Custom – Ultra Classic 2012 test: cruising has fun! – The presentations…


Ultra Classic 2012 test: cruising has fun !

Custom - Ultra Classic 2012 test: cruising has fun! - The presentations...

More than 3,000 kilometers on the handlebars of the Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide 2012 should make it possible to identify the qualities and the faults of the US flagship, which now packs 1,690 cc … Last autumn road trip in music !

The presentations…

The jerk off to take a seat on the Electra will require both conviction (the bike is wide) and restraint, because you don’t have to kick the rear speakers that don’t deserve it badly. not !

The wide and comfortable seat will reassure the little ones since the saddle is only 693 mm from the ground … and fortunately, one would be tempted to say, because raising the motorcycle from its side stand takes the exercise of weight training: the 413 kg (in working order, but without luggage and without passenger!) of chrome and steel are there !

The wages of fear !

This is undoubtedly the big flaw of this Electra: its weight! Despite a relatively low center of gravity, maneuvers with the engine off or at very low speed are frankly scary and must be approached with great humility….

If in the end our Site test bike came out without any scratches, we must admit that on two or three occasions, because of a slipping foot or a slightly pressed handlebar stopper, the Electra almost ended up on the ground !

It is more designed for large North American parking lots where U-turns and parking lots are obvious. In our small streets and on our narrow sidewalks, on the contrary, we must anticipate maneuvers and stops !

An American in Paris

It may take an extra bike in the two-wheel parking lot, or a car parked in front of the boat you were planning to take, to get stuck. And if this is the case for all large GTs of the Goldwing type, this is particularly true of the Harley.

Apart from this problem of overweight, the reception of Electra is at the top. Comfortable seat, lumbar support thanks to the backrest offered by the raised passenger seat, large footrest plates with double selector: you immediately feel able to swallow kilometers.

The handlebars are quite wide and curved but offer a rather natural and pleasant position. True to all Milwaukee production, the handles and levers are thick and relatively firm but are not in the way of wear..

Almost 700 km separate us from Pessac-sur-Dordogne, the first stop on our autumn road trip. As always, the exit of Paris by the RN 118 is difficult, but the Harley squeezes rather well. Practical: if the large Batwing fairing goes between the cars, then you are sure that the suitcases go too.

DJ Electra

After 5 km / h, the Harley makes completely forget its 430 kg and becomes surprisingly easy and intuitive … for a machine of this size! To be sure to be seen, we light the two additional fires which give the Electra that inimitable face..

Leaving Paris is done by zapping from one radio station to another, but very quickly we opt for the CD full of MP3s concocted just before hitting the road. What a pleasure: the Harman / Kardon installation that equips the Electra far surpasses everything that is done in the world of motorcycles !

You can enjoy music at speeds of over 140 km / h, even with particularly well soundproofed Schuberth headphones. By lowering the bass a little, you can even turn the volume up without the speakers saturating.

The sound of the pots is also satisfactory: present enough to enjoy it, it is discreet enough to enjoy the music. For music lovers, it would be a shame to stick more sonic exhausts to the Electra, as is often the case in the "little" Harley world..

American Allures and Conso

Barely running in with its 500 km on the clock, the Electra spins more or less serenely at 140 km / h cruising. But at this speed, the 103cc V-twin’s pickups are downright soft and disappointing, whether in 6th gear – which is not really an overdrive – or 5th..

By forcing its nature, the American hangs on the 180-185 km / h meter, but its front axle quickly protests by dancing a jig of devils. Also pay attention to the more than fantastic cruise control which can vary your speed by ten km / h depending on the climbs and descents … This approximation can be expensive in front of a radar !

If the Electra is rather reasonable on the road, it starts to consume quite a bit as soon as we drive over 120 km / h: it can go from a nice 6.5 l / 100 km to a good 8- 8.5 l / 100 km on the highway. This consumption puts a little strain on its autonomy, especially as its tank is not particularly large. With a capacity of 22.7 liters, you should not exceed 230 km too much before refueling on the motorway. Too bad, for a motorcycle so comfortable that would allow the relays to be extended.

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