Ultra is too high

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by huey1961, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. huey1961

    huey1961 New Member

    I have read suggestions posted by others discussing lowering a Ultra. I have done most of this and it's still too high for my short legs. Background: I am about 5'6" with an inseam of about 27-28, yeah, i have really short legs. I have been riding for about 15 years and have a FLHC Standard, and my dream bike, my 05 Heritage. My wife and I take extended bike vacations each year and decided to buy a Ultra. Found an used 09 that had already been lowered by a HD dealer and had a one of the stretch seats. At 10lbs of shock pressure I can reach fairly comfortably, but we need 50lbs due to our size and luggage. At 50lbs I am tip toeing, not a good thing. What else can I do affordably? I am thinking of just selling although I am now used to the ride, radio and cruise control. Any suggestions?
  2. gusotto

    gusotto Junior Member

    The guy who had my bike was about your size.
    He added the Harley Reach seat (on all his bikes) and it worked for him on all his Ultras. He used to be the owner of the dealership so he knew what it took.

    He took his bike all over the country.

    I'm 6' and it was too close for me, I felt cramped so I bought a Mustang seat as I always have done for my bikes.

    The Reach seat might be what would work for you.
  3. baggerT

    baggerT New Member

    I too have a short inseam...and ride a Ultra. I had the same problems you have when i first bought this bike from a guy over 6 ft .
    My solution came in the form of a shock stud lowering kit from a machine shop on ebay selling them with instructions for lowering touring Harleys from 1"-3'' at about $40...all American solid machined steel..i raised the bike on my lift, disconnected the air line,disconnected the lower shock mounts (one at a time) replaced them with the new mounts, reattached the shocks and lowered the lift about 40 minutes later...i had effectively lowered the seat height by about 2 1/2" and no clearance issues...much better..but
    still not quite comfortable considering two up riding and low rainwater runoff gutters, i went looking for the seat to complement the newly lowered Ultra...my dealer suggested the same as yours initially...then he suggested i might be able to have the original air ride seat adjusted by a seat builder local to me...i'm now quite comfortable in the saddle minus an 1' of unnecessary padding in the crotch area, the removal of the air bladders under me (my passenger air bladder still functions) and an additional 1 1/2' of foam in the riders seat back to bring me closer to the controls....i also adjusted the foot rests which the seller had set for his comfort.
    I'd always owned and ridden sporty's and superglides in the past...now i feel as comfortable with this lowered Ultra bagger. The seat adjustments cost me $175.00 and took 2 days, but the 'seatsmith' provided a loaner that fit well and gave me a 1 year adjustment warranty. Good luck!
  4. FirstHarley

    FirstHarley Member

    My wife is 5'2" and rides an 09 Ultra, what worked for her was to put shorter shocks on the rear and a super reach seat. Before the seat it was still to high but with the seat she is comfortable on the bike.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011
  5. TripleJ

    TripleJ Senior Member

    I would try boots with a thicker sole and then try different seats like already suggested until you find the best fit for you. Altering the suspension would be my last resort.

    Here is another option, although it is a bit spendy.

    Fat Bagggers Inc. Product Spotlight Page, Drop Seat Kits
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2011
  6. Mattman4403

    Mattman4403 Junior Member

    I would look at getting the seat worked over. Taking some foam out of the nose can get you on the ground much better.
  7. sgt_1230

    sgt_1230 Active Member

    My wife is 5'5" and rides an 07 SE Ultra. The bike was too tall, so I read everything here and this is what worked for her. I got the HD lower rear shocks which dropped it about an inch. Took the seat to a local seat guru who removed a bunch of foam and installed a gel pad and got her new boots with taller soles/heals. She sits flat footed and we each put over 5000 miles on our bikes last year. As far as cost, the shock I got at the dealer during the annunal open house at 20% off, the boots we got at Farm & Fleet for $75(very nice and comfortable) and the seat cost about $200. Total was about $500 for everything. Small investiment on a bike that cost over $25000. If I was you, I would honestly try some different riding boots first as they are probably the cheapest and go from there. When you are comfortable and confident with the bike, I don't think you would even consider getting rid of it. I love my Ultra. Good luck!
  8. Jammr

    Jammr Active Member

    Huey, as Gus said, the Reach seat might be a good option for you. After riding an FXRT for many years, I bought an Ultra and (at first) the high center of gravity freaked me out - I'm 5' 11" . Making the Tourpak detachable had a huge impact in the handling and comfort level for me. Just sayin'...:s
  9. Tboehle

    Tboehle Member

    At 5'6" I had problems also. Shorter rear shocks the first year and a reach seat. Seemed to work ok but still wanted more. Next year I had the front lowered with the Harley lowering. Wished I had done it when I first got the bike. If you are going to have the rear lowered then please lower the front also. The bike handles SO much better with them both done. I also had mean city cycle rework my reach seat for better comfort and trimming of the nose of the seat. Long rides for the wife and me are no problems at all. She sits higher and more comfortable and I sit with better control now.