Drag site icon to your taskbar to pin site. Learn More

2011 Harley Road Glide Ultra First Ride

Monday, August 2, 2010

The second new addition to the 2011 Harley family is the Road Glide Ultra. H-D has taken its popular bagger and dressed it out in full touring trim, adding vented fairing lowers and what Harley calls its PowerPak as standard equipment. The PowerPak consists of Harley’s 1690cc Twin Cam 103 engine, anti-lock brakes and the H-D Smart Security System. The extra horsepower of the TC 103 suits the Road Glide Ultra well because the new upgrades and accessories add 83 pounds in comparison to last year’s Road Glide Custom. Much of this weight comes in the form of the King Tour Pak the Road Glide Ultra is equipped with which features a big topcase with 2.26 cubic-feet of storage, a wrap-around rear tail/brake light combo, a passenger backrest and speakers for the 80-watt Harman Kardon audio system.

Videos Our Sponsor
2011 Harley-Davidson First Ride Video
Click to view video
Harley takes its popular bagger and converts it into a full-on touring machine in the guise of the 2011 Road Glide Ultra. Get a closer look of the RG Ultra and more in our 2011 Harley-Davidson First Ride Video.
The PowerPak package on the Road Glide Ultra is also standard fare on the Road King Classic and the Electra Glide Ultra Limited. It is offered as an option on the Street Glide and the Road Glide Custom, but the Road King, Electra Glide Classic and Ultra Classic Electra Glide get left out of the party and are still powered by the TC 96. Harley-Davidson was mum as to whether the TC 103 will be the mill of choice for the entire touring family in the future, but after watching our group of motojournalists scramble for seat time on the bikes equipped with the 103, I’d be surprised if it isn’t at the heart of all Harley tourers next year.

The big pushrod-operated V-Twin is the star of the changes differentiating the 2011 Road Glide Ultra and the 2010 Road Glide Custom. The new mill pushes out a claimed 9.6% more torque than the TC 96, achieved in part by upping the bore from 3.75 to 3.875 inches to push max output numbers to a reported 102 lb-ft of torque at 3500 rpm. But you don’t have to wait until 3500 rpm to notice the difference the extra displacement brings. The Road Glide Ultra comes off
The 2011 Road Glide Ultra comes complete with Harley-Davidsons Smart Security System  cruise control  and a four-speaker  80-watt Harman Kardon Advanced Audio System.
The 2011 Road Glide Ultra comes complete with Harley-Davidson's Smart Security System, cruise control, and a four-speaker, 80-watt Harman/Kardon Advanced Audio System. It's also better equipped for the long haul now with the addition of H-D's King Tour Pak. The 2011 Road Glide Ultra is equipped with the King Tour Pak with a claimed 2.26 cubic-feet of storage space.
the line with extra urgency and there’s plenty of pull as low as 2200 rpm. It’s not snap-your-head-back power but is an even distribution of arm-stretching, low-end torque and adds the right amount of gusto needed to spice up Harley’s touring line. The extra power also adds a richness to the exhaust note coming out of the dual exhausts as H-D switched the Road Glides and the Street Glide back to a 2-1-2 arrangement for 2011.

The clutch lever pull is light and friendly and the throw is short as open road allows us to get up to highway speeds. A push with my left thumb engages the motorcycle’s standard cruise control mounted on the left handlebar. Though I’ve ridden the Road Glide before, the new Ultra version feels slightly different. The pressure point from the new seat is higher up on the lower back as the saddle is narrower up front and has a deeper bucket. Air is diverted around the rider more, courtesy of a higher windscreen, mid-frame air deflectors and the fairing lowers. But the weight and width of the King Tour Pak has altered the bike’s center of gravity and the Road Glide Ultra doesn’t quite have the nimbleness of the Road Glide Custom.

As the mountain roads get twistier and narrower and then funnel down to one-lane bridges over fast-moving creeks, we test the edges of the 17-inch Dunlop D407 Multi-Tread front tire. The fact that the Road Glide Ultra’s Shark-Nose fairing is frame-mounted keeps action at the bars from feeling too heavy and since Harley went from stamped and welded parts to a casted and forged frame on its touring bikes a couple of years back, its big tourers track loads better in turns. You can notice a tad more drag on the Road Glide Ultra’s rear end though, a combination of the added weight and altered aerodynamics.

A quick squeeze on the front brake lever and the four-piston fixed Brembo calipers put the bite on dual rotors and the feel of Harley’s brakes continues to improve yearly. Combined with the ABS that comes as part of the PowerPak, the braking system is much more confidence-inspiring than years past. Harley’s done a solid job of keeping its ABS unobtrusive by hiding the components in the wheel hub in an independently controlled setup. A good stab at the brakes is all it takes to get the ABS to engage and the corresponding foot or hand will experience a pulse letting riders know the system is pumping the brakes faster than humanly possible.

The 2011 Road Glide Customs shark-nose front fairing makes it easily identifiable.
For riders who liked the Road Glide just the way it was, fret not, the Road Glide Custom is still available.
The final part of the PowerPak is the H-D Smart Security System, a cool little hands-free fob that communicates with the security module on the bike, automatically self-arming and disarming when you’re within a certain range. When riders turn the bike off and walk away with the fob, the Smart Security System disables the vehicle starter, ignition and electronic fuel injection. And when you’re plunking down $22,499 for the Road Glide Ultra, riders will appreciate this safeguard to their investment. When you consider that you’re getting a bigger engine, ABS, and a sophisticated security system for $1995, the price of the PowerPak, it’s a deal.

And passengers will be much happier perched in their own backrest with its adjustable lumbar support, their feet propped up on their own floorboards. There are loads more storage for two-up travels, because the 2.26 cubic-feet of the GTX Saddlebags is doubled by the 2.26 cubic-feet of storage capacity offered up by the topcase. The PowerPak even boosts the sound of your tunes with two more speakers so riders can plug in their favorite MP3 player and crank up the 80-watt Harman/Kardan system.

The one point of contention with the 2011 Road Glide Ultra sure to cause a stir is that the new touring accessories detract from the aggressive, hot rod styling of the old Road Glide. The fairing lowers and King Tour Pak makes the Road Glide Ultra a better mount for long trips but at the cost of character. Any time you mess with the status quo, there’s going to be dissension in the ranks. But one ride with the extra power of the TC 103 on a bike with better brakes and double the storage should be all it takes to expose the merits of Harley’s newest touring motorcycle. The complete 2011 touring lineup consists of the Road King ($16,999), Electra Glide Classic ($18,999) ,Ultra Classic Electra Glide ($20,999), Street Glide ($18,999 + $1995 for PowerPak), Road Glide Custom ($18,999 + $1995 PowerPak), Road King Classic ($19,499), Road Glide Ultra and the Electra Glide Ultra Limited ($23,699).

With its wide bars  wide  comfy seat  big valanced fenders and whitewalls  the 2011 Softail Deluxe exudes class.
With its wide bars, wide, comfy seat, big valanced fenders and whitewalls, the 2011 Softail Deluxe exudes class.
And while we got to spin some miles on the two newest 2011 Harleys, the SuperLow and Road Glide Ultra, the 2011 Softail Classic caught our eye first as one of the most striking of the new Harleys with its classic styling. Vintage full fenders draped over spoke wheels and whitewall tires held by a stocky fork have timeless appeal. Stout in the middle with a five-gallon tank and tall chrome console, low-riding on an ultra-plush 24.5-inch high leather seat holding on to low-set, wide cruising bars, the Softail Classic is all about getting to your destination in style. Big floorboards allow for plenty of leg room in a kicked-back riding position while you click through gears with the heel/toe shifter. The Softail Classic is running with the Twin Cam 96 B engine and after having ridden the TC 103-powered Road Glide Ultra prior to the Softail, the livelier throttle response is quickly missed.

As a family, the Softails grabbed the last of Harley’s major 2011 headlines with the option of coming equipped with ABS. The tidy system consists of an ECU “brain box” in the electrical caddy in front of the rear tire. This ECU monitors the rear wheel control unit mounted behind the transmission and the front wheel unit squeezed in between the frame downtubes behind the front wheel. A tone ring is embedded in the hub bearings and the speed sensor is in the axles to provide a clean look. The system senses tire skid when brakes are applied and the ECU activates whichever wheel is experiencing skid, enacting the rapid series of pulses we had already mentioned for max braking force and to prevent uncontrolled wheel lock.

The other news surrounding the Softails is the addition of a few new buttons to the hand controls. The trip switch has been moved to left hand control resulting in the readout of the odometer has been made larger with more info including a small digital display window that provides riders with gear and rpm. The hazard on/off has been moved to a single button on right hand control and Harley has used fewer and smaller wires to make swapping out handlebars easier.

Harley-Davidson is offering ABS as an option on all 2011 Softails except for the Cross Bones.
Harley-Davidson is offering ABS as an option on all 2011 Softails except for the Cross Bones.
Harley-Davidson heads into its 107th year of production with an ambitious lineup of 30 motorcycles and two factory trikes. It is a company that is actively seeking to solidify its position with the 18-35 year old demographic and to expand its influence in the multicultural marketplace. To reach this demographic, Harley’s initiated more out-of-the-box marketing campaigns, setting up shop at events like Bonnaroo, a four-day, multi-stage music and camping festival held on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee, and the SXSW music and film festival in Austin, Texas. It’s also been trying to take advantage of product placement in movies, like the upcoming Captain America movie where the lead character, Captain America, will ride a modified WLA which is really a converted Cross Bones. The Bar & Shield has undergone its share of challenges recently and has had to trudge through the same mire as other manufacturers, but it has made the difficult decisions and if its latest financial report is any indication, it appears to be on the way to righting a listing ship.

2011 Harley-Davidson Photo Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Slideshow
Recent Cruiser Reviews
2015 Harley-Davidson Freewheeler First Ride
Harley-Davidson expands its trike offerings with the all-new 2015 Freewheeler and MotoUSA takes a ride.
2004 Sportster Project: RSD ProStep Bars
We remedy the old-look of our 2004 Sportster 1200 by installing RSD ProStep Handlbars, Nostalgia 4-Bolt Risers, Avenger Levers and Tracker Billet Grips.
Harley Sportster Chopped Rear Fender Install
The stock back end of our '04 Sportster 1200 project bike was big and bulky, so we cleaned it up by installing a Harley Chopped Rear Fender and Side-Mount License Plate Kit.
2015 Star Bolt C-Spec First Ride
Star offers the conveniences and engineering precision of a modern motorcycle without sacrificing the fun and charismatic feel of an old cafe racer with its Bolt C-Spec.
ARCH Motorcycle KRGT-1 First Ride
We hit the hills above Malibu as we take the ARCH KRGT-1 for a spin, a 2032cc limited-production power cruiser.
2015 Kawasaki Vulcan S First Ride
MotoUSA hitches a leg over Kawasaki's Parallel Twin-powered 2015 Vulcan S on a 150-mile ride in California's central coast for a first ride review.
2015 Indian Roadmaster Review
We've spent the last couple months and over 3000 miles in the saddle of the 2015 Indian Roadmaster, an impressive touring motorcycle with big power and premium comfort.
2015 Indian Chieftain v H-D Street Glide Special
It's a bagger battle royale as we pit the upstart 2015 Indian Chieftain against the 2015 Harley Street Glide Special in this comparison of American-made, V-Twin-powered motorcycles.
Harley-Davidson Dealer Locator
2011 Road Glide Ultra Specs
The 2011 Road Glide Ultra comes with an 80-watt Harman Kardon Audio System and a cockpit-style instrument layout.
Engine: 1690cc Air-cooled Twin Cam 103
Bore/Stroke: 3.875 X 4.38 in.
Compression Ratio: 9.6:1
Fueling: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection
Rake Steering Head: 26 degrees
Trail: 6.7 in. 
Tansmission: 6-speed
Wheelbase: 63.5 in.
Seat Height: 27.3 in.
Fuel Capacity: 6 gallons
Weight: 888 lbs (claimed wet weight)
Tires: 130/80B17 65 H front
            180/65B16 81 H rear
Brakes: 32mm, 4-piston fixed front and rear, ABS
Colors: Vivid Black, Brilliant Silver Pearl, Cool Blue Pearl, Merlot Sunglo
MSRP: $22,499 (Vivid Black); $23,059 (Color Option)
2011 Harley-Davidson 1st Ride Gear Bag
The 2011 Road Glide Ultra comes with Harleys new PowerPak package that includes a Twin Cam 103 V-Twin  ABS  and the H-D Smart Security System with a hands-free fob.
Harley-Davidson Luminator 360 Leather

Login or sign up to comment.

jamnmark   February 9, 2012 02:34 PM
I really don't understand all the bickering about different bikes. I have had Honda's, and Kawasaki's, and a Norton, and last year was my first Harley, a 2011 Road Glide Ultra. I know many of you "Bashed" this bike but until you start paying for what I ride, keep it to yourself. It really is very simple: If you like riding Honda, buy a Honda. If you prefer Victory's then by all means, buy one. I enjoyed the bikes I had in the past but I do enjoy riding my Harley the best. The look, the feel, the sound everything about it is enjoyable to me. That's all that matters. When I'm paying for it, it's all about what "I" enjoy. The same should go for everyone, buy what "YOU" enjoy. Do all of you drive the same car? Wear the same clothes? Live in the same kind of house? I didn't think so...
Piglet2010   August 24, 2011 06:31 PM
Frozenknuckles - Speaking of conforming, how is wearing the "pirate" outfit and riding a H-D with obnoxiously loud pipes just like all the other middle class poseurs *not* being a conformist? In the US, you are more of a non-conformist riding a smooth, quiet, fast, economical, reliable, comfortable and practical maxi-scooter (e.g. Honda Silverwing, Suzuki Burgman or Yamaha T-Max) than anything rolling out of a H-D factory. The only H-D that is non-conformist anymore is the XR1200.
Frozenknuckles   June 3, 2011 07:23 AM
I have owned tons of bikes over the years. Hondas, Yamahas, Kawasakis and now, finally, a couple of Harleys. The saying "if you have to ask you wouldn't understand" applies. There is a reason the metrics are making Harley look-alikes. I have an 07 Road King Custom that I have customized quite a bit. It gets looks and compliments from pretty much everyone who rides or appreciates bikes. When was the last time someone walked up to your Gold Wing and said "Wow. Awesome ride!" Metrics are marvels of engineering and creative use of plastic. The only thing separating one from another is color. They are boring chunks of plastic gliding silently down the road. They are symptomatic of all that is sad about society. Blend in, conform, be 1 of millions. Does the term "Borg" apply? Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated! Give me a Harley any day! And yes, many of you whine because you can't afford one. And yes, my wife and I make a lot of money. We work hard and we play hard. We have three Harleys. Life is sweet and so are my Harleys.
skater69 -Why compare a Wing to a Harley Tourere  January 11, 2011 09:48 AM
I put 34K miles on an '04 GL1800 Wing. Yes it outperforms Harley tourers, it's much smoother...doesn't put out as much heat...etc.

But guess what? It's also extremely BORING. I rented a 2011 Road King Classic with the 103 engine last weekend and it was a great experience. It had very respectable power, very good handling and ground clearance and 2 things the Wing will never have: CHARACTER and PERSONALITY. Hearing and feeling that v-twin pulsate and howl when you get on the throttle is why many love Harleys. Yes it was vibey at idle but smooth as silk once you get rolling. It didn't feel like it was lacking in any way really. I plan to rent a Road Glide Ultra next.

The Wing is smooth and quiet and that's fine if you enjoy that type of motorcycle but for me after 1 year and half....the bike hardly felt like a motorcycle anymore but a well oiled appliance. There's no emotion stimulated by the Wing. Yes the Harleys require some tweaking to get set up right for heat management and I believe they're still overpriced. But comparing to a Wing is really apples and oranges.

To me the v-twin experience is what it's all about whether it be on a Harley or a Stratoliner...the Wing's smooth 6 cylinder engine just takes away too much from the motorcycle experience regardless of it being a better performer. They're just more to motorcycling than numbers.
jonny -ick  November 27, 2010 07:08 PM
someday I hope to become a doctor or a lawyer,so I can buy an overpriced harley davidson and be "bad ass"maybe I will buy their newest model,the same old sportster that is now FLAT BLACK-lmao! Harley,rebellious and bad ass 50 years ago,today over priced,out dated and union destroyed-
JerseyMike -Redrider & Donny  November 24, 2010 07:02 PM
I have owned several different brands & types of motorcycles, and up till 2 years ago, I was doing track days at Pocono on my turbocharged Kawasaki ZX7RR and my Suzuki SV1000S. There are different tools for different jobs. I don't do sportbikes anymore, but I do ride my 2000 Harley SE Road Glide a lot. It has over 130,000 miles on it without any major overhauls, and has seen 37 states including Alaska. I have done Ironbutt runs(1000 miles in 24 hours), and frquently ride with my wife on the back. My bike will cruise at 80mph all day long with or without a passenger. In fact, my mirrors don't vibrate, I have no problems passing other vehicles at any speed, and I can actually hear the radio at that speed as well. It will not however keep up with or handle as well as an inline-4 sportbike. The interesting thing about that, is that it's not meant to. For the purpose that my Road Glide was designed(cruising & touring), it does exceptionaly well. My Road Glide was dyno'd at over 80hp & 95ft.lbs. of torque. It as the typical vibration at idle, but smooths out around 2200 rpms. I added a Baker DD6 years ago. The new Road Glide Ultra has the 103ci motor which turns out over 100ft.lbs. of torque. It has a new frame with additional motor mounts, a smooth shifting stock 6-speed, and the vibration at idle is completely gone. It would be cool to see Harley put a bored out version of the VROD Revolution motor in a touring model, but what they offer now works just fine. If you don't like them, that's fine too. There is a motorcycle out there for everyone.
redrider -to jerseymike  November 23, 2010 05:39 PM
i own and have owned many harleys since the sixties. non have any real power. sorry
redrider -to donny  November 23, 2010 05:34 PM
donny, one of my bikes is a xr650l. it's a single cylinder dual sport bike and is only 650cc. it can run all day with a ton of extras and a passenger at speeds over 85mph. it's not the engine size that's the problem, it's the company as a whole. sorry
Donny -Low end / high end ." Bigger engines save lives "  November 19, 2010 06:59 AM
Harley Davidson !......... Please put bigger engines in your low end bikes ." I have dead friends" ,because they thought the speed limit was still 55 MPH on the highway and 65 MPH on the freeway . Then reality got the best of them . When you put a rider and a passenger and some back packs and my be some saddle bags loaded with stuff can you cruise at 75/80 on a freeway . I do not think so . What dose this have to do with high end bikes?........ Well it is simple the low end bike market keeps the doors open in a dealer ship . With out low end bikes there are no high end . About half the Harley's i see are low end bikers.( PS) Just a thought ,but it might save money just having large engines in your bikes. Making just one large engines has to be cheeper .
JerseyMike -Road Glide Ultra  November 12, 2010 04:10 PM
I have a 2000 SE Road Glide, and I love it! My bike has over 130,000 miles on it, and has seen 37 US states, including Alaska. If you haven't ridden a Harley with a fixed fairing, you are really missing out! The sharknose fairing on the Road Glide Ultra has been around since 1980. Some people love it and some hate it. I have owned several Electra Glides with the batwing fairing, but the Road Glide is a much better highway machine. My wife and I were in Florida last month and rented the 2011 Road Glide Ultra for a day, and it is an amazing machine. It's dead smooth, powerful and extremely comfortable. If you are looking for a great touring bike, but don't want the plastic vanilla styling of a Gold Wing, and don't want your legs burned off on a Victory Vision, this is what you want!
Hitman -Can't afford one  November 1, 2010 08:43 AM
Most people who bash harley, can't afford one! I spend it where I make it, America, union, Enough said.
rick -Futurama  September 30, 2010 02:46 PM
This 2011 Road Glide Ultra looks like Bender from Futurama. Looks like Harley can't even get a Goldwing right without trying to appeal to the younger crowd with cartoons that were popular 10 years ago.
George -rider  September 28, 2010 07:12 AM
Let's be realistic: no other company or product has the following and loyalty of Harley-Davidson. You can't go two feet without seeing someone in Harley apparel, even if they have never been on a motorcycle. I am not a "Honda Basher," in fact my first two bikes were Hondas and they were well made and road well. But a Harley is just a different feel and ride. If you don't like if fine; that doesn't mean they are bad or good, just different. I hate to break it to you young guys but you too will be in your 40s someday and if you continue to ride, I bet your butt will be on a "geezer-glider." For those of you who would like a first-hand review of the 2011 Road Glide Ultra, I have one now for about six weeks and it's the best bike I've ever owned. Fast, agile, nimble -- nothing you'd expect from a bike of that size and weight. And if you're like me and ride more than you drive, this bike has all the comforts of home!
Mike -Stop bashing HD  September 22, 2010 03:59 PM
Come on guys, do you really want these "Pirates of the Caribbean" riding a real mans motorcycles? Stop putting Harley's down or the next time you see these guys they'll be on a Triumph, Goldwing, KTM, BMW, or worse a Vmax.

A wide rear tire on a Harley is like racing strips on a Volvo.
D.JONZ -SOME LIKE ORIGNAL  September 6, 2010 06:58 AM
Winger -Comment - Right On.....  August 28, 2010 03:55 PM
You comment on the Gold Wing is right on. I traded bikes with my neighbor last weekend for a 70 mile ride up to Rockford. I have a 09 Gold Wing fully loaded and he has a 09 Ultra Classic. I will not tell you what he said about my Wing but he has his Ultra for sale. By the way, the Ultra with its asphalt ripping 70 horsepower really impressed me. The tractor radio was impressive also and it would be a real nice bike to ride in cold weather as it has a lot of nice warm air that envelops you during your ride. The built in vibrator is also a nice feature. I rode my bike back and he did not want to ride his back. He has always had Harley's and he admitted that he has never been on a Gold Wing. He has a deposit on a new 2010 Wing.
Not Fooled -Cool Names  August 28, 2010 03:45 PM
I like the names that Harley comes up with like "PowerPak". It makes you think you are getting something that you are not. Please do not compare the Harley Ultra with a Gold Wing. There is nothing to compare those 2 bikes on except they both have 2 wheels. The Gold Wing is so far ahead of any Harley that it would take a complete rebuild on Harley's part. The Gold Wing is everything that the Harley isn't. The Harley Ultra is a 1960's motorcycle that Harley has been adding parts to for 50 years. It is an old worn out bike that Harley still sells to the Boomer bunch and I can not for the life of me figure out why anyone would pay what Harley charges for one of there out dated over weight over priced and just plain ugly motorcycles.
Skip 66 -Snake is Right On  August 27, 2010 10:08 AM
I did the same thing that Snake did. I rented a Harley Ultra Classic for 4 days. What a mistake that was. I had sold my 08 Gold Wing and was considering a Harley Ultra as a replacement. The Harley was hot and had no power. I guess if you are used to a 6 cylinder Honda and go to a 2 cylinder Harley there should be some difference. The Harley radio is terrible and I could not pass a car unless there was plenty of road ahead so I could get a run at it. The bike vibrated like a paint shaker and had terrible handing compared to my Honda. Honda is releasing an all new Gold Wing which will put Harley further back in the pack. I can not see how someone can spend there money on such outdated and under powered junk.
JIM -OLD GUYS RULE.....untill young guys come back!  August 21, 2010 04:30 AM
I am sure a Honda is a good product. But a Harley Davidson is a Harley Davidson. There are some things you cannot explain to a Honda owner.
Snake -Hot Harley  August 17, 2010 07:45 PM
I gave Harley a fair chance before I made my purchase for a touring bike. I rented a Ultra Classic Electra Gulide for a week. The bike was so hot it nearly melted my crotch in traffic. Don't mean to be harsh but why spend 22K on this type of engineering. So what if I am not as cool as the dude on the Harley. So what if the Harley rides dont wave because I choose to ride a different bike.

The point is we all love motorcycle riding; that does not mean we have to live to follow.
Mike in WV -Hopper and Angelina are out of touch lol  August 15, 2010 09:56 AM
OK..Harley sold MVA at a huge loss and that is a matter of record. Angelina only knows what her brainwashed bf tells her and she obviously knows nothing about bikes. Victory is not a cheap copy of HD. Victory's frame design and motors are far superior to HD's. Look at the power and torques...Angelina, that may be greek to you, but for those who ride two up a lot, it means a lot. I have owned many bikes in my life, including HD, and they are no better than any other bike...but there are several bikes better than HD's. Hopper is afraid to have Victory mentioned in comparison with HD because HD really can't compete with Victory's style, performance and customer satisfaction. Victory produces fewer models and paint schemes...this is true, but they are also operating at a profit and making sound business decisions, seeing the errors of HD and not wanting to flood the market with bikes. Supply and demand...the old business rule holds true today. HD has pumped out so many bikes for so many years, regardless of demand, that there is now a huge glut. Victory on the other hand is being more cautious and producing fewer units and trying to match supply with demand. A company that is a little over 10 years old has a better product and a large enough portion of the market share to stay healthy...in this economy, that's good business. Hey Angelina...when your bf's job get's outsourced or moved to another state or country because HD is looking to leave Milwaukee and WI in general...not because they want to but because they may have to to stay alive, then Angelina...maybe it would be time to move to IA and date someone with a company who's more stable. Hopper...a Street Glide versus a GoldWing...that's a stupid comparison...all the buffeting must have shaken something loose up stairs. Comparisons between the SG and the Victory Cross Country have been more favorable to the Victory...but of course the nod for sound goes to the HD. I remember trying to get a sound as a kid from a bicycle with a balloon in the spokes...then I grew up. Sound is no reason to prefer one machine over another...although I do prefer the sound of a HD behind me as I'm pulling away from the band of pirates chugging along and looking for the next watering hole to drop anchor. lol Anyone hear of Yamaha buying HD stock? Intersting...
Waiting -Good Deals Are Coming.......  August 13, 2010 02:31 PM
You guys are wrong on the MV Agusta deal. Harley Davidson PAID the original owners 20 million euros to take MV back. That is a 167 million dollar loss for Harley Davidson. So Harley is out almost 1 billion dollars for 2010 plus the money they are loosing selling there overweight sleds to the Baby Boomer crown who like to show off and think they are young again by riding an over priced piece of s**t around with out mufflers and dressed up like an idiot. I do not think HD will be around long unless the unions cave in and obama gives them a big bail out check. Harley is sitting on thousands of used bikes that they got back from HD financial services. They can't put them on the market because they would ruin the resale price of there junk. I will wait for the fire sale. Used Harley's are a dime a dozen in the local newspapers now. Gee, I think I will get my assless chaps on, my t shirt with an eagle on it, my do rag and my finger less nose picker gloves and get a used Harley cheap. Oh wait - I can't forget my leather vest with 50lbs of Harley pins and patches on it.
Angelina Rivera -Waitress  August 13, 2010 02:15 PM
That victory motorcycle is a cheap copy of a Harley. and Harley only bought out Cagiva for the tax write-off. They needed an investment loss. (to keep from over-paying taxes) They did manage to "grab" a few copyrights they wanted before returning the company, lol. You'll see those "developments" later in 2011! I know, I date a Harley employee..
Paul Stanson -R & D engineer for a "major" small engine company..  August 13, 2010 02:06 PM
I've read some comments, here, that are far more disturbing than the "Baby Boomers" revisiting their youth. I have learned from experience that 99% of the time, the folks that criticize Harley are the folks that either can't afford one or they have NEVER ridden one! For the guy that said the Honda would outrun the Harley, obviously you haven't ridden a Harley lately, they are far past the years of "slow", lol. I own a stock Nighttrain that outran, at over 120mph, a Honda VTX 1800 a few months back. So there is nothing slow about the new generation of Harleys, they'll beat the others cold in fuel efficiency also! PS
Hopper -Business Owner  August 13, 2010 01:52 PM
Most "critics" of the Harley claim it is "the same bike" as it used to be?? Nothing could be farther from the truth!! I have owned Harleys for over 30 years, I can tell you the quality and sophistication of the engine and electronics is way ahead of all the other motorcycle builders, bar none! Harley is leading the rest of the world in it's sequential fuel injection and styling! Not to mention the actual comfort of ride. A Harley Street Glide ride is twice as comfortable as the "top heavy" Honda Goldwing! Harleys also have a better resale value! Seriously, Victory isn't even in the running and shouldn't be mentioned in the same forum as Harley! Sinc, Hopper
Real World -Old Design  August 13, 2010 06:05 AM
Harley's are outdated, old design, over weight, underpowered and why should I pay 2010 prices for a 1960's motorcycle? I am not interested in riding with a bunch of people dressed up like the Village People on motorcycles with no mufflers. These people all have an insecurity problem - make a lot of noise so people will look at me. Get Real...
Mike -Cut the crap!  August 12, 2010 08:27 PM
Let's get real. You buy a Harley because your 40 something and you don't want to go 120 mph unless there's 4 wheel under you. You buy a Harley for the feel, the look, the sound. You also want to see the engine and all the other shiny bits as you walk up to it after you put on your leathers. What you don't want to do is, 120 mph on one wheel with your girl on the back like you 20 somethings with more balls than brains. My 07 Wideglide has never gone north of 90 mph after 25 thousand miles. Not interested. I've had Jap bike in the past and may own one again, all I know is, I love to ride and most bikes have pretty much the same build quality. It all depends on what riding style you prefer.
Dave -Still the same with new paint  August 11, 2010 04:33 PM
These bikes are relics. For those who want the best V-twin American made bike, Victory is the name.
Kurt -The old Honda vs. Harley  August 11, 2010 02:46 PM
In the last 30 plus years I've had as much enjoyment making fun of Harley's as I've had pleasure riding other motorcycles. I just purchased my 49th motorcycle, a 2010 street glide. It's my first Harley. I liked it so much I went out and bought an Ultra Classic. Love it! I traded my GL1800 for it. The Honda was a great bike, my third GL. The Honda is faster, handles better, has better wind protection, more convenient storage, etc. It got around Deals Gap "riding at 80%," as good as most Ducati's, with the radio blaring. One small problem, it has no personality. Totally vanilla. Maybe it does things so well that it's not fun to ride. Part of the motorcycle experience it the connection to the machine. I fully realize that the Harley is "Old School," basically two cylinders cut off a WWI biplane, with very little engineering accomplished since. Fact is, it works, very well. I find it so comfortable, partly because that old V-twin, with it's reassuring "easy lope," like a heart beat. At the end of a long ride I am so ready to get off the Wing. I've never been "done" riding the Harley. That makes all the difference.
Sport Rider -Wow - Some $$$ Lost  August 11, 2010 12:42 PM
Lets see: 105 million lost on MV, 125 Million lost on Buell, 650 million lost on HDFS - that's 880 million lost so far and that is not counting the money lost on the new Buell factory lease! No wonder Harley can not come up with a new and modern motorcycle. HD has no money for R&D so we keep getting the same old worn out crap that they have been making for 60 years or more. Over priced and out dated motorcycles that are going to loose more sales as the baby boomers move on to walkers and RV's. Young riders will not buy this out dated junk.
Old Biker -Harley & Bad Debt........  August 11, 2010 07:00 AM
Harley has sold the fabled MV Agusta back to its original owners for $1. Lets see, Harley lost 100 million on MV Agusta, 125 Million closing Buell and they had to borrow 650 Million to bail out there failing financial services division. That's almost 1 billion dollars that HD has lost and or owes. No wonder they keep putting out the same crap every year. Harley has no money for R&D and we do not see any future for this debt ridden company with morons for management. One mistake after another - how long can a company survive this style of management?
Shane -I just bought this model and it rocks!  August 10, 2010 08:17 PM
I just purchased a black 2011 Road Glide Ultra for my 37th birthday. I remember the days when I "would never buy a Harley-Davidson" but then I came around and it is the only bike I would buy. My first Harley was when I turned 34.

I have a question, why does EVERY cruiser bike look like a Harley? That includes the new Cory Ness Cross Country from Victory.

The bottom line is that Harley-Davidson is an American icon, not Polaris or Honda. It's a way of life, not only a brand.

As Harley-Davidson would say "We believe the machine you sit on tells the world exactly where you stand"

P.S. If you did not want one, you would not be reading this review. Its OK, just admit it.
WingMan -Can't Wait  August 10, 2010 04:19 PM
Honda is retooling the line for the new Gold Wing thus no new Wings. It will be an all new and even more modern bike with a 2000cc engine and quite possibly an auto trans option. Expect this bike to be state of the art and it will be in completion with the new BMW K1600 touring bike. BMW will release full specs and pictures in April and Honda will follow soon after. The new Gold Wing will be all new from the ground up the same as the new BMW. Both of these bikes will be state of the art touring bikes. The top touring bikes will be the new Wing, BMW and Victory. Harley Davidson will keep producing the same old same old until all the boomers die off.
XLCR -Rider  August 10, 2010 03:40 PM
Here's a news flash. The Gold Wing is dead. Production stopped at Marysville, OH over a year and a half ago. At the time Honda claimed it would set up a new assembly line in Japan soon. That has not happened to date, and there is a very good chance it will never happen. The Wings now being sold are from a batch of several thousand that were built before American production ended. The announcement the Honda Hoot was canceled forever should have been a strong clue. Actually, the Wing peaked in the '80s, and sales have been fading ever since. For years, everyone talked about how Harley's customers have been dying off. There is no proof that's happening to Harley, but it seems to have happened to the Gold Wing right in front of our eyes. Heck, even 20 years ago you couldn't find a Wing rider that didn't have grey hair. Most of them are dead now, and engineering a new Wing would be pointless.
billy -LOL at the haters  August 10, 2010 06:18 AM
Short man syndrome....

Guys who don't have 'em love to hate Harley's.

Ruckus Nation -Dont mess with  August 9, 2010 06:58 PM
Don't mess with the Ruckus Nation.
Donald -Ugly Blue  August 7, 2010 08:53 AM
Who picked the colors for this years line up? This years blues are among the worst I have ever seen!
andy -its amazing...  August 7, 2010 04:04 AM
..every year ,when HD tries to do better to fight the concurence, it gets actually worse...and for some , obviously, that is the companies tradition...sad !!
GB -Ada Ada  August 6, 2010 05:37 AM
i for one am glad my Victory doesn't look like a HD. no metter how you customize a HD it still looks like everyone elses.
Cyrax -Ultra Road Glide  August 5, 2010 07:11 PM
What a shame Harley...Who decided on that ugly blue color.What a waste of painton a new model.
P.S. Have you seen the 2011 Victory Cory Ness Cross Country...Now that's a paint job, and you don't pay extra for it...
EAB -GL1200/1500 mechanical issues?  August 5, 2010 07:42 AM
The 1200 had stator problems on the 1984 models. You can pull a 1984 Wing into a Honda shop today and if it has the original stator on it, they will replace it free. The second issue was with the fuel injected anniversary issue, and frankly I am not unclear on the exact nature. Outside of that, pure bulletproof. Problems on the 1500? Umm, not bloody likely. The 1500 was and is the best full on touring bike available and one would be happy with it's handling and performance as it trumps everything else in it's class, even to this day....that is unless one rides a GL1800, also known as a VFR with bags. Simply the most impressive touring bike available PERIOD. One ride on a GL1800 and the Ultra feels like a garden tractor.
EAB -Skipper, you are off the mark...  August 5, 2010 07:36 AM
Good grief, how dare you say such things..... You forgot the mandatory Bud Light buzz and tatted up, long past her prime biker chick hanging off the back...
Skipper -Bad Review  August 5, 2010 06:23 AM
Your reviews are not real. I have NEVER seen a rider on a Harley with a helmet on and so lets get with the times here. Get a guy with a big beer gut, do rag, t-shirt, leather vest with 10 lbs of pins on it, jeans with ass less chaps, fingerless nose picker gloves and Harley boots. Then you will have a real Harley test rider not some fake rider that does not know how to ride a Harley. Also, how can you test a Harley with the mufflers on it. I have never seen a Harley with mufflers on it. Lets get in the real world here guys and give us real world test rides under real conditions. You have totally mislead us with your Harley reviews.
Happy Frank -Past Ultra Owner  August 5, 2010 06:17 AM
The GL1800 Gold Wing will put any Harley Ultra or whatever new name Harley can come up with too shame. I have had two Ultra's until I bought a new 2010 Gold Wing. It is amazing how out of date my Ultra's are/were. I now have a vibration free ride and plenty of power to pass car's no matter what type of road which I could not do on my Ultra's. I do not have to put up with the Harley dearler's BS anymore either. I even have real brakes now and the Wing handles like a sport bike on the twisties which is something my Ultra's could never do. I am glad I got smart and if I had not taken a Wing for a test drive I would not be the happy rider that I am now. I was always so loyal to the Harley brand and would not even consider another bike. The heat problems, starting problems, vibration problems, braking problems and parts getting loose and almost falling off due to excessive vibration that I had on my 08 Ultra and the dealer that totally ignored the problems that got me to test a Victory and a Wing. Both the Victory and or the Wing are light years ahead of any Harley. By the way I still have a 2006 Ultra that I have been trying to sell with no luck. All I get are low ball offers. There are just too many Harley for sale to get a decent price. It is over at the local Honda dealer right now and they use it too let anyone interested in a Gold Wing as an example of a typical Harley paint shaker. Maybe the local Tru-Value will buy it and use it as a paint shaker.
Cknugget -Hmm  August 4, 2010 03:01 PM
The GL1200 and GL1500 had mechanical issues that were sorted out finally with the GL1800. They were better than the new harleys of that era but not the '09 and newer touring models.

The road glides front end is a love it or hate it thing. I find it ugly but it sells so it has to appeal to some.

When the 103 motor is available on the road king it may convince me to upgrade from my sportster. Maybe next year :)
EAB -REALLY?  August 4, 2010 06:01 AM
I don't get the Road Glide. 20K plus for a bike with a 70's Vetter Windjammer on it? I have a question. On what specific criteria does this new Road Glide perform better than a 1986 GL1200 Gold Wing Interstate, let alone the 1988 GL1500?
Hal -883 Low  August 3, 2010 01:23 PM
I am going to wait until next year for the 2012 Super-duper Low 883. Or maybe wait two years for the Super duper-ultra Low 883. Boy this sure is some exciting news coming from Harley.
Scottie -BTW  August 3, 2010 10:28 AM
I think Victory actually builds beautiful bikes.

BTW - test ride a Victory Cross Roads/Country or a Star Stratoliner and you'll understand that a cruiser can get up and go and handle in the twisties.
Scottie -uncool  August 3, 2010 10:23 AM
I don't own an HD, nor will I until they resolve the power and handling issues, but there are a couple of HDs that I really like - RK Classic, Heritage and Road Glide.

The Road Glide with a tour pack is just silly looking.
Matt -Ada (aesthetic prference vs. brand loyalty)  August 3, 2010 10:23 AM
I respect your aesthetic preferences Ada but let us be honest here. If Victory made a "clasic/retro" cruiser today would you likely be complaining how it looked too much like a Harley? I realize some people grow loyal to a brand/style no matter what other options they have available to them but I am curious what Victory would have to do from a styling aspect to not be labeled a "too modern" or "too Harley" motorcycle by loyal H-D owners. So far my theory is that the only way to do so is to slap an HD badge on the tank =).
Ada Ada -Creature from the Black Lagoon  August 3, 2010 07:55 AM
It's too bad Victory will never be able to compete with the good looks of Harley Davidsons.
Randy -Off the radar...  August 2, 2010 10:18 PM
Radar...get yourself a crotch rocket and go burn some rice.
Radar -Too Young For A Harley  August 2, 2010 03:51 PM
"It is a company that is actively seeking to solidify its position with the 18-35 year old demographic and to expand its influence in the multicultural marketplace." I am 23 years old and I would not even consider buying a Harley Davidson. Harley has been making the same model for 107 years. Lets leave the Harley reviews for the AARP magazine.