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Harley Announces 2012 Dyna Switchback

Harley announced its 2012 models, including the new Dyna Switchback that can be easily, and quickly, converted from a tourer with hard bags to a traditional naked custom (see photos). This features the 103CI motor we enjoyed so much when we conducted our big twin touring shootout (won by Harley). Here is the press release from Harley with all the details.

MILWAUKEE, WI – July 20, 2011 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – The new Dyna® Switchback motorcycle from Harley-Davidson® is a quick-change artist. With its color-matched hard saddlebags and a fork-mounted windshield in place, the Switchback is a custom touring motorcycle. But in seconds, the detachable saddlebags and quick-detach windshield can be removed without tools. Now the Switchback is a custom street cruiser with a gleaming headlamp nacelle, five-spoke cast-aluminum wheels and a mini-ape handlebar. When it’s time to head out for a long weekend, simply re-install the saddlebags and windshield, and the Switchback is ready to roll for the state line.

The Switchback is powered by a muscular Twin Cam 103™ V-Twin engine that delivers strong performance on the boulevard and on the highway. The Switchback is the lightest custom touring motorcycle in its displacement category, and at 718 pounds ready-to-ride is 94 pounds lighter than a Harley-Davidson Road King®. New front-end geometry, premium suspension components, and a low-profile front tire give the Switchback a plush ride and responsive handling.

“The new front end geometry, wheel and tire specs, and cartridge fork are engineered to work together to produce steering that’s light to input and immediately responsive,” Brian Scherbarth, Switchback project lead engineer. “A demo ride will reveal that Switchback is a capable touring motorcycle that’s also really fun to ride.”

Designed to look great with or without its saddlebags, the Switchback is styled to evoke a classic proportion and clean, straightforward lines from its 4.7-gallon fuel tank to the sweep of its full-coverage rear fenders. The bend of the mini-ape handlebar and its pull-back riser, full-length rider footboards and a two-up touring seat offer most riders all-day comfort.

Key Dyna Switchback Features

  • Twin Cam 103™ engine with 103-cid (1690cc), rubber-mounted within the frame, is rated at 100 ft. lbs. of torque at 3500 RPM. The engine is equipped with Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) and is mated to a 6-speed Cruise Drive® transmission.
  • 2-into-1 chrome exhaust with straight-cut muffler tuned for a deep exhaust tone.
  • Advanced suspension is tuned for comfort and precise handling. Nitrogen-charged, monotube rear shocks have preload-adjustable, dual rate springs. A 41.3mm front fork with a 20mm cartridge delivers enhanced damping performance, handling and ride comfort.
  • Low-profile Dunlop® 130/70B18 front tire and specific front-end geometry provides reduced steering effort, enhanced steering response and confident low-speed manuevering.
  • Color-matched detachable hard saddlebags have a combined luggage capacity of 30 pounds. The saddlebag locks are common to the ignition key, and external latches do not interfere with packing or reduce usable bag volume.
  • Quick-detach, fork-mounted windshield.
  • The Black, 5-Spoke Cast Aluminum wheels have machine-highlighted rims; 18-inch front, 17-inch rear.
  • Full-coverage front and rear fenders.
  • Chrome headlamp nacelle.
  • Chrome fork covers and chrome rear shock covers.
  • Chrome tank console with integrated ignition switch.
  • Classic black battery box cover.
  • Full-length rider footboards.
  • The one-piece, two-up seat features custom stitched detail. Seat height (laden) is 26.1 inches. Its narrow cross section enables flat-foot stops for most riders.
  • Security Package Option bundles Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Smart Security System with proximity-based, hands-free security fob.
  • Stainless steel, mini ape-hanger handlebar on pull-back riser.
  • 4.7-gallon fuel tank.


  1. FBinCa says:

    Didn’t particularly like the wheels in the pics but in person, they work. As stated in a reply to Jimbos post below, I bought one. The red is beautiful (nice ..what appears to be..diamond flakes in paint) and I never thought I would buy red either. Handles very nicely.

  2. Jordan says:

    Having owned both a Harley and a Japanese bike I’d have to comment that I feel there is absolutely no comparison between the two. I bought my Harley after riding an old 80’s Honda, and then after the Harley bought a Suzuki. When I got on a modern Japanese bike it was like being in another world. In hindsight I felt that owning the Harley was pretty much a complete waste of money. I still resent a bit that I paid so much for so little – and for those who are thinking of buying Harleys – be careful and be smart and know there are far superior bikes to be had.

    Also to all of the posters who list all of the technological advances of Harley over the past 10 / 20 years – you’re just not getting it. Take a look at Erik Buell’s new bike – that is advancement. Zero cycles – advancement. A 1000 CC inline-4 that weighs less than 400 pounds?! – advancement. The only real advancement Harley has made is the effectiveness of their corporate media campaign which regrettably I was suckered into.

  3. jimbo says:

    This may be the best looking HD cruiser yet. Will definitely ride it if the chance arises. Good job HD!

    • FBinCa says:

      I bought one last week and am quite satisfied overall. I was torn between a new wide glide and this. I opted for the switchback as i like the larger front tire because most of the freeways in ca. are grooved for water displacement and the WG got a little squirrely (probably tripped me out because it had been so long since i last rode) but anyway i like the feel better… and of course the convertibility of a removable windshield and hard bags was great. I hadn’t ridden in over 20 years prior to buying this and all my other bikes were choppers. I’m class of ’69 so that probably explains some of the above frame of references. most of them came or were outfitted with no front brakes and 21″ spools on a kicked-out front end. Had a rigid frame with a springer and had swingarms too, so after riding a softail and then this, I went back to the dyna platform with rear shocks and glide front end. This bike handles very nicely and the weight is distributed well. I’m more about ease of operation and comfort these days and this bike fit the bill and didn’t break the bank. Changes (short-term) will be: change out bottom forks to chrome and probably add 12″ apes. Other than that, I’m pretty much good to go stock.

  4. Mototk says:

    Nice looking wheels. At around $17,500 out the door it seems a bit pricey given the competition. Give me a Triumph T-bird at $14,000 and outfit it with proper sized bags, a screen, and a few other bits of farkle and pocket the savings.

  5. Kjazz says:

    I usually am the first to yell “dog pile!!!” when a Harley review shows up….. But, I’ll say, whether it’s new or not, that’s not a bad looking motorcycle. Not really my cup o tea, but still not unpleasant to look upon. Of course, it probably handles like an 800 lb shopping cart…..

  6. boricua4you says:

    I owned a 2002 harley sporster, and i love the electronics of the bmw cycles,like traction control,electronic windshield,etc etc etc, I wish harley do the same because I love the harleys looks,sounds,low seats,styles but harleys needs to used more futuristic electronics and water cooler .

  7. jim says:

    Looks like a Victory Kingpin?

  8. joe says:

    i remember HD the “convertible” being a big story back in 1987 or was it 1957.
    looks the same…just different wheels.

    • dino says:

      100 Pounds lighter, with a stronger engine… Looks old (key to their marketing success) but has new bits underneath..

      Sounds like a good start.

    • falcodoug says:

      Or 1943 same thing all new again.

  9. falcodoug says:


  10. Scott says:

    I can understand why Harley basically releases the same bikes year after year and calls them ‘new’. It’s cheap, it’s easy and people are still buying them. What I don’t understand (and YES, Motorcycle Daily this means you) is why online and print publications feature these ‘new’ bikes.

    Unless they are really offering something more than a variation on a theme, it’s not worth the ink or bandwidth.

  11. Steve D says:

    That is a really nice looking Yamaha :-/

    • Artem says:

      No. Most of cruisers, including Yamaha looks cheeper than Harleys.
      Don’t know why. A kind of experience of Harley in that sector of motorcycles.

  12. Madav8tr says:

    Ever get the feeling that the metric manufacturers break out the Harley Catalog when they create a new bike?

  13. CWOWW says:

    Ever get the feeling that Harley just breaks out the aftermarket catalog when creating a new bike?

    • jimbo says:

      Best laugh all day!

    • Dannytheman says:

      I enjoy the chance to fully make a bike my own. Maybe you can name another manufacturer that offers as many choices? BMW doesn’t, Honda doesn’t, Yamaha doesn’t and Triumph doesn’t.
      I can chrome it, or black it out, I can lower it, or raise it.
      But I guess theor are people that like vanilla ice cream only.

  14. Tom Shields says:

    Cool that HD is offering a “convertible.” My only issue with the bike is the fork-mounted windscreen (rather than a frame-mounted screen).

    • jimbo says:

      Haven’t ridden this HD, but I’d love to.

      I rode tens of thousands of miles behind a triple-tree mounted Rifle “Sport” fairing, the Rifle copy of the original BMW R100RS full fairing (world’s first sport/tourer IIRC).

      Anyway, I cruised all day around 80 mph behind that fairing and well over 120 mph maximum speed with absolutely no ill-handling effects. Not saying every fork or triple-tree mounted fairing has similar stability, but that one left nothing to be desired in that regard.

  15. Dannytheman says:

    Let me add something realistic about Harley. I drove back home yesterday from vacation for 9 hours. 600 miles. Towing my bike since I had the family in the truck. We play games in the truck during the ride. Keep score of things. Count Fords versus Chevy, SUV’s versus Crossovers, etc.,etc. So for 2 hours we played bike versus bike. On I-95 North between 1 and 3 o’clock my son counted 71 Harleys, 18 Sport Bikes, 2 BMW tourers and 3 unknown. Not one Gold Wing all day. It was 97 to 100 degrees out. While you are out and about driving, look and count yourself. I always seem to see more Harleys.

    • dino says:

      How many of the Harleys you counted were on trailers, llike yours?

      Many of the Beemers and Wings were probably on more interesting roads…

  16. Carl says:

    I guess I am just not excited by another “improved HD Cruiser”. I think a lot of the bashing comes from the “attitude” that HD has breathed into the brand, not so much the hardware. I know I have experienced it, and it is sold peer to peer by HD and owners alike. I like the link posted at the beginning of this comment page linking to Ducati business up 61%. Now there is innovation, technology, marketing and brand recognition together, and they make a cruiser! Is HD up 61% after all the cuts? Maybe welding steel tubes needs updating. I would be interested in an HD touring machine with the VRod engine. Why not?

  17. Steve says:

    For this money I’ll take a Rocket 3 every time.

    • Grof says:

      do you think you will be ever “cool” on it, no one will say wow nice bike. 🙂

    • Jerry says:

      Good call Steve…as for Grof -Your comment is way off base. EVERY time my 09 Rocket III Touring is parked guys gather around and say what a cool bike it is. And when I stop by the Harley Shops to browse, all are respectful of my Torque Monster.

  18. mikedard says:

    On my BMW K1200 Grand Turismo running 2200 miles with a couple of Harley’s for a 9 day trip. Last day was a 800 mile day. 2 days making 3 digits runs through fly over country. I realized that my bike doesn’t have anything much to hold over the Harley’s. No list pro or cons, no but’s, they impressed me period. But I do hate when you Harley guys wave only to other Harley’s.

  19. tron says:

    I’ve owned a ’01 Superglide since I got it new in December ’00. It is my favorite bike I’ve ever owned and I doubt I will ever sell it.
    Since I get about one long trip a year (a week or two)I don’t need full time touring capability but after about a week on the road I get tired of dealing with leather saddlebags, expecially if the weather is iffy. I also get tired of the noise and buffeting of tombstone type windscreens.
    I very much like the concept of this new Dyna, I like that it can be had with abs and hard locking bags. I’m a tiny bit disappointed they didn’t go with dual disc front brakes for some lower lever pressure but I suppose you can’t have everything.
    Overall I think its a good package and will probably be fairly popular.

  20. walduc says:

    Looks really good and I like the bigger motor. My have to visit my local dealer soon.

  21. Tim says:

    “However, I hardly if ever see HD guys trashing other bikes. It’s because HD guys have nothing to prove.”

    Says the guy who just finished the longest post I’ve ever read, trashing other bikes.

    Except for the wheels, I really like the look of this bike. It’s not for me, (cruiser ergos don’t work for me), but it’s a nice looking scoot.

    • MTK says:

      He was probably just highlighting the irony of metric guys trashing the supposed inferiority of Harleys.

    • Davis says:

      I agree with you on the look of the bike Tim (kinda like the wheels though). Must admit I didn’t see the coparisons Travis made in his post as the least bit “trashing”.

    • Foogunheimer says:

      Travis wasn’t trashing other models, just telling how things really are. I hear a lot of HD trashing from other riders so his post is justified. He’s exlpaining the fact that HD isn’t behind in the technology war as some presume.

    • Tim says:

      So, if YOU believe it to be true, it’s not trashing? Got it.

  22. steveinsandiego says:

    random thoughts:

    ok, middle-sized thumbs up from me. and i like the exhaust but not on this bike; y’gotta have one pipe on each side to complete the “look”.

    love the wheels. while they look retro, traditional spokes stink; far too much touble to keep clean.

    the bags are too small, and soft ones’d look much better – boss bags, baby. also need lowers with the w/s.

    i love self-adjusting valves.

    when do you suspect HD will finally go to H2O cooling on all its models?

    honda vfr 1200/800 has variable valve timing (hmph, couldn’t find who referred to it).

    i use the front brake only much of the time on my 05 kawi 1600 classic and on my 09 ninja 650. a “sudden” stop calls for both, simultaneously.

    i don’t care what brand you ride, whether cruiser, sportbike, supersport, can-am, trike, scooter, or an electric derivation. all i require is that you have fun doin’ it, and behave on the road. hee hee.

  23. Marky Mark says:

    +1. My 90’s ST1100 has more technology than this.

  24. dabimf says:

    I like the looks of this bike. Sort of looks like the Fat Boy. I like HDs but they seem to be a little pricey for what your getting. For instance; the Ultra is priced in the Goldwing, BMW, and Venture touring bike ranges. However, the HD only has a two year warranty. The Venture has a five year warranty. If I’m going to spend 20 plus K for a bike I would want to think the company has enough confidence in the quality of their bike to back it for at least three years.
    Don’t get me wrong I am not bashing HD. I have owned three of them in the past. I even worked for a HD dealership in Sarasota Florida at one time.
    I don’t bash any any brand of bike. However, it has been my experience that HD owners seem to have to bash other brands to make themselves feel good about their bikes. Their biggest brag is that their bike is American made. Maybe they should realize that almost half of the HD is foriegn made.
    I have to hand it to HD though. They have got the marketing skill down pat. If I were in the market for a touring bike I just wish I could some how convince myself that I would be justified in choosing an HD product over the rest of the field.

  25. Travis says:

    I normally don’t partake in this type of nonsense, but these 30 year-old-out-of-date HD stereotypes, misinformation and/or ignorance has got to go.
    For those who say that Harley is in the 50s…let me break it down.
    Sportster–all new frame in 04. Softail, new frame in 00, then again in 07. 11s and up use HDLAN or automotive style “can-bus” system. The CVO convertible even has total keyless ignition like in high end cars…which I’m sure will eventually trickle down. Touring, new frame in 2009. Brembo brakes, ABS, cruise, auto-arming security system, harmon-kardon stereo, available satellite radio, gps, etc. Dyna, new frame in 2006. When I say new frame, that means that the majority of parts except for a few external trim pieces will not fit from generation to generation. Starting in 07, all HDs have closed loop efi…they have had some sort of efi available since I believe 95 or 96. Starting in 12, they all (except for maybe Sportsters) have the can-bus system. All big twins are available with ABS and auto-arming security. Touring bikes are all avail. with cruise. Touring bikes also all have “fly-by-wire”. So how is all this 50s??? anyone?? When metric guys think of a redesign, they want new graphics, new flashy things, totally different body work, a higher doo-dad count , all with a respective decal. Well guess what, that’s not HD. They are able to completely re-engineer a bike and still keep the integrity of their design. Their ABS system is totally hidden, no sensors hanging out, no pickups on the rotors. It would have been a lot easier just to tack on a pickup and a sensor, but they took the time to hide the system inside the hub. Which metric does that?? HDs also have 10 times the fit and finish of a metric or victory for that matter. Most other cruisers I have looked at and ridden (demo events) have cheap switchgear that looks like came off a dirtbike (which it probably did), frames that look like they were painted krylon tough, wires hanging out and not tucked in, tank seams hanging out, half the bike is flimsy plastic, a warning sign the size of a dollar bill plastered across the tank… I can count the parts made out of plastic on an HD on one hand. The paint is rich, no tank seams, all wiring is tucked in neatly, the frame has a nice gloss finish, good chrome. Sure there are a few crappy components that most people change, but you can change a tag bracket, pegs or grips or whatnot in 5 minutes. Materials, frame finish, paint quality, wiring…you’re stuck with. And last but not least….imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Everybody and their brother has and still does copy HD. And blatantly and shamelessly so! If they were so crappy, then why are they continuously being copied?? The softail rear suspension, the teardrop tank, the dash, the studs and conchos, the metal frame/bar windshield, the passing lamps…I could go on for a day. The batwing fairing…every last cruiser type touring bike out there is a spitting image of an electra glide. And if you want to talk about technology….Yamaha WENT TO PUSHRODS (!!!!!) and air cooling!! When I buzz around in these forums, there are always troves of metric guys in a feeding frenzy trashing harleys….it’s like clockwork. It’s almost like they get off on it. However, I hardly if ever see HD guys trashing other bikes. It’s because HD guys have nothing to prove. I rest my case. This is my one rant…thanks for listening 🙂

    • Dirck Edge says:

      Good post. Yamaha chose pushrods and air cooling as the correct technology just a few years ago for their large displacement Star cruisers, because in talking to their customers it was clear that they wanted traditional technology for these bikes. I wouldn’t be surprised if Star is the most successful metric cruiser brand.

      I tend to favor the free expression of ideas, but I draw the line at mindless bashing of people, products or brands. I doubt most of these people who bash Harley repeatedly have ridden one in the last five years. Believe it or not, competition from the metric brands has pushed Harley to make significant improvements in their product. Their anti-lock brake system (found on many of their models) is state-of-the-art. Their new touring frames handle very well. They keep improving their engines, and the 103CI is one the best big cruiser motors available. Harley won our cruiser/tourer shootout with Victory for good reason. We judged it the better bike, including performance, handling and comfort. Harley’s new motors are powerful and have a lot of character (i.e., good vibes and sounds . . . important to many customers).

      I know a lot of our readers display a great deal of maturity, and have figured out that their opinion is really no more important than anyone else’s (particularly, when it comes to the subject of motorcycles). Others aren’t quite there yet.

      • Steve says:

        there is ZERO evidence that MCDaily “draws the line (ANYWHERE) at mindless bashing of people, products or brands”.

        While Harley seems to be the “choice” brand & riders to bash, no bike, rider, or subject is immune… there’s a self-proclaimed “subject matter expert” sitting behind his computer screen just waiting to pontificate on something he knows jack-s*** about…& that will not stop him!

        But the editor says he “tends to favor the free expression of ideas” drawing the line at bashing…

        I’m sorry, but I do not see any “line”…. what I do see is the ongoing, unrestrained, relentless dissemination of unsubstantiated BS.

        This site went from the “PBS News Hour” of motorcycle journalism to the freaking Howard Stern Show of motorcycle jounalism… there is an audience for both … but I prefer PBS….

    • Foogunheimer says:

      Thanks for clearing things up, Travis. I usually keep my mouth shut when people comment (in ignorance) that Harleys are clunky old designs from the 50’s. Nothing could be further from the truth. Thanks again for your post.

    • Tim says:

      I want to like Harley’s, I really do. Most of my riding friends have them. At one point I even thought about getting one, until I had the chance to ride one for a day. It was heavy, steered poorly (compared to lighter Japanese and European bikes–not comparing them to Japanese cruisers, which are probably just as heavy steering.) I did not enjoy the heavy vibration of the engine. I’m used to smooth, high revving power. No matter how badly I would like to buy American, and fit in more with my buddies, I’ll never be able to do it. My friends say that I just don’t get it, and they’re right, I don’t. Why would someone want to pay a premium for a heavy, slow bike, with parts that literally rattle off (yes, I mean current Harley’s…I’ve seen that with my own eyes on more than one occassion.) They were finally getting on the right track with Buell, near the end, only to pull the plug on that venture.

      As for bashing, try being the odd guy out with the Japanese or British bike, riding with a bunch of Harley guys. What’s ironic is that Harley guys really think their bikes are superior, because few of them have ever ridden a modern Japanese or European bike (cruisers excluded.) I’ve tried both Harleys and foreign bikes. There is really no comparison. I would challenge any Harley rider, before you bash the foreign bikes, go ride a Triumph triple or a BMW, and then tell me your bike feels modern.

      As far as metric cruisers go, I would be more inclined to buy a Harley than a metric cruiser. While the metrics may be more reliable, they don’t look as good as the Harley’s. That fact can’t be debated. But the fact remains, cruisers are heavy and slow, and vibrate way too much. Give me a smooth, fast bullet with an upright riding position any day.

    • kpaul says:

      Travis I think most people point to styling as being the most obsolete thing about HD. But HD sells nostalgia and they are good at it. As far as putting down HD technology I would say when folks say Harley is old tech what they are really are saying is that cruisers are old tech. Yes Harley updates their bikes but in an evolutionary way. I loved the V-Rod and thought it was a great revolutionary step for cruisers. But its sales success was disappointing. I think HD days are numbered as evidence by the large increase in negative posts about cruisers in general on sites like this compared to a few years ago. 10 years ago I was a lone critic now I am part of the crowd. My criticism of HD is that they took those profits from selling old styled cruisers and didn’t reinvest in truly new models That is why I sold my HD stock years ago. The investment served me well and the capital gain I received paid for a year of college at an expensive private school for my oldest daughter. Now that HD sold Buell I am short on HD. Outdated product, changing demographics and high labor costs spell trouble for HD going forward

    • Nate says:

      South Park. Season 13, Episode 12.

      Nuff Said.

      • Davis says:


        Sorry, I just remembered the episode. Classic. And I’m not laughing to trash anyone/anything/etc. It was just plain funny. I’m sure they could have come up with a “stunter” version, wouldn’t have been near as funny though.

        Thanks for the laugh Nate.

  26. Stone996e says:

    There is a different name…they call them Harleys.

  27. Michael Haz says:

    Nice looking motorcycle.

    The MSRP is $15,999, plus tax. The MSRP doesn’t include ABS, a tachometer, heated grips, cruise control, passenger backrest, etc., so by the time the bike is out the dealer’s door, it will be a lot closer to $18,500 than to the MSRP. Of course the dealer will encourage you to spend even more to improve the engine’s performance by re-flashing the ECU, adding a different intake system and a different exhaust pipe. The out-the-door price is moving closer to $20,000, before the dealer offers you a nice discount (LOL).

    Is it worth the price? For some it will be. For many others, a better motorcycle can be had at a lesser price.

  28. Artem says:

    Cool looking Harley. Too expensive for me(.

  29. butch says:

    Exactly who buys a bike with something called a “mini ape-hanger handlebar” and tells their friends about that feature? That’s like saying you have a small p3nis, isn’t it? They mean buckhorns, right? The marketing must sell better with the term “ape-hangers” somewhere in the description. Harley marketing…make the riders that buy these think they are apes in some way. Or, they are only a few inches shorter than full ape hangers, so they look just as cool(?).

    Only in America would calling your customers “apes” sell products! And why would anyone want to hang like an ape off their handlebar? According to the description, *these* apes hangers lead to all day comfort. As opposed to those ridiculous full sized ape hangers, which are not for long rides? Apes look comfortable when they are hanging, right? Well, “mini apes” are actually monkeys I think.

    Don’t get me wrong, HD is an American icon, but who are the people buying these things in droves? I see Harleys and cruisers everywhere. Not my cup of tea I suppose.

  30. ABQ says:

    If they wanted us to believe it could be a tourer they could have put the six gallon gas tank on it. And, they could have used wide soft bags…Honestly, Harley! Those narrow hard bags barely qualify for carrying a laptop and lunch. This is just another style exercise. If you want a dyna already equiped with bags and a windshield, Buy used…nothing to see here.

    • Dannytheman says:

      Would you like some cheese??? It is a Dyna. If you add a windshield and bags is carries more and can ride further more comfortably than with out them. The gas mileage is equal when you take into consideration the weight. 6 gallons on an FLH equals same as 4.8 on a Dyna.

      Hate is hard on your heart!!

      • ABQ says:

        The word “Tour” implies certain things: You can go a long way down the road, and take all your stuff. This bike does NOT have that ability. Most touring bikes, including sports touring, have tank capasities of OVER 6 gallons. Add to that: they have hard bags that come standard, that also are removed in seconds. Not to mention triple disk breaks. Now H-D offers this on a dyna as if it were something new. So, I went down to the H-D dealership today for a free hotdog and soda, and there among the used bikes were some Dyna models complete with bags and windshields. So What? You can get this “NEW” design at a lesser cost on the used side of the isle. I don’t hate H-D. I don’t want to be a troll. I just want a bike that will take me all the way there and back.

        • Dannytheman says:

          At 16K this is a great starter bike for those who want to try touring. Not an Iron Butt rider, but a nice weekender. They throw the bags and windshield on here for free. HD makes many full baggers that please many people, this is their entry level enticement bike under 20K. Some people just can’t stomach a Gold Wing or BMW.

        • Stephen says:

          You will not see a used Dyna there or elsewhere with the nacelle, forks, wheels, tires, steering head angle, 103 motor, hard bags that look just right for the bike,digital tach, HDLAN style “can-bus” system for switchs, or full fenders that come on the switchback.

  31. mudnducs says:

    Tough looking bike! It sits on the road real nice.

  32. kpaul says:

    I see some Victory Kingpin styling stuff on these bikes also the fenders look Fat boyish. I do like the Victory Kingpin and the Harley Fatboy. Victory kind of out Harleys Harley in my non-humble opinion 🙂 i.e. I like Victory’s styling better seems cleaner and more stylistic. The small size of the front brake does concern me but aren’t front brakes for show on cruisers 😉 Actually I was on a ride that was 50/50 cruisers and sportbikes and that was the lunch conversation. i.e. when to use the front brake. Seems like cruiser riders use the back brake like we sportbike riders use the front brake. In fact one cruiser rider said he never used the front brake and one sportbike female Ducati rider said she never used the back break 🙂 But the lunch was fun. However, if I was to buy a cruiser it would be a V-Rod. I love the original silver Rod. Next would Kingpin than Fatboy after that. Never would ride a bagger like a Geezer Glide 🙂

    • Steve says:

      Hey K! I thought you might be on vaction Kpaul! Good to hear from you….ain’t seen or heard from you in this thread…was gettin worried :)!

      Coincidentally…I rode with a young guy (23) today… he’s riding his 1st bike.. CBR600 & me on the Harley…. we had a great time. Of course I couldn’t hang with him after 70 mph but he waited for me to catch up after the long straights….

      I rarely use the back brake… I didn’t think anybody did. I think that might come from how you learn to ride… me & most people I ride with learned riding dirtbikes or racing flat track & scrambles (yes, I’m that old (soon 2 be 55))…

      I’ve had car pull out in front of me while riding a previous Harley (without ABS) & the rear end came around the side due to lockup… scared me… this bike has ABS…

      When I was a kid & I saw an older guy on a full dress Harley…I sort of laughed & said “yeah, it’s a bike.. but I’ll never ride one of those”…. of course, now that’s the only bike I will ride… big baywindow windshield with hardbags …only way to go… like riding a tractor with luggage space & a CD player :).. IF I could swing it, I wouldn’t mind a 690 KTM SM or smaller Monster.. but…

      anyway, nice post & good to hear from you!

    • Dannytheman says:

      I have ridden the Victories and they have great engines. The add-ons like cruise control and radio funtions are very Japanese like. Cheap ad on buttons that ruin the look of the handlebars. Not very well though out.
      I like them, but I think Victory is attempting to look like Harley more than Harley looking like Victory.

      Now, I ride with Harley guys all the time, even when I ride the BMW, and I have never heard a one say they don’t use the front brake. Must be a Left Coast thing!

      • Foogunheimer says:

        Agreed. Victory does use very cheap switchgear on the bars. While the engines in Vics make good power, they are rather bland. They are over-styled to the point of looking cartoonish (see the latest offering with the ape hangers). I don’t think Harley is too worried about being copied by Victory, as Victory is it’s own worst enemey when it comes to style. Isn’t the Ness look somewhat passe?

    • Stephen says:

      I ride cruisers and have always used both brakes together but with more force to the front, would think that was typical.

  33. Freddie Brenneman says:

    If I pay big money for a bike. I expect good componets. Not shocks from the 80’s

  34. GP says:

    This (quick detach bags and windshield) is not really anything new, but kudos to HD for bringing it to their lineup. Other manufacturers would be wise to follow suit, and maybe up the ante by offering quickly swap-able seats, bars, and maybe even pegs/controls. Riders are just expecting more out of their machines these days, and many machines would be capable of a significant change in “personality” with relatively minor adjustments.

  35. ziggy says:

    I can’t tell any of these damn bikes apart. To me it looks like something they could have put out 50 years ago, and it probably rides the same.

  36. Jay Mack says:

    I got to get me one of those!

  37. Dannytheman says:

    I like it, and I like that my Harley stock is doing better than Polaris.
    You guys that can’t appreciate an air cooled bike?? I don’t get you. Making the engine a 103 makes it easier for the HD to pass emissions testing.

  38. Jimmy says:

    Look, it’s a Fat Boy with small bags, and a huge 4.7 tank. This should give my Cross Country a run for the money. Finally, Harley is putting the 103″ in all of their bikes, they should be able to keep up with the middle weights now. In general, Harley has the best looking bikes, but they need to do something to make them worth the asking price.

  39. Gary says:

    Love the concept, and nice that they put the 103 motor in it. Might be a good competitor for the Victory Crossroads.

  40. Scottyz says:

    Primarily a sales and marketing group, the Motor Company builds and ideology which gets its’ clientele “back to the future” quicker than a metric rocket. Check out the HD videos: They imply more social interaction, while other good (or better) cruisers focus on the motorcycle itself. What red blooded, American wouldn’t pay dollars to get women?

    • kpaul says:

      That’s the problem I’m riding the wrong bike… Actually I’m married and a nerd double whammy. But a Red Ninja doesn’t get many looks from the babes in SUVs However, sometimes young girls on sportbikes five me a second look. I am sure when they see my gray sideburns and I take off my full-face shield they would be asking me if I have son. 🙂 I did get a flip of the visor and a smile from a pretty Asian girl on a Ducati Monster once. 🙂 She took off with speed in the fast lane and I had to say to myself “Whoa Trigger”. Saw Hall Pass last night that might be a possibility some time 🙂 Hope my wife doesn’t read this. 🙂

      • Stone996e says:

        Yes…good thing your wife doesn’t read this…like you had a chance with the pretty Asian monter rider. Get a life.

  41. Denny says:

    Ohh, thanks God for Harley so normal motorcycles can stand out more!

    • kpaul says:

      LOL Never heard that one before but I plan to steal it from you Denny 🙂 We should start a collection of Harley jokes like Lawyer jokes. In case of Lawyers I despise them. Not so with Harleys and Harley riders. They are more like those weird cousins in the Chevy Chase Vacation movie 🙂 Adorable rednecks 😉

      • Denny says:

        We are in complete alignment my friend. I also despise lawyers (but beter be careful, it can be mis-interpreted as a ‘hate’ and there are laws against that). Essentially I treat every way of motorcycling as equal and have absolutely no objection against Harley-folks. I even great them on the road. Variety is great.

  42. HD Softail says:

    HD is doing very well with the model strategy and marketing. They do not compete with the metric cruisers and they have the loyal customer base. Why would they change this strategy?
    For those of you who talk about low tech and last century technology, did you ever ask yourself if that’s exactly what the HD customer wants: classic look that will never be out of fashion and classic/non-intrusive technology?

  43. shyde says:

    And, speaking of a noisy,close-minded monority…?

  44. Doug says:

    Harley sells a lifestyle, not 21st Century engineering. Other than the V-Rod, they have not produced a “new” bike in years. We won’t even discuss the wasted Buell and MV Augusta opportunities. I don’t fault the company, rather I appreciate (although do not applaud) their success. They just keep wrapping a stagnant design in pretty new plastic and cheap chrome. This approach does nothing to enhance our sport. When they change their attitude towards their product, the customer and the sport, then I will applaud. Unfortunately, that won’t happen as long as the customer base blindly marches aong behind the Piper and pays the price of admittance to the lifestyle.

    • Steve says:

      thanks for clearing that up for me Doug…. but let me remind you…the “customer base” apparently “wants” or is it “demands” that H-D continue on the road they are on with your so called “not 21st Century engineering”…. sales numbers says it all… H-D consistently outsells all other brands here in the US …. So while I hear what you are saying, that you dislike Harley’s bikes & think they are less than what they could be (& you are correct on that), they sell & H-D is in business to make money… no diffferent than McDonalds…. the food sucks in my opinion but their busines model is a success & I can’t argue when I see the long lines backed up the double drive-thru’s….

      In ref to your lifestyle comment… what other brand has anything close to Harley’s dealer network??? I can ride anywhere in the US & there will always be an H-D dealer close. Plus I’m sure you’ve heard of all the stories about riders having an issue while on the road & the H-D dealer stays open after hours to fix the problem, etc…

      So blast away with the divisive negativity! But I’ll bet you if you were broken down on the side of the road, the odds are that a Harley rider would come to &/or offer you assistance before any other rider…

      • FreddyJ says:

        The problem H-D will have in 10-15 years is that their current customer base will be riding more wheelchairs than motorcycles. Numbers don’t lie, and their brand strategy is certainly working…for now. I just don’t see many younger riders lusting after the H-D product (which I agree is more brand/lifestyle than bike). I also don’t see future generations having the disposable income (thank congress for that one) to shell out $30 for a T-shirt, much less $20k+ for the toy that most motorcycles are. I predict that the demise of Buell will prove to be huge mistake in the decades to come, although H-D certainly has the resources to build a new brand from scratch in relatively short order if they wanted to.

    • Dannytheman says:

      “as long as the customer base blindly marches aong behind the Piper and pays the price of admittance to the lifestyle.”

      Sound like a pretty good business model to me! I bought Harley Stock in 1989, more in 90 and again in 1995. As a business that was almost made extinct by AMF in the 80’s Harley is an incredible come back story! It is hard to compare to other bike companies to. It stands on it’s own. Polaris has quads and snow machines. Others are more horizontally integrated than Harley. But every year it out performs the Street.

      Beat it up all you want, it is the most successful motorcycle brand in the world! Oh, and my 1100 dollar investment in 1989 is now worth 370,000 dollars.

      • Tom R says:

        Yes, it is hard to argue with success. There is much resentment toward Harley and their bikes that is founded in jelousy of their sales numbers. I personally can’t stand to actually ride and/or listen to anything H-D builds, but I cannot help but respect their business model.

      • LarryC says:

        Who rides a “business model?”

    • harryfxr says:

      How can you criticize HD for not using 21st Century engineering when there aren’t any major motorcycle manufacturers using the latest 20th Century engineering in their designs. No one has pneumatic or electronic valve actuation, no variable valve timing, no clean diesel, no direct injection or compressors. The Otto Cycle piston engine is in the end stage of it life cycle. There is little if any significant development possible at this point. Also I know a group of loyal HD owners that would enjoy hearing your little, “blindly marches along…” speech in person. Seriously why do you have to denigrate both the company and their customers just because you don’t like their product.

      • Steve says:

        Facts don’t matter to some posters here Harry…. they discount that & only
        yell at you LOUDER!

        “Must’a been somethin happened to them when they were little” Dr Phil

        • kpaul says:

          “Facts don’t matter to some posters here Harry…. they discount that & only
          yell at you LOUDER! ” Kind of like loud Harley pipes 🙂 Sorry I couldn’t resist

  45. Steve says:

    I like it… the 2-1 pipe, the chrome nacelle, etc…

    I want more info on the front & rear suspension…. my 2010 FLHX doesn’t have the same bits as this… I was going to go to Race Tech but these parts should be interchangable. I’ve been waiting a long time for a better suspension offering from H-D.

    • Davis says:

      I like it too. I bet the Race Tech route will be much cheaper and probably better working as well Steve.

      BTW, I’m a race-track-junkie, sport-bike-riding old guy and I like Harleys too… go figure.

      • Steve says:

        The Race Tech upgrade is the gold valve emulators & modifying the stock front tubes…. the 2012 front forks have catridge shocks! far & away better than the stock Showa’s…

        The Race Tech upgrade is pricey… ~ $900 plus you have to send them the forks…

        I priced the 2012 catridge forks on HD this morning… $399!

  46. Pat says:

    I like it as well. Except for the single disc in front, and the wheels.

  47. Tom says:

    like it.

  48. Bud says:

    That front brake hardly looks adequate for a 700 lb motorcycle plus rider(s)

    • MikeD says:

      YES, talk about ” NO common sense”…it don’t take a “rocket science degree” to figure that much and yet R&D at H-D don’t get it…Suzuki is guilty too…i rode a C50 that braked like it had butter brake pads(no, the pads were not glazed, no air in the system or contaminated)…is all about MASS.

      Or maybe they are suffering from the same mentality as those SQUIDs that lope off a brake rotor and caliper from a 189mph Hayabusa for the sake of ” LOOKING COOL” and “SHOWING DA CHROME WHEELZ”…

      Thankfully, there’s the V-ROD MUSCLE, NIGHTROD…etc.

  49. LarryC says:

    “Switchback” Ha ha. Why not just call it the “Oxymoron?”

    Oh, wait. They mean switchback to 1950s.

    • Ruefus says:

      And here come the bashers on cue.

      As if anyone doesn’t realize the retro look isn’t 100% deliberate and nearly every multi-line manufacturer worth mentioning cranks out imitations left and right. The ‘Metric’ cruiser market exists due to one manufacturer’s formerly runaway (but continued) brand success.

      I understand the opinion. It’s just a noisy, close-minded minority.

      • Steve says:

        no waste your breath Ruefus…..

        Once the “full-face-roadcrafter-Harley-riders-don’t-wave-to-me” see this, it wouldn’t matter if Harley built this with Honda….

        You can’t argue with stupid….

        • MGNorge says:

          ..and the other side of the stereotype criticism starts. Just ride what you ride and leave others alone to do the same.

          • Steve says:

            so again…. the victimizer becomes the victim…

            why aren’t you chiming in here then to quell the BS rhetoric from both sides???

            you watch from the sidelines 9with at least 1 foot planted in the anti-HD side) & then criticize both… elevating you above it all… am I right

          • Ruefus says:

            “Just ride what you ride and leave others alone to do the same.”

            We are. Just like your original post clearly indicated.

          • Ruefus says:

            BTW – I have a Roadcrafter, Arai, full-race leathers, a Supermoto and a sportbike. No cruiser of any sort.

            You say one thing, become indignant when challenged and then say “Just ride….” as if you’re pure as the drven snow.

        • Roadrash1 says:

          I’ve got a full face and a roadcrafter, and I like it, but not the shocks.
          Another 50 year-old sportbike/naked bike heard from…..

      • Nate says:

        You understand the look has nothing to do with the criticism of the 1950s comment right?

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