2012 Harley-Davidson FLD Switchback

When you think Harley-Davidson you probably think of chrome, signature rumble, and a historic nostalgia in the motorcycle industry. The new Dyna Switchback will make you think of even more. It’s time to ride in style!

The Harley engineers had their thinking caps on when they designed this new model. It is touted as, and lives up to, being two bikes in one. In most cases when you see it on the showroom floor, you will see a “light-weight” touring bike. However, with very little time and effort, you could be looking at a muscular, throw-back styled Cruiser. The Switchback’s quick-release windshield and saddle bags go on and off with the simple ease that you’ve come to expect from the Harley-Davidson accessories.

Let’s start with Switchback identity number one – the touring bike. You’ll be comfortably seated behind a full Lexan windshield with your gear tucked away in two ABS plastic saddlebags. They are not as large as the bags on Harley’s touring line of bikes, but more than enough room for a nice weekend getaway. Astride its’ powerful Twin Cam 103 cubic inch motor, which is rubber-mounted to the Dyna chassis, long stretches of highway or twisties in the Hill Country can be gobbled up by the handful.

The day after you get back from that trip, literally, a few minutes in the garage will expose the gorgeous nacelle-style headlamp housing as well as the big, chrome, exposed rear shocks that beckon the past. Also revealed are the hot rod-looking five fin spoke wheels. Stripped down like this, the Switchback is ready to go around town in style.

Harley-Davidson claims that the Switchback’s 718 pound curb weight makes it the lightest custom touring bike in its segment. Remember, in that mere 718 pounds sits a 1690 c.c. engine partnered with Harley’s six-speed transmission. That is a recipe for go, go, go.

Rolling down the road you enjoy the comfort of a two-up seat, full rider floorboards (that can find the ground to scrape when powering through the twisties), and a rear suspension adjustable to five different positions.

The Cheat Sheet

Length: 92.8 in.
Seat Height, Laden: 26.1 in.
Seat Height, Unladen: 27.4 in.
Ground Clearance: 4.3 in.
Wheelbase: 62.8 in.
Fuel Capacity: 4.7 gal.
Weight, As Shipped: 696 lb.

Engine: Air-cooled, Twin Cam 103™
Bore: 3.875 in.
Stroke: 4.38 in.
Displacement:103 cu in
Compression Ratio: 9.6:1

Exhaust: 2-into-1 chrome exhaust with straight-cut muffler
Wheels, Front Type: Black, 5-Spoke Cast Aluminum
Wheels, Rear Type: Black, 5-Spoke Cast Aluminum

Engine Torque: 100 ft-lb
Engine Torque (rpm): 3,500
Fuel Economy; City/Hwy: 42 mpg combined

By Rob Kellick – dhdgservice@ridenow.com

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