Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide ST vs Indian Challenger Elite – The Ultimate Bagger Comparison

  • 2024 Harley-Davidson Road Glide ST CVO
    2024 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide ST

    Harley-Davidson has a new flagship bagger for 2024 – the CVO Road Glide ST. It’s based on the 2023 CVO Road Glide, but brings a host of exclusive elements to set itself apart. The crown jewel is the new 121ci, V-twin High Output engine that churns out 145 pound-feet of torque. 

    • Class-leading power figures
    • Badass design with forged carbon elements
    • Massive 12.3-inch instrument cluster
  • 2024 Indian Challenger Elite Full
    2024 Indian Challenger Elite

    The Challenger Elite is Indian’s flagship bagger. It brings a pinch of exclusivity to the already successful Challenger lineup, courtesy of its special colorway and limited production. Under the skin, there’s a powerful 108ci, liquid-cooled powerhouse to make you grin from ear to ear when you twist the wrist. 

    • Loaded with features
    • Liquid-cooled V-twin engine
    • Limited availability
    • Hasn’t received a major update in a couple of years

Imagine you just saved about $40,000 and want to splurge it all on an American-made bagger. Not just any bagger, but the best American companies have to offer. There’s a high chance you’ll end up with two names in your mind – the Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide ST and the Indian Challenger Elite. Both motorcycles come from the biggest cruiser companies in the States and have plenty of exciting elements to woo you.

But the sum of money mentioned above is no joke, so we understand you would want nothing but the best bang for your buck. That’s exactly what we want to help you with today, by comparing the two of the best baggers in the country. Without further ado, let’s dive in.

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Design And Technology

The Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide ST is based on the CVO Road Glide unveiled last year. Accordingly, you’ll find plenty of reminiscences here, such as the big LED headlight (with integrated turn signals), shark-nose fairing, and sleek LED tail lamps. But don’t think there’s any shortage of standout elements, either. Up top, the ST flexes a small tinted windscreen, partnered by a forged carbon fiber fender and new, compact mirrors. A similar treatment follows outback, evident from the forged carbon exhaust tips and pillion seat cowl. We rarely see such carbon touches on big cruisers, so kudos to Harley for that. Other than this, you also get new sport bike-like aluminum alloy wheels, a new belly shroud, and all-black mechanicals.

Meanwhile, the Indian Challenger Elite does its own part to stand out from the standard Challenger. You get sporty red alloy wheels, topped by a tinted windshield and Indian’s own version of a shark-nose fairing. While this creates a handsome bagger, we can’t help but feel Harley’s done a better job. The attention to detail seems higher there, plus we can spot more design differences between the non-ST and ST versions. Whereas, the Challenger Elite feels like a re-painted Challenger from afar.

Harley offers the ST in two colors. They’re called Golden White Pearl and Raven Metallic, both with red inserts on the engine, wheels, air intake, and seat. You also get Screamin’ Eagle graphics, inspired by H-D’s MotoAmerica race bike. Meanwhile, Indian sells the Challenger Elite in a Charcoal Candy colorway. It comprises loads of red inserts–just like its rival–along with shiny white decals.

2023 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide display close-up detail

Technology-wise, both baggers boast a bevy of modern-day features. The Challenger comes equipped with a seven-inch instrument cluster, replete with smartphone connectivity via an Apple CarPlay. There’s also a 400-watt audio system, storage spaces (other than the saddlebags), and a suite of rider aids. In a similar fashion, the Road Glide spoils you with loads of electronic rider aids and a full-digital instrument cluster (Apple CarPlay in-built). There are some key differences, though. Check them in the table below.


Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide ST

Indian Challenger Elite

Instrument cluster

12.3-inch TFT

7-inch TFT

Speaker system



Traction control



Cornering ABS






Hill hold



Cruise control



Keyless ignition



Electronic suspension



Adjustable windscreen



Cornering lights



Adjustable airflow vents



Engine Performance And Capability

2024 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide STO Engine

In typical American cruiser company fashion, the CVO and Elite both have big V-twin engines. They primarily focus on torque and acceleration rather than serious horsepower numbers and top speed. Also common between them is a six-speed transmission, a six-gallon tank, and an identical 40-45 miles per gallon efficiency figure. But no matter the similarities, there’s a clear winner between the two.

Powertrain Comparison

The Road Glide ST employs a spruced-up version of Harley’s 121ci, V-twin engine from last year. Armed with a race-inspired intake and a high-performance camshaft, the mill puts out an impressive 127 horsepower and 145 pound-feet. You also get a Screamin’ Eagle free-flow exhaust for a raspy exhaust note and to save some precious pounds.

The performance gains not only make the ST the most powerful H-D bagger yet but also make the Elite seem slow. That’s because the Challenger comes equipped with Indian’s now-common 108ci powerhouse. Although liquid-cooled (Harley has air/oil-cooling), the engine churns out 122 horsepower and 128 pound-feet.


Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide ST

Indian Challenger Elite


121ci, V-twin, air/oil-cooled

108ci, V-twin, liquid-cooled


127 horsepower at 4,500 RPM

122 horsepower (RPM NA)


145 pound-feet at 4,000 RPM

128 pound-feet at 3,800 RPM




Compression ratio



Tank capacity

Six gallons

Six gallons

Underpinnings And Dimensions

2024 Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide STO Wheels

Like the engine, the two baggers have a few similarities here. Both employ upside-down forks, alloy wheels, and a trifecta of disc brakes with Brembo rotors, all joined to a double-cradle chassis. But as always, the difference lies in the details.

The Harley-Davidson has beefier 47 mm forks than the 43 mm units on the Indian. This is topped by bigger 19/18-inch wheels and petal rotor, against the 19/16-inch and conventional rotor combo on its rival. You’d also be surprised to know the ST has a shorter wheelbase and lower dry weight between the two. The last two bits, plus the overall design, enable lean angles of up to 33 degrees–two more than the Challenger.

2024 Indian Challenger Elite (5)

It’s not a clean sweep, though. The H-D feels quite dated when you look at the Indian’s electronically adjustable monoshock suspension outback. It’s also the cruiser with the lower saddle height, higher ground clearance, and sharper rake here. So it’s safe to say the decisive factor would be the riding dynamics–something we’re yet to experience.


Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide ST

Indian Challenger Elite

Front suspension

47 mm USD forks (adjustable)

43 mm USD forks (non-adjustable)

Rear suspension

Dual shock absorbers (adjustable)

Monoshock (electronically adjustable)

Wheel size



Tire size

130/180-section (Dunlop)

130/180-section (Metzeler)

Front brakes

2x 320 mm

2x 320 mm


26 degrees

25 degrees


64 inches

65.7 inches

Saddle height

26.7 inches

26.5 inches

Ground clearance

5.1 inches

5.4 inches


800 pounds

803 pounds

Price And Availability

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As mentioned in the opening paragraph, both cruiser motorcycles fall in the $40,000 ballpark. The Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide ST sells for $42,999, whereas the Indian Challenger Elite is priced at $38,499. That’s a sizable $4,500 difference between the two, which turns the tables in favor of the Indian. However, there’s no denying the ST is the better product here. It has a newer design and a more powerful engine while matching the Challenger in all other aspects.

Yes, we know the H-D misses out on a few features, but we think the bespoke design touches make up for that. It’s also worth noting the Challenger has had the same aesthetic elements since 2022. So we suggest you write a check and hit up your nearest H-D dealer to quench your flagship bagger thirst. Think otherwise? Feel free to comment your pick in the comments below. We’ll be waiting!

Harley-Davidson CVO Road Glide ST


Two-year warranty

Indian Challenger Elite


Two-year warranty

Source – Harley-Davidson, Indian Motorcycle

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