Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra Review Touring the Ozarks

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Harley-Davidson FLTRU Road Glide Ultra

Harley-Davidson Road Glide Review | Touring the Ozarks

Harley-Davidson Road Glide Test

Harley-Davidson Authorized had been nudging me to give service a try, with the to supply me with a ride in the United States. A great to be sure, it dovetailed with an press mailing from the Basin Park Hotel and the Crescent Hotel and Spa.

The for the riding in Arkansas was persuasive, so I a flight to the Northwest Arkansas Airport and made a reservation for a Glide Ultra at Pig Trail Davidson in nearby Rogers.

all the razorback hog pride in Arkansas, it is a second home to Harley-Davidson. Pig Scenic Byway begins 50 miles south of the eponymous and runs north through Springs, so there’s no doubt is hog heaven.

Pig Trail H-D is a destination as as it is a 47,000 square foot with the Rockin’ Pig Saloon door and a huge parking lot is used by enrollees in the Rider’s courses for new and experienced riders.

Sparks runs the rental at Pig Trail, and he clearly takes pride in the condition of the bikes go out under the H-D Authorized Rentals When they rolled out looked like a new bike, I was a bit that I was getting a ringer. the bike had over 1000 on the odometer, and a backstage tour of the revealed rows of rental that were indistinguishable the endless sea of Harleys on the expansive floor.

After I do a few spins the Rider’s Edge parking the folks at Pig Trail are convinced I can the Road Glide Ultra and I’m for departure. Sparks offers me any of of ride maps that Pig H-D has assembled, but getting to Eureka is easy — just follow US 62 east from the dealership’s

My early alarm in Los Angeles, and two to get to Arkansas, has me fatigued before I get started. The Road Glide is a big bike, and that is clearly as I get going. The bars feel a bit at first, yet the rubber-mounted Twin Cam 103 transmits reassuring vibes.

Route 62 starts off straight and perfect for bike acclimation, and along the southern border of Pea National Military Park. especially military history, is a of great interest and attention in On roads large and small, you see references to battlefields, marches, and events.

As I ease past Cemetery, my confidence is fully and I am ready to take on the route’s from straightaways to twists. good cornering clearance and grip from the Dunlops, the Glide Ultra makes its way some fairly challenging with constant elevation — almost like riding the of the Americas. I pass a couple of I know I will be riding in the trip, and I arrive in Eureka well before late sundown.

Lacking a GPS unit, I was on billboards to guide me to the Crescent There were a number of for the Crescent, but none with the words, “turn here”. on my iPhone was a great help, getting from historic Eureka Springs to the hilltop turned out to be tricky the first

Relying on a map is usually a good and I noted a quick shortcut off of Street — just take Avenue and I’m there! Well, Avenue might just as a site for an AMA Pro Hillclimb. I hang on for the — no problem for 103 cubic inches — and the street without any centerline flatten out at the top.

I’m just I didn’t have to stop up, because that would been ugly.

Arriving at The I am not disappointed. The stately lady has lovingly returned to an accommodating of splendor after years of Oh, yes, a Room 218.

a serviceable deli-style dinner on the at Dr. Baker’s Bis- tro and Sky Bar, I in an astounding view to the southeast, myself for some unusual entertainment. After a rejuvenating nap on a bed, I walk upstairs to the Crescent Ghost Tour.

Ramsey The Butler, a tall, laconic gray-haired gentleman a gently persuasive voice and garb, is our host and he prepares the for the tour. The very colorful, and macabre, history of the hotel is 1937, the building had been Hospital. Unfortunately, proprietor Baker was in the business of administering … cures and, as points out, no one came out

He shows a hair-raising clip by The Paranormal Society on the Ghost TV show, and off we go to see the sites, and maybe an or two.

Stories are told of deaths — many from others from harrowing … cures — and we visit the of these mishaps and mis- Three spirits, and the rooms inhabit, are the focus of the tour.

We Suite 3500, where a in a Victorian nightgown has visited overnight guests. To back up, and so you’ll recognize her if she appears, displays photos of a manifestation of the woman. Another room was the of a nurse who had a young daughter in a four-story fall down the

The third room — and most-often room at the Crescent — concerns an Irish stonemason who died in the of the hotel. It seems he was on the roof, to get the attention of an attractive female, and over the edge. Apparently, the of him landing on a lethal beam can be heard.

He now resides in, as you may have Room 218 — Michael’s Room.

is an audible gasp from my when we arrive at the room and I “That’s my room. Let’s go People poke around, photos — a number of otherworldly are framed on the wall—while Ramsey Michael’s antics, which moving objects about the and playing with the temperature of the A few people look at me like I’m for staying there alone.

quietly reminds me that guests in 218 don’t last the and request another room.

Having had a long day, by the I hit the mattress I was, well, tired. If there were any or noises, they needed to be a bit demanding of my attention.

My weather is perfect for the trip. I wake up to a sun- rise and am ready to one of the five varying-distance loops the Crescent-sponsored Eureka Springs Routes (ESMR) website The hotel courts motorcyclists, and the motorcycles-only parking spaces out were never empty.

the amount of dust and debris settled overnight on the Road Ultra, I would like to that covered parking be more appropriate for a luxury

Not sure how much time it take for me to traverse the longer given that I will be for photography frequently, I choose the length 150-mile ESMR 4.

The roads on the loop are uniformly maintained and nearly deserted. A rather than a gas station or store, defines each More cattle are present anything else, followed by road kill of all sorts.

The Glide Ultra loves the Fifth gear is my best and the big twin front discs ABS) and rigid Touring bail me out when I miscalculate on the decreasing radius corner.

The sweep of the trip takes me to Pruitt Bridge — a deteriorating through truss design the Buffalo River on Arkansas 7 Byway — on the way to Jasper and the Ozark

Feeding hungry travelers 1909, the Ozark Cafe is now a motorcycle eatery. I arrive before noon and watch the roar in, even on a spring All sorts of bikes line Street, from BMW GSes to my grabbing and conversation starting Red Sunglo mount. My hopes for cuisine are dashed when the suggests a Philly Cheesesteak, 1000 miles from its

Instead, I opt for a hefty and delicious cheeseburger.

The ESMR Route 4 keeps the ride interesting, but not as it switches you between roads gentle sweeps, and those are more challenging and free of signs. In fact, signage of any is rare on Arkansas backroads. If you a wrong turn and lack you won’t know it for miles.

I learn to consult the map at every to remind me of the next junction.

Not stops, and riding at a sensible the estimated four-hour timeframe is right. I find myself in Eureka Springs in the late and not ready to hang up my boots quite yet. Fortunately, Route 3 is a quick 26-mile that includes Beaver and Beaver Dam — a perfect pre-dinner

As I take Arkansas Highway 23 from town, I pass The Art Colony. Art is a huge part of the Springs experience, with galleries and shops to occupy you for a I, of course, focus on the ride, and forward to Beaver Bridge on 187.

A one-lane suspension with a wood bed, Bridge is nearly two football long as it crosses the White which eventually feeds the From there, it is a fun rural to Beaver Dam and the winding Beaver The ride across the dam and up to an overlook off the evening excursion.

Back at the I walk into my Room 218 and is something very strange. One of my riding socks is sitting in the middle of the open floor. I had up before I left, and put my clean and clothes in separate drawers. How did sock end up in such a conspicuously place?

Michael, is that

With the sock returned to its I walk downstairs to the 1886 bar in the formal Crystal Ballroom. My attire is welcome on this weekday, so this is a relaxing and experience. Attended to by a friendly and barmaid, I take in a rib eye steak

It is cooked medium rare, as and elegantly presented with al vegetables.

Harley-Davidson FLTRU Road Glide Ultra

Given my proximity to I can’t resist a ride up the next day, so the ESMR 5 gets the nod. At 142 miles, I a bit more saddle time, so I add a 45-mile loop of my own making Table Rock Lake, north of the border.

My addendum was fine at this of the year — traffic was light, and the through more populated was a welcome change of pace the solitary roads of Arkansas. this can get quite congested in the with blue hairs for Branson.

Bridges seem to be a and my loop takes me over Rock Lake twice, on a of third-mile-long cantilevered through bridges — first on the Long Bridge on Missouri Route 86, and on Route 13’s rough-bed City Bridge.

After the bridge, I finally find the experience I had been looking for — cuisine! On my left was a sign for Ozark B-B-Que. “You’re the sign says. I can’t with that logic.

A cabin where wood and are the two primary design features, is all about the ’que. Not the least bit in a menu, I ask the lady serving me she recommends. She suggests baby ribs, and that is what I brought to my table.

The dry rub ribs are — moist, and cooked just Not fatty, the meat remains on the so I can feast like Fred I ask the server for a few details on the cooking and she remains mum. “We just do it our she assures me with a smile.

are the kinds of ribs that do not a drop of sauce, though I do Jill’s house sauce a taste. It is good, but I want between the ribs, the rub, and me. The and homemade sourdough bread for a pair of satisfying sides.

If in southern Missouri and like you must visit Jill’s.

The back to Eureka Springs is by a trip through Mark National Forest and finally Pine State Park, the road makes its way through a of trees. 80-degree weather has me to the region, and the shade is a welcome

Reluctantly, I have to return the next day, and in the morning I am to how quickly the weather can change in the The temperature has dropped into the and it is a chilly ride back to Pig H-D, though I am fortunate and the holds off until I am at the airport.

Authorized Rentals makes it to drop everything and jet off to an interesting spot and go for a spin on a premium

In the case of Eureka Springs, you can the family and let them enjoy from zip line rides to caves to canoeing, while you a half (or full) day getting to the lay of the land. Now, I just to figure out which of the other 350 to visit— this is too easy!

by Don Williams

Riding Style:

Fly Tourist

Eyewear: Liberty Trailblazer

Jacket: H-D Illumination Mesh

Gloves: Tour Gel Cruiser

Jeans: Drayko

Boots: River Road Tall

This story is in the July/August 2013 issue of MotorCycling magazine — available on and good bookstores everywhere. The is also available free to on Apple Newsstand (for iOS and Google Play (Android). To to the print edition, please our Subscriber Services page .

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Harley-Davidson FLTRU Road Glide Ultra
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Harley-Davidson FLTRU Road Glide Ultra


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