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Touring Models Road King, Road King Custom, Road King Classic, Road Glide, Street Glide, Electra Glide, Electra Glide Classic, and Electra Glide Ultra Classic bikes.
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  #1  
Old 11-12-2005, 07:47 PM
tda69 tda69 is offline
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Default '03 vs. '06 Ultra Classic

Since my '03 Ultra was totaled a few weeks ago I decided to rent an '06 Ultra so I could have a bike for the and Love Ride which is tomorrow. The first thing I noticed is how much lighter the '06 feels compared to my '03. It's like night and day. The difference is huge. First of all the '06 sits lower to the ground, or either that the new seat is lower. This is definitely a positive for me. The new lower fairings with adjustable vents are great. This alone makes riding the bike so much more enjoyable. The lighter clutch is also a welcome addition. Having said all that, I have a few criticsms. Lighter is not always better. The lighter handling is due to the fact that the spring catridges in the forks have been replaced with units that do not need to be disassembled to be serviced. They are much lighter (20 pounds lighter) from what I've been told. This changes the whole balance and feel of the bike...and not for the better. Also the reduced effort spring in the throttle is overkill. The lighter steering combined with the easy throttle ruins it for me. The new Harmon Kardon stereo may be better in some respects, but overall I do not care for it. When it comes right down to it, I simply prefer my '03 Ultra and would not buy an '06, except for the fact that my bike is totaled. I need a replacement and can't think of any other options.
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http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n280/03fhtcui/08Ultra.jpg
'08 Ultra Classic with ABS
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  #2  
Old 11-12-2005, 09:39 PM
pilot1996 pilot1996 is offline
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Default RE: '03 vs. '06 Ultra Classic

Shop around for a used one...I believe the '05s are more similar to the '03s...I'm sure there is someone trying to get rid of his bike that either didn't want it, or wants to upgrade.

Mac
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  #3  
Old 11-12-2005, 10:15 PM
Detour Detour is offline
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Default RE: '03 vs. '06 Ultra Classic

Please don't spoil the party for me, I'm waiting for my '06 Classic to arrive and hope it's totally awesome!

Kurt
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'06 Ultra Classic Electra Glide
95" Stage II w/ SERT
SE 203 Cam
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  #4  
Old 11-12-2005, 10:34 PM
Rodent Rodent is offline
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Default RE: '03 vs. '06 Ultra Classic

DogzHog, I just picked up my "06 Ultra" in vivid black, and I think it's the cat's ***. I love it.
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2006 Ultra Classic
Vivid Black
V & H True Duals
Rush 2.50 Slash downs
SE Air cleaner
Fast Aire Windshield
V & H Fuel Pack
Burly Lowering Kit
Hogtunes
J & M Shorty Antennas
Lotsa Chrome Goodies
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  #5  
Old 11-13-2005, 01:21 AM
mikeisglidn mikeisglidn is offline
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Default RE: '03 vs. '06 Ultra Classic

when your use to a glove that fits, it hard to replace it, ride that baby some more!!!
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  #6  
Old 11-13-2005, 09:56 PM
Detour Detour is offline
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Default RE: '03 vs. '06 Ultra Classic


Quote:
ORIGINAL: mickeymaxharley

DogzHog, I just picked up my "06 Ultra" in vivid black, and I think it's the cat's ***. I love it.
Thanks mickeymax, it's great to hear good things about these bikes. Sounds like most owners love them, now I can't wait!

Kurt
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'06 Ultra Classic Electra Glide
95" Stage II w/ SERT
SE 203 Cam
V&H True Duals

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  #7  
Old 11-14-2005, 10:34 AM
Bibleman Bibleman is offline
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Default RE: '03 vs. '06 Ultra Classic

Quote:
ORIGINAL: tda69

Since my '03 Ultra was totaled a few weeks ago I decided to rent an '06 Ultra so I could have a bike for the and Love Ride which is tomorrow. The first thing I noticed is how much lighter the '06 feels compared to my '03. It's like night and day. The difference is huge. First of all the '06 sits lower to the ground, or either that the new seat is lower. This is definitely a positive for me. The new lower fairings with adjustable vents are great. This alone makes riding the bike so much more enjoyable. The lighter clutch is also a welcome addition. Having said all that, I have a few criticsms. Lighter is not always better. The lighter handling is due to the fact that the spring catridges in the forks have been replaced with units that do not need to be disassembled to be serviced. They are much lighter (20 pounds lighter) from what I've been told. This changes the whole balance and feel of the bike...and not for the better. Also the reduced effort spring in the throttle is overkill. The lighter steering combined with the easy throttle ruins it for me. The new Harmon Kardon stereo may be better in some respects, but overall I do not care for it. When it comes right down to it, I simply prefer my '03 Ultra and would not buy an '06, except for the fact that my bike is totaled. I need a replacement and can't think of any other options.
I must admit I am confused. And please don't take my comments as demeaning, as they are not meant in that way. I am just curious.

You described the '06 in the following way:

1. Lower to the ground
2. Adjustable vents in lowers
3. Lighter Clutch
4. Lighter forks that are easier to service
5. Reduced effort throttle
6. Lighter steering
7. New stereo which is "better in some respects..."

I can certainly respect your preference for one bike over another (what a great country), but I am having a tough time equating your comments with your final opinion. What did I miss?

Whatever you do, I hope you find a ride you love, and "Ride it like you stole it!!!"
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'06 GL1800
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  #8  
Old 11-14-2005, 12:26 PM
tda69 tda69 is offline
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Default RE: '03 vs. '06 Ultra Classic

Yesterday I rode in the Love Ride. Yesterday was a perfect Southern California day for an event like this so I was really looking forward to doing some riding. I rode the '06 Ultra Classic. After logging a couple hundred miles on this bike since Friday my beliefs are confirmed. After reading many of the posts from this forum I was concerned about buying an '06 because of engine stalling, premature motor mount failures and single cylinder shutdown (limp mode). Here are my observations. If you are potentially an '06 buyer...READ THIS. Then go rent one for a weekend like I did. You'll make own conclusions from there.

Engine Stalling: I was among the first group to arrive at Castaic Lake after leaving Glendale. While we all gradually formed lines and edged our way closer to the parking area that was reserved for us the 06 Ultra stalled no less than 6 times. It was ridiculous! I'm sitting there with everyone else, surrounded by bikes and the engine dies. So I restarted the engine. We move forward. We wait a few moments and then just as we are ready to move forward again. Bmmlph! The engine dies a second time. By the 3 third time the folks who are sitting next to me on a Dyna who were enjoying the music I was providing must have felt bad for me because of the look they gave me. You know the one where they sheepishly smile at you with their eyebrows raised. As if to say, "sorry".

Harmon Kardon Stereo: Of course each time the engine died, the stereo would cut out when you restart it. Very frustrating especially if you are playing a CD. The Harmon Kardon stereo takes more time to "boot up" before it actually turns on. There's also a longer delay when making choices on the menu or changing between CD tracks. Look when I'm flipping stations, I don't like to pause and then wait to see if the stereo follows my command. The sound quality of the HK is better and it would be nice to have XM (built in) but that is the only aspect that I cared for. My bike was not equipped with Navi, Bluetoth or XM. By the way, I also noticed that there were times where the stereo would not turn on after the boot up sequence. After pressing the ON button a second time the stereo would turn on, but only of course after going through another boot up sequence. Honestly I never thought to time the sequence with a stop watch, but it feels like 30 + seconds to turn on. I could be mistaken, but however long it is...it irritates me having to wait for a simple function like turning a stereo to be completed.

Forks/front End: The lighter front end is attributed to the fact that HD has removed the cartridge style springs in the front end. I'm told this was done to lower the cost of the 20k mile service. Normally the springs and guts are removed and then disassembled, repacked then put back together. Now it's as simple as draining and replacing the fluid. Great idea to keep the cost down, but the ride has been compromised in the process. This lighter front end is about 20 lbs lighter (from what I'm told) and transmits much more from the road to the driver. Simply put, the dampening effect is inferior to that of my '03 Ultra which uses the older style fork springs. The heaviness of the front end has been removed (nice for maneuvering in and out of the garage) but otherwise not a welcome change. While rolling down the freeway at speeds between 75-80mph the front end felt like it was coming apart. That of course was not the case and I was simply feeling more of the road surface. I prefer the heavier pre '06 front end because it's heavier and soaks up more of the road. The balance of this bike has also changed and I can only surmise this is a combination between these new shocks and a slightly lower Tour Pack.

Reduced Throttle: I've ridden sport bikes that require more effort. I do not care for this. The heavier springs and effort of the previous gave a more positive and confident feel. The new throttle spring
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http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n280/03fhtcui/08Ultra.jpg
'08 Ultra Classic with ABS
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  #9  
Old 11-14-2005, 02:09 PM
Bibleman Bibleman is offline
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Default RE: '03 vs. '06 Ultra Classic

tda69, thanks for taking the time to expand on your issues.

As you can see from my sig, I own an '06 Ultra, and it's my first Harley, so I can't compare as you can.

What I will say is that the bike you got for rental appears to have been a dog. Let me give you my impressions of an '06 with just over 1k miles.

Engine stalling - hasn't happened once. This bike is incredibly reliable, starts easily and stays running.

HK Stereo. I know what you mean about the "boot up time" (maybe it runs Windows? ), but since I have not had any stalling, it's not bothersome. Same with the slight delay when changing tracks and/or radio channels. I am kind of a "find a channel and forget it" kind of guy - others (like yourself) may well find this a real issue.

Forks / Front end - if the '03 felt "heavier", I suspect I would like it less. I was also concerned that your rental felt like it would "fall apart" at 75. Mine purrs like a kitten at 80, and I could ride her all day like that. I wonder if there weren't real problems with the bike you had, and am glad you are safe after riding it. If my '06 is representative, the shakyness at speed is not an issue.

Reduced throttle - here I come to the party as a previous Metric owner. I LOVE the reduced tension from my previous bikes. Hopefully, this is a design decision, and not the result of "cheaping out". Time will tell.

Clutch: We agree here - best clutch I have ever pulled in. Light touch and very even in engaging. Gears shifting is indeed like butter. Nice job HD.

Lowers - again we agree. Nice job HD

Seat: While I haven't rode the '03, one thing I can say for sure (and judging by many here on the Forum, there is agreement), the stock Ultra seat is not good. After an hour in the saddle, I am ready for a break. Lots of threads here for Corbins, Mustangs, etc. It is quite dissapointing to have such a poor seat on a 22k motorcycle.

Again, thanks for taking the time to share your experience. Hopefully, your '06 rental was an anomoly. Other than my seat (which I will replace in the spring), I can't imagine owning another bike. Truly an amazing ride.

Be safe. Good luck finding a new ride. When you do, remember WE LIKE PICS!!!!!!

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'06 Ultra Classic
'06 GL1800
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  #10  
Old 11-14-2005, 09:28 PM
bonzo2 bonzo2 is offline
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Default RE: '03 vs. '06 Ultra Classic

I'm coming from an 03 Fatboy and the ride and convienance is signifacantly better. My brother n law has an 03 Ultra and just complains about how hot the lowers are and how heavy the bike is. He'll be down for a visit over the holidays so I'll have to see how he feels about the differences. Again the clutch is awsome and coming from the worst stock seat HD makes (the fatboy) I think the stock seat is ok. I will have memory foam put in the seat shorthly (the ultimate rideing comfort).
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Old 11-14-2005, 09:28 PM
 
 
 
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03, 06, ascessories, audio, button, classic, davidson, electra, falling, glide, harley, kittens, replacing, stage, ultra


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