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Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic

Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic

The Electra Glide Ultra Classic serves as Harley Davidson’s entry-level model for its full-dresser lineup. Updated for 2017, it sports improved suspension while reducing the heat felt by rider and passenger for greater all-around comfort. Not only that, but the all-new Milwaukee-Eight engine makes its way onto this ride for greater performance than ever before with 111.4 pound-feet of torque and six-speed transmission that comes geared for highway riding at a reasonable rpm. H-D’s Infotainment system makes an appearance as well, so the phrase “entry level” is obviously a relative statement. Let’s check out this updated classic to see where the balance was struck.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic.

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Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra

Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra

Riding A Trike Isn’t Just For Old Folks Anymore

Harley-Davidson’s three-wheeled Tri Glide Ultra moves into the 2017 model year with a handful of improvements and a brand-spanking new engine. The factory powers it with its powerful and all-new, Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine that cranks out over 100 pounds o’ grunt to place it well into the power-cruiser category, even though H-D markets it as a tour bike. Exhaust components rerouting addresses heat problems from prior model-years, and the King of Paint adds a couple of new, two-tone paint schemes to the palette. Harley’s target market for this beast mainly consists of persons who are unwilling or unable to manage one of their admittedly top-heavy, two-wheeled tourers for one reason or another, and I’ve always considered it to be a very laudable thing to try and make sure that anyone who wants bugs in their teeth can have it.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra.

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Yamaha Star Venture

Yamaha Star Venture

Yamaha’s Hot New Transcontinental Tourer

Yamaha took a little hiatus from the full-dresser market to the tune of almost a half-decade, but the Tuning Fork Company has broken its fast with the release of the all-new Star Venture. This ride clearly comes geared to take on Harley-Davidson’s touring line in general, and the Road Glide Ultra specifically. Ambitious? You betcha, but Yamaha did its homework and put together a machine that brings torquey, big-inch, V-twin yummy goodness to the U.S. market in a rather tour-tastic package that boasts over 35 gallons of dry storage across the two hard bags and trunk box on the base model with additional storage available as part of the “Transcontinental Option Package.” The very name speaks volumes. Yammy even threw on an infotainment system to bring it into line with the other top touring models, but I want to see what else the factory has done to back it up.

Continue reading for my look at the Yamaha Star Venture.

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2017 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited / Ultra Limited Low

2017 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited / Ultra Limited Low

In spite of recent gains by long-time rival Indian Motorcycle, Harley-Davidson remains the king of the American-style bagger/tourbikes. The brand and genre are inextricably linked with the American landscape, and the new Ultra Limited and Ultra Limited Low are perfect examples of why that is still true. This year sees the all-new, 107-inch, Milwaukee-Eight engine with nearly 114 pounds o’ grunt on tap along with improved suspension components and other, comfort-related improvements over the MY16 units. Naturally, this is in addition to all the tour-tastic yummy-goodness that made the Ultra Limited such a touring staple in the first place. Today I’m going to take a look at this pair to see what else is new and exciting, then we are going to see how it measures up against the Indian Roadmaster that I reckon will be its most direct competitor.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited and Ultra Limited Low.

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2015 - 2017 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero / Vulcan 1700 Voyager

2015 - 2017 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero / Vulcan 1700 Voyager

The Vulcan 1700 series from Kawasaki launched in 2009 replacing the the existing 1600 series and carries forward the Vulcan family that started in 1984. The Vaquero and the Voyager — a bagger and full dresser, respectively — both come with ABS and, as the name suggests, the 1700 cc engine in the V-twin configuration with liquid cooling and a six-speed transmission. Ready for a cruise around town or hitting the open road, the Vulcan 1700s are well fitted and all-around solid.

Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero and Vulcan 1700 Voyager.

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2016 - 2017 Indian Roadmaster

2016 - 2017 Indian Roadmaster

What do you get when you fully dress a Chieftain from Indian Motorcycles? If you’re clever and remembered the title of this article, you guessed the Roadmaster and you’d be correct. If that’s the case, you might wonder why the seat height of the Roadmaster is just a tad higher than the Chieftain. The answer to that is the extra plush saddle on the Roadmaster. That is just the beginning of plush when looking at the 2017 Roadmaster, Indian’s full-time luxury tourer.

With standard features such as a premium 200W stereo, cruise control, ABS, power windshield, keyless ignition, remote locking storage, tire pressure monitoring, Pathfinder LED lights, heated seats and grips, and that gorgeous desert tan leather, the Roadmaster is the "LT" model of the Indian stable.

Continue reading for my review of the Indian Roadmaster.

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2017 Victory Cross Country / Cross Country Tour

2017 Victory Cross Country / Cross Country Tour

Polaris Industries has its hands full these days with two companies — Victory & Indian — under its umbrella in direct competition with American heavyweight Harley-Davidson. Victory is starting to make a name for itself as the “American Performance” company with its progressive styling and large, powerful V-twin engines.

The 2017 Cross Country (CC) and Cross Country Tour (the Cross Country 8-Ball wasn’t carried forward to 2017) take a stab at grabbing the attention of U.S. buyers with the baggage capacity and wind protection we expect and looks similar to what we are accustomed to. Let’s face it, “baggers” and “tour bikes” look different here than anywhere else in the world, ’cause the “lower 48” is big with long, straight roads that span for miles and miles, unlike some European countries and island nations where one must do laps to get a long-distance ride in. Let’s look at what Victory is doing to compete in this long-legged market with the CC and CC Tour.

Continue reading for my review of the Victory Cross Country and Cross Country Tour.

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2015 - 2016 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited / Ultra Limited Low

2015 - 2016 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited / Ultra Limited Low

When it comes to American touring machines, Harley-Davidson finds itself in an enviable position indeed. As the domestic manufacturer with the longest uninterrupted production run, The MoCo has helped to shape and define what “tourbike” means to us, which is quite different from the rest of the world, to put it mildly.

U.S. Tourbikes, for several decades now, have been all about getting as much storage, comfort and luxe features packed onto the frame as possible, and the H-D Ultra Limited and Ultra Limited Low represents its top-of-the-line touring model without getting into the CVO division. Although this pair doesn’t get the sexy, 110-inch CVO motor, they do sport a whole host of Project Rushmore features, so we wind up with some of Harley’s top-shelf, rider-inspired gadgets that turn this line into something of a national opus.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Project Rushmore is a campaign by Harley to gather ideas from its customer base and actively develop and impliment them on production models — sort of a suggestions box on steroids — so can one argue that these bikes are built by the people, for the people? OK, that may be going it a bit high, but join me anyway while I take a look at the Ultra Limited and Ultra Limited Low.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited and Ultra Limited Low.

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2015 - 2017 Victory Vision

2015 - 2017 Victory Vision

Introduced in 2007 as an addition to the Victory touring lineup for 2008, the Vision came in two versions: the Vision Street, which came standard with a full fairing and hard side bags and the Vision Tour, which included those features plus a hard trunk. In 2010, Victory renamed the Vision Street version the Vision 8-Ball, keeping the Vision Tour as its full dresser.

For 2017, Victory offers the Vision — with ABS and cruise control standard — alongside the Cross Country Tour as its mighty duo in the tourer bracket.

Continue reading for my review of the Victory Vision.

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2015 - 2016 BMW K 1600 GT / K 1600 GTL / K 1600 GTL Exclusive

2015 - 2016 BMW K 1600 GT / K 1600 GTL / K 1600 GTL Exclusive

The Bayerische Motoren Werke (Bavarian Motor Works, or simply BMW if you like) has proven time and again the quality of German motorcycle engineering since the early 20th century. Now operating as BMW Motorrad, the factory continues this legacy into the 21st century with the release of the BMW K 1600 GT, GTL and GTL Exclusive. Complete with the expected blend of luxurious, comfort-driven features and uncompromising performance, this ride is a perfect example of why Don Henley wrote, “I love those Bavarians, so meticulous.”

Continue reading for my review of the BMW K 1600 GT, K 1600 GTL & K 1600 GTL Exclusive.

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2014 - 2016 Harley-Davidson Road Glide / Road Glide Special / Road Glide Ultra

2014 - 2016 Harley-Davidson Road Glide / Road Glide Special / Road Glide Ultra

Back after a two-year hiatus, the Road Glide Ultra rejoins Harley-Davidson’s FLTR touring stable that includes the Road Glide — which returned to the lineup in 2015 after a year-long hiatus — and the new-for-2015 Road Glide Special. Why the absences? Why, to get Project Rushmore work-ups, of course.

Since its introduction in 2011, the Road Glide Ultra has been the bike of choice for hard-core Harley tourers both in the saddle and on the pillion and its return to the touring lineup is a welcome event. The Road Glide, the base model workhorse of the FLTR group, continues the tradition of outstanding touring comfort and joins its sibling, the Road Glide Special for some new-for-2016 goodies.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Road Glide, Road Glide Special and Road Glide Ultra.

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2015 - 2016 Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra

2015 - 2016 Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra

It’s now cool to be seen on a trike. No longer is a trike the ride of old guys too infirm to hold up a two-wheeler. Two things excite me about the Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra: it’s a Harley and it’s one of a Harley’s Project Rushmore bikes. As a biker’s ol’ lady, right away I’m excited about a new Harley with that Harley look, feel and sound. Add to that what I know about Project Rushmore, and I already know I’m going to like the Tri Glide Ultra (FLHTCUTG).

Continue reading to see my review on Harley-Davidson’s Tri Glide Ultra.

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