Posts Tagged ‘Project Rushmore’


The dealer database is just WRONG, I don’t understand why!!!

Debbie and I took an 890 mile weekend ride over the 4th of July holiday.  It was here that a VERY surprising weakness with the built in GPS appeared. The motorcycle GPS has a database of HD dealers. During our ride I selected Freedom HD (Canton, OH) from the list of local dealerships in the GPS and we rolled out.

After about a 15 minute ride the GPS announced that we had reach our destination “on the right”. “Technically” it was correct, Freedom HD was on the right, but we were in the middle of the interstate and the dealership was about 300 yards, a large ditch, a fence and another roadway away. It was no better when we attempted to go to Adventure HD. You could see the dealership as we traveled down the interstate but, the GPS lady directed us in the opposite direction when we hit the exit. Following her directions we ended up in the parking lot of a Sheetz gas station.

Thank you for using the crazy GPS lady tours of eastern Ohio, my name is Harley I hope you had a good time.

Not only did it fail to find these two dealerships, it also failed to find Steel City HD on our trip home, placing the shop about a mile away on the wrong side of the road. We only found this store because there was no place to turn around along the road. To give the GPS system database of dealerships some credit it did find Valley HD and Neidengard’s HD with no issue. This is a brand new 2014 Ultra Limited with the most current software load. To only find 2 out of 5 dealerships listed in the database is poor quality control at best and plain stupid at worst.

Another weakness of the database is how the dealers are displayed.  At one point in the trip I thought let’s see what dealers are in the area… when I went to the database everything displayed as “Harley Davidson of” that’s it, just “Harley Davidson of”.

Now the reason for that is that all the dealers in that area were Harley Davidson of XXX city.  With a lot of the dealers named in that manner it would take some effort to make them display in a manner that was usable to the rider. There may be a way to see the entire name, but it is it was not an easy to find selection.

So, I state with some energy, the GPS in the new Rushmore motorcycles is crazy in the head, the head unit that is!

All in all I have to give the bike a big thumbs up over the 2011 model.  Yes there are some weaknesses, but there is no reason that HD cannot overcome them, IF THEY DESIRE TO.  That last part is what worries me.  Are they going to leave are GPS and other items as is or are they going to make our rides better?  I have no idea.

You can read part 4 of the review here!

I want to go to HD of ????


In this part of my review of the 2014 Ultra Limited I take on the Infotainment System. There has been a lot discussion of this system on many different sources. I am not going to rehash known issues (i.e. GPS only able to handle 9 waypoint), but what I have personally witnessed as either good or bad. The most important thing I have taken away from actual use and reading on other forms/blogs….wait until you hit “Accept” on the screen before starting the motorcycle!

Infotainment system overall: Not the reason for buying the bike but, what I considered at the time, as icing on the cake. A large screen I can very easily read without glasses, and the ability to have input from a media player, phone, radio, XM was very appealing. An internal GPS with the large screen was a good thing as well, it means I did not have to rig another mount to the motorcycle.

Left hand controls

Hand controls – Overall I like the hand controls better than the ’11 model. It is a easier to do things while riding like setting the cruise control while using the throttle. I have “almost” gotten to the point where I can change stations on the radio without looking at all.

One thing that has happened that I cannot figure out how messed up one of the controls. The left hand “joystick” for the first 2500 miles allowed me to move up or down the channels on XM or regular radio by pushing or pulling the stick left or right (volume is still up and down). Some how I have engaged a feature that now only allow me to move between the presets…I liked it better the other way.

Radio – the reception of both AM and FM signals are worse on the ‘14 then on the ’11. Both bikes have/had a stock antenna. I notice quite a few more areas on my commute where the signal is completely lost with the new bike v. the older motorcycle.

XM radio functions – XM Radio: I had it installed when I bought the bike. The reception with the antenna installed in the manner indicated by the instructions is HORROBLE. In a 45 minute daily commute I lose signal for at least 5 minutes (sometimes longer, sometimes shorter depending on traffic conditions). I have lost signal on open road with no overhead coverage on a 4 lane highway. To date I am so disappointed that I have debated, in my head, about asking for a refund.

Anyone considering this option for your bike…take my advice to either reconsider the purchase or have the antenna installed in a different position. I am currently in the process of moving the antenna outside of the fairing to the right of the vent. I will let you know how the reception is after the move.

Bad picture but the dark stuff… but you can see the green on green

XM – Traffic: This works as advertised! On a couple of trips, it worked with my GPS to reroute me around traffic. Once on the return trip from the NF charity ride I did with my daughter, it was spot on and saved us at least 30 minutes of sitting in traffic on a hot day with the threat of heavy thunderstorms. On another occasion it provided us with about a 10 mile warring of major construction ahead. This feature seems too good to go!



XM – Weather: I have only used this a little and I do not have a real opinion on this function yet, except for one item. Really Harley Davidson and XM, really….displaying precipitation as a shade of green while displaying the map/ground as a “slightly” different shade of green, someone did not think that one through. The few times I did use the function it was difficult to discern rain from ground except for areas that had yellow or red levels of weather.

Bluetooth audio/Media Player/Wired Intercom – No problems works like it should.

GPS – there has been many issues with the GPS noted on many different forums. I can concur that this was not a highly polished finished product. I feel we are beta testers for HD rather than customers regarding the GPS. It does its basic job but there much much room for improvement.

In the fifth and final part of my review of the bike I will talk about the item I have found to be the most surprising deficit of the entire motorcycle.

Read Part 3 of the series here!                                                                        Click here for Part 5

In this installment of my review of our new 2014 Ultra Limited…..

Tour Pak/Saddlebags: The new latching system is a GREAT improvement! The new Tour Pak is better than the old style. Easy as that…as long as I remember to use the new latch and not try and open it the old way, oh it happens every now and again! See the pictures below for detail 🙂

Rear End: Looks good, well lit with the new tour pak lighting. The only distraction to its overall appearance is the “vents(?)” where the bag fillers will go after you buy them.

Engine and transmission: Harley Davidson claims that they made adjustments to improve performance are true based on my comparison with the 11 to the 14 Ultra Limited. Rolling on the throttle, even at highway speed, has a noticeable feel and affect.

Taking a big handful of throttle going from 1st to 2nd gear….I think I have had the front wheel off the ground a time or two, not much but it sure fills like it is getting a bit of air under the front wheel.

With that being said I did have a complete Stage 1 upgrade added before I took delivery. The Screaming Eagle Air Cleaner, Thunder Slip-on Exhausts and the Stage 1 ECM flash make up the complete upgrade.

Linked Braking: I do not have an opinion of this feature yet. I have nothing negative to say about it but I do not have anything positive to say either. It has caused no handling issues but I have yet to see any real handling improvement either.

In Part 4 of the review I will tell you what I think about the “Infotainment System”.

Click here for Part 2                                                                                                               Click here for Part 4

Continuing with my thoughts on our new 2014 Ultra Limited. In Part 1 I discussed the overall appearance of the bike and the new front end.


Headlights: Boy are they bright!  I believe that people are seeing me more than in the past.  I now know that you can apply a computer update or “flash” that will allow you to keep the passing lights on when the high beam is applied.  I am going to ask for this flash to be applied when I get the 5K mile service.

Inner Fairing, dashboard and infotainment system

Dashboard: I like the new inner fairing layout.  The gauges and the infotainment system are easy to see. The USB device “glove box” to the right of the infotainment system works as it should, no issues.


Rider/Passenger comfort: We had the stock seat on the 2011 and we do as well on the 2014.  From my point of view the rider portion of the seat is a little more comfortable.  I am not sure if they are using a slightly different configuration or different padding but I seem to seat better in the saddle.  The floorboards are good but I do think the heel shifter requires a longer reach, my feet are not oversized but I am often sliding back against the lever. 

As far as the highway pegs go, I am not sure that if the new design of the lower fairing are the cause, but I cannot get them to long distance comfortable position.  I have moved both the highway pegs multiple times and still do not have it right.


Debbie is quite happy with the changes to the Rushmore passenger seat.  All the changes they made for passenger comfort have been met with approval.  As far as nits to pick she would like to have longer arm rests (I think she want’s that for extra security in case she falls asleep).


In the next part of the review I will give you my opinion on the Tour Pak, Saddlebags, Rear End, Engine, Transmission and Linked Braking.

Click here for Part 1.                                                                                             Click here for Part 3

Day trip to Solomon Island, MD

We have had our 2014 “Rushmore” Ultra Limited motorcycle for less than 90 days.  We have put on just over 3000 miles which are mostly my commute and some longish weekend motorcycle rides.  The longest single ride was an 889.3 mile ride to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and back.  We just finished the 1000 mile service so I believe I have enough time and miles under the belt to give a knowledgeable review of the bike….so far.


I am going to do this over a few posts so as not to bore folks with a long diatribe. I am going to move front to back and break down what I like and what I don’t like about the bike.  I will tell you now I have way more likes then dislikes.


For background, I traded a 20011 Ultra Limited for this bike so I have a recent comparison point for these comments.


Appearance:  Most of the changes to bikes appearance are understated. I do like that they made major changes to the aerodynamics of the bike without a major impact to the appearance.  The times I have mentioned that the bike is water cooled folks have walked over to the bike and marveled at how the radiators are hidden!

The ugly air vent… it works… but it is UGLY

The one visual feature that I do not like on the bike is the air vent on the front faring.  My dislike is not because of its function nor the fact that it is there at all, I do not like it because it is a piece of flat black plastic that detracts from the wonderful paint scheme of the bike.  It might work on a bike that has a black faring but not on any that have color.  Would it be so much more to make it chrome, or offer a color match option?


Front end:  The larger front forks do make a difference.  There are a few bridges on the way to work that have, what I would call ”less then smooth transitions” between the roadway and bridge.  On the older bike I would rise up off the seat to avoid the jar, but with the new forks I do not feel the need to do so, I still do but I think it is habit more than necessity. 


The fairing does it job.  I “feel” that there really is less wind buffeting because of the new design and the air vent.  My wife has stated she feels no difference between the old bike and the Rushmore motorcycle as far as the wind is concerned.  I just need to remember to close the vent before the rain starts flying through!

In Part 2 I will give you my thoughts on the new Headlights, Dashboard, and Rider/Passenger comfort.

Click here for Part 2.


Well the 2104 Harley Davidson bikes are out! Check out the on-line commercial for Project Rushmore.  While I have only the commercial and their website to comment on, all I can say is…..some nice changes!  Some quick notes:

Lighting – looks like some of the bikes come standard with LED or Dual Halogen.

Slipstream Vent – looks like the batwing fairings now come with a center mounted vent.

Infotainment System – voice activated music, phone and GPS with device dock in dash.

Brakes – the front and rear ABS brakes are linked.

Engine – “Twin-Cooled High Output Twin Cam 103 Engine”. Now based in the statement in the video … (the underlining is mine)

“A select number of the Project RUSHMORE motorcycles are built around the new Twin Cooled™ High Output Twin Cam 103™ engine. Twin cooling cools the heads around the exhaust ports to deliver at or near peak performance under all operating conditions and temperatures. Higher compression ratio increases efficiency and horsepower. There’s also a 110 cubic inch version of this engine available in the CVO™ Limited. We’ve been building engines for 110 years. And we know from the smiles on the faces of our test riders, there’s never been an engine that feels quite this good.”

This tied with my earlier post  seems to indicate that we might have the 1st Harley touring bike with water cooled engines (maybe?)?  This feature is limited to the Tri-Glides and the Ultra Limited.

Each of the features listed above is available on select bikes check the Harley Davidson Website for detail.