Which motorcycles on sale today give the best mpg?
The beginning of this century saw the world views changing gradually towards climate change and the need to preserve the environment. This, along with stringent policies, has forced the manufacturers to develop motorcycles that can run cleaner fuel and extract the maximum economy from it, sometimes even at the cost of performance.
Bad news for people who seek the element of thrill, but a pretty good one for someone living in urban jungles where folks prefer commuting on a motorcycle rather thank a car for its practicality and frugal fuel-efficiency. Then there are us few who love the idea of putting serious miles on two-wheels and living the adventure.
We here have compiled a list to give you the best available tools for such situations and save some money on gas while at it.
2020 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited
Harley-Davidson kicked its Road Glide Ultra to the curb from its touring lineup ahead of MY2020 in favor of its new FLTRK Road Glide Limited. The Road Glide Limited takes touring comfort and safety up a notch with a host of new electronic features to go with its already-fabulous Infotainment system, and it all comes wrapped in a premium paint along with special bits of bling to finish off the package. Best of all, Harley powers the Road Glide Limited with its second largest production engine, the 1,868 cc Milwaukee-Eight 114 that brings over 100 pounds o’ grunt to the table for your touring enjoyment.
2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Road Glide / Road Glide Special
Harley-Davidson brought its Road Glide and Road Glide Special into the 2018 model year with the base-model Glide more or less a direct carryover in everything but color selection. However, the “Special” rocks a host of improvements from last year, and for 2019, comes with the Milwaukee-Eight 114 in its standard equipment package. With improved suspension from Showa cushioning the ride, this pair is ripe for customization and gives prospective bike builders a blank canvas with which to work.
2019 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra
The Harley-Davidson Motor Company beefed up its fixed-fairing Road Glide Ultra ahead of MY2019 with new electronic features along with a larger, more powerful Milwaukee-Eight powerplant. Built for long-distance work, the “Ultra” pulls from the top shelf for its touring tenacity with plenty of lockable dry storage and cushy appointments that let you share the fun with a friend in style and comfort. The factory adds the contemporary fairing to classic Harley looks to make the new Ultra a truly modern ride, but with the deep roots we expect from the MoCo.
2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Road King / Road King Special
Harley-Davidson made some fairly major changes for MY2018, but the Road King stands firmly unchanged as a link to the past with a heritage that arguably started in 1958 with the Duo-Glide. The base-model comes equipped the 107 cubic-inch Milwaukee-Eight, though for 2019, the factory graced the Road King Special with the Milwaukee-Eight 114. Engine output places them well within the power-tourer bracket with a whopping 111 pound-feet of torque on tap (123 pound-feet for the Special) to push its curb weight that you may as well call it half-a-ton with a rider plus whatever is in your bags and on the pillion.
2019 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Standard
Harley-Davidson Motor Company rolled out a mid-year release with a new addition to its touring line, the Electra Glide Standard. This new model strikes a balance between comfort and fandanglery with all the essentials you need for cruising/touring and none of the fluff. It rocks the relatively new Milwaukee-Eight 107 powerplant and all the ride-quality controls associated with the revamped touring line, but leaves the Infotainment gear on the shelf to deliver a refined-yet-raw riding experience.
2019 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited / Ultra Limited Low
Lots of Harley-Davidson’s lineup hit the cutting room floor this year, but the top-shelf Ultra Limited and Ultra Limited Low remains a constant, at least through the 2019 model year. This pair represents the pinnacle of the MoCo’s standard, non-CVO tourbike development, and they come with all the bells and whistles you’d expect on top of the largest, most powerful Big Twin powerplant ever to see the full-dresser lineup. As its ingeniously clever name suggests, the “Low” comes slammed to the max, and that opens it up for use by inseams that are a skosh short for the regular “Ultra.” I expect a full spectrum of comfort-related geegaws on these bikes, and it seems as though Milwaukee, once again, does not disappoint.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited and Ultra Limited Low.
2019 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited
Harley-Davidson’s “Limited” has always been a top-shelf machine, so how do you improve on something that already comes with all the bells and whistles? Why, you turn it over to the Custom Vehicle Operations division, of course. The CVO Limited represents the pinnacle of Harley’s tourbike development with all the gadgets and gizmoes of the Ultra Limited, plus the pure-D awesome-sauce that comes with “CVO-ification”. An updated infotainment system joins the brushed-up, year-model specific design details to boost curb appeal, and the MoCo shoehorns in the largest production mill it has ever built to drive it all. Like the rest of the CVO line, the Limited comes with three distinct paint packages with varied levels of bling, so without further ado, let’s dive into Harley’s premium two-wheeled performance tourbike.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson CVO Limited.
2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Street Glide
Harley-Davidson rolled out the newest generation of its hot-rod bagger, the Street Glide, last year when it shoehorned one of its brand-new 107 cubic-inch Milwaukee-Eight engines into the frame, and that more or less carries straight over into MY2019. Updated suspension components join the new powerplant and recently-revised bodywork to make this latest boulevard bruiser one of the most popular models to come out of Milwaukee right now. Today I’m going to dive into this newest version and see what other yummy-goodness the MoCo has in store for us.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Street Glide,
2017 - 2018 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited / Ultra Limited Low
The new-in-2017 107-inch, Milwaukee-Eight engine from Harley-Davidson delivers nearly 114 pounds o’ grunt along with improved suspension components and other, comfort-related improvements over the MY2016 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.
2017 - 2019 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 in 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 made 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 made 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.
2017 - 2018 Harley-Davidson Tri Glide Ultra
Harley-Davidson’s three-wheeled Tri Glide Ultra moved into the 2017 model year with a handful of improvements and a brand-spanking new engine. The factory powers it with its powerful Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine introduced last year 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 addressed heat problems from prior model-years, and the King of Paint added a couple of new, two-tone paint schemes to the palette for 2017, as well as a 115th Anniversary model for 2018. 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.
2017 - 2018 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide
Harley-Davidson’s Custom Vehicle Operations department puts together what one could call showroom-custom bikes that include many of the features that buyers commonly add on post-sale and borrows much of the Infotainment system used on the big touring models. For 2017, this hot-rod bagger featured a new-and-improved suspension system to the table; and for 2018, it features the with the all-new, 117 cubic-inch, Milwaukee-Eight engine. Power output falls well above the 100 pound-foot mark — not surprising with a CVO machine — so it falls into the power-cruiser/stoplight-burner category. Performance, good looks and barrels of that Harley mystique push the CVO Street Glide over the top in my book, so join me while I check out the details of this vanity-stoking sled.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide.