With the holidays around the way, thoughts are floating about what Santa would choose to ride, should he want to give Rudolph and his pals a day off. The answer, of course, is the La-Z-Boy on two wheels, Harley-Davidson’s Electra Glide Ultra Limited. This week we take a look back to the 2010 Electra Glide Ultra Limited, as experienced by E-i-C Kevin Duke.
With many around the world feeling a financial pinch of late, it came as a bit of a surprise to learn that Harley-Davidson’s best-selling bike is the $21K Electra Glide Ultra Classic luxury-tourer, despite it being the most expensive model outside the Custom Vehicle Operations line. This shows that there are still many well-heeled touring types who want a high level of luxury from their loaded baggers.
The MoCo has responded to this demand with the new Electra Glide Ultra Limited, an upgraded model for 2010 that approaches CVO levels of opulence and finish details. Its centerpiece is a larger motor, a 103-inch Twin Cam formerly part of the CVO line that for 2010 is now exclusive to this model. CVOs currently receive the TC110 Screamin’ Eagle engine. Harley says to expect a 10% bump in torque compared to the TC96. An oil cooler helps shed additional heat from the more powerful mill.
Prepare to be coddled. The existing Ultra Classic Electra Glide was already nicely equipped with luxuries like cruise control, an 80-watt Harman/Kardon audio system (with CD, MP3, CB, intercom), adjustable wind deflectors and vented fairing lowers. Along with all those accoutrements, the new Limited adds a bevy of standard equipment. Heated grips with six power levels extend the riding season, Brembo triple-disc anti-lock brakes provide safety, and a self-arming security system thwarts thieves.
Harley’s Tour-Pak luggage also receives upgrades. A full-size rack adorns the large top-case, and inside is a 12-volt power supply to go along with the accessory plug located in the fairing’s console. Also included are liners for the three luggage components. New cast-aluminum Contrast Chrome wheels have chrome-plating on the faces of their 28 spokes, and a pair of 35-watt driving lights augment the headlight. The EGUL’s only option is for your choice of five two-tone color choices, two of them being “Custom Colors” that add $1200 to the MSRP. A quintet of Ultra Limited badges tell the world you’re riding something special.
With 901 lbs of bike and fluids, the EGUL is cumbersome at parking-lot speeds, but it is nonetheless quite well balanced. A lowish seat height of 27.3 inches helps manageability, and the saddle’s padding is much more pillowy than the Street/Road Glides. The luxo-tourer emits a throaty note through a new exhaust system that culminates in dual mufflers. We rode the EGUL in the mountains of Colorado where the air is thin and cold. A finely calibrated fuel-injection system takes care of the former, while controls for heated grips on the left handlebar ease the latter.
The Ultra Limited feels like a Buick Roadmaster, and we mean that in a good way. It is an effortless cruiser, with mellow vibes coming from the rubber-mount engine and smooth tunes pouring from the powerful stereo. The EGUL’s 103-inch (1690cc) motor is a worthy addition to the Electra Glide platform, as the TC96 would’ve felt wheezy in the mountains while carrying the bike’s considerable weight.
Although Harleys aren’t generally known for their handling qualities, the stiffer frame introduced last year is a revelation. No more puckering wallow when hitting a bump in the middle of a corner, allowing confident use of fairly generous ground clearance and decent grip from new dual-compound tires. Air-adjustable rear shocks do a fine job considering they have just 3.0 inches of travel. The ABS-equipped Brembos slow the big rig effectively.
Protection from the elements is provided by a swoopy batwing fairing and an upright windshield, while legs are sheltered by fairing lowers. The cockpit is graced with gauges that feature new titanium-colored faces and larger numerals now illuminated by brighter LED lighting. LED strips running along the sides of the Tour Pak trunk aid conspicuity. Passenger accommodations are very plush, with a generously padded seat and large wrap-around backrest.
The Ultra Limited finds perfect harmony around 65 mph, inhaling miles without stress for rider or machine. In this mode, a rider is gracefully transported for the duration of a 6.0-gallon tankful. Dreams of cross-country road trips are an inevitability while riding the Limited.
It’s times like these when you can convince yourself that $24,699 is a reasonable price for this full-zoot bagger. Inspiring dreams isn’t always cheap.
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