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Harley-Davidson Dyna FLD Switchback review carsguide.com.au

30 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Harley-Davidson Dyna FLD Switchback review carsguide.com.au
Harley-Davidson FLD Switchback

Harley-Davidson Dyna FLD Switchback review

This has classic Dyna looks harking back to Willie G’s first model in 1971.

Mark Hinchliffe road tests and reviews the Harley-Davidson Dyna FLD Switchback.

Spring is in the air and it’s time to take the convertible for a ride. Not the four-wheeled kind, but the Harley-Davidson Dyna FLD Switchback.

It’s called a Switchback because in less than a minute it goes from a hardbagger tourer with windshield to a stripped-down. laid-back boulevarde cruiser.

Two bikes in one makes this an attractive value proposition. It’s also keenly priced at $25,595 ride away, which compares with its main competitors, the Victory Cross Country (hardbagger) $26,995 (plus on-road costs) and Triumph Rocket III Touring $25,990 (+ORC) which also feature quick-release windshields and hard panniers.

Harley Australia spokesman Adam Wright also expects it to cannibalise sales fo their Road King and Heritage Softail. But with a low 663mm seat and relatively light weight of 316kg (dry), he expects to attract more female buyers.

The new Dyna range now comes with the Twin Cam 103 (1690cc) engine rather than the 96 (1573cc) in all but the Street Bob and Super Glide Custom.

It’s still down on capacity to the Victory (1731cc) and the whopping 2.3-litre Triumph, but it’s 67kg lighter than the Victory and 46kg less than the Triumph. It’s also 42kg thinner than a Road King. That makes power-to-weight a good proposition for two-up hauling, although the compromise is in the gearing which is tall for touring, rather than for lower-speed cruising.

The two-into-one exhaust dispenses with the butterfly valve and is very quiet at 91.5dB. Legal Screamin’ Eagle replacements are also available.

Fuel economy is about 5.6L/100km which gives passable touring range from the 17.79-litre tank off the Street Bob. It comes with a toggle switch on the left handlebar to flick through info on the LCD screen including odo, trip, clock, range and gear/revs. Harley tech manager Scott Cain says weight has been kept down by the generous use of aluminium and a body control module that dispenses with some wiring and fuses.

This has classic Dyna looks harking back to Willie G’s first model in 1971. It features cigar-shaped covered twin springs/shocks which are easier to clean and match the cartridge-style forks.

The old-school fenders are full and the adjustable mini-ape handlebars match the traditional look as well as being very comfortable especially when pulled back. Weight has also been kept low with hollowed black cast-alloy wheel spokes which look like American muscle car mags. The windshield is slightly smaller than the touring models.

A convoy of riders on the media launch in the Sunshine Coast hinterland last week headed down the twisty Conondale Range to be confronted by a car overtaking a truck up hill over double lines.

Thankfully the ABS averted disaster. Best of all, I didn’t hear or feel it working, just experienced its awesome stopping power, even when moving on to the gravel shoulder. There is also limited fork dive under heavy braking.

Clearance seems to be the only obstacle in cornering with the full-sized footboards touching down frequently. The new front-end geometry, preload-adjustable rear shocks with dual-rate springs and choice of sensible tyre geometry make this a quick-turning and stable handler. It has a plush ride and is untroubled by road corrugations or big hits.

The mini ape-hanger bars make steering input light and easy. They are adjustable so most riders should be able to find a comfortable all-day-riding position. Comfort is also assured with a thickly padded and wide custom-stitched rear seat, although grab handles would be preferable to the seat strap.

Most buyers will probably option up with a sissy bar, anyway. The windshield creates too much buffeting. I’d only leave it on in cold, wet conditions.

It’s a convertible, but not a compromise, except for the gear ratios. It will tour and cruise with poise and ease, and the price is right.

Harley-Davidson FLD Dyna Switchback

Price: $25,595 (ride away)

Warranty: 2-year/unlimited km

Service interval: 8000km

Engine: air-cooled, 1690cc Twin Cam 135Nm

Transmission: 6-Speed Cruise Drive

Economy: 5.6L/100km

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