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Ti new FDR 2011

The Motor Company Goes

Harley-Davidson's new Road Glide Ultra and a pair of Sportsters are just a few of the 103 reasons to dig the 2011 H-Ds

YOU JUST DON T GO CHANGING THINGS WillieG.-nilly in the land of Harley-Davidson. Everything in its place and everything at a measured pace, which is just the kind of evolution H-D fans are comfortable with, thank you very much. We already tried the two massaged Sportsters—the entry-rider-friendly, radial-tired SuperLow and the resuspended XR1200X street-tracker (CW, September)—but got our first taste of the rest of the line, including the new FLTRU Road Glide Ultra with its 103-cubic-inch engine, on a recent trip to Oregon.

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All the FL bikes get a cushier new seat that gives better lumbar support and a shorter reach to the ground. Also a premium Harman/Kardon four-speaker/CB/intercom, electronic cruise control, King Tour-Pak, ventilated fairing lowers and more.

The new Ultra uses H-D's base FL rubber-mount platform and attaches to it all the things serious travelers require: a frame-mounted fairing with vented lowers for light steering mid wind protection, a pair of hard saddlebags (with liners) and trunk, a bass-kicking Harman/Kardon 80-watt sound system (and CB/ intercom) and electronic cruise control, of course. For 2011, a new, one-piece seat is designed to provide better lumbar support and is also narrower up front, making it easier for shorties to get their boots on the ground. Matter of fact, all the Touring bikes get new deeper-bucket seats.

The big news, though, is the Ultra's new PowerPak option group, the main component of which is a 103-cubic-inch V-Twin (1690cc) that H-D says makes 9.6 percent more torque than the previous 96-inch engine—102 ft.-lb. at 3500 rpm, to be specific. They got there with a 3.875-inch boring bar instead of a 3.750-inch one, while retaining the 4.380-inch stroke, and the new engine gains a bump in compression ratio from 9.2:1 to 9.6:1 in the process. Perks things right up.

Basically what you're looking at is H-D's own Screamin' Eagle engine kit factory-installed and 50-state-legal, but with more compression than in the $2995 over-the-counter kit you can use to build your own. When you factor in the PowerPak-included antilock brakes and H-D's key-fob-activated Smart Security System, you could argue the Road Glide Ultra is quite the deal at $22,499.

Harley provided no test passengers the day we rode the bikes around the Oregon coast at the recent press introduction for the 2011 model line, but I could definitely feel the boost in power compared to the 96-inch Street Glide we tested for the August issue. The other things that made the Street Glide the winner in that comparo (vs. the Victory Cross Country and Star Stratoliner Deluxe) remain, including H-D's Isolated Drive System compensator in the rear hub. Like all the FLs we've ridden, the new Road Glide Ultra is one sweet, smooth-riding motorcycle. Now with improved power, too.

Then it gets complicated. The 103-inch engine/PowerPak package is also new pgr 2011

Standard fare on the 2011 Road Glide Ultra, the PowerPak consists of ABS, H-D Smart Security System and 103 cubic inches of classic Big Twin; H-D says the new engine is good for 9.6 percent more torque than the Twin Cam 96.

"Like all the FLs we've ridden, the new Road Glide Ultra is one sweet, smooth-riding motorcycle. Now with improved power, too."

standard on the Road King Classic ($19,499) and the Electra Glide Ultra Limited ($23,699). And it's available as a $1995 option on the Street Glide ($18,999) and Road Glide Custom ($18,999). Elsewhere in the lineup, ABS is now optional on all the Softail models except the Cross Bones. And the V-Rod power cruisers are available with a Security Package, which includes ABS and the Smart Security System.

All in all, there are 32 H-Ds for sale for 2011, including three trikes, and more power to you if you're able to keep all your Ultras and Classics and Limiteds straight along with your CVOs and Glides and Customs.

And speaking of keeping it all straight, H-D's Product Communications Director, Paul James, says things are looking up at The Motor Company, and not just because it's his job never to look down: James says H-D's latest numbers show it at number one among streetbike buyers aged 18 to 35, which

Standard fare on the 2011 Road Glide Ultra, the PowerPak consists of ABS, H-D Smart Security System and 103 cubic inches of classic Big Twin; H-D says the new engine is good for 9.6 percent more torque than the Twin Cam 96.

means its products are forming a classic pincer movement to envelop the motorcycle-buying market from both demographic directions.

Efforts to expand the market are being employed elsewhere, as H-D is in the process of launching a major outreach campaign to Hispanics, while also pushing to its dealers a novel idea the company calls Jumpstart. A sort of rolling road/ dyno setup with a securely mounted motorcycle in place, Jumpstart lets beginners fire up an actual Hog and run it up through the gears while stationary. Smart idea. Last year, H-D opened its first dealership in India and is looking forward to expanding into China. An untapped market for 2Vi billion black T-shirts cannot be ignored. □

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new FDR 2011

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