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Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra vs. Indian Roadmaster – COMPARISON TEST

Detractors like to say that Harley-Davidsons haven’t changed in a century, and that’s only partly true. While the classic 45-degree V-twin architecture originated on the 1936 Knucklehead, it has been continually refined. This latest version, called the Milwaukee-Eight, is equipped with a fuel-injected, twin-cooled (meaning oil and water), four-valve-per-cylinder engine that could almost be called modern. Holdovers include pushrod valve actuation with forked rockers and hydraulic lash adjustment, plus a non-unit six-speed gearbox. Even so, power is markedly improved from the previous generation, the 107ci (1,750cc) mill pumping out a credible 77 hp and 98 pound-feet of torque on the cursed CW dyno. That’s a far cry from the 50-ish horsepower Big Twins made not too terribly long ago.

Harley-davidson road glide ultra versus indian roadmaster comparison test 1 got there’s been a lot of talk about bug out bikes lately as in which is the perfect motorcycle to escape a natural or a natural disaster earthquake tsunami political upheaval gang on your go anywhere adventure tour and leave it all behind which is all well and fine should your world go

To hell but what is you’re actually going to hell you don’t want to roll up on beelzebub astride some oversized orange dirt bike no you need a motorcycle that makes the proper statement and nothing speaks louder than a badass tagines v-twin that’s where the harley-davidson road glide ultra and indian roadmaster come in to dot detractors like to say that harley

Davidsons haven’t changed in a century and that’s only partly true while the classic 45-degree v-twin architecture originated on the 1936 knucklehead it has been continually refined this latest version called the milwaukee eight is equipped with a fuel-injected twin cooled meaning oil and water four valves per cylinder engine that could almost be called modern

Holdovers include push rod valve actuation with forked rockers and hydraulic crash adjustment plus a non unit 6-speed gearbox even so power is markedly improved from the previous generation the 107 1 , 750 cc no pumping out a credible 77 horsepower and 98 pound-feet of torque on the cursed cw i know that’s a far cry from the 50 ish horsepower big twins made not too

Terribly long ago indian is a relative newcomer to the scene never mind that the original company succumbed to financial pressures in 1953 dot technically these two models are not an exact match because the road glide has a frame mounted fairing while the roadmasters bolts to its fork the ultra limited would have been a better match alas none was available aside

From that one difference however these two machines are almost identically equipped the harley shark nose fairing looks more modern than the indians which is said to have been influenced by streamliner locomotives of the 1950’s but the indian looks more modern behind its fairing of its multifunction touchscreen – features multiple windows and is customizable the

Harley’s – isn’t exactly low-tech but it is a half step behind the indian scores bonus points for its heated seat and hand grips keyless ignition and remote drum clock but it also costs more these options are available on hd tours and prices for similarly equipped bikes are not similar our descent into hell began on a fitting note as we puzzled over how to reset

The indian strittmatter we were 25 miles down the road before we noticed the little red icon at the upper edge of the touchscreen 4.2 explore these two tours back road capabilities we took sr 78 over the qio maca mountain through heavenly julian and down to the hellish imperial valley both bikes worked very well considering they’re near half-ton heft the indian is

14 pounds heavier according to the cw scales but in this class that’s like having slightly bigger love handles hd’s engineers did away with the traditional air adjustable shocks this year because they found that owners felled and checked the pressure and substituted a simple adjustment knob behind the left saddlebag the indian continues to use our adjustable rear

Suspension and includes the small hand pump with purchase pop off the left side cover and you’ll find a schrader valve and a chart with recommended settings 5 . in the desert near catio we hopped on interstate 80 s toward el centro and our final destination impromptu rowland’s in both 4th and 6th gears confirmed that these two big z twins are very evenly matched

The indians greater lowing torque gave it the initial jump until it rolled over at 4000 revolutions per minute at which point the higher revving highly stretched its legs and pulled slightly ahead speaking of gears it’s worth noting that the harley’s new hydraulically actuated assist and slip clutch which enabled engineers to reduce the plate count and narrow the

Primary cover as a heavy pull and a narrow range of engagement that makes for jerky starts curiously the harley’s gear display disappears if you so much as finger the clutch lever while the indians takes a moment to update after each shift six dot you can’t ride to hell without mentioning heat the harley’s twin radiators mean you stay cool while the indian broyles

The riders legs especially on the right pipe side harley’s engineers move the rear exhaust port inboard on the new motor which undoubtedly helped combat heat but we have to wonder about them reducing idle from 1,000 to 850 revolutions per minute our test bike never stole that a standstill but it sounded like it might because of its spaced out beats the road masters

– Initially seems too in-your-face but in fact is easy to read unto use the road glide – is farther away yet its gps display proved difficult to read at night that added distance also makes for a long reach to the touchscreen though you can accomplish most functions using the thumb operated joysticks both bikes are equipped with powerful audio systems that sound

Great while tailgating pretty good below 50 miles per hour and distorted at freeway speeds the indians antenna is lower and better tucked in than the harley’s the tower is broken on the left 7 dot in the end or the end these two full-dress touring cruisers are so evenly matched that passing final judgment is an act of faith if we have to play devil’s advocate will

Point out that the harley is a bit more modern mechanically while the indian has it covered electronically the road glide costs less but the roadmaster gives you more for your money down to its electric screen the harley is more authentic in that it traces its roots directly back to that very first machine built in that shed in milwaukee but the indian feels like it

Could have sprung from the original production line in springfield the bottom line is you’ll be happy perhaps eternally so with whichever one you choose eight dot wrong-way shutterbug jeff allen’s long lens makes it look like that street sign is telling motorists to turn left when the road goes right out here in the okapi l desert one can never have too much gas 9

Okay so maybe a murdered-out bobber would be more sinister looking than a colorful full dresser but it’s tough to find a black bike by torchlight and you’re going to need luggage to take it all with you especially if it’s a one-way trip dot indian is a relative newcomer to the scene never mind that the original company succumbed to financial pressures in 1950 forget

About everything that transpired between then and now because it was inconsequential an ass and s powered harley clone with valance our decals vendors does not an indian make to its credit new parent company polaris didn’t face the new indian line on its existing victory platform instead designing an all-new 49° thunderstroke v-twin albeit with old-fashioned air

Cooling and two pushrod-actuated valves per cylinder that pays homage to the original power plus that one 1151 comma 811 cc no is no slouch either putting out 73 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque 10 dot our descent into hell began on a fitting note as we puzzled over how to reset the indian strict mutter we were 25 miles down the road before we noticed the

Little red icon at the upper edge of the touchscreen and this delay coupled with a range reading that inexplicably switches to low when you most need to know exactly how many miles you have remaining resulted in our running out of gas at the edge of nowhere ordinarily we would feel comfortable speculating that the roadmaster might go 200 miles between fill-ups

But we now know that it goes exactly 196 point six miles the most we saw out of the harley was two hundred thirteen point six miles in normal commuting dot in terms of actual feeding the harley a superior here as the stitches on the indians quilted leather saddle start to emboss themselves in your bot cheeks after a few hours both the twins exhibit just enough

Vibration to give them some character but not enough to make your fingers until is tingle

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Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra vs. Indian Roadmaster – COMPARISON TEST By Motorcycle All About