New Motorcycle Review – 2012 Harley-Davidson Switchback — Motorcycle Magazine

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Harley-Davidson FLD Switchback

New Motorcycle Review – 2012 Switchback

Driving Miss – Who You Calling Road Queen?

It take long. It never A manufacturer releases photos and of a new model, and the media (or riding lays an unflattering moniker on it anyone has even ridden it a The 2012 Harley-Davidson Switchback is a with color-matched hard a clear windshield, floorboards, and a 103″ V-twin.

It’s the purpose-built touring Dyna and the punch line crew had a slate to work with. But the Switchback’s large, chrome nacelle, the family resemblance to the Road King Touring was uncanny, and with a 7/8-scale the nickname Road Queen to fit. Don’t blame me.

I coin it.

Quite frankly, I’m not the name Switchback fits, The party line at the official launch said it was because the new FLD twisty roads and switchback with ease. I disagree, and I some ground floorboards to it.

Maybe switchback refers to model’s ability to switch and forth between custom and loaded tourer by quickly its traveling garb with the of a windscreen and the twist of a knob to the hard bags. Yeah, my interpretation, and I’ll stick to it.

No what you call it or why, bike is an instant passport to travel. I stepped up to the plate and to ride one back from Dakota to Connecticut without sitting on one. The 1,900 is plenty of distance to get to know a so I had tons of opportunities to put the Switchback its paces.

I’m a big fan of Harley’s 103″ which was put into only a few last year. In my review of the Road Glide Ultra, I the 103 my favorite part of the bike, and I anyone who would listen Harley needed to use that across the board. Well, I’d to think the Motor Company was to me (but I doubt it), the 103 is now the standard engine in all Harley Big models except two (Street Bob and Glide Custom).

The rubber-mounted, powdercoated, black Cam engine is equipped with sequential port fuel (ESPFI), is rated at 100 ft-lbs. of at 3500 rpm, breathes a 2-into-1 chrome pipe straight-cut muffler, and is backed up by a transmission.

Any long-distance tourer to soak up the bumps, and the Switchback the job with 41.3mm cartridge forks and nitrogen-charged, 36mm rear shocks, which are adjustable and have dual-rate Chrome fork covers and cigar-tube rear shock are added for looks. Black cast-aluminum mag wheels with rims measure 18″ up front, and 17″ in the

A security and ABS package is available for an $1,195.

Ergonomics are comfortable, to the bend of the mini-ape handlebar, and its riser combination with the full-length footboards. The shifter is not a design; you’ll need to up to a larger Harley tourer for The saddlebags have a combined capacity of 30 pounds and utilize common to the ignition key.

the Switchback’s hard bags slightly smaller than a bike’s, I only had a set of full-size available, and I found they fit By now, Switchback-sized liner should be in the pipeline.

For all the things I about the Switchback, it didn’t me long to fall out of love the factory windshield. The polycarbonate of the Switchback’s screen is reportedly to that of the Road King’s, so a bracket is what it takes to it to the Dyna’s wide front

I found extreme amounts of buffeting at higher speeds, not so shaking my head or helmet as tossing the front end of the motorcycle rendering the mirrors useless. It was so my vision was blurred. Luckily, I was to ditch the clear billboard at my gas stop and rode the remaining miles with my fists, and chest against the wind, and it tons more than the windscreen in place. (I will say below 50 miles per hour, the performed fine for me.)

The news on this topic is as I mentioned, the mounting holes for the are allegedly identical to that of the King, and there’s a plethora of factory and aftermarket windshields out to try on this tourer. Unfortunately, I had to my press demo unit I could do any further testing, but bound to be one out there that’s aerodynamic than the stock

The Switchback comes with a two-up seat, and I found the seat height suitable for trips, but on long runs, my did get a bit cramped. My on-the-road solution was the of a Butt Buffer gel seat It boosted me up about 1/2″ and great for the long haul

The 718-pound, ready-to-ride weight is as hefty as a full boat bike, but that’s what the is, not some stripped-down hot rod. To end, the 4.7-gallon fuel capacity is a bit of a letdown. I think a tank would be welcomed by riders, and the overall size of a larger cell would still look proportional to the of this bike.

Factory control is not available on the Switchback; an aftermarket throttle rocker great for me.

Overall, the Switchback a thumbs-up, despite a few of the components not 100% for me. A person with a smaller build would be perfectly fitted to this It’s the idea of a road-ready with plenty of power and touring appointments that me over — and the ability to switch and forth between cruiser and in mere seconds is a neat trick.

By Steve Lita, Photos By Nelson and Tricia Szulewski

published in RoadBike . Jan/Feb

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