As promised, a review of my 2014 Limited after a 700 mile trip this weekend.
In a nutshell: These bikes are a game changer, and a whole new level for Harley. WOW!!
For reference, in the past I have owned throughout my riding life:
Yamaha XS400 Special
Yamaha 650 Maxim
Yamaha 750 Maxim fully dressed
Honda Goldwing 1200 Interstate
Yamaha Venture Royale 1300
2003 Electraglide Classic (bone stock)
2005 Electraglide Classic (stage 1 and slip-ons)
2007 Street Glide (Stage 2 103" with 255 cams, slip ons, dyno tuned)
2009 Street Glide (Stage 1 intake, slip ons, dyno tuned)
2014 Ultra Limited "wethead" (slip ons only, no intake or flash/tune)
1. Power: FINALLY, a Harley I DONT have to dick with or sink money into for good performance. My 09 ran and pulled REALLY well. It had an excellent tune. Sometimes I missed my stage 2 103 2007, but I was happy with the 09. I dont need to hot rod, just wanna go up a canyon without being in 3rd gear. The 2014 did NOT disappoint. Some of the same grades I pulled on the 09 that required downshifting, the 14 just tractored its way over, no downshift, no effort.
Asked my girlfriend if she wanted to feel what 100mph on a Harley felt like. Got there in the blink of an eye, just rolled it on, and boom. It happened so fast I went to 115 before I knew it (2up and fully loaded) and Sofia was not even breaking a sweat. Was well on the way to burying the needle, but our do-rags were about to bail off, so I backed out. My riding buddy said we flew by like he was standing still (at 80mph)
My 09 would only hit about 100 2up and loaded, and it took quite a while to get there. The 2014, dont blink, or you'll miss it. Passing power on the highway? CONFIRMED in spades.
2. Handling. This thing is so nimble its crazy! But at the same time, very planted. HUGE improvement. BY FAR the best handling bike I have ever ridden, with the only possible exception being a GL1800, but its a close call.
3. Smoothness: Crazy smooth. Allmost NO vibration. Period (cept at idle.) World class.
4. Buffeting: Gone. End of story. Had a 10" windsplitter put on. It was the calmest pocket of air I have ever felt on a bike, GL1800 included. It was so calm, I decided to try the 7" windsplitter like I had on my 09. STILL calm and no buffeting. Some wind yes (its a very short shield) but it was CLEAN air. Lorraine confirmed the back seat was also very much improved over the 09 for buffeting.
5. Heat. What heat? We were in 80-90 degree temps. This is the first Harley I have had with lower fairings. Always wanted them, but didnt want the heat retention. My Stock tuned 14 Wethead is cooler with fairing lowers than my dyno tuned 09 was without them. By far. Put my hand down in front of Lorraine's right foot, barely warm. She confirmed MUCH less heat than on the 09. Had no heat issues with the exit vents on the lowers when riding on my highway pegs either. NONE.
6. Infotainment. This thing ROCKS! Was so nice to throw a bunch of tunes on an 8 gig memory stick, and go. The stereo will search the stick based on artist, genre, album, etc. Far as I can tell, with the memory stick, no way to create subfolders or playlists though. Streamed bluetooth from my phone as well. Have not yet hooked up the iphone via USB, but im sure it works great and allows playlists. FWIW, the memory stick was formated for a Mac. Saw it no problem. Radio (AM/FM) can also search stations by genre, and only show you the ones you choose, which can be more than one. (country, rock, etc)
Did not mess with the GPS. Probably wont use it that much, but nice to have if i need it. Did not use CB or intercom yet. Weather band popped up 3 times with a storm warning. Got 2 phone calls (did not answer them-no headset on and would not have anyway) but I think its nice to know you GOT a call. Me personally, Ill wait till I stop to call back, but cool that I know I MISSED a call. The system seems complex at first, but once you play with it a bit, it actually makes perfect sense, and is very easy to use. LOVE the joysticks. Lorraine commented that she COULD in fact, hear the rear speakers much better than on my 09 (they are 2" further apart and angled better)
7. ride comfort: Excellent. Best I have ever ridden. Period.
8. Controls: Very nice. The switchs are very "short throw" (turn signals etc) very nice having the cruise on the left side. Very easy to engage and use.
9. braking: HOLLY CRAP this think will stop on a dime. If you had a pre-brembo bike, remember how big of an improvment the brembos were? This is every bit as much of an improvement. Side note: while crusing through some twistys, It dawned on me that I can leave my feet on the highway pegs, cause I don't technically need to use the rear brake pedal anymore to get both breaks. In the interest of keeping a good skillset and riding habbits, not gonna rely on the linking, still use both controls. But its cool to know if im on the highway pegs and need to get on the binders hard and quick, the front lever gives me both.
10. Fit and finish: I dunno if its cause she's brand new, but I swear the paint and chrome, and overall quality of the look has been stepped up a couple notches. Maybe its cause the color just looks more rich or something, but I don't think so. My O9 was kept immaculate and was in showroom condition (literally) but I still think this one is even nicer overall.
11. Stock seats seems better than anyone I have ever had, but I put my custom mustang on anyway, so not a lot of seat time on the stocker.
12: back seater opinion: Lorraine said she can defiantly tell a difference in every aspect, and thinks its a MUCH nicer bike.
A few pics of Sophia:
A few trip pics (2 days, 700 miles, southern Utah Scenic byway 12 & 24)