2015 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Low | FIRST RIDE

Short Seat, Long-Haul Comfort

The Motor Company decided to specifically address the Touring line's perceived intimidation factor because, according to Harley, 20 percent of current customers are shorter than 5-foot-7. In that context, the names of the new bikes aren't surprising: the Electra Glide Ultra Classic Low and the Ultra Limited Low.

A dished, low-profile seat rises just 25.6 inches off the tarmac—that’s H-D’s “laden measurement,” which compares to 27.3 inches for the non-Low Ultra. The seat is pushed closer to the fairing, and the pullback handlebar comes 2 inches nearer to the pilot. Additional changes include suspension lowered by an inch front and rear and a thinner primary-drive case. Once acclimated to the tighter ergos and odd feel of the miniaturized controls—the handlebar is narrower and the grips are smaller in diameter—you’ll realize there’s the same suite of long-haul amenities found on the standard (Rushmore-ized) Touring models: air-cooled High Output Twin Cam 103 mill with six-speed tranny and hydraulic clutch, redesigned Batwing fairing with Splitstream vent, ABS with Reflex Linked Brakes, Daymaker LED lights, a Tour-Pak top case, and Boom! Box infotainment.

On the road, the Ultra Low also feels easier to steer than the standard version. The usual heft of the big Ultra seems to melt away, making the bike feel downright sprightly and much lighter overall, even though actual weight hasn’t changed appreciably. The controls are infinitely more reachable with both clutch and brake lever actuation now an easy two-finger operation, even for smaller hands. With its easy lift off the sidestand, user-friendly powerband, and nimble handling, the $24,399 Ultra Classic Low makes a compelling premium touring option—and a huge confidence builder—for those of shorter stature.