ThrottleX Blog

How Low is the 2015 Electra Glide Ultra Classic Low?

America’s three largest motorcycle manufacturers compete for your dollar in all sorts of ways: which has the best look, the best sound, the most power, the strongest heritage and so on. But one of the areas in which competition is fiercest is in keeping riders’ rear ends as close to the road as possible.

True, cruisers have never delivered the crow’s-nest-like experience of some adventure machines, but in recent years manufacturers have put even more effort into offering bikes with low seats. Indian Motorcycles, for instance, lists the 25.3-inch seat height of its new Scout as a point of pride. Not to be outdone, its more muscular step-brother, the Victory Gunner, proudly claims to be 0.3 inches lower. It appears that Randy Newman got it wrong when he sang: “short people got nobody to love.” United States motorcycle manufacturers are clearly infatuated with the vertically challenged.

Harley-Davidson, however, leads the pack in minimizing the space between you and the asphalt; its 2015 model year lineup offers no less than six “low” models. Perhaps most notable of these is the new Electra Glide Ultra Classic Low –– a bike with more letters in its name than inches in its seat height. With just 25.6 inches between ground and seat, Harley-Davidson claims, the 2015 Electra Glide Ultra Classic Low offers the lowest seat in its class.

That’s notable because Ultras are the high-water mark in touring. Sales-wise, these motorcycles are the undisputed champions when it comes to crossing continents in style and luxury. And, of course, all that comes at a premium. Splash out for the custom color option on an Electra Glide Ultra Classic Low and you’ll be paying almost a thousand bucks for every inch of seat height ($24,549). Up until now, “low” options tended to be confined to models that were cheaper and more bare bones. For example, the 883cc Sportster SuperLow.

Meanwhile, although there are plenty of stubby-legged guys out there, most of us accept that the primary reason for the low-seat arms race among American motorcycle manufacturers is the dramatic increase in female riders over the past decade or so. Again, Harley-Davidson has been leading the way here, making commendable strides in welcoming more women to the road.

So, one assumes that the reasoning behind offering a “low” option on the cheaper models like the Sportster is that they are also lighter. In doing this, though, an unintended statement was being made about women: that they didn’t want to tour.

But ever since the days of Bessie Stringfield (look her up and be inspired), women have been proving they have just as much adventuring spirit as men. By offering its top-of-the-line tourer with a seat more accommodating of the average American woman’s height Harley-Davidson is acknowledging this. And for that it should be commended.

Posted by admin at 8:37 pm

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