Harley-Davidson describes its new 2015 Ultra Limited Low as ‘slammed and loaded’, which means as well as featuring the lowest seat height of any premium touring bike, it also comes with a thumping 100-watt inbuilt entertainment system.
Based around the existing Ultra Limited model, the Low uses the same ‘Twin-Cooled’ 103 engine with 102ft.lb of torque, but the width of the primary housing and derby covers has been reduced to improve leg clearance to the ground. This narrowing of the Ultra, along with a new handlebar that puts the controls 50.8mm closer to the rider, smaller diameter grips to accommodate smaller hands, and an side-stand design which benefits the shorter of leg, is all aimed at making the bike more accessible to smaller riders.
In fact, Harley says it was developed due to the demand from customers as vertically challenged as five feet five inches tall, looking for a big touring bike that is designed for their stature.
In order to achieve the incredibly low 650mm seat height, which is a significant 43mm lower than the current Ultra Classic, Harley has re-profiled the seat and also crucially modified the suspension to lower the bike’s centre of gravity. According to Harley, this new weight distribution makes the Ultra Low Limited easier to lift on and off its stand, while also improving the handling and low-speed maneuverability.
This is another extension to the 2014 glut of updates Harley developed under the umbrella of Project Rushmore. The Ultra Limited Low also benefits from the firm’s intuitive touch screen GPS system, a 100-watt infotainment system, much-improved ABS, cast aluminium wheels, two-tone paint and the firm’s Tour-Pak, which includes saddlebags and luggage rack.
Prices for the Ultra Limited Low start at £21,395, but as the parts are interchangeable, owners of the current Ultra Limited can update their model to Low specification should they wish to – which also opens up the option to buyers of pre-owned Ultras.
The 650mm seat height is the lowest of any premium touring bike and with a new low-profile seat and bars located 50.8mm closer to the rider, the Low is designed to suit riders as short as 5ft 5”.
The Low features modified suspension that Harley claims not only contributes to its reduction in seat height, but also makes the bike easier to get off its stand by lowering its centre of gravity.
The width of the primary drive housing and derby cover is reduced to improve leg clearance to the ground by reducing the amount of leg splay, thus effectively magnifying the effect of the lower seat height.
Big V-twins can often suffer from a particularly heavy clutch action, something riders with small hands will suffer even more with. Harley has not only reduced the thickness of the bar grips, but have also hydraulic clutch reduces lever effort.
A new toe tab extension has been added to the side-stand to reduce the foot reach required to retract the side stand when the rider is sat onboard. New passenger footboard mounts also allow them to be folded out of the way for easier manual maneuvering of the bike.
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