Posts Tagged ‘ultra limited’


Debbie and I had a, nearly, 200 mile motorcycle ride this past Sunday.  We left quite early in the morning as it was supposed to be over well over 95F by early afternoon.  Our plan worked as it was 94F as we made it back to the house about 1PM. Hot and muggy, but we beat the worse of it.

Pulling out that morning we really did not have a true destination in mind other than to ride through the towns of Lisbon and Damascus.  We wanted to hit those locations to add to our “Great Cities” motorcycle tour! With no real plan this was just going to be one of those “it’s the journey not the destination” rides.

After rolling through Lisbon we decided to just ride north.  Riding through small towns and rolling farmland made for a wonderful morning.  Toss in some light fog here and there it was just one of those rides were you just love the fact that you ride a motorcycle!

After about an hour we turned the motorcycle towards the west until we ran into US Route 15 which runs right by our home. Heading south we rode the motorcycle into Frederick, MD to stop for lunch and a quick stop at the Frederick Harley-Davidson shop.  The stop at the dealership was to take a quick peek at the new 2017 motorcycles and see for myself how the new engine looks.

A bit later we pulled the bike into our garage with about 192 miles on the trip meter.  All in all just another good day behind bars (motorcycle handlebars)!

After the HOG Rolling Rally: History in the Hills was complete the second half of our motorcycle vacation started.  Debbie and I were going to go south of New Orleans to visit her sister for a few days and then head home via the Natchez Trace Parkway.

The intent was to “blast” our way south in order to maximize the amount of time we could visit with her sister. “Blasting south” meant interstate highways, hot concreate on hot days, drinking lots of water (which means lots of bio-breaks LOL).


The compensating sprocket under the front sprocket.

The first leg of the ride we stopped for the evening to visit in-laws in Alabama.  The next morning back on the highway, but something was not quite right with the bike.  We made it to Tuscaloosa and pulled into T-Town Harley Davison.  The service tech took only seconds to state that the compensating sprocket was loose and the bike  went straight into the shop.

I am not sure what it does but if your compensating sprocket does not compensate then your transmission is having issues.

I have to give the team at T-Town a lot of praise. Knowing we were on a long trip they took us to the head of the service line. Worked with us on the cost (gaskets & transmission fluid) and had us on the road in about three hours (a chunk of which was the bike cooling down so they could work on it).  Debbie and I felt that they really cared about making sure we could get back on the road as soon as possible!

Can’t go to New Orleans without one of these pictures.

By the time we did get back on the road it was nearly 100F degrees and high 90s in humidity!  Once on the interstate it was quickly apparent that that the concrete was hotter than the ambient temperature, it had to be well over 100F. This was where we figured out when it was time to call it a day.  At a certain point in this heat we would begin to verbally snipe at each other.  When we started to argue about where do you what to eat, where do you want to stop, where do you want to sleep it was time for a cool room and long shower!

The rest of the ride to New Orleans was really uneventful.  We had a good time with Mark and Vicky, got to see a bunch of the local area including Alligators in the wild and a fishing trip/boat ride into the Gulf of Mexico.  Mark is a fishing guide and runs Hunting Red Fishing Charters, if you are into fishing check out what he has to offer

Too soon it was time to begin the trip back to Virginia.  My next post will be about our ride on the Natchez Trace Parkway.


Several weeks ago I bought the Kuryakyn Faring Vent Cover and installed it on the bike. Shortly thereafter Harley Davidson came out with color matched covers for the flat black maw.  Had I known that they were coming out with the part I would have waited to get the Daytona Blue cover vice the chrome part. Don’t get me wrong, I like the look of the chrome on the fairing, but I think that the color matched would be better.

A few days ago I bought and installed the  Kuryakyn Tri-Line Gauge Trim.  I have the color matched inner-faring and it looks great but I just thought there was not enough contrast to make it really “POP”.  I looked at the “carbon fiber” insert from Harley but decided that just did not look good next to the blue.

Then I saw Tri-Line Gauge Trim on a Street Glide with a red (crimson?) painted fairing and tank.  Wow, because the chrome reflected the red it looked great to me.  I made the leap of faith that if it worked for a red bike my blue would be even better, LOL.

So following the same routine I used to prep the surface for the fairing vent (see this post) I installed the gauge trim. The photos really don’t do it any justice; in the garage it looks ok.  Out in the sun it look very nice and so far I have not had any issues with reflected sunlight and I ride away from the sun on both my morning and evening commutes.



As I have noted in the past I really have not liked the appearance of the flat black maw that is one of the most noticeable features of the “Rushmore” motorcycles.  On the pearl/metal flake finish of the Harley Davidson Ultra Limited Daytona Blue paint, that flat black just plan sucked.

I finally got around to purchasing the Küryakyn Chrome “Fairing Vent Cover” to cover that atrocity. 

The installation was, for the most part, quite straight forward.  Clean the surface and press on the part so the 3M adhesive can adhere to the surface.  But, from past experience the key to making it stick long term is a “SUPER” clean surface.  The way I handle the cleaning of any surface that will be stuck with 3M adhesives is:

            1) Wait for a WARM day.

            2) Vigorous wipe down with soft clean cloth.

            3) Vigorous use of a glass cleaner and a clean cloth.

            4) After drying, a second vigorous use of glass cleaner and a clean cloth.

            5) Use of supplied alcohol wipes for final cleaning. 

After the cleaning I test fitted the part to make sure I understood where and how it was going to fit.  The instructions suggested using masking tape to mark where everything aligns but, in my case, that was not necessary.

The hardest part of installation was getting the little strip covers off the adhesive.  I don’t have the longest fingernails but I doubt that many folks could have peeled these cover off with ease.  I ended up using jewelry sized flat end screwdrivers to get the strip loose then tiny pliers to pull them off…. It took over 15 minutes to get a few strip off .

I am quite pleased with the appearance of the cover on my bike.  MUCH better than the OEM standard!



Ijustwant2ride.comThe wife and I took the motorcycle (Ultra Limited) out Sunday after sleeping in (long hours required a bit extra sleep (that is my story and I am sticking to it)) for a short ride.  It was a cool day and we put our chaps on for the 1st time since early spring….fall is in the air in Northern Virginia! 

I wanted to stop a Frederick Harley Davidson to schedule some services.  I need to have the 5000 mile service performed (currently setting at about 5700 miles) and I need to have the current recall service performed as well.  This is the hydraulic clutch recall which portrays its symptoms as the bike creeping forward even though the clutch lever is fully engaged.  Our bike does not have the malfunction indications but it needs to be fixed before it does.  In talking with the service rep Frederick HD has already performed hundreds of recall services for this issue but no one had reported that the bike was suffering from creeping clutch. 

After setting up the appointment, we decided to get some lunch.  Even though we both agree we need to eat better…….we went to 5 Guys Burgers!  For those of you that do not live in an area with a 5 Guys restaurant you have no idea what you are missing.  This burger chain is Zagat rated and has won hundreds if not thousands of awards and accolades for their hamburgers.   So even though we may have not eaten better we ate well! 

After lunch we headed to the house via the long way.  We just cruised around for a while going nowhere in particular.  We spent only about four hours on the bike but I think we can both say is was a nice little outing!


WP_20140712_16_45_45_ProAs mentioned in my posts regarding my early impression on our new motorcycle, the Ultra Limited, the XM Satellite radio reception was bad at best.  It was so bad that I was considering having it removed and asking for my money back (not really sure how that would have worked out).

After reading different takes about the radio on HD Forums and other sites, I decided to try it with the antenna moved out of the fairing and onto the “dash”.  In this case to the right of the Project Rushmore air vent.  The appearance of the antenna in this location is, and you can see for yourself, not bad.  When I have the vent closed the antenna even looks like it is meant to be there.

View from the front

But this was not about aesthetics or appearance it was about reception. Prior to moving the antenna I would get reception a grade of 40% out of 100.  The drops and lost reception was more than inconvenient, it was I want to return it bad.   After moving the antenna I will grade out reception as 80% out of 100.  Now the only time I lose reception is when there is a mountain or heavy foliage blocking the southern sky.  

I still think Harley Davidson should install a buffer in the radio to allow for those short drops when they occur.  I don’t think a 4-10 second buffer would increase the price of the radio beyond what people are willing to pay.

If you are considering purchasing an XM radio module for your motorcycle do not waste your time and add stress levels by allowing them (or yourself) to install the antenna in the default location.  Install the antenna on the dash from the start; it will work a whole lot better and you will be happier with the reception you receive!


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