New Engine, New Chassis, New Tech Wizardry

Harley-Davidson has released its 2019 lineup, and it looks like the newly revamped TriGlide Ultra is the hot ticket to debut all the new tech to come out of Milwaukee this year. The TriGlide combines the stability of a traditional trike platform with all the same tour-tastic goodies that makes H-D’s two-wheeler tourbikes such a success. New this year, an updated infotainment system gives you better touchscreen performance along with better sound system options, but the real performance boost lies in the engine area as Harley beefed up its already massive mill. Attention was paid to the suspension components as well to make this generation of trike smoother than ever before, so as you can see, the MoCo did its homework and gave the people exactly what they want, and more of it. Or, did they? Let’s find out.

Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson TriGlide Ultra,

  • 2019 Harley-Davidson TriGlide Ultra
  • Year:
    2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Milwaukee-Eight 114
  • Displacement:
    114 cubic inches
  • Price:
    36099
  • Price:

2019 Harley-Davidson TriGlide Ultra Design

2019 Harley-Davidson TriGlide Ultra
- image 792900
The new TriGlide comes with the new Boom! Box GTS that brings a host of features and conveniences to your trip.

The TriGlide leads off with a full length fender that rocks the chrome skirt and valence that ties it right into the look of yesteryear, but with shortened sides that leave a nice view of the front wheel. Chrome beercan fork skirts dress up the swept area of the stems and fit quite well with the (also chrome) whisker bar, turn signals and passing lamps for even more of that yummy dated flavor.

A projector-style cyclops headlight rides recessed at the entry of the Batwing fairing with a vent just above that helps reduce the head-buffet effect where the slipstream meets the pocket behind the glass. The mid-size windshield forms the top of the protection zone, and a pair of air deflectors widen the pocket and extend it down, though I’ve got to admit the deflectors beef up the fairing to make it look a lot like the previous generation, and I ain’t a fan.

Inside the fairing, a quartet of gauges displays the pertinents, and the new Boom! Box GTS system handles the rest. It comes covered with Gorilla Glass so it’s tough enough to stand up to use, but sensitive enough to allow for pinch, drag and swipe manipulation, even with gloves on and in wet conditions. Pipe your tunes in wirelessly and use your mobile phone through the Bluetooth connection, or use the USB port for wired integration.

The navigation system can be likewise fed with information and pre-planned routes so you can work out your trips on your PC (or whatever) and plug the data right into your bike. This new system boasts more memory that the previous version and is loads faster with a reduction in boot-up speed from 21 seconds down to 10 seconds and faster route calculation to boot. That extra 11 seconds is a long time when you’re wondering “Is this my turn? Is this my turn?” while you’re waiting.

A set of four speakers surround you with sound from their positions in the Tourpak and inner fairing with 25-Watts per channel, but if that ain’t good enough for you, the factory offers Stage II speakers through its accessory line that will certainly bring enough to share with the class.

A six-gallon tank slopes gently to the deep-scoop saddle that rides at 28.9 inches off the ground with a rise to the pillion throne that doubles as a lumbar support for the rider. The Tourpak comes with a full backrest and arm support for your passenger’s comfort with a total of 6.8 cubic-feet of storage in the rear to allow for well-equipped trips, or at least some serious grocery runs.

2019 Harley-Davidson TriGlide Ultra Chassis

2019 Harley-Davidson TriGlide Ultra
- image 792899
For 2019, the TriGlide comes with Harley's new corner sensitive ABS and traction control.

Like its FL models, Harley builds the TriGlide around a tubular-steel frame that fully cradles and supports the massive powerplant. The double-downtube/double-cradle frame carries its steering head at 26-degrees with 3.94 inches of trail, relatively short numbers for a tour-type bike, but the dual rear wheels and lack of lean-ability changes the equation a bit, and so the TriGlide carries steering geometry figures much closer to that of sportbikes than what you’d expect to find on an American-made cruiser.

New on the trikes for this year, the Showa front suspension runs with dual bending valve technology to deliver a plush ride, and an emulsion-shock system out back to do the same. The new shock comes with a handwheel for quick-and-easy adjustments without benefit of tools to enable quick adjustments for variable cargo and passenger loads, ’cause let’s face it, some passengers are more of a load than others.

Dual front brakes provide the bulk of the stopping power with a pair of four-pot anchors up front and a single-piston caliper out back. As usual, Harley slaps on its Linked-Brakes feature, but with one very important diffidence this year: the corner-sensitive ABS that trumps the regular ABS from previous years. That’s right, the MoCo is using an inertial measurement device to adjust the strength of the intervention based on the calculated available traction.

Oh, there’s more. Harley has finally joined the rest of the world with a traction-control system, but rather than modulating the engine’s output when wheel slip is detected, it restores traction by applying a bit of rear brake instead. Not the usual manner of handling things, but I’ll give Harley credit for getting it done, regardless.

A pair of seven-spoke, cast-aluminum rims round out the rolling chassis with a 16-inch hoop up front and automotive-size fifteens out back, so you know you have some ginormous contact patches for serious traction.

Frame: Mild steel, square-section backbone with twin downtubes
Swingarm: Mild steel, rectangular tube sections with plate junctions; MIG welded
Front Forks: 49 mm dual bending valve
Rear Shocks: Premium hand-adjustable rear suspension
Suspension Travel: Front Wheel: 4.6 in. (117 mm), Rear Wheel: 3 in. (76 mm)
Rake (steering head): 26°
Fork Angle: 32°
Trail: 3.94 in. (100 mm)
Brakes, Front: Dual 11.8 in. x .2 in. (300 mm x 5.1 mm) floating rotors, fixed 32 mm 4 piston caliper
Brakes, Rear: 10.6 in. x .24 in. (270 mm x 6 mm) fixed rotor, floating 36 mm piston integrated park brake
Anti-Lock Braking System: Standard
Wheel, Front: Black, 7-Spoke Cast Aluminum, 16 in. x 3 in. (406 mm x 76 mm)
Wheel, Rear: Black, 7-Spoke Cast Aluminum, 15 in. x 5.5 in. (381 mm x 140 mm)
Tire, Front: Dunlop® Harley-Davidson® Series, D402F MT90B16 72H
Tire, Rear: Dunlop® Harley-Davidson® Series, Signature P205/65R15 92T

2019 Harley-Davidson TriGlide Ultra Drivetrain

2019 Harley-Davidson TriGlide Ultra
- image 792898
Still no riding modes, but like the traction control, Harley attacks the problem of excessive backtorque from aggressive downshifting and/or engine braking in its own unique way.

The pièce de résistance with any Harley is the engine, but this year is special. A monstrous, 114 cubic-inch (1,868 cc) mill drives the TriGlide Ultra with 121 stump-pulling pound-feet of torque that comes on fully at 3,250 rpm. The Twin-cooled Milwaukee-Eight 114 runs with a 102 mm bore and 114 mm stroke with a 10.5-to-1 compression ratio. Per the ingeniously clever name, it dumps waste heat through the usual air-cooling fins but also pulls heat from around the exhaust valve area to give it some extra staying power, even in stop-and-go traffic.

Still no riding modes, but like the traction control, Harley attacks the problem of excessive backtorque from aggressive downshifting and/or engine braking in its own unique way. When a wheel-speed differential is detected upon deceleration, the engine will speed itself up just a skosh to prevent the rear end from breaking loose and keep the tail where it belongs, behind you. A single throttle body controls the induction to deliver 42 mpg and help the beast meet emission standards.

Engine: Twin-Cooled™ Milwaukee-Eight® 114, Pushrod-operated, overhead valves with hydraulic, self-adjusting lifters; four valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 4.016 in. x 4.5 in. (102 mm x 114 mm)
Displacement: 114 cu. in. (1,868 cc)
Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
Engine Torque (per J1349)(North America): 121 lb-ft @ 3,250 rpm (164 Nm @ 3,250 rpm)
Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Exhaust: Chrome, 2-1-2 dual exhaust with tapered mufflers
Lubrication System: Pressurized, dry-sump with oil cooler
Primary Drive: Chain, 34/46 ratio
Final Drive: Belt, 30/70 ratio
Clutch: Hydraulically actuated 10 plate, wet Assist & Slip
Transmission: 6-Speed Cruise Drive

2019 Harley-Davidson TriGlide Ultra Pricing

2019 Harley-Davidson TriGlide Ultra
- image 792896
Price is in the posh range at $36k+

As usual, the prices are based on which color package you choose. Vivid Black lands on the bottom rung at $36,099, and depending on your taste, you can run that all the way up to $38,499 for the two-tone custom color packages. Security and CC is standard, but Cali, yeah, you guys can expect that $200 emissions hit; nothing for it.

Warranty: 24 months (unlimited mileage)
Standard Equipped: Security System Option, Cruise Control Option
Colors: Vivid Black, Twisted Cherry, Midnight Blue/Barracuda Silver, Wicked Red/Barracuda Silver, Kinetic Green, Scorched Orange/Black Denim, Silver Flux/Black Fuse
Price: Vivid Black: $36,099, Color: $36,949, Two-Tone: $37,449, Custom Color: $37,849, Two-Tone Custom Color: $38,499

2019 Harley-Davidson TriGlide Ultra Competitors

2018 Can-Am Spyder RT
- image 755895
2019 Harley-Davidson TriGlide Ultra
- image 792902
Harley catches up in the electronics department this year, but is still half again more expensive than the Spyder.

The TriGlide Ultra is a tough one to find a direct competitor for in my little head-to-head. Since the TriGlide runs in the classic, two-in-back configuration, it’s unique amongst the major brands. In light of that, I’m going to go with the Can-Am Spyder RT for its tour-tastic layout and non-leaning configuration.

The Spyder is built around a Delta configuration, which is to say, two-wheels-up-front. This delivers an even more stable ride in the corners since the two-in-back style has inherently weak “front corners” (there’s a reason the old off-road three-wheelers were outlawed) that the Delta closes off. To be fair, Harley’s new corner-sensitive ABS and traction control system goes a long way toward rectifying those weaknesses, so don’t write off the two-in-back design just yet.

The Spyder carries itself with many of the same features starting with the front fairing and windshield, and ending up at the top case/passenger backrest and hard-side saddlebags. Due to the Volkswagen-style trunk up front, the Spyder lets you pack away up to 41 gallons of cargo once the top case and side cases are factored in, so it too is capable of some serious shopping or long-distance treks.

Power comes from the proven Rotax 1330 Advanced Combustion Engine, an inline triple, that packs away a total of 96 pound-feet of torque for your holeshot and roll-on enjoyment. The tranny is a six-speed semi-automatic that allows for easy operation sans clutch, something H-D has no answer for, and the Spyder carries an impressive electronics suite with stability/traction control, a hill-hold feature, ABS, security and a power-steering system. That’s alright, because the TriGlide gets some similar fandanglery this year as well, with more on the way I’m sure, so the electronics are a wash.

Can-Am scores at the checkout counter at “only” $24,599 against the $36,099 tag on the basic black TriGlide Ultra, and that’s a big enough jump to buy some business for BRP.

He Said

“No matter the price difference, I feel like anyone who’d be interested in the TriGlide obviously has good taste in classic American design, and would probably be an unlikely candidate for a funny-backwards trike like the Spyder line. However, I recognize that the market’s taste for the old-school is an ever-changing dynamic, so it’s a matter of wait-and-see with the new, buffed-up trike line.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “The factory gave the TriGlide some lovin’ for 2019 with the fancy new infotainment center, new engine, and new suspension. The Showa front suspension with DBV technology is designed and dampened specifically for the TriGlide this year, and the rear is adjustable with a single knob under the seat. It’s great to see some electronic wizardry hitting Harley’s lineup and, like my husband, I do hope to see some of that tech trickle down into the other models next year.”

2019 Harley-Davidson TriGlide Ultra Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Twin-Cooled™ Milwaukee-Eight® 114, Pushrod-operated, overhead valves with hydraulic, self-adjusting lifters; four valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 4.016 in. x 4.5 in. (102 mm x 114 mm)
Displacement: 114 cu. in. (1,868 cc)
Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
Engine Torque (per J1349)(North America): 121 lb-ft @ 3,250 rpm (164 Nm @ 3,250 rpm)
Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Air Cleaner: Paper, washable
Exhaust: Chrome, 2-1-2 dual exhaust with tapered mufflers
Lubrication System: Pressurized, dry-sump with oil cooler
Primary Drive: Chain, 34/46 ratio
Final Drive: Belt, 30/70 ratio
Clutch: Hydraulically actuated 10 plate, wet Assist & Slip
Transmission: 6-Speed Cruise Drive
Gear Ratios (overall)(US): 1st: 10.534, 2nd: 7.302, 3rd: 5.423, 4th: 4.392, 5th: 3.741, 6th: 3.157
Chassis:
Frame: Mild steel, square-section backbone with twin downtubes
Swingarm: Mild steel, rectangular tube sections with plate junctions; MIG welded
Front Forks: 49 mm dual bending valve
Rear Shocks: Premium hand-adjustable rear suspension
Suspension Travel: Front Wheel: 4.6 in. (117 mm), Rear Wheel: 3 in. (76 mm)
Rake (steering head): 26°
Fork Angle: 32°
Trail: 3.94 in. (100 mm)
Brakes, Front: Dual 11.8 in. x .2 in. (300 mm x 5.1 mm) floating rotors, fixed 32 mm 4 piston caliper
Brakes, Rear: 10.6 in. x .24 in. (270 mm x 6 mm) fixed rotor, floating 36 mm piston integrated park brake
Anti-Lock Braking System: Standard
Wheels: Black, 7-Spoke Cast Aluminum
Wheel, Front: 16 in. x 3 in. (406 mm x 76 mm)
Wheel, Rear: 15 in. x 5.5 in. (381 mm x 140 mm)
Tires: Dunlop® Harley-Davidson® Series
Tire, Front: D402F MT90B16 72H
Tire, Rear: Signature P205/65R15 92T
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length: 105.1 in. (2,670 mm)
Overall Width: 54.7 in. (1,390 mm)
Overall Height: 56.3 in. (1,430 mm)
Seat Height: Laden: 27.1 in. (700 mm), Unladen: 28.9 in. (735 mm)
Ground Clearance: 4.9 in. (125 mm)
Wheelbase: 65.7 in. (1,670 mm)
Fuel Capacity: 6 gal. (22.7 l) (warning light at approximately 1 gal.)
Fuel Economy (Estimated City/Hwy): 42 mpg (5.6 l/100 km)
Oil Capacity (w/filter): 5 qt. (4.7 l)
Transmission Capacity: 1 qt. (.95 l)
Primary Chain Case Capacity: 1.1 qt. (1 l)
Coolant Capacity: 0.8 qt. (.75 l)
Weight As Shipped: 1204 lb. (546 kg)
Weight In Running Order: 1243 lb. (564 kg)
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 1700 lb. (771 kg)
Gross Axle Weight Rating: Front: 511 lb. (232 kg), Rear: 1,188 lb. (539 kg)
Luggage Capacity: 6.8 cu. ft. (0.19 m3)
Electricals:
Battery (per Battery Council International Rating): Sealed, maintenance-free, 12V, 28-amp/hour, 405 cca
Charging: Three-phase, 48-amp system (600W @ 13V, 2000 rpm, 625W max power @ 13V)
Starting: 1.6 kW electric with solenoid shift starter motor engagement
Lights (as per country regulation): Headlamp: LED 34-watt, 915 lumen low beam, 37-watt, 915 lumen high beam with switchable 20-watt, 1,220 lumen LED Fog Lamps. Total of 2,136 lumen output at low beam with fog lights, Tail/Stop Lights:Two @ 8W/28W, Front Signal Lights: 8W/28W, Indicator Lamps: High Beam, running lights, front fender running lights, directional lights, battery, neutral, low oil pressure, engine diagnostics, cruise control, speakers, accessory, security system7, ABS, gear indication, low fuel warning, reverse, park brake, miles to empty display, fog/aux lamp indicator
Gauges: Display features odometer, trip A, trip B, range to empty, and gear indicator; includes telltale for reverse and traction control
Auxiliary Lamps (except where prohibited by law): Two LED @ 20W each
Electric Power Outlet: Electric power accessory port in fairing
Reverse Gear: Electric reverse actuated by handlebar mounted hand controls
Details:
Warranty: 24 months (unlimited mileage)
Standard Equipped: Security System Option, Cruise Control Option
Colors: Vivid Black, Twisted Cherry, Midnight Blue/Barracuda Silver, Wicked Red/Barracuda Silver, Kinetic Green, Scorched Orange/Black Denim, Silver Flux/Black Fuse
Price: Vivid Black: $36,099, Color: $36,949, Two-Tone: $37,449, Custom Color: $37,849, Two-Tone Custom Color: $38,499

Further Reading

Can-Am Spyder RT/ RT Limited

2018 Can-Am Spyder RT
- image 755869

See our review of the Can-Am Spyder RT/ RT Limited.

50 New Harley-Davidson Models In Five Years?
- image 788828

Read more Harley-Davidson news.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: harley-davidson.com, brp.com

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