The Pinnacle Of The Non-CVO Tourbikes

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 Ultra Limited / Ultra Limited Low
  • Year:
    2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Milwaukee-Eight 114
  • Displacement:
    114 cubic inches
  • Price:
    28999
  • Price:

2019 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited Design

2019 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited / Ultra Limited Low
- image 799385
The new Boom! Box GTS infotainment system rocks a 6.5-inch, color Thin-Film Transistor touchscreen that responds to tap/drag/squeeze inputs, even with covers on your hamburger shovels.

Overall, the Ultra siblings carry themselves with a visual weight and beefiness that you can only get from the FLH/FLHT family line. The classic references start in earnest right off the bat with a full-length front fender that rocks a chrome fender skirt and trim with a scripted model badge to complete the bling. Even the forward lighting toes an old-school line with over-under passing lamps and turn signals that sort of duplicate the look of the old whiskerbar mount, just without an actual whiskerbar.

Projector-style LED lighting parts the night like Moses parted the Red Sea and makes you visible at a glance, even in broad daylight. The LED tech extends to the turn signals at both ends of the sled with individual winkers up front and a full-width light bar on the Tourpak to take care of the rear. Hard bags join the top case to provide an overall cargo capacity of 4.7 cubic-feet; plenty for dry storage for a toy run, casual weekend trip or even a serious traipse cross country. One-touch enclosures ensure you can easily open all of the above with a single hand, even in gloves, so no more staging your gear/groceries/whatever on the ground/asphalt/whatever while you try to get them open.

Speaking of gloved hands, the new Boom! Box GTS infotainment system rocks a 6.5-inch, color Thin-Film Transistor touchscreen that responds to tap/drag/squeeze inputs, even with covers on your hamburger shovels. There’s a pair of speakers in the front fairing and another pair in the Tourpak with speed-sensitive volume adjustment that lowers the output when you come to a stop, and pumps it back up once you get under way, plus you can pipe you tunes in from your mobile device through the USB port or use the AM/FM/SiriusXM receiver.

A Bluetooth wireless connection networks the system with your helmet and cellphone for hands-free operation, and I consider that to be an important safety-related feature, the first of a few. The TFT screen displays critical metrics to include ambient temperature along with oil- and tire-pressure values to cover the bases left open by the quartet of round analog gauges, idiot lights and LCD instrument display.

Harley’s relatively new Batwing fairing presents a slimmer face to the world with much better penetration than the old barn door, plus it sports Harley’s Splitstream technology that uses vents just below the glass to relieve some of the vacuum of the wind pocket to reduce the head-buffet effect. If you’re like me and like to ride during the offseason, you’ll appreciate the stock handwarmers that provides six levels of comfort and ride right behind the tips of the fairings wings so the wind doesn’t freeze the backside of your piggies. All good stuff if you like your trips long and comfortable, and aren’t a fairweather rider who parks it for half the year.

2019 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited Chassis

2019 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited / Ultra Limited Low
- image 799393
Rock solid tracking and plush suspension make for low-stress, long-haul rides.

Harley-Davidson is nothing if not traditional, and the Ultra Limited’s frame follows the typical “FL” layout that relies on a heavy, strong backbone with double downtubes and a double cradle to finish out the standing rigging and fully support the engine. Updated suspension components see a pair of Showa’s Dual Bending Valve fork tubes up front that, while non-adjustable, still manage to deliver a plush ride that is vastly superior to plain vanilla stems. Out back, an emulsion shock delivers a cushy ride with only the obligatory preload adjustment, but it does so via an easy-to-reach handwheel so you can dial in for changing loads without benefit of tools.

Rear-suspension/seat height varies depending on which model you get. Unladen, the standard Limited measures 29.1 inches off the deck, but the “Low” is clocked at 26.6-inches high to give shorter folks a real break that should open the range up to riders who might otherwise be S.O.L.

The steering head sets the forks at a 26-degree angle with a generous, 6.7-inch trail to give it rock-solid tracking, even with the windage that comes along with all that top-hamper; just another detail that makes for low-stress riding. Harley’s Relfex Linked-Brake System electronically distributes brake pressure so as to increase overall stability with ABS on top of it all to prevent lockups. Generous contact patches certainly help with that. Dunlop lines the wheels with a fat 130/80-17 up front and a 180/65-16 out back, and those figures fit well with the classic-stock look the designers were going for. As for the brake components themselves, all-around, 300 mm discs work with Brembo anchors to manage the energy and keep this beast under control, even if your skillset is on the newbie-side of center.

2019 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited Drivetrain

2019 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited / Ultra Limited Low
- image 799401
It pumps out 120+ pound-feet of torque at a low three grand, and delivers the best roll-on acceleration of the non-CVO engines, no matter which gear you're in.

New for this year, the factory blessed the Ultras with a spanky new engine that pushes the tourbike-envelope just a bit. Yeah, the Twin-Cooled Milwaukee-Eight 114 brings the goods to the table with almost a liter in each jug. Bore and stroke measure at 102 mm and 114 mm, respectively, for a total displacement of 1,868 cc (114 cubic-inches) and a brand-typical, long-stroke ratio. Naturally, this limits the top end to the mid four-digit range, but who cares. It pumps out 122 pound-feet of torque at a low three grand, and delivers the best roll-on acceleration of the non-CVO engines, no matter which gear you’re in.

The twin-cooling feature cools the head in the exhaust-valve area to draw heat away from this hotspot and help preserve output, even under heavy-duty use. Cooling fins handle the rest of the waste-heat transfer, and they come with polished edges over black paint for a nice bit of bling that joins chromed rocker-boxes, covers and more to really makes the engine visually pop. Yeah, this chrome will get you home, and get you laid...

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): 122 ft. lb. @ 3000 rpm (166 Nm @ 3000 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, 32/68 ratio
Clutch: Hydraulically actuated 10 plate wet, Assist & Slip
Transmission: 6-Speed Cruise Drive®
Gear Ratios (overall)(U.S.): 1st: 9.593, 2nd: 6.65, 3rd: 4.938, 4th: 4, 5th: 3.407, 6th: 2.875

2019 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited Pricing

2019 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited / Ultra Limited Low
- image 799398
MSRP starts at $28k and ranges over $30k in a half-dozen color choices.

H-D follows its usual tiered pricing schedule that sees the Vivid Black model at the bottom slot at $28,089. The King of Paint offers these two in a rainbow of colors that include solid tones and two-tone customs that cap at $30,289. Special sets of color packages are available for the standard Ultra Limited only, and it includes police, fire and Shriner packages for $28,399.

2019 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited Competitors

2019 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited / Ultra Limited Low
- image 799402
2016 - 2019 Indian Motorcycle Roadmaster
- image 799210
For the same price, the Roadmaster comes with Ride Modes and Rear Cylinder Deactivation for which Harley, so far, has no answer.

While there are plenty of large-displacement tourbikes out there, nothing from the rest of the world hits all the right high notes to compete with the MoCo on its home turf, so I went to the other American manufacturer for my head-to-head. That’s right, Indian Motorcycle is up with its tour-tastic Roadmaster that, admittedly, is a real threat to the non-CVO Ultra Limited, so let’s get to it.

Looks are similar, though it’s easy to pick out the classic Indian-ness from the skirted and adorned front fender that comes complete with war bonnet, back to the panels that close off the rear of the bike. Indian sends the Roadmaster out with a power-adjustable windscreen that Harley can’t match, but the infotainment system can stand toe-to-toe with Harley any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

ABS is standard across the board, though Indian lacks any sort of linked-brakes, but the trade off is the trio of Ride Modes that Indian delivers so you can dial in power delivery for the prevailing conditions. That is a point in favor of the Roadmaster, ’cause I consider that to be a solid safety-related item.

Both rides run locomotive engines, and the Thunder Stroke 111 churns out 119 pounds o’ grunt against 122 from the H-D, so you can forget about using power as a tiebreaker. At the checkout, the prices look close enough to suggest conspiracy with a $28,999 sticker on the Thunder Black Roadmaster, and a $30,999 tag on the top-line two-tone package.

He Said

“Honestly, as good as the H-D really is, it has become a game of inches in its struggle to maintain its domestic dominance. In the absence of brand loyalty, it’s a real toss-up here, and neither are better-enough to justify jumping the fence. With that, dear reader, I leave you to your perspective, ’cause I can’t really pick one over the other. Well, except for paint. Indian has come a long way, but H-D is still king of the paint booth. Says I, says he who says nothing.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “I really like the Ride Modes on the Roadmaster. Considering that the old performance map is now the “Tour” mode, being able to put the Thunder Stroke into “Sport” is a bit of a thrill. I can imagine that an Ultra Limited in “Sport” mode would be a gas. (A gas? Does anyone say that anymore? Did I just show my age?)”

2019 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited 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): 122 ft. lb. @ 3000 rpm (166 Nm @ 3000 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, 32/68 ratio
Clutch: Hydraulically actuated 10 plate wet, Assist & Slip
Transmission: 6-Speed Cruise Drive®
Gear Ratios (overall)(U.S.): 1st: 9.593, 2nd: 6.65, 3rd: 4.938, 4th: 4, 5th: 3.407, 6th: 2.875
Chassis:
Frame: Mild steel; tubular frame; two-piece stamped and welded backbone; cast and forged junctions; twin downtubes; bolt-on rear frame with forged fender supports; MIG welded
Swingarm: Mild steel; two-piece drawn and welded section; forged junctions; MIG welded
Front Forks: 49 mm Dual Bending Valve
Rear Shocks: Premium standard height hand-adjustable rear suspension
Suspension Travel, Front/Rear: 4.6 in. (117 mm)/3 in. (76 mm)
Rake (steering head): 26°
Fork Angle: 29.25°
Trail: 6.7 in. (170 mm)
Lean Angle, Right/Left (per J1168): 32°/32°
Wheels: Contrast Chrome Impeller Cast Aluminum
Wheel, Front: 17 in. x 3 in. (432 mm x 76 mm)
Wheel, Rear: 16 in. x 5 in. (406 mm x 127 mm)
Brakes, Front: Dual 11.8 in. x .2 in. (300 mm x 5.1 mm) floating rotors, 32 mm, 4-piston fixed calipers
Brakes, Rear: 11.8 in. x .28 in. (300 mm x 7.1 mm) fixed rotor, 32 mm, 4-piston fixed caliper
Anti-Lock Braking System: Standard
Tires: Dunlop® Harley-Davidson® Series, bias blackwall
Tire, Front: D408F BW 130/80B17 65H
Tire, Rear: D407T BW 180/65B16 81H
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length: 102.3 in. (2,600 mm)
Overall Width: 37.8 in. (960 mm)
Overall Height: 56.7 in. (1,440 mm) (Low: 54.7 in. (1,390 mm))
Seat Height: Laden: 27.5 in. (699 mm), Unladen: 29.1 in. (740 mm) (Low: 25.6 in. (652 mm), Unladen: 26.6 in. (675 mm))
Ground Clearance: 5.3 in. (135 mm) (Low: 4.6 in (115 mm))
Wheelbase: 64 in. (1,625 mm)
Fuel Capacity: 6 gal. (22.7 l) (warning light at approximately 1 gal.)
Fuel Economy (Estimated City/Hwy): 43 mpg (5.5 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. (0.76 l)
Weight As Shipped: 877 lb. (398 kg) (Low: 873 lb. (396 kg))
Weight In Running Order: 910 lb. (413 kg) (Low: 908 lb (412 kg))
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 1,360 lb. (617 kg)
Gross Axle Weight Rating: Front: 500 lb. (227 kg), Rear: 927 lb. (420 kg)
Luggage Capacity: 4.7 cu. ft. (0.132 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: LED3 4-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: 8W/28W
• Front Signal Lights: 8W/28W
• Indicator Lamps: High beam, running lights, front fender running lights, directional lights, neutral, low oil pressure, engine diagnostics, accessory, speakers, turn signals, security system, gear indication, battery, low fuel warning, cruise control, ABS, fog/aux lamp indicator
• Rear Turn Signals: LED
Gauges: Gauges styled to complement each vehicle. Display features odometer, trip A, trip B, range to empty and gear indicator; and larger tell-tale indicators
Auxiliary Lamps (except where prohibited by law): Two LED @ 20W each
Electric Power Outlet: Electric power accessory port in fairing and Tour-Pak®
GPS System (optional): New Boom!™ Box 6.5GT audio system withGPS and touchscreen
Details:
Warranty: 24 months (unlimited mileage)
Standard Equipped: ABS Option, Security System Option, Cruise Control Option, Premium Radio Option
Colors: Vivid Black, Wicked red/Twisted Cherry, Industrial Gray Denim/Black Denim, Midnight Blue/Barracuda Silver, Scorched Orange/Black Denim, Silver Flux/Black Fuse
Price: Vivid Black: $28,089, Color: $28,689, Two-Tone: $29,139, Two-Tone Custom Color: $30,289

Further Reading

Indian Roadmaster

2016 - 2019 Indian Motorcycle Roadmaster
- image 799205

See our review of the Indian Roadmaster.

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, indianmotorcycle.com

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