2010 Electra Glide Ultra Limited First Ride

August 6, 2009
Adam Waheed
By Adam Waheed
Road Test Editor|Articles|Articles RSS|Blog|Blog Posts|Blog RSS

His insatiable thirst for life is only surpassed by his monthly fuel bill. Whether rocketing on land, flying through the air, or jumping the seas, our Road Test Editor does it all and has the scars to prove it.

Harley-Davidson Touring Ride Review
Cargo capacity is abundant on the Electra Glide Ultra Limited. There’s also a luggage rack on top of the center container so you can strap even more gear with you on your adventure.

This classically-styled Harley-Davidson highway pounder bridges the gap between the $18,999 base Electra Glide Classic and the fully decked out $35,999 CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide. For its $24,699 asking price you get a host of popular options packaged together and dressed up in some unique paint schemes.

Some of the standard features offered are: cruise control, heated hand grips, security system, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and adjustable wind deflectors integrated into the Bat Wing front fairing. However, personally I think the most important standard feature is the bumping 80-watt 4-speaker Harmon/Kardon stereo system, complete with CD/MP3, CB and intercom functionality. If you’re really into music and motorcycling, you’ve got to hear this system – it’s the type of audio set-up you’d experience in a new $70,000 luxury car.

Riders manipulate the Electra Glide Ultra Limited’s various electronic goodies right from the cockpit, with easy-to-use buttons split amongst both sides of the handlebar. Cruise controls functionality is on the right side, while the audio controls are shared on both sides. Additionally, the dashboard display houses another set of buttons, so the rider can change settings that way if they choose as well.

In the engine department, a larger 103 cubic-inch (1690cc) Twin Cam engine with integrated oil cooler is employed. Like all of the new models, this bike gets a reworked, quieter fifth gear cog within its 6-speed transmission. The “103” displacement badges are placed on the air filter and timing engine covers, so all can take note of your bigger stick. The fuel tank and front fender also get special badges as well.

Harley-Davidson Touring Ride Review
For its $24,699 asking price you get a host of popular options packaged together and dressed up in some unique paint schemes.

Similar to the standard Electra Glide, it comes with three separate storage boxes and the center container houses a fixed cigarette-style power adapter inside, which allows you to run a radar detector, GPS or power your mobile phone. And if you run out of internal storage a specially designed luggage rack, atop the center case, lets you bring even more gear with you on your adventure. There’s also recessed pockets of either side of the floor board so you can stash smaller stuff.

Aesthetically the bike’s instrumentation gets a special treatment, which includes different font characters housed in titanium-colored gauge faces with LED backlighting. The 28-spoke aluminum wheels now benefit from a new “contrast chrome” finishing process in which black and chrome finishes can be mated together, creating an appealing eye-catching contrast. Externally, the Ultra Limited comes in three two-tone color options including: Flame Blue Pearl/Vivid Black, Vivid Black/Black Ice Pearl, and our personal favorite – Scarlet Red/Vivid Black (which makes the bike look like an old school fire engine). Additionally, two “custom colors” are available for a $1200 up charge.

Given our prior admiration for the Electra Glide series, we were excited to see how much more oomph the larger displacement engine had. But to our surprise, it was difficult to notice the added power. Twist the throttle and you’ll perceive just a marginal boost in acceleration. Even revving the engine to its 6100 rpm redline proved only a modest increase in propulsion.

The Electra Glide Ultra Limiteds ground clearance is copious even when loaded and full of fuel.
The Electra Glide Ultra Limited offers copious amount of ground clearance even when loaded and full of fuel.

Considering we were riding up in Colorado’s mile-plus high elevation, we knew the engine’s power was going to be tame, but the 103 engine simply doesn’t offer a substantial increase in power when compared to the standard 96 Twin. In fact, you just might be better off with a set of different pipes and updated engine fueling settings to experience the same results. We also didn’t notice the gearbox being any quieter when fifth gear was engaged. Though, to be fair, we never felt the transmission to be too noisy in its previous iteration.

We did appreciate, however, just how sporty its chassis remains. Since Harley redesigned its touring chassis for 2009, we’ve been in awe of just how solid it performs. From its parking-lot agility to the level of lean angle it allows while railing around fast corners, the Electra Glide does it all well. And the best part is its new found sporty nature doesn’t come at the price of everyday comfort. In fact, the limiting factor in how long you can ride between breaks is its 6-gallon fuel tank – it’s that comfortable!

The 2010 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Limited bundles together many popular options and adds a bigger 103 cubic-inch Twin Cam engine but is it built to shred  Yes!
Who knew a motorcyclist could be so comfortable ripping down the highway? You are aboard the 2010 Electra Glide Ultra Limited.

Riding within the Rocky Mountain expanse is the ultimate test in a vehicle’s real world braking capabilities and we’ve continued to be impressed by the Electra Glide’s stout stoppers, even when your hard luggage is fully loaded. Three 4-piston brake calipers, sourced from Brembo, are used and offer remarkable stopping power. Even better is the ABS system, which allows full, ham fisted engagement of either brake without worrying about the tire skidding during an aggressive stop or when traveling on a slippery surface. While the rear brake’s ABS comes in really early, which perhaps makes stopping distances longer than necessary; the front comes on much later, gently reminding you that it’s at work with a pulse through the lever.

It’s hard to argue against the incredible value of the base Electra Glide Classic. But if you’re looking for a little more, than this Limited Edition ride could be right up your alley. Although the bigger engine alone isn’t worth the extra $5700, if you’re a hardcore touring rider the creature comforts and electronics, not to mention the unique color schemes, might just might be.

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