The Seasoned Wrench


Ultra Limited vs Ultra Classic: What’s The Difference?

Chase Manhattan Avatar

Last Updated:

For anyone considering a touring experience on a Harley Davidson, the choice often comes down to the Ultra Classic and the Ultra Limited models. Both bikes are known for their impressive features and capabilities, but what sets them apart?

In this article, we’ll delve into the key differences and similarities between these two Harley Davidson models, providing a comprehensive comparison in the Ultra Limited vs Ultra Classic debate, to help you make an informed decision.

What Are The Defining Characteristics of Harley’s Ultra Classic?

Here's an example of a 2000 Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic with a fork mounted fairing.

The Harley Davidson Ultra Classic is a favorite among riders seeking an essential touring experience. This bike offers a unique combination of comfort, convenience, and power, making it an exceptional two-wheeler for long rides.


The Ultra Classic is equipped with the Milwaukee-Eight® v-twin engine that ensures a powerful, smooth ride. The bike also boasts highly responsive front and rear suspensions, enhancing its performance on the road.

Milwaukee related: Harley 107 vs 114 vs 117: A Milwaukee Bound Shootout

Technology and Features

The Ultra Classic comes with a premium boom! ™ box 6.5 infotainment system which delivers a dynamic full-range audio experience. The bike also features a supremely comfortable seat for two-up riding, providing optimum comfort for longer rides.

Safety Technology

The Electra Glide Ultra Classic is equipped with reflex™ linked Brembo® brakes with standard ABS. This feature ensures the right amount of brake is applied, regardless of road conditions, enhancing rider safety.


The Ultra Classic is relatively less expensive compared to the Ultra Limited, making it a budget-friendly option for those wanting the Harley Davidson touring experience.

What Are The Defining Characteristics of Harley’s Ultra Limited?

The Ultra Limited, on the other hand, is an excellent choice for riders who are seeking a fully loaded touring experience with zero compromises. This bike offers an array of features that ensure a comfortable, safe, and enjoyable ride.


The Ultra Limited is powered by a Twin-Cooled™ Milwaukee-Eight™ 114 engine. This engine provides 1868 cc of power, making the bike perfect for long, horizon-chasing rides. Additionally, the bike is equipped with heated grips, adding to its performance in colder climates.

Related: Harley 107 vs 114: Milwaukee 8 Worth The Hype? Yes and No

Technology and Features

The Ultra Limited comes with a bold-styled vented batwing fairing that delivers smooth air flow, reducing head buffeting. It is also equipped with a premium tour-pak™ luggage carrier, enhancing the bike’s utility for long journeys.

Safety Technology

The Ultra Limited features advanced safety technologies such as the REFLEX™ LINKED BREMBO™ BRAKES WITH STANDARD ABS, which help prevent the wheels from locking under braking. This assists the rider in maintaining control during straight-line braking.


The Ultra Limited has a higher Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) compared to the Ultra Classic. However, the added features and comforts of the Ultra Limited justify its higher price point.

A negative take:
> Nasty Ultra Classic Problems To Avoid (Glossary)
> The Most Aggravating Harley Davidson Ultra Limited Problems

How Are Ultra Classic and Ultra Limited Models Similar?

Here's a picture of a 2020 Harley Davidson Ultra Limited.

While there are notable differences between the Ultra Classic and the Ultra Limited, there are also several similarities. Both bikes share the same fuel system – Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI). They also share similar exhaust systems, drivetrain specifications, and styled gauges.

Safety Features

Safety is paramount, and both models come equipped with ABS and traction control. However, the Ultra Limited takes an edge with additional rider-assist technologies, enhancing the safety quotient, especially in unpredictable riding conditions.

Technology Focus

Technology plays a pivotal role in modern riding experiences. The Ultra Classic and Ultra Limited feature advanced infotainment systems, but it’s the Ultra Limited that takes a step ahead with a more sophisticated system, offering a larger screen and enhanced connectivity options. The audio experience is also amplified in the Ultra Limited, making for an immersive auditory journey.


Comfort is key in long rides. The Ultra Classic and Ultra Limited offer comfortable seating, but the latter steps up with more ergonomic handlebar positioning and seating arrangements, designed to reduce rider fatigue.

Engine Options Comparison

We all know that in Harley world, the engines are the heart of the ride. Here’s a detailed comparison of the engine options for the Ultra Classic and Ultra Limited.

Engine Type: Both models typically come equipped with the renowned Milwaukee-Eight 107 or 114 engines. This choice significantly influences the bike’s overall power and ride quality.

Displacement: The Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine has a displacement of 1,746 cc, while the 114 variant offers a larger 1,868 cc displacement. This difference impacts the power output, making the 114 engine option more robust.

Torque and Power Output: The Milwaukee-Eight 107 delivers a torque of approximately 111 ft-lbs, while the 114 engine ups the ante to around 118 ft-lbs. This increase in torque translates into a noticeable difference in acceleration and climbing power.

Fuel System: Both engines utilize the Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection system, offering efficiency and a responsive throttle.

Cooling System: Depending on the model and engine option, these bikes employ either an air-cooled or precision liquid-cooled system. The liquid-cooled system, especially beneficial in the 114 engine, aids in maintaining optimal engine temperature, enhancing performance and longevity.

More comparisons:
> Street Glide vs Road Glide: Who Glides The Best?
> Electra Glide vs Street Glide: Any Real Difference?
> Road King Vs Electra Glide: Can The King Glide By?
> Road King vs Street Glide: Who Glides The Best?

Ultra Limited vs Ultra Classic Comparison

To provide a clearer picture, let’s look at a quick comparison table detailing the most important specs of both bikes.

FeaturesUltra ClassicUltra Limited
EngineTwin cooled Milwaukee-Eight® 107Twin-Cooled™ Milwaukee-Eight™ 114
TiresAlloyDunlop™ Harley-Davidson Series, bias blackwall front and rear
Displacement1,690 cc1,868 cc
Horsepower80 bhp @ 7,500 rpm87 HP / 65 kW @ 5020 rpm
Infotainment systemBoom!™ Box 4.3 – standard or Boom!™ Box 6.5GT – optionalBoombox GTS
PriceRelatively less expensiveExpensive

So, What’s The Difference Between Ultra Classic and Ultra Limited Models?

While they share similarities, the main differences between the Ultra Classic and the Ultra Limited lie in their performance, features, technology, and price. The Ultra Limited offers more engine torque power, advanced safety features, and additional comfort features compared to the Ultra Classic. However, the Ultra Classic is a more affordable option, making it a fantastic choice for riders on a budget.

Ultimately, the decision between the Ultra Classic and the Ultra Limited depends on your personal preferences, riding needs, and budget. Both bikes offer a fantastic touring experience, but each has its unique strengths.

Is One Better Than The Other?

When it comes to deciding which bike is better, it largely depends on individual preference and riding needs. The Ultra Limited is more capable of touring and offers more comfort and safety features than the Ultra Classic, making it ideal for long rides. However, if you prefer a more traditional two-wheel tour and are on a budget, the Ultra Classic is a fantastic option.

In the end, both bikes offer an exceptional riding experience, and either choice is sure to satisfy any Harley Davidson enthusiast.

Read next:
> Street Glide Years To Avoid: Trust Me, For The Best
> Electra Glide Years To Avoid: A Complete Overview

While specifically for 2023 models, here’s a video that will give you a good idea of the main differences between Ultra Classic and Ultra Limited trims, while recapping the points we discussed in the article. Video titled “2023 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited Vs. Ultra Classic”

What are the key differences between Ultra Limited and Ultra Classic motorcycles?

The key differences between Ultra Limited and Ultra Classic motorcycles typically revolve around their design, features, and overall performance. The Ultra Limited often comes with more advanced features, including upgraded infotainment systems and enhanced rider comfort, while the Ultra Classic might have a more classic design and simpler features.

Is the Ultra Limited more expensive than the Ultra Classic?

Generally, the Ultra Limited is priced higher than the Ultra Classic. This is due to its more advanced features, technology, and sometimes newer model years.

Which is better for long-distance touring, Ultra Limited or Ultra Classic?

For long-distance touring, the Ultra Limited is often preferred. It is designed with long rides in mind, offering features like better wind protection, more comfortable seating, and larger storage capacity, making it more suitable for longer trips.

How does the ride quality of Ultra Limited compare to Ultra Classic?

The Ultra Limited typically offers a smoother ride quality, thanks to its enhanced suspension system and ergonomic design. The Ultra Classic, while still comfortable, might have a more traditional setup that doesn’t absorb bumps and road irregularities as effectively.

Are there any common issues with Ultra Limited or Ultra Classic?

Common issues with these models may include electrical problems, particularly in older models, and wear and tear on components like brakes and tires. Regular maintenance can mitigate many of these issues.