In 2023, Harley-Davidson made a triumphant return with a stellar lineup of motorcycles. The company introduced an array of exciting models from the 120th Anniversary models, redesigned Breakout, Road Glide 3 trike, Icon and Enthusiast collection motorcycles, and the mid-year launch of the all-new 2023 Harley-Davidson CVOs. All of these motorcycles sold very quickly for Wilkins Harley-Davidson and were extremely sought after even in the latter part of the year. We are now seeing these motorcycles that were once for sale, now cruising all over Vermont, New Hampshire, and Northern New York!
2023 marked a significant year for Harley-Davidson, as they reintroduced some beloved classics and introduced powerful new additions to their roster. Here's a closer look at what was in store:
The Sport lineup came with the addition of the Nightster Special featuring the impressive 975cc Rev Max engine and some great features including a 5” handlebar riser, new tank badge, passenger pillion with pegs, Split 7 wheels, speed screen, and ride modes! With a 6-speed transmission and low running weight, these bikes are designed for riders looking for a fun, nimble machine in a lighter, less bulky platform. We found that many Riding Academy students flocked to these bikes as they were a manageable stepping stone with features that allowed their skillset to grow with the bike rather than needing something different after a few short months of riding.
The Breakout Comeback
The launch of the 2023 Breakout 117 brought back that killer chopper style and stands out with a larger 5-gallon fuel tank, a powerful 117ci engine, and abundant chrome accents. The 21” black/chrome machined wheels with a new “roulette” design add a touch of style and performance to this iconic model. Combine that with the other upgrades like the safety tech (ABS brakes, cruise control, and traction control), chromed-out components, and eye-catching paint schemes and you have a machine that had many of our riders securing theirs before they even landed on showroom floors. We also found that some riders were willing to wait a significant amount of time (sometimes months) to get the exact color they wanted because their passion for the bike helped outweigh the patience required before they could ride it home.
Celebrating Harley's 120th Anniversary
To commemorate its 120th anniversary, Harley-Davidson released a series of Softails, Grand Touring models, and even a CVO with exclusive features, paint, and even serialized badges. The Heirloom Red Fade paint can be admired on many sought-after models such as the Ultra Classic Tri-Glide, Ultra Limited, Road Glide Special, Street Glide Special, Heritage Classic 114, Fat Boy 114, and the striking CVO Road Glide Limited with its faded eagle in the fairing. We quickly had our first three, the Heritage Classic 114, Tri Glide Ultra, and Street Glide Special under deposit, followed by other models that were given to us by the Motor Company. These exclusive models all had gold-colored badges (a throwback to the first-anniversary badge that came out in 1954). The “speed bird” design seemed to be well-loved by enthusiasts and riders alike. They also were dressed with Anniversary-specific intake badges, timer and derby covers, oxblood finish on the seats, and serialized consoles. The Anniversary CVO Road Glide Limited took it up another notch with its stunning art-deco style paint scheme, alcantara and leather seating, Kahuna collection accessories, hand-laid pinstriping, and desirable Rider Safety Enhancements. Oh, and did we mention the Motor Company also launched a line of anniversary-specific accessories, riding gear, and apparel?
Icon and Enthusiast
These collections pay tribute to Harley's rich history and its contributions to the world of motorcycles. The Highway King - of the Icon Collection - in Hi-Fi Orange and Birch White and Hi-Fi Magenta and Birch White is a remastered version of the 1968 FLH, with only 1,750 units produced worldwide. This broke down to being 1,000 in the Hi-Fi Orange and 750 in the Hi-Fi Magenta. This classic bike combines vintage features such as the pogo solo seat, Birch White bags, color-matched lower windshield, laced wheels, chrome accents, and modern safety enhancements. Another unique trait of the Icon collection, according to the Motor Company, is that they are one-time production models. So, when they are gone, they are gone. HDMC will not produce that model again, even in the following model year.
The Enthusiast Collection celebrates Harley's racing heritage with the Fast Johnnie Road Glide ST, Street Glide ST, and the Low Rider ST. While not serialized, these bikes are limited to just 2,000 units each. They showcase exquisite Celestial Blue paint with white racing stripes and the iconic Johnnie the pig on the tank. Bronze accents on the rocker boxes and wheels add a touch of racing history. Being ST models, these are powered by the monstrous 117ci Milwaukee Eight engine with the Touring models having Rider Safety Enhancements like cornering-enhanced ABS, traction control, drag torque slip control, hill hold, and TPMS sensors to name a few.
Road Glide 3
The newest addition to the Trike family came in the form of the highly requested Road Glide 3 model. Since the launch of the Tri-Glide in 2009, riders have been asking for a trike with the Road Glide fairing, and HDMC finally delivered. This new trike model looks sleek, aggressive, and highway-friendly courtesy of the balanced design. While the updated Freewheeler model comes with new wheels and is only available in the blacked-out trim, the Road Glide 3 has options for chrome or black trim. There is no tour pack, but the trunk space is bountiful (shared design with the Freewheeler). It has full infotainment courtesy of the 6.5GTS system found on its 2-wheeled cousin and a powerful 114ci M8 engine. It is sporty yet offers amazing comfort that many owners have happily shared with us while racking up memories and miles. If you’re considering a 3-wheeled model, this may be one you should consider.
Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide & CVO Road Glide
The CVO Road Glide and CVO Street Glide were completely redone for their 2023 mid-year release. When we say “completely redone” we literally mean, completely redone from top to bottom, front to back. The only body panel that didn’t receive significant redesign was the rear fender. Packed with power from the impressive 121 VVT engine producing 139lbs/ft of torque and three ride modes to help you select the best feel for whatever the road might throw at you, these bikes are impressive in any riding condition. Equipped with the all-new Skyline Infotainment System, the 12.3” screen is modern, sleek, and completely usable without the “ok, that’s unnecessary” feeling that some modern cars give you and the Rockford Fosgate speakers in the fairing and saddlebag lids provide incredible sound! The bikes also feature new LED lighting, redesigned fairings providing 60% less head buffeting, larger saddlebags, longer tank, redesigned seat using leather and alcantara for a more neutral riding position, larger 320mm front rotors with new calipers plus an enhanced front and rear suspension for a smoother ride! Did we mention they are between 31 and 35 lbs lighter than the outgoing models? The CVOs are available in a sleek Dark Platinum paint set with Scorched Chrome motor accents or the highly coveted Whiskey Neat and Raven Metallic.
2023 offered some absolutely incredible motorcycles and colors which were a great addition to Harley-Davidson’s portfolio and we are genuinely excited to see what the future holds. We recently heard in an interview with Brad Richards of H-D that they are going bolder than they have in the recent past because the riders are changing and we need to change with them. They are comfortable with being uncomfortable and doing their best to be the leaders that they have always been.
Here’s to the 2024 Harley-Davidsons! Let’s do this.
Curious about what happened to the Harley-Davidson Sportster?