This takes us to the electronic fuel injection that just continues to improve year after year. If not for the computer controlled, closed-loop system these motors might just melt from their lean running condition. The computer takes care of pinging and can adjust the ignition and fuel delivery in fractions of a second. Throttle response through the fly-by-wire throttle is very good and smooth. The throttle system is finely integrated into the cruise control for the best operating and invisible cruise control we've ever tested. Power output is average even with a regeared final ratio for '09 (look for the brand new 2010 103ci Ultra in an upcoming review.) Like many things though power is relative and depends on what type of rider you are and where you live. In the busy metropolis it's not always possible to downshift once or twice to get out of a trouble spot. But, we've been accused of expecting a canyon carver out of a Touring bike before and truthfully that's how we like to ride them.
Even with a longer wheelbase and an increase in trail the Ultra can be ridden fast and leaned over far before touching down the floorboards. It's a solid feeling bike while leaned over with no unwanted tendency to stand up or flop over in a tight turn. This particular bike had the triple disc ABS option. We haven't had many instances where the ABS kicked in but it is a welcome option especially if you ride in the rain a lot. One thing to keep in mind is the difference in brake feel between the ABS and non-ABS Brembo brakes. In our hands the ABS has a stiffer lever pull with less modulation than the non-ABS. With that said though, the braking system works great but frankly we haven't had the ABS activate in a panic stop. However, ABS is no crutch for poor riding technique.
The luggage capacity is the shining light on the Ultra. There is no other bike made that offers as much usable space. The saddlebags and the Tour-Pak are lockable as well as waterproof. The Tour-Pak has additional tail and brake lights too for added safety and visibility. For even more storage there is a rack on top of the Tour-Pak, but we'd be careful not too load up too much weight that high up on the bike.
Just load up the bags, put your favorite passenger on the back and hit the open road. Gas is all you'll need and with six gallons of super unleaded you can easily go 250 miles between stops. If you like to ride all day an comfort this is the bike for you. For more information contact your local Harley-Davidson dealer or log onto
2009 Harley-Davidson FLHTCU Ultra Classic Electra Glide
Black; $21,529 Color; $21,959, Two Tone;
$22,159, Custom Color
Shown is Two-Tone Red Hot Sunglo/Smokey Gold
ABS option, $795
3700 W. Juneau Avenue