCS) to handle rear wheel spin under acceleration; Drag Torque Slip Control System (DSCS) to tamp down on rear wheel slip during engine braking and deceleration, and Vehicle Hold Control (VHC) which lets you apply brake pressure to keep the bike from rolling while stopped. A Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is chucked in there as well, but you can get it as a stand-alone accessory on select 2020 Touring models if you want.

Full luxury touring on this latest long-hauler from Harley means a 13.5 inch touring shield, a premium Tour Pak luggage carrier with rack and two-up touring saddle. Does the RG Limited have less stuff than the RG Ultra? Seems not.
Full luxury touring on this latest long-hauler from Harley means a 13.5 inch touring shield, a premium Tour Pak luggage carrier with rack and two-up touring saddle. Does the RG Limited have less stuff than the RG Ultra? Seems not.Harley-Davidson

The Road Glide Limited Harley offered us came loaded with the RDRS package (but it's included on all new CVOs), and by the end of our ride we'd experienced a good chunk of its capabilities. The traction control was especially welcomed as we wove around the dirty corners and twisty roads of Southern California's high desert. 900-plus pounds of Milwaukee motorcycle can be a handful in any condition, much less a high-speed run along windy, off-camber back roads, and we were happy to have the extra electronics reining in wheel slip as we alternated between hard stops and even harder acceleration. Even when I was mashing on the brakes in tight corners, the clever Bosch six-axis IMU (inertial measurement unit) kept sending all the right pitch, roll, and acceleration data to the bike's ECU, helping to keep me shiny side up. RDRS, the traction-control part of the system has three selectable modes: Standard, Rain, and Off (you know, for burnouts). Like the ABS, the traction control uses sensors for modulation when you're cornering.

The RDRS electronics package is a $995 option on the RG Limited, and if you like to attack corners and ride hard, we’d seriously recommend getting it.
The RDRS electronics package is a $995 option on the RG Limited, and if you like to attack corners and ride hard, we’d seriously recommend getting it.Harley-Davidson

But even without the RDRS, we would have thoroughly enjoyed the Limited; the M-8 114 engine feels well-suited to the touring chassis, making short work of propelling the big dresser around even the most demanding maneuvers, with 122 pound-feet of torque available whenever it was needed, throughout a broad range. The pullback mini-ape-style bar gave me great leverage during our high-speed hijinks, with a riding position that suited me just right. The wide touring seat provided good support and decent enough comfort for hours at a time, and the suspension settings, while on the soft side, were mostly a good fit for this 160 pound rider, though there were times when I’d have liked a few more clicks of preload.

The RG Limited also comes in the Zephyr Blue/Black Sunglo black finish option, at extra cost of course.
The RG Limited also comes in the Zephyr Blue/Black Sunglo black finish option, at extra cost of course.Harley-Davidson

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited Price

The new Road Glide Limited is full-boat grand touring and as equipped, is probably as close as you can come to a CVO, thanks in part to the new palette of slick color choices available for it; it’ll run you $28,299 to start, a tick pricier than last year’s Ultra. The RDRS feature is well worth the $1,000 asking price, but then, you can add it to any other H-D touring bike too.

The 2020 CVO Limited rolls on a Tomahawk 19-inch front wheel and serves up glorious finishes and details throughout, with a Milwaukee-Eight 117 engine and RDRS as standard equipment. It’ll cost you though.
The 2020 CVO Limited rolls on a Tomahawk 19-inch front wheel and serves up glorious finishes and details throughout, with a Milwaukee-Eight 117 engine and RDRS as standard equipment. It’ll cost you though.Harley-Davidson

2020 H-D CVO Ultra Limited

In the higher-strato CVO group meanwhile, the 2020 CVO Limited keeps its slot from last year, but as a 2020 model adds a few new tricks to keep things fresh and to justify the $44,039 price tag.

A plush custom touring saddle with extra support for the rider, heated grips, Adaptive Headlight, and premium Stage 1 audio are just some of the extras you get on the CVO Limited. You get the same 4.7 cubic feet of luggage capacity as the Road Glide Limit
A plush custom touring saddle with extra support for the rider, heated grips, Adaptive Headlight, and premium Stage 1 audio are just some of the extras you get on the CVO Limited. You get the same 4.7 cubic feet of luggage capacity as the Road Glide Limited.Harley-Davidson

Harley calls it the “ultimate in Grand American Touring” touting its best-in-class power, show-stopping paint and premium comfort for you and your passenger. The CVO Limited retains the batwing fairing, but ladles on the premium goodies to which all CVOs are subject. That means the RDRS package is standard, as is the slick sun catching paint, and the added punch of the 117 engine. It also rolls with the new Adaptive Headlight up front—Harley’s most advanced lighting to date. Of course there are those little CVO fit and finish details that make it truly stand out from an off the rack machine: the red rocker box lowers; a satin chrome exhaust; and a premium infotainment and Boom! Stage 1 speaker system.

The Adaptive LED Headlight senses lean angle and throws light into corners you wouldn’t ordinarily see with standard lighting. An LED outer ring serves as a position lamp.
The Adaptive LED Headlight senses lean angle and throws light into corners you wouldn’t ordinarily see with standard lighting. An LED outer ring serves as a position lamp.Harley-Davidson

The bigger displacement of the 117 engine in the CVO gave it a subtle boost with roll-on acceleration, and the 125 pound-feet of torque added a nice punch out of low-speed corners. The riding position was a bit more aggressive than on the Road Glide Limited, with a shorter narrower bar position, but then I have short arms too. However, we were big fans of the CVO’s super-plush seat, which—with its rider back support arrangement—was a brilliant upgrade over the Road Glide Limited’s saddle. We didn’t get to really experience the full capability of the Daymaker Adaptive LED Headlight, which has additional LED lights that sense lean angle and then throw illumination into corners you wouldn’t normally see with standard LEDs, but Harley’s PR manager Paul James was kind enough to take the bike off the sidestand and lean it over on his hip to activate a couple of the extra lights so we could get the gist of it. Thanks again Paul, and sorry for the hernia!

You can also get the 2020 CVO Limited in this tasty Sand Dune colorway.
You can also get the 2020 CVO Limited in this tasty Sand Dune colorway.Harley-Davidson

As with all CVOs for 2020, the CVO Limited comes with RDRS, as well as the H-D Connect service, which links your bike to your phone, giving you up-to-date info on bike data, and even its location remotely. With its premium touches, innovative tech, and lustrous paint and detailing the CVO Limited fulfills the luxury part of the equation, but it’s also a seriously impressive touring motorcycle. It’s just a very, very pricey one, too.

2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited Price And Specifications

Price $28,299–$30,499 (RDRS add $995)
Engine 1,868cc Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-twin; 8-valves
Transmission/final drive 6-speed Cruise Drive/belt
Claimed horsepower N/A
Claimed torque 122 lb.-ft. @ 3,000 rpm
Frame Tubular steel
Front suspension 49mm fork w/ Dual Bending Valve; 4.6-in. travel
Rear suspension Premium standard height dual shocks w/ hand-adjustable preload; 3-in. travel
Front brake 4-piston calipers, 300mm dual discs w/ ABS
Rear brake 4-piston caliper, 300mm disc /ABS
Rake/trail 26°/6.7 in.
Wheelbase 64 in.
Seat height 27.2 in. (laden)
Fuel capacity 6.0 gal.
Claimed wet weight 932 lb.
Available Now
Contact harley-davidson.com

2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited Price And Specifications

Price $44,039
Engine Twin-Cooled 1,923cc Milwaukee-Eight 117 V-twin; 8-valves
Transmission/final drive 6-speed Cruise Drive/belt
Claimed horsepower N/A
Claimed torque 125 lb.-ft. @ 3,500 rpm
Frame Tubular steel
Front suspension 49mm fork w/ Dual Bending Valve; 4.6-in. travel
Rear suspension Premium standard height dual shocks w/hand-adjustable preload; 3-in. travel
Front brake 4-piston calipers, 300mm dual floating discs w/ ABS
Rear brake 4-piston caliper, 300mm fixed disc /ABS
Rake/trail 26°/6.7 in.
Wheelbase 64 in.
Seat height 27.7 in. (laden)
Fuel capacity 6.0 gal.
Claimed wet weight 944 lb.
Available Now
Contact harley-davidson.com