The Evolution of The Motor Company’s Custom Bike Line


Harley-Davidson debuted four top-tier 2024 CVO (Custom Vehicle Operations) motorcycles this week, and as expected, they are drop-dead gorgeous and packed with the latest in cutting edge tech. The Motor Company unveiled their 2024 Street Glide and Road Glide CVO models, both running on the Milwaukee-Eight 117 mill and containing an all-new “infotainment” system among other enhancements. With the CVO line celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, H-D also revealed a new pair of CVOs, a Road Glide ST high performance bagger sporting a hopped-up Milwaukee-Eight 121 HO engine, inspired by their success in the MotoAmerica King of the Baggers series of recent years, and a surprising and striking CVO Pan America adventure bike.

2024 H-D Road Glide and Street Glide (no CVO ride photos available yet). Photos by Harley-Davidson.

“These exciting new models represent a new era for Harley-Davidson, elevating every aspect of performance, technology, comfort, and style,” said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, President and CEO of Harley-Davidson. “Without question, these are the most enticing touring motorcycles ever offered by Harley-Davidson.” Even to those of us who aren’t regular Harley riders, these new CVOs are knockouts, absolutely outstanding.

We got thinking about the history of the limited edition CVO line, this being their 25th anniversary, and decided to take a ride back through time to learn more.

2024 H-D CVO Road Glide ST and CVO Pan America. Photos by Harley-Davidson.

The Birth of CVO:

The Custom Vehicle Operations line was officially introduced by Harley-Davidson back in 1999. This marked a strategic move by the company to cater to riders seeking something more than the standard factory offerings. The CVO line aimed to provide Harley riders with factory-customized motorcycles straight from the assembly line, sparing no expense in terms of premium features, performance enhancements, and unique styling. The first one Harley introduced was the FXR2 CVO, a factory custom based on the FXR Super Glide with its 80 ci Evolution motor, but with added limited-edition chrome and billet components and performance upgrades.

1999 Harley-Davidson FXR2 CVO. Photo by New England Motorcycle Museum.

Early Years (1999-2003):

Those inaugural Harley-Davidson CVO models came to include the FLHTCUI Electra Glide Ultra Classic, the FXR2 and FXR3 Super Glide Sport, an FXR4 (the last of the EVO-powered bikes), and a Screamin’ Eagle Road Glide FLTRSEI1, which offered the Twin Cam engine with 95 ci displacement for the first time. These motorcycles showcased a commitment to luxury, performance, and individuality. The limited production runs of CVO bikes made them highly sought after by collectors and riders alike.

As the early 2000s rolled on, the CVO line continued to evolve, introducing models like the Softail Deuce-based FXSTDSE2, the Screamin’ Eagle Road King which introduced the 103 ci Twin Cam motor, among others. Each year brought new innovations, from high-performance engines to radical custom paint schemes, making the CVO motorcycles stand out as true works of art on two wheels.

2002 Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle Road King. Photo by Destination Cycles.

Performance & Customization (2004-2010)

The mid-late 2000s saw a significant focus on performance within the CVO line. Harley-Davidson continued to collaborate with renowned aftermarket performance specialists like Screamin’ Eagle to equip CVO models with higher-output engines, enhanced suspension systems, and cutting-edge technology.

During this period, the CVO line expanded to include a broader range of models, from touring bikes like the Ultra Classic Electra Glide CVO to the aggressive Screamin’ Eagle V-Rod Destroyer drag bike (which we featured HERE). 2007 saw H-D debut their 110 ci Twin Cam mill on all their CVO models, and by 2009, Harley dropped the “Screamin’ Eagle” moniker, simply referring to the bikes in the lineup as “CVO”.

2009 Harley-Davidson CVO Ultra Classic. Photo by American Classic Motors.

Innovations and Special Editions (2011-2023):

Special edition CVO models like the limited-edition CVO Street Glide and CVO Road Glide, garnered praise for their exclusive features and stunning designs in recent years. Bikes like the CVO Pro Street Breakout and CVO Ultra Limited still flew off the showroom floors, even with those premium price tags, and The Motor Company even debuted a Triple-Glide CVO by 2020.

In the last pair of decades, Harley-Davidson’s CVO line has continued to push the boundaries of innovation and inspiration. Ever-advancing infotainment systems, higher-precision engineering, and constantly evolving state-of-the-art technology have become integral parts of CVO motorcycles. Premium quality at a premium price point, that many apparently have been quite willing to pay.

Behold the beasts. Photos by Harley-Davidson.

The CVO line has become synonymous with luxury, high performance, and a level of craftsmanship that reflects Harley-Davidson’s commitment to excellence. These new 2024 models expand the line into new territories with the race-inspired Road Glide ST performance bagger and the CVO Pan America adventure bike. We will be given the chance to sample these at Daytona Bike Week, courtesy of H-D, and we look forward to sharing the experience with the Road Dirt community.

What’s your take on the Harley CVO line? Any in particular that appeal to you?

Drop us a comment below!

Road Dirt Crew

Check out the CVO line here:

Harley-Davidson CVO


Law Tigers Motorcycle Lawyers Ad


  1. howard bobrow


    • Rob Brooks

      Not for everyone, obviously. But for those who can,…


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *