A Quick Spin on a great new Dyna.
The 2016 Dyna Low Rider S is powered by the new Screamin’ Eagle, Twin Cam, 110 Cube power plant running through the Six-speed Cruise Drive transmission - and it’s the best stock air cooled Harley engine yet.
It is more responsive than the other 110 cube engines currently available from the Softail range although it does vibrate more than the counterbalanced ‘B’ variants. However it launches better than the softails and pulls noticeably harder and longer than stock 103 cube dyna motors.
It features a 101.6mm x 111.1mm bore and stroke to give a 1801cc displacement and a heavy breather intake is fitted as standard. Harley claims 156Nm @ 3,500rpm. Numbers aside, the torque that the 110cube produces and the way it is delivered is a perfect compliment to the bike’s road manners.
The real-worldly 17” x 160 Section (rear) and 19” x 100 Section (front) rubber on new Magnum Gold 5-spoke wheels are suspended by 49mm cartridge ‘Premium ride’ forks up front and ‘Premium Ride’ emulsion shocks at the rear.
After a few days riding I was genuinely surprised when I checked the specs to find that the rear only has 54mm of travel available. I didn’t bottom out once, and found the ride comfortable and the handling, tracking and ride solid and reliable - no doubt testament to the quality of the suspension.
The twin 300mm discs up front (with floating rotors) and 292mm rear brakes continue to make any barroom arguments about Harley brakes redundant. The ABS units aren’t quite as effortless as the latest batch of Softail stoppers, but even so – I rarely called the rear into play in general riding as the fronts are just that good.
As well as the solid Dyna chassis, proven geometry (with 1630mm wheelbase) and quality suspension, the bike’s riding position and ergos also help make it tip tidily. The mid-mount foot controls fit well with the slightly turned down or ‘dropped’ drag handlebars that sit on relatively low risers. Nestled in behind the ‘Speedscreen’ it all adds to the sporty feel of the ride. I also found the Solo seat to be surprisingly comfortable and it gave me no grief after some long afternoons aboard.
It has performance, brakes, and handling - and then there’s simply just looking at it.
Maybe it is the memory of halcyon days, lusting over the 1971 XLCR Café Racer that made me look so fondly at the Low Rider S. The ‘John Player Special’ colour scheme, the black on black and the way the line of the bike worked so well to my eye. Just walking in to the garage and seeing it there made me smile.
Any gripes I had with the bike were minor. I liked the way the ‘Tommy Gun’ exhausts look, but I’d like a system that offers a little more clearance to match the bike’s tipping ability.
I liked the separate tank mounted tacho sitting below the speedometer in the new wrinkle finish console, but the problem with the piggyback arrangement is that I needed to actually tilt my head and look down to see it clearly.
But overall the low Rider S is a versatile motorcycle with a host of Harley niceties: It has excellent cruise control, great ancillaries, self-cancelling indicators, powerful headlight, security fob, ergonomic switchgear, good brakes, a big torque hammer - and an encyclopaedia’s worth of accessorising options.
The Low Rider S is well worth a test ride if you are looking for a real ‘riders’ Harley-Davidson.