Harley-Davidson has taken the covers off the last of its 2015 motorcycle line-up.
Reinforcing the company's desire to be the bike of choice for female riders and riders of smaller stature who might have been put off by Harley's traditionally heavy machines, the final models include an Electra Glide Ultra Classic Low.
The new variation on the time-honored road hog has a seat height of just 25.6 inches -- almost two inches shorter than the previous version. New suspension also lowers the bike's center of gravity, making it more manageable for smaller riders.
Harley promises the bike offers "the lowest seat height and the highest rider confidence available in a premium touring bike."
It's not just height. Size matters in other ways. New handlebar design brings the controls two inches closer to the rider. Smaller hand grips "reduce finger reach" to clutch and brake levers. A new "toe tab extension" even makes it easier to reach the kickstand.
Harley-Davidson, far the market leader in its class, has been quite clear in the last year about its determination to start selling more motorcycles in areas not traditionally associated with the Milwaukee-based company.
With its new Breakout, Street 500 and Street 750 models, among others, and in its modern marketing materials, Harley is targeting women, minorities and younger riders with new vigor.
The company is also building motorcycles with a greater attention to the global bike market, building smaller machines more suitable for average riders in places like India and China.
In addition to the Ultra Classic Low, Harley also revealed refreshed versions of its Road Glide, back on the road after a year away, new CVO Street Glides and CVO Road Glide Ultras, and a newsly-designed version of its three-wheeled Freewheeler Trike.
The company also announced a modified braking system for certain Softail models, which will now all have ABS as standard equipment and will be fitted with new front braking calipers that, the company says, will increase responsiveness and reduce hand lever effort by 40 percent.
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