Motorcycle: Glides - FLHTCU - I Ultra Classic ElectraGlide, 1997 - Present
Date: Sunday, October 31 @ 13:53:32 UTC
Topic: Motorcycle, Motorcycles, Motor Cycle
FLHTCU - I Ultra Classic ElectraGlide, 1997 - Present
For a supposedly conservative model from a fairly cautious company, the top ElectraGlide has undergone a relentless battery of changes during the past few years. Fuel injection (ESPFI) first hit the family on the FLHTC Thirtieth Anniversary in 1995, before becoming standard on Road King and top-of-the-range ElectraGlides for the following model year. Then, scarcely had 1997 brought a new frame with lower saddle height (27in/ 685mm) and many other detail changes, than Harley-Davidson's first new engine for 15 years graced the good old ElectraGlide.
The Twin Cam 88 is not only "glittering with chrome" but gives the massive ElectraGlide a welcome boost to more than 80bhp, with a prodigious peak torque of 86 lb/ft (117Nm). With a wider spread of torque and the driveability that only fuel injection brings, the big Glide's legendary ability to gobble up countless miles is improved. Now it shrugs off gradients and altitude with even greater ease than before. Everything about the big Glide, from its fat tyres and sofa-like saddle to lazy, laid-back steering geometry, marks it out as the grandest of open-road tourers.
Scaling a thundering 776lbs (352kg) without so much as a drop of fuel in the tank, this is the heaviest Hog of them all. Most of that weight is good, solid Milwaukee metal, but much of the rest aims to pamper the rider like no other bike known to humanity. The amply padded seat is huge and welcoming, while the adjustable footboards give room to move and relax. Harley's neat method of rubber mounting the engine in the steel square-backbone frame ensures that engine vibration is enough to say "Harley" but not so that it will intrude. Meanwhile the panniers, fairing pockets and copious, carpet-lined "King Tour-Pak" top box simply swallow up luggage.
Harley-Davidson describes its top model as "fully loaded" and you'd better believe it. Depending on the market, it comes with passing and running lamps, more instruments than a Booing and even a cigarette lighter. There's a voice-activated intercom, CB radio and electronic cruise control complete with
"Resume" and "Accelerate" modes.
The 40-watts-per-channel AM/FM cassette radio contains weatherband, four speakers, separate passenger ',, controls and dual antenna, all controlled from a myriad of switches on the left handlebar and able to respond automatically to ambient noise levels.
If any Harley-Davidson is as much fantasy as motorcycle, this top ElectraGlide takes the dream to the next level. Imagine cruising over Arizona's high plateaux, the warm desert wind tugging at your sleeves and caressing your designer sunglasses. Slip in your favourite blues cassette or tune in to a passing country music station, and the Glide will transport you to Hog heaven.
Come service time, it can even talk to
Harley-Davidson mechanics as well, since the engine management system contains full diagnostic capability -and that's only part of the story.
Some bikers mock the ElectraGlide as a two-wheeled Cadillac de Ville.
Certainly, it's as far from a sports bike as it is possible for a motorcycle to get.
Absurd, to some.
Over-the-top, probably. But glorious — definitely yes.
Engine: air-cooled ohv V-twin
Capacity: 88.42cu in (1,449cc)
Weight: 7761bs (352kg)
Wheelbase: 63in (1,600mm)
Top speed: 105mph (169kph)
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