HARLEY-DAVIDSON ELECTRA GLIDE ULTRA LIMITED (2013-on) Review

Published: 19 March 2014

The biggest revision of the famous ElectraGlide since 1969

HARLEY-DAVIDSON ELECTRA GLIDE ULTRA LIMITED (2013-on)

The biggest revision of the famous ElectraGlide since 1969

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

Don’t be misled by the new Glide’s seemingly unchanged looks. While the styling may be familiar (and largely sacrosanct according to Harley bosses) the vast majority of the bike is all-new. To be exact, there are over 100 changes, making this the biggest revision of the famous ElectraGlide since it first gained its ‘batwing’ fairing in 1969.
What’s more, these changes include everything, from wheels, brakes and suspension, to clocks and fairing, and, most revolutionary of all, the introduction of water-cooling for the first time on a ‘classic’ Hog.
On the other hand, however, not much has changed at all. If you were ever in any doubt that Harley was a conservative company, the ‘new’ ElectraGlide should be the convincer.
Harley has successfully moved the Electra Glide on and this is, unquestionably, the best Glide ever – but it’s not by as much as those 100-odd changes suggest.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

Forks go from 43mm to 49mm, new 10-spoke ‘Impeller’ wheels shave 5Kg while ABS brakes feature a new Guzzi/Honda CBS-style linked brake system where foot pedal partially operates the front and the lever partially the rear.
Again, however, it’s hard to tell. The Glide still handles surprisingly well for a big ol’ bus, albeit one you can eventually provoke into a high-speed squirm should you feel the need. That said, the bigger disc-ed and now linked brakes are, truly, a meaty improvement over the old. They’re not race-track good, obviously, but they’re ample and adequate. On this evidence, no longer will we be able to criticise Harleys for lamentable stoppers.

Engine 3 out of 5

The familiar pushrod V-twin gets uprated high-flow airbox and, revolutionally, on the Limited model, water-cooling for the first time - albeit subtly so. Twin rads hidden in fairing lowers feed water-channels around exhaust port.
So, yes, the engines are ‘new’, but none of it makes much difference nor changes the fact that this is still the same, basic, pushrod V-twin that’s been around since the ‘80s. And although Harley claims peak torque and power has been upped by around 7%, I couldn’t notice any change.
In 55mph U.S.A. more power isn’t srictly necessary (although it’d have been nice – having to occasionally cog down twice to find some uphil overtaking go highlights the limitations of the ancient Milwaukee twin). In Europe it seems lagging compared to the latest Triumphs, Indians, Guzzis and more.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

Old style they may be, but Harleys have always been pretty rugged and reliable with thick paint and chrome and there’s little reason to doubt this will be any different. One word of warning, however: much is new about this version in areas (electronics, liquid-cooling) new to Harley so time will tell.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

Yup, upwards of 21 grand and, I’m sorry, for an undeveloped, unsophisticated retro bike with last generation performance that’s taking the Mick, no matter how good its residuals…

Insurance group: 17 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

All-new bodywork includes a new fairing vent here, a larger headlight ‘eyebrow’ there and a more cut-down front fender underneath. But short of parking old and new versions side by side you’d never notice. While new one-handed operation pannier and top box catches are welcome, but also isn’t much different from before. But the new ‘Infotainment’ touchscreen display, not to mention the standard clocks and reworked switchgear are, truly, a new standard being great looking, comprehensive (stereo, mp3 link, built in satnav, bluetooth and more), intuitive and, even for an old dinosaur like me, easy to use.

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Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2013
Year discontinued -
New price £21,395
Used price £15,000 to £30,300
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 110 bhp
Max torque 101 ft-lb
Top speed 120 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 42 mpg
Tank range 212 miles
Specification
Engine size 1690cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, pushrod, fuel-injected, 45º V-twin, 6 gears, belt drive
Frame type Tubular steel double cradle
Fuel capacity 22.7 litres
Seat height 740mm
Bike weight 398kg
Front suspension 49mm telescopic forks, no adjust
Rear suspension Twin shocks with preload adjust
Front brake 2 x 300mm discs with 4-piston calipers, ABS
Rear brake 300mm disc with 2-piston caliper rear, linked, ABS
Front tyre size 130 x 17
Rear tyre size 180 x 16

History & Versions

Model history

2013: Model introduced

Other versions

Road King Classic: New version of popular ‘50s style ‘bagger’ with plexi screen uses aircooled version of revised, ‘High Output’ Twin cam 103ci V-twin, Halogen headlights, and wire wheels.

Street Glide: Harley’s best selling bike in 2012 and, it claims, the world’s best-selling tourer gets sharp, ‘Enforcer’ alloy wheels and all the Glide mods but uses 4.3in ‘info’ system and Halogen lights.

ElectraGlide Ultra Classic: Air-cooled motor, 4.3in info system, satin finish fairing inner, plain alloy wheels, plus no top box rack or heated hand grips, but otherwise identical to the top-of-the-range Limited

ElectraGlide Ultra Limited: Range-topper of standard range features new ‘Twin Cooled’ water-cooled engine (so losing compartments in fairing lowers, but has larger 6.5in touchscreen, gloss fairing inner, chromed wheels, luggage rack and heated grips.

CVO ElectraGlide Ultra Limited: Top spec version takes Limited and enhances it with a larger, 110ci displacement, backlit hand and dash controls, pull-out luggage bags, and a host of cosmetic touches. CVO versions of Harley’s Softail Deluxe (£23,195), Road King (£24,995) and Breakout (£21,995) are also available in 2014.

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  • HARLEY-DAVIDSON ELECTRA GLIDE ULTRA LIMITED (2013-on)
  • HARLEY-DAVIDSON ELECTRA GLIDE ULTRA LIMITED (2013-on)
  • HARLEY-DAVIDSON ELECTRA GLIDE ULTRA LIMITED (2013-on)
  • HARLEY-DAVIDSON ELECTRA GLIDE ULTRA LIMITED (2013-on)
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