Head-to-Head: Harley CVO Limited vs Indian Roadmaster Elite

Head-to-Head: Harley CVO Limited vs Indian Roadmaster Elite

Spring is in the air, and it’s time to ride! If you’re looking for your next tourer, you’re in the right place. We’re here to give you the deets on two of the finest custom factory models manufactured by two of the most iconic motorcycle brands of all time. 

Get ready for a head-to-head comparison of the 2021 Harley-Davidson® CVO Limited and the 2021 Indian Motorcycle® Roadmaster Elite! Which model do you think will come out on top? Find out below!


Harley and Indian are both American motorcycle manufacturers, but each has its own signature style. Let’s see which model suits you best. 

Harley CVO Limited

This beautiful custom tourer features an exclusive paint scheme. It also has custom seat covers with custom stitch work. 

Its five-spoke Tomahawk™ wheels are the perfect balance between elegant and badass. Each tire has either chrome or bronze accented rims depending on the paint scheme. Plus, these wheels are exclusive to the CVO Limited. 

In classic tourer fashion, the CVO Limited has a set of saddlebags and a trunk for extra storage. The trunk provides the perfect nook for a full-sized passenger seat with armrests. And, the primary rider’s seat has an extra back pad for additional comfort and support.

This model features a batwing fairing and windshield, which helps keep wind buffering to a minimum and airborne debris at bay. 

The CVO Limited also features pieces from Harley’s Kahuna™ Collection, which H-D describes as “understated but powerful.” Its components have a black, glossy finish and together they create a uniform appearance.

Indian Roadmaster Elite 

Each Roadmaster Elite has a beautiful hand-finished, two-toned paint job. Each one takes approximately 30 hours to complete. Talk about custom! 

The finishing touch of its design is the red pinstripe detail, which provides a nice pop of color against its deep neutral tones.  

And, forget boring stock mirrors. The Roadmaster Elite features a pair of Indian’s high-quality Pinnacle chrome mirrors. They sit at a high profile on the bike, further enhancing its custom look. 

This bike also features a batwing style fairing and windshield that reduces wind buffering and blocks airborne debris. And, of course, it includes a set of hard saddlebags and a trunk. Both include the red pinstripe detail mentioned above. 

This model also has genuine leather seats, staying true to early motorcycle tradition. Indian describes the seating material as plush, which is perfect for long rides and road trips. 

Furthermore, the Roadmaster Elite has premium aluminum select floorboards. Indian assures that these will provide your feet with plenty of space.

This tourer is also dressed in chrome from its fairing to its double-spoke wheels. 

And, last but not least, it features Indian’s classic valance-shaped fender, which adds a vintage flair to this modern-day tourer.

In Conclusion

Both of these tourers are designed beautifully. So, your decision will ultimately depend on your personal style. If you’re into a more modern look, the Harley CVO is the one for you. 

The Indian Roadmaster has many modern design elements. However, its shape and lines give it a vintage edge. So, if you are looking for something a bit more classic, this is the bike for you.

Available Colors 

Now that we’ve discussed design, let’s talk paint jobs! Continue below to see what options are available. 

Harley CVO Limited

  1. Royal Purple and Royal Black Fade
  2. Bronze Armor

Indian Roadmaster Elite 

  1. Thunder Black Vivid Crystal Over Gunmetal Flake (with red pinstripes) 

In Conclusion

The Harley CVO Limited is available in two colors and the Indian Roadmaster Elite is only available in one. 

If you have an unconventional style and like bright/bold colors, we’d say, go with the Harley in Royal Purple. And, if you prefer neutral earth tones, Bronze Armor is a great choice. 

If your style sits on the crossroad between unconventional and mainstream, check out the Thunder Black Crystal Over Gunmetal Flake paint scheme on the Indian Roadmaster Elite. 

The high contrast between the two colors will give you a bold look, and the red pinstripes will provide a pop of color that’s within your comfort zone. 


Style is important, but it’s not everything. Next, let’s talk specs! 

Harley CVO Limited

The Limited features Harley’s most powerful engine, the Milwaukee-Eight 117. 

This engine is twin-cooled, has a 117 cubic-inch displacement and 125 ft-lbs of torque at 3,500 rpm. 

Moreover, the lean angle of this bike is 34.3 degrees. 

Indian Roadmaster Elite 

The Elite features Indian’s Thunderstroke 116 engine.

It is air and oil-cooled, has a 116 cubic-inch displacement and 126 ft-lbs of torque at 3,100 rpm.

Unfortunately, the lean angle is listed as “n/a” on Indian’s website. 

In Conclusion

These two models have virtually the same engine size. The Harley CVO Limited is only 1 cubic inch larger, which of course, isn’t much. 

The torque is also virtually equal. The only difference is the rpm. The Harley Milwaukee-Eight 117 is 400 rpm higher than the Indian Thunderstroke 116. 

This means the Milwaukee-Eight 117 has more revolutions per minute, which may mean that it has more power. But, that could also mean it gets fewer miles per gallon.

The Harley CVO Limited has a fuel efficiency of 41 mpg (miles per gallon). Unfortunately, Indian does not disclose the fuel efficiency of the Indian Roadmaster Elite on its website. But, you can ask your local Indian dealer for their estimation. 

However, the Harley CVO Limited does have a half-gallon more in fuel capacity, which could make up for the fuel it may be burning at a higher rate. 

Lastly, the Harley Milwaukee-Eight 117 is twin-cooled (air and water-based liquid) and the Indian Elite is air and oil-cooled. 


Due to weight and seat height, tourers are not recommended for short or beginner riders. However, some tourers sit a tad lower so that riders of all heights and experience levels can enjoy them. 

Continue below to see if either bike is an option for you!

Harley CVO Limited

The CVO Limited weighs 944 pounds in running order and is 102.4 inches long. The average tourer can weigh 800 to 1,000 pounds. So, this falls in the middle of the spectrum.

It also has a seat height of  27.7 inches, which is also typical for a tourer.

Furthermore, it has a six-gallon fuel capacity, which is adequate for any road trip adventure. And, its trunk and saddlebags provide 4.7 cubic feet of storage (35.2 gallons).

Indian Roadmaster Elite 

The Roadmaster Elite weighs 951 pounds in running order and is 105.4 inches long, which is typical for a tourer. 

This model has a 26.5-inch seat height which is also average for a touring bike. 

The fuel tank has a 5.5-gallon capacity. And, its trunk and saddlebags provide 36.2 gallons of storage.

In Conclusion

Both models virtually have the same weight and length. 

Although, the Indian Roadmaster Elite’s seat height is 1.2 inches lower than the CVO Limited’s. This may not seem like much, however, the difference in seat height between standard motorcycles and tourers is typically only a few inches.

For example, the Iron 883, which sits low, has a 25.7-inch seat height. So, if you are short or are new to riding, you should consider the lower Indian Roadmaster Elite.

The Indian Roadmaster Elite also has one gallon more in storage than the Harley CVO Limited, so if you find yourself wishing you had more storage for road trips, check out this model. 

On the other hand, the longer the trip the more fuel you’ll need. And, the Harley CVO Limited has a half-gallon more in fuel capacity, which (based on the CVO Limited’s mpg) is 20.5 more miles. So, if you’re a minimalist, the CVO may be the better option for you.


Let’s talk tech! Continue below to see what each model has to offer. 

Harley CVO Limited

This limited edition custom features Harley’s Boom! Box GTS infotainment system, which has a 6.5-inch display, wireless headset and Bluetooth technology. 

It also has Harley’s Daymaker Adaptive LED Headlights. These headlights are brighter and whiter, which increases nighttime visibility. Plus, additional LED lights are activated when you lean into a turn. 

For an even safer ride, this model includes Harley’s standard RDRS (Reflex™ Defensive Rider Systems), which includes ABS (Anti-lock Braking System).

As for comfort, the CVO Limited has a heated driver and passenger seat (with separate controls). It also features heated handgrips for the driver.

Indian Roadmaster Elite 

This tricked-out tourer features Indian’s 7″ Ride Command® Touchscreen Display with navigation and Bluetooth technology. 

The Roadmaster Elite also has a LED Headlamp. Its bright LED headlamp and driving lights illuminate roadways for increased visibility day and night. 

This model also has ABS and a selection of ride modes.

For increased comfort, this bike features heated grips for both the driver and passenger. Both driver and passenger also have heated seats (with separate controls). 

Another cool feature is its remote-locking saddlebags and trunk, keeping your personal items safe and secure on a casual ride or road trip adventure. 

In Conclusion

Both of these limited-edition tourers have a digital dash with a touchscreen display. And, both screens are approximately the size of a smartphone. However, Harley’s display is a half-inch smaller than Indian’s. 

This isn’t much. However, the difference in size between a standard-size smartphone and its larger upgrade is usually less than an inch. So, you may want to check out both bikes in person if screen size/legibility is a determining factor for you. 

Also, each bike has Bluetooth so that you can connect your smartphone. However, only the Harley CVO Limited comes with a built-in wireless headset.

Furthermore, both the CVO Limited and Roadmaster Elite have heated seats for the driver and passenger. And, both have heated grips for the driver. But, only the Indian Roadmaster Elite has heated grips for the passenger as well. 

The Indian Roadmaster Elite has remote-locking saddlebags. Unfortunately, the Harley CVO does not have this feature. 

The Harley CVO Limited may not have remote-locking saddlebags, but it does have adaptive headlight technology, which is also a pretty unique feature. 

Lastly, both models have ABS. However, The Harley CVO Limited has even more safety features included in its RDRS package. But, this could be comparable to the Indian Roadmaster Elite’s ride modes. 


Harley CVO Limited


Indian Roadmaster Elite


In Conclusion

The Harley CVO Limited costs $5,100 more than the Indian Roadmaster Elite. 

The Verdict

These two tourers are similar in many ways. Aside from color and design, most of their specs are virtually identical. 

There are a few features that separate the two. But, which are more important to have is up to you. 

If you value a slightly larger fuel capacity, higher seat, adaptive LED headlights, RDRS and wireless headset technology, go for the Harley CVO Limited. 

And, if you value slightly more storage with remote locking, a slightly larger touchscreen, lower seat height and heated passenger grips, go for the Indian Roadmaster Elite. 

Lastly, if the price is a determining factor, consider the Roadmaster Elite. You’ll still get great features for $5,100 less!

And, if you’re still on the fence you can always visit your local dealer to test ride a bike/see it in person. 

So, which model is on your wish list? Let us know below! 
And, if you enjoyed this review, check out this comparison on the Harley Street 750 vs. the Indian Scout Bobber Sixty

One comment on “Head-to-Head: Harley CVO Limited vs Indian Roadmaster Elite”

  • I must disagree with one of your statements. As a cvo limited rider I can assure you the cvo limited DOES in fact have remote locking bags. It’s had them since sbout 2010 and still does unless they dropped it this year. I’ve owned 3 and am about to buy number 4. (Or my first ever Indian, the jury is still out on that)

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