New Female-Friendly Touring Motorcycle Debuts

New model part of Harley-Davidson’s 2012 lineup

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#8217;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 its nolonger available as a new model.
The Dyna Switchbacks 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.

#8220;The motorcycles that are designed for touring tend to be heavier and bigger. Many women have a hard time handling them, so they#8217;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,#8221; said WRN Editor Genevieve Schmitt. #8220;The Dyna Switchbacks 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 #8216;bagger-style#8217; motorcycles.#8221;
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#8212;translating to 1690cc,a much more powerful engine than on previous Dyna models#8212;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#8217;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 #8220;in the bike#8221; position. The Softail Deluxe and Heritage Softail Classic will be available with a new #8220;tubeless#8221; chrome-aluminum-profile, laced-wheel option for ease of tire replacement and repair.
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7 thoughts on New Female-Friendly Touring Motorcycle Debuts

  1. OK ladies I just bought the first one sold in Omaha. I had to adjust the bars down a little and may consider pullback risers some day. Yes a little lighter clutch would be nice too but not really that bad since it does include the easy clutch already. When I took it out for a test ride I didn’t want that ride to stop! Everything about it from windshield height to floor boards fit me like to a T! Handling was amazing and that power is something to brag about too. Got the red one and I find the bags are perfect. A bit different to get open but lockable which is a big plus for me. A+++ Harley! Thanks for making a really cool bike.

  2. I test rode this bike at our local HD dealer when they had demo rides after reading the review. This is a great bike and very fun to ride. I currently ride a 2002 Dyna Low Rider. The 103 engine is fantastic; I could feel the difference. Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. I just bought this bike having graduated from a 2007 Sportster 1200L (more than 24,000 miles of riding). I took this bike up to Idyllwild and found it handled the twisties beautifully, and it stops nicely too. It doesn’t have the snap off the line like the Sportster, but the ride is definitely much more comfortable than the Sporty. nd though the bags aren’t large, it’s definitely more than what I had before. The only problem I don’t care for is that the clutch is pretty heavy. I will have to look into seeing if it’s possible to make it easier. Overall, I am very pleased and happy with my new ride.

  4. Great looking bike. Dynas are fun and with the new 103, it will be more powerful. The versatility of being a “convertible” will be very attractive to buyers. Should be another winner for Harley.

  5. New Female-Friendly Touring Motorcycle Debuts I couldn’t wait to read this article, hoping it was about a long-awaited smaller-scale Harley-Davidson touring bike. I was so disappointed to read that the 2012 Switchback is what Harley and WRN are promoting as the new “custom touring bike” for women. Really? So because this Dyna comes standard with a windshield, floorboards and the tiniest of saddle bags, it earned the status of a “touring bike?” The Switchback looks like a great beginner’s bike to ride around town with a lunch and jacket in the side bags, but I’m certain that standard “touring” gear like rain suits, leathers, a tool kit, first aide supplies and a change or two of clothes and personal items will never fit into those two little bags for a long weekend getaway, let alone a week or two on the road. For me, I guess I’ll still be waiting to read about my future genuine, Grand American touring bike from Harley-Davidson that will nicely fit my 5-feet 3-inch frame, 135 pounds and small hands without adding additional costs for modifications to safely saddle up! Until then, I’ll continue riding my 2002 Heritage with its large saddle bags and P&A touring pack; or, my 2008 Electra Glide Classic that I spent thousands dollars modifying for the open road with a P&A reach seat, lowering kits and aftermarket inset levers, but remains way too heavy to easily negotiate in/out of tight places. Harley, I hope you’re listening as I’m certain there are thousands of other vertically challenged women and men also patiently awaiting a genuine, Grand American touring bike designed to fit us!

    1. For the record, Harley-Davidson is not promoting the Switchback as a touring bike for women, rather it is my professional opinion that this mid-sized motorcycle is a cost effective way for women who cannot handle the larger touring bikes to have access to a bike outfitted for touring coming straight from the factory that way. And by no means do I consider or am I promoting the Switchback as a beginner’s bike. It has a powerful 103 cubic inch engine, with a wide front end (different than the other Dyna’s) that I believe might be difficult for riders with very limited or no riding experience to handle safely.

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