Beantown Baggers

2013 Road Glide CVO versus Building it yourself


A true first world dilemma is trying to make a decision between dropping $34,000 on a 2013 Harley Davidson CVO Road Glide or taking that same $34,000 to build your own bike. This is truly a problem that not many of us have to wrestle with on a daily basis.

Here we’ll break down the parts and value your $34k would afford versus the options you could use should you build it yourself from a stock Road Glide Custom.

Let’s start with the CVO. The sticker price is high and that assumes you can actually find one. There are a few aspects that are unique to this bike including the paint and the limited edition-ness (the 110 anniversary is numbered 001 – 900).

Aside from these two areas, everything can be replicated or improved upon by building a bike piecemeal. Below you can see how you could buy a Road Glide Classic for the stock price of $19,799 and match many of the features from the Road Glide CVO.

Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 10.44.38 PM

Based on these parts, I think it’s fair to say that many are upgrades over the Harley CVO parts including the La Pera seat, Klock Werks Windshield, PM Cowbell and the beautiful PM Lower (that looks like a piece of jewelry!).

Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 10.44.45 PM

Here is where the options come in. The CVO has a 110 that isn’t available in the stock Road Glide. One could make the argument that a Stage IV kit in the Road Glide Custom would give you the same or better performance than the 110, so I’ve added that for $2400. The other option is to upgrade the rest of the bike with parts the CVO lacks.

Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 10.44.52 PM

The CVO needs better Pipes and bars than the stock choices. If you add Yaffe Monkey Bars and a great D&D Fat Cat Exhaust it will add $2,900 to your bill.

All of the options (choosing either the Stage IV or Bars & Pipes) gets the price of the Customized Road Glide versus the CVO within $200 of one another. This leaves the paint and limited number. The paint really has to be the swing vote here. If you love the CVO paint, it is probably a good deal to get the CVO. If you feel you’ll ever paint it, the customized Road Glide will have much better parts for the same price. Also, you are not as likely to see somebody else parked next to you with the same machine – something I’d like to avoid if I were to spend this on two wheels.

It really comes down to one simple fact – making a bike really your own is irreplaceable. To this writer, there is nothing better than creating a vision and seeing it all come together. Well maybe one thing – taking that vision to the open road!

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  1. started with a 103 flhtk2012 and I have up graded the bars, s&s air cleaner, vance and hines pipes, Andrews 57h cam, race tuner , custom lights and pin striping 23,000 cost 5,000 extras and I am happy that I did not have to spend the 35,000 up front and got to research what I wanted and try it as I could afford it went from 70hp to 92hp with 103 foot pounds of torque you can see my up grades on you tube thanks for reading paul

  2. John Matthews

    For me it was a no brainer, i did the math myself and i’ve built the bike I’ve always wanted for cheaper. If i purchased the CVO there’s still shit i would want to change and put into it.
    Probably all in @ about 32K. the only thing I’m missing is the 110 motor but with the upgrades I hit the 100 club on the Dyno.
    2013 FLTRX Road Glide
    D&D Boss Fatcat 2 -into-1 w/slant cut & Louvered Wrapped baffle w/ghost pipe
    Roland Sands Design Turbine-Air-Cleaner-Black-Ops
    Screamin’ Eagle Super Tuner Fuel Pak
    259 Screamin’ Eagle cams
    Camtech Customs 16″ Felons handle bars
    Performance Machine black ano elite grips
    GR Customs Viper Mirrors
    Badlander seat
    CVO lighting system (black)
    Clockwerks 8” Windshield
    Ipod connected via Monster cable cigarette outlet that powers and broadcasts on radio station

    Powder Coat Black:
    Front rim & brake disk
    Engine guard & mounts
    Front turn signals
    Rear turn signals
    Brake/clutch levers

    Powder coat Wrinkle Black:
    Primary & Derby cover
    cam cover wrinkle black w/ custom engraved timing cover
    Rocker Box cover upper & lower
    Transmission side & top cover

  3. John Matthews

    and i’ve got these parts at the powder coater now
    License Plate
    Brake lever& clutch pedals
    Driver & Passenger foot rests
    Kick Stand
    Alternator cover
    Bag mounts
    Center dash
    Gas cap cover
    Seat mounting bracket
    Rocker box bolt covers

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