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2010 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic Limited First Impressions


by Marc Cantin ,

This is it, the latest ultimate expression of the Touring family – unless of course you go for the even more expensive and exclusive CVO models.

Theme and variations! Take an Ultra Classic, add new wheels, judiciously placed chrome and the bigger TC103 engine, and you have a new, exclusive and more expensive model.

The model name has changed, but the bike is still an Electra Glide under the skin, dressed up in attractive, three-tone paint jobs, new-look wheels, and extra lighting and chrome, and a 103cid engine, up from the 96cid unit in the standard Electra Glide models. We rode the bleu-mauve-black combo, while the red-black model may be more of a visual hit.

More motor – Happy news
Speaking of hits, the boys in Milwaukee stuck the TC103 in the big machine. This motor was originally launched on older CVO models, and the useful 7% increase in displacement, along with additional massaging of the electronics, produces 102 lb-ft of torque at 3,500 rpm, about 10% more torque than the old TC96 unit, as well as the much loved flat and fat torque curve from 2,000 rpm right up to max revs.

Refinement work on the clutch and tranny have made both easier to use, all in the name of making life ever easier for new riders of the beast – a good thing! Final drive by (invisible) belt works great, the ideal solution for smooth, silent and maintenance-free riding.

A better chassis and suspension – More happy news
We attended the launch of the new generation 2009 Touring models last year. These bikes impressed the hell out of the non-cruiser press corps, who expected, as I did, another overweight, slow and ill handling bike, just like Touring models had behaved previously. Harley staff wisely let us ride the new bikes before the sit-down presentations, as we would not have believed how good the new models were by just listening to them. After the rides, we believed the presentations!

After the ride, we all wanted to know what had happened, what they had changed. Just the whole frame and suspensions – that’s all! And for 2010, the magicians of the Vehicle Dynamics Group in Milwaukee went a little further in that happy direction, with improved springing and damping at the back, and a slightly stiffer fork to balance out the behaviour. No more wagging tail or suspension and frame twist entering corners. This 2010 bike handles a tad better than even the 2009 model did, and much better than any pre-2009 Touring bike from The Motor Company.

New reworked and redecorated front end, and with two nice discs to slow down the monster when fully laden.
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