Monday, July 28, 2008

2009 Screamin' Eagle Electra Glide

2009 Screamin' Eagle Ultra Classic Electra Glide

The Screamin' Eagle Electra Glide made its CVO debut in 2005. The addition of the 2009 CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide gives the Glide a four-year run in the program, making it the veteran of this year's group. You might think that they are running out of options to make the luxo-touring platform better. On the contrary, the '09 CVO Ultra Classic showed some of the most notable improvements in performance of the bunch.

One of my biggest grievances against the Ultra in the past was the feel of the front end at speed. H-D addresses this issue first by switching out the rubber on the '09 H-D CVO Ultra Classic, opting to run a new 130mm, 17-inch front tire and a wider 180mm, 16-inch on the rear that has a claimed higher weight rating. With a new interface between rider and road established, Harley set about building a new modular frame in hopes of increasing the motorcycle's maneuverability. It is now a two-piece arrangement where the tail section bolts to the frame and uses cast parts instead of bent tubes. Harley went longer and wider on the swingarm as well.

H-D also retuned valves and springs in the front and rear suspension. Their efforts result in giving the front end a much better feel. It no longer translates every imperfection in the road through the handlebars. I got lucky and was able to ride the 2009 CVO Ultra Classic on California's Highway 101 north out of Santa Barbara where I could open up the throttle and run through the gears on the 6-Speed Cruise Drive transmission. The familiar Big Twin melody echoed from new four-inch mufflers as the big tourer hovered just above 3300 rpm at 75 mph. Pushing it a little harder into what before was an area of uneasiness aboard the Ultra was steady as she goes, full steam ahead, Captain.

Being a big bike built for the long haul, storage space is paramount. This year's heavyweight CVO tourer gets the Deluxe Ultra King Tour-Pak with Air Wing luggage rack that is said to increase load capacity by five pounds. The saddlebags also have new support structures/ guards and boast its own five-pound increase in payload.

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