Last month, HOT BIKE gave you the rundown on Harley-Davidson's 2010 Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) models. This month, we're back with more American-manufactured motorcycle goods with Harley-Davidson's brand-new-to-the-regular-fleet 2010 models.
This year was an exciting launch and the Harley brass invited the motojournalists of the world to Denver, which was a very fitting location to ride the new fleet in the Rocky Mountains. After arriving in the Mile High City, the Colorado weather was intermittent, sun shined sporadically throughout both days, but for the most part, clouds formed in the heavens and rainfall overshadowed the sun's rays. Not exactly conditions that average riders look forward to, but to journalists testing new product, bring it on! "This ambitious new motorcycle launch reaches out to our riders with the incredible passion that Harley-Davidson has inspired for more than a century," said Bill Davidson, Harley-Davidson Vice President of Core Customer Marketing.
Harley added some brand new models to the already impressive lineup, and we've focused this article solely on the brand new bikes to show you what to look forward to: the Ultra Limited, a comfort cruiser that's been loaded to the gills with controls and gizmos, powered by a 103ci Twin Cam to get you up the toughest hills; the Road Glide Custom, an upgraded version of the classic shark-nosed fairing-equipped bike, which features hot rod styling cues that the customized bagger crowd can definitely appreciate; the all new Dyna Wide Glide, a lowered, aggressive handling cruiser that's nimble in the corners and quick off the line; the Fat Boy Lo, a satin chrome and black finished Softail to give those looking for the less-is-more style motorcycle what they want without skimping on anything; and finally, the Street Glide Trike, a three-wheeler that mirrors the design of the ever-popular two-wheeled FLHX model.
We've only begun to scratch the surface of what's available for Harley enthusiasts for 2010. For the full model lineup of all Harley models from every class, log on to hotbikeweb.com. For now, enjoy these brand new for 2010 Harleys.
Ultra Limited (FLHTK) $24,699
The Ultra Limited is anything but limited when considering the amount of features included on this touring wonderment. For the engine, a 103ci Twin Cam with Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) sits between the new-for-2009 Touring Chassis instead of the 96ci Twin Cam (the only two-wheeled model in the regular fleet to house the 103), and a two-into-one-into-two dual exhaust system with tapered mufflers exhaust the gases. To bring the 857-pound dry weight cruiser to a halt, a Brembo braking system with ABS was utilized and features two four-piston calipers with two discs in the front and one four-piston stopper to grab the single disc in the rear. If comfort is a concern, you need not worry because the one-piece, two-up Electra Glide classic comfort stitch seat cradles your bum like a pillow-top mattress, and for your passenger, a backrest with wrap-around armrests come standard for sleepy time. You'll also find heated hand grips for the cold days, a Smart Security System for peace of mind, a Premium Tour-Pak luggage rack for added storage, Premium saddlebag and Tour-Pak liners to keep things in pristine condition, and a 12-volt/15 amp Tour-Pak power supply for charging your phones, MP3 devices, etc., are all standard on the Ultra Limited.
In the paint department, two-tone paint schemes in three different color combinations are available and two custom color schemes are also an option. To get the Limited down the road, two 28-spoke cast aluminum wheels with contrasting chrome accents were designed, and in the fork-mounted batwing fairing you'll find new titanium-tone instrument faces. For a little extra pizzazz, Ultra Limited badges have been placed in various locations.
The Ultra Limited model was designed for comfort and confidence. After putting it to the test, it achieved both feats. You can definitely feel the added torque of the 103ci Twin Cam. And for comfort, the Ultra Limited also features an electronic cruise control to give your wrist a break, an 80-watt Advanced Audio System by Harman/Kardon to blast your favorite tunes, a CB radio/intercom to talk to your buddy, vented fairing lowers, and adjustable wind deflectors to control the breeze. The batwing fairing and fairing lowers definitely block the wind and elements, but when the outside temps rise and engine temps soar, you might get a little overheated due to the extra wind protection. Let's just say you lose the wind-in-your-face experience when riding this motorcycle. This is the Cadillac of cruisers though, and the long haul doesn't feel as long.
Road Glide Custom (FLTRX) $18,999
The hot-rod bagger look is well, pretty damn hot these days, and Harley's Road Glide Custom is just that. It's billed as "a tougher, younger vision of the shark-nose Harley-Davidson classic," according to Harley, and to add to the hot rod feel, it's available in red or black, but two-tone paint options are also available.
The RG Custom is based on a single-spar, rigid backbone frame and features air-adjustable, 1-inch lowered rear shocks to fit different rider styles and cargo loads. For wheels, black, slotted cast aluminum rollers (18-inch front, 16-inch rear) were chosen for their maximal stiffness and minimal weight. The power plant is a rubber-mounted, black-powdercoated 96ci Twin Cam with chrome covers that also features the ESPFI intake system that self-adjusts to different riding conditions and altitudes. The RG Custom features a two-into-one with single 4-inch diameter muffler exhaust system that was designed to minimize heat exposure to the rider and passenger. A six-speed Cruise Drive Transmission with a tall top gear for quiet, economical highway cruising brings power to the rear wheel-wrapped in a Dunlop D407 Multi-Tread 180/65-16 skin that features a harder center tread compound and softer shoulder compound. And to stop the bike are dual rotors and two four-piston Brembo calipers up front with a single disc in the rear and a rear four-piston Brembo caliper. The handlebar features Harley's Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) system, which allows for an easy upgrade to optional cruise control. The GTX nylon hard bags have been injection molded and feature color-matched latches, and the 40-watt Advanced Audio System by Harman/Kardon comes standard in the fairing; also on the fairing is a low and dark windshield. And in between the bags and rear fender, filler panels have been added to remove the gaps. Also in the rear, a new taillight assembly and two red LED brake/tail/turn lamps lets those behind you know where you're at, and at the bottom of the rear fender you'll also find the Tri-line LED strips as an added bonus.
Riding the RG Custom for the short time I was allotted was quite the experience. Its lowered rear suspension did not seem to affect handling characteristics in the mountain switchbacks. And the custom bucket seat with perforated insert kept my derriere comfortably in place. Throttle response was quick and sharp with the 96ci motor and the Brembo system works phenomenally. My experience on the Road Glide Custom was somewhat limited as editors from different pubs battled it out for seat time on the hot new bagger. What time I did spend, I rather enjoyed. I think HOT BIKE needs this bike for a long-term review, hint hint.
Fat Boy Lo (FLSTFB) $16,299
The Fat Boy Lo is a bare bones, one-of-a-kind model that uses one of the greatest hits to ever roll out of the Harley-Davidson design studio, the Fat Boy. It's low, it's dark, and it's cool.
The Lo is aptly named since it's the lowest in the Softail model fleet (also the lowest of all H-D models) and the seat height measures 24.25 inches due to its low-profile seat and 1.15-inch lowered suspension in the front and the rear. The rigid mounted, counterbalanced, Twin Cam 96B engine with ESPFI has been powdercoated black and features bright-machined highlights on the cylinder fins. The exhaust system is an over/under shotgun exhaust design that features satin-chrome mufflers and muffler shields, and flat-black header shields. The pipes are definitely hot, pun intended. The engine's been mated to a six-speed Cruise Drive Trans that features a new helical-cut fifth gear for smooth operation. Shifting through all the gears is a smooth transition. As far as looks are concerned, the first thing I noticed when glaring at the Lo, were the satin chrome engine and primary drive covers, which contrast the rest of the black bike nicely. Speaking of black, you'll find plenty of it: a denim black frame, swingarm, front fork legs, derby cover, horn cover, coil cover, oil tank, and air cleaner cover; and gloss black triple clamp covers and nacelle, headlight bucket, air cleaner cover trim ring, rear fender supports, and the footboards. The reshaped seat in conjunction with the ergonomically positioned handlebar (narrower than the regular Fat Boy bar), gives Lo riders a very comfortable position to be seated in. Harley claims that almost any rider can touch their feet on the ground when at a stop. I stand 5 feet 10 inches with a 30-inch inseam and had no problem planting both soles flat on the pavement with plenty of bend in the knee. Instead of forward controls, half-moon footboards have been put in place for riders to rest their dogs. Because of the low seat height, the boards touch down pretty easily; however, you'll probably be hard pressed to find a set of controls/floorboards that won't touch down because the Lo is so low. Gliding the Lo down the road are dual 17-inch Bullet Hole Disc Cast Aluminum black wheels (200mm rear, 140mm front tires) that tuck nicely into the rolled-edge front fender and full-coverage rear fender. The front wheel is fitted with a four-piston caliper and single rotor, and the rear features a two-piston stopper and single disc. Both work well in bringing the 731-pound bike to a halt. The leather tank panel is a nice touch to the five-gallon Fat-Bob style gas tank, along with the satin-chrome tank side badges. As found on all the Softail models, the Lo features the horseshoe oil tank located below the seat. The Lo is as much fun to ride as it is to ogle over.
Dyna Wide Glide (FXDWG) $14,499
Back from the Harley model afterlife is the newly designed Wide Glide. This Dyna has been done up old-school chopper style-a low, stretched-out custom with forward foot controls that give its rider a real fists-in-the-wind profile, according to Harley. Chopper style it is with a 34-degree neck rake, a bobbed rear fender, a low solo seat with passenger pillion pad, and two-tone 40-spoke wheels (black rims with steel spokes, 21 inches up front and 17 inches in the rear). I logged the most miles in Denver on this bike and really enjoyed my time on the Wide Glide. The solo saddle held me in place nicely due to the angle of the seat's rear and how it mates with the pillion pad. It's almost as if it's a one-piece seat, very nice. Also, the forward controls help in the ergos department. Stretching out without feeling too stretched out made riding more comfortable. It was a good choice to go with forwards.
This Dyna obviously features a wide-glide frontend with polished aluminum triple clamps and a stainless steel, internally wired handlebar that's sandwiched between a 4-inch black riser clamp. The suspension has been lowered 1-inch up front and the two coil-over shocks in the rear are also 1-inch lower and both work well in tight turns and on bumpy roads. It's definitely a canyon carver because the bike can easily be dipped low in the twisties, and the black powdercoated and rubber-mounted 96ci Twin Cam with ESPFI and six-speed Cruise Drive Transmission shifts nicely though the gears in the straights, while exhaust expels out of the Tommy gun two-into-one-into-two collector system with dual mufflers. And for color, you can choose a Vivid Black or Red Hot Sunglo as the base colors or the Vivid Black Flame custom paint scheme is also an option. Also distinct to the Wide Glide are an under-seat battery box and a 4.7-gallon fuel tank with the speedometer mounted in the console.
The Wide Glide is a great bike for the price. You get the characteristics of a chopper that handles well and the engine is plenty powerful. And if you choose the custom flamed paint job, your Wide Glide could be mistaken as a one-off custom.
Street Glide Trike (FLHXXX) $26,999
Added to Harley's Trike platform this year is the all-new Street Glide Trike. The three-wheeled machine was not present in Denver so we didn't get any seat time aboard the beast. But it's basically a three-wheeled version of the Street Glide with a rubber-mounted 103ci Twin Cam with ESPFI instead of the 96ci Twin Cam. For more information on the Trike and the rest of the 2010 Harley models, log on to www.hotbikeweb.com.