Harley-Davidson is introducing a new touring motorcycle that WRN Editor Genevieve Schmitt believes will appeal to female riders. The Dyna Switchback is a new model from the Motor Company’s 2012 lineup recently unveiled to the public. The Switchback is built on the Dyna chassis, a platform that includes the Street Bob and also the Dyna Low Rider, a very popular bike among women riders though it's no longer available as a new model.
The Dyna Switchback's low seat height of just 26.1 inches gives the bike a low center of gravity, making it easier to handle.
The new Dyna Switchback comes right from the factory with hard saddlebags and a windshield, making it a custom touring bike ready for a long weekend trip.
“The motorcycles that are designed for touring tend to be heavier and bigger. Many women have a hard time handling them, so they’ll buy a bike like the Dyna Street Bob or the Dyna Super Glide Custom and then purchase an aftermarket windshield and saddlebags to outfit it for touring,” said WRN Editor Genevieve Schmitt. “The Dyna Switchback's low 26.1-inch seat height and narrow and nimble Dyna frame make this a purpose-built touring motorcycle that many women riders will find easier to handle than the bigger ‘bagger-style’ motorcycles.”
The Switchback has the added benefit of allowing the rider to remove those bags and windshield, which are easily detachable, making the bike an around-town cruiser. This convertible concept makes the versatile Switchback two motorcycles in one.
The Dyna Switchback without the bags and windshield. The new model starts at $15,999 for Vivid Black and is also available in Ember Red Sunglo (shown) and Brilliant Silver Pearl for $16,384.
A rubber-mounted Twin Cam 103 engine—translating to 1690cc, a much more powerful engine than on previous Dyna models—powers the Switchback. The Twin Cam 103 engine now powers all 2012 Dyna, Softail and Touring models, with the exception of the Dyna Street Bob and Dyna Super Glide Custom. This engine produces up to 100-ft-lbs peak torque, an increase of approximately 6 percent over the Twin Cam 96 engine it replaces as standard power for many of these models. The Twin Cam 103 is equipped with automatic compression release. It features identifying badges on the derby cover, timer cover and air cleaner trim ring.
Other highlights from Harley-Davidson’s 2012 lineup:
From the V-Rod platform: The Night Rod Special is updated with a new tapered tail section, lighter-weight wheels, an inverted front fork and improved ergonomics. Harley-Davidson celebrates a decade of power cruising with the V-Rod 10th Anniversary Edition motorcycle. All V-Rod models will carry V-Rod 10th Anniversary badges.
The 10th Anniversary V-Rod finished in Brilliant Silver Pearl bodywork evokes the anodized aluminum bodywork of the original V-Rod model, which introduced the liquid-cooled Revolution V-Twin engine in 2002.
The Security Package, which pairs the Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with the Smart Security System and a proximity-based, hands-free security fob, is available for all 2012 V-Rod, Dyna, Softail, Touring and CVO models. The Security Package is standard equipment on CVO models and on the Road Glide Ultra, the Electra Glide Ultra Limited and the Road King Classic. The Security Package is a factory-installed option for all other models.
All Harley-Davidson Softail models get the performance boost of the Twin Cam 103 engine for 2012. The Fat Boy and Fat Boy Lo have new reduced-reach handlebars for better ergonomics. A lower, narrower seat shape places the Fat Boy rider in a new “in the bike” position. The Softail Deluxe and Heritage Softail Classic will be available with a new “tubeless” chrome-aluminum-profile, laced-wheel option for ease of tire replacement and repair.