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Author Topic: 2014 HD Ultra wet head review  (Read 7189 times)

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Offline sleazy rider

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2014 HD Ultra wet head review
« on: December 27, 2013, 06:30:26 AM »
The lovely spouse rented one for me yesterday and I got a chance to put several hundred miles on it.  Sad to say, I'm not an upright seating position rider anymore.  My back started hurting at the couple hundred mile mark and never let up.  My goal was to get to Key West for a photo op with the bike.  Leaving Ft. Myers, I logged some slab miles to get a feel for the bike and play with all the doo-dads.  The GL1800 has nothing on the new Ultra for knobs and buttons.   :lol:   The nav system was nice to have up front and easily visible without much eye shift.  The whole electronics package was a bit much to learn with just a short time to do it.  I managed to figure out how to change stations, adjust the volume on the fly and do simple routing inputs.

Riding the bike - it's a handful to move around under a couple mph.  Once rolling, the weight simply disappears like every other good touring bike.  Being bone stock (sans loud pipes :)), it had a pleasing tone without being overwhelmingly obnoxious.  I had issues with foot placement and adjusting to the heel/toe shifting thing again.  Front brake pedal was too far forward to my liking with a 30" inseam.  The highway pegs?  Totally useless to me.  I couldn't reach 'em!  Handlebar positioning was great for me.  Just enough pitch back and wide enough to not torture the shoulders.  The windscreen was totally wrong for me.  The top of the screen was right at eye level - a serious distraction.  Wind management was decent.  It was cool for Florida, but I don't consider 75* cold.   :lol:   Since all my gear was back home, I was relegated to a HD half shell and NOTGATT.  Shortly after the obligatory Waffle House breakfast break, I tossed the half shell into the tour pack and said screw it.  Too annoying and loose to be of any use.

Rain management was good except for the windshield height tossing all the water right to my face.  I barely got wet in several typical rain showers for the area. 

The engine was nicely set up for low end grunt, but it could use a new fuel map.  It pinged horribly under load at speed when power was rolled on to pass.  There was a noise present that sounded like rockers clattering at all speeds.  The trans had an interesting rattle when slowing for a stop, sounding like a driveshaft u-joint going bad.

The seat was good for a stocker.  I put nearly 400 miles on and could see doing a SS1000 with no problem.  A backrest would be a good idea for me, though. 

Heat management compared to the older Ultras I've ridden is MUCH improved.  My legs never felt a bit of heat, but dropping my hand down, I could feel the radiator heat blowing outside my thigh.  Kudos there for sure. 


Would I own one?  Nope.  Did I enjoy it?  Yep.  I'd like to try a Fat Boy or a Road King like Don's to see if the slow speed stuff is more manageable.


I didn't make it to KW.  When I got to Miami via US-41 from Marco Island, the storm clouds were menacingly horrific, so I ducked north instead.  I took US-27 north to Lake Okeechobee, hoping to get some pics of the bike at the lake.  There's a 20' berm around it, so that also didn't happen.  I rode west across Route 80 back toward Fort Myers and meandered locally for a bit.  There are no "twisty bits" here to test the agility of the lumbering beast.

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In the Waffle House parking lot.

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Looking south towards Key West

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Shots from the casino parking lot in Miami.  Fugly skies.
--Tom

Offline spinalator

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Re: 2014 HD Ultra wet head review
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2013, 07:34:00 AM »
Thanks for the write up.

Online HipGnosis

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Re: 2014 HD Ultra wet head review
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2013, 08:31:53 AM »
How do the radiators NOT dump the heat right on your legs?  That was the first thing I thought when I first saw these.
Is the vent on top of the fairing functional?  If so, is there any adjustment to the venting?
Life is made up of moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement. We have to teach ourselves how to make room for them, to love them, and to live, really live. - Anna Quindlen

Offline Rincewind

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Re: 2014 HD Ultra wet head review
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2013, 08:37:43 AM »
Was there noticeably more power compared to the older Ultras that you've ridden?

Offline chornbe

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Re: 2014 HD Ultra wet head review
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2013, 10:21:30 AM »
I ripped the heel shifter off my Street Glide the day I brought it home and it never went back on. I got used to keeping the balls of my feet at the very back edge of the floorboards for non-shifting riding. as for the back brake pedal... *shrug*  Never used it much. I agree, we shorter-leg people just have to get used to the idea of highway pegs being decoration. :)
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Offline sleazy rider

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Re: 2014 HD Ultra wet head review
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2013, 10:32:46 AM »
How do the radiators NOT dump the heat right on your legs?  That was the first thing I thought when I first saw these.
Is the vent on top of the fairing functional?  If so, is there any adjustment to the venting?

The vents are angled and ducted to move the air outward vs straight back.  The vent on the fairing is a geegaw.  Looks pretty, but does jack.

Was there noticeably more power compared to the older Ultras that you've ridden?

Yes!  It's noticeable.  When I turned the fun meter up, it actually accelerated nearly briskly.  :lol:
--Tom

Offline mxvet57

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Re: 2014 HD Ultra wet head review
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2013, 12:49:28 PM »


Was there noticeably more power compared to the older Ultras that you've ridden?

Yes!  It's noticeable.  When I turned the fun meter up, it actually accelerated nearly briskly.  :lol:


So your saying it didn't try to rip your hands of the bars.
At the risk of encouraging him, I agree with Cookie.   "Bomber"

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Offline Royal Tiger

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Re: 2014 HD Ultra wet head review
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2013, 01:02:39 PM »
Don't all Harley demo rides end up at a bar so you can fully understand the ownership "experience"?  :lol:
~Dan

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Offline sleazy rider

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Re: 2014 HD Ultra wet head review
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2013, 02:16:30 PM »


Was there noticeably more power compared to the older Ultras that you've ridden?

Yes!  It's noticeable.  When I turned the fun meter up, it actually accelerated nearly briskly.  :lol:

So your saying it didn't try to rip your hands of the bars.

It's no sportbike, but it was fun in a wrestling with a dirty pig kinda way.    ;D
--Tom

Offline sleazy rider

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Re: 2014 HD Ultra wet head review
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2013, 02:19:01 PM »
Don't all Harley demo rides end up at a bar so you can fully understand the ownership "experience"?  :lol:

Does two Amber Bocks with dinner qualify? :twofinger:
--Tom

Offline Royal Tiger

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Re: 2014 HD Ultra wet head review
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2013, 02:21:51 PM »
Don't all Harley demo rides end up at a bar so you can fully understand the ownership "experience"?  :lol:

Does two Amber Bocks with dinner qualify? :twofinger:

Only if you rode home after.  :D



But that's fairly lightweight for the "real motorcycle" faithful.   :willy:
~Dan

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Offline sleazy rider

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Re: 2014 HD Ultra wet head review
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2013, 02:39:15 PM »
I might have. We were a quarter mile from the apartment.

--Tom

Offline mxvet57

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Re: 2014 HD Ultra wet head review
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2013, 04:39:07 PM »
Didn't take long for the Harley bashing to begin.
At the risk of encouraging him, I agree with Cookie.   "Bomber"

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Offline Royal Tiger

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Re: 2014 HD Ultra wet head review
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2013, 05:24:45 PM »
Didn't take long for the Harley bashing to begin.

I have ridden 2 Harley's in my life.  Not my cup of tea.  I have however been told an impossible to remember amount of times to get a "real motorcycle" by people who couldn't keep me in sight had they chosen to accept the challenge when they're ego's get bigger then their abilities.  I figured he knew I was teasing him.  I like all bikes, but it does become tough to bare when the same dimwits represent their brand so faithfully.  Maybe it's a northeast thing.  Harley has a plant in PA and they outnumber other bikes often where ever you go.  So maybe it's a numbers/probability issue and not truly indicative of the majority.  Either way life is too short to get upset over some good natured teasing.   :beerchug:
~Dan

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Offline sleazy rider

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Re: 2014 HD Ultra wet head review
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2013, 06:56:26 PM »
Me?  Take insult over a rental bike?  Not likely!  It was a fun time, but as you say, not my cuppa tea either.  Gimme my Daytona and let's go have fun.
--Tom

Offline Royal Tiger

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Re: 2014 HD Ultra wet head review
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2013, 07:15:54 PM »
Me?  Take insult over a rental bike?  Not likely!  It was a fun time, but as you say, not my cuppa tea either.  Gimme my Daytona and let's go have fun.

 :inlove:

I really want another sport bike (RSV4 or Tuono V4), but it looks like I'll be regretfully selling the G650X to get a new KTM 350EXC.
~Dan

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Offline sleazy rider

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Re: 2014 HD Ultra wet head review
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2013, 07:50:47 PM »
My other bike is a DR350.  Dirt is good.   ;D
--Tom

Offline Smilodon_Con

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Re: 2014 HD Ultra wet head review
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2013, 12:58:34 PM »
We need to continue in the ST.Nevermore Harley Bashing tradition.

Royal Tiger is right about the Northeast. That's all you see up here and "Get A Real Bike" is shouted frequently from pickup truck windows.

Carry on.

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« Last Edit: December 28, 2013, 01:55:00 PM by Smilodon_Con »

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Re: 2014 HD Ultra wet head review
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2013, 09:35:16 AM »
I never hear that from people.  Perhaps because I only stop long enough to fill the gas tank.   :twofinger:


That said, the only bikes I see other than my STOner buddies in the middle of winter tend to be Harley RIDERS.  You know, the ones that don't give a shit what you ride, just that you are out there.

Offline 2RR2NV

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Re: 2014 HD Ultra wet head review
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2013, 12:28:02 PM »
even tho we don't have the population here in the Hills, we also get the "get a real bike" comment. I just throw some random brand out there and watch their reaction. Funny as heck.

"Why don't you get a real bike?"

"what?  a Honda?"

oh, the funny looks ensue.

Heck, just the other day. While at O'Reilly's getting an oil filter for the car. I had rode the bike and the counter guy was asking the usual questions.  "what kind of bike? how's the riding?" etc...  The guy standing next to me in line opens his mouth to spout his glorious knowledge of the best bikes...  "well, ya know Harley. Harley ya see. Harley is the bike.. "  and yes, that's about all he said while i picked up my stuff. He was still babbling as i walked out the door. I'm sure he was praising the virtues of such a fine brand compared to a Kawi. Yep, you go dude. I should have asked him "where's your Harley and why aren't you riding?" It was sweltering out for cripes sake... 50 degrees and no wind.
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