The Harley Davidson riders are in a bit of a rumble these days, as it seems the great Dyna chassis will be gone forever. That will increase the price of all Dynas custom bikes and that will certainly make the old V-Twin, air cooled, a collector’s dream, getting into the realm of the Knuckelhead or the Panhead.
Being one of the oldest brands in the market, they have always had to fight against their competitors, and have always succeeded, like back in the old days when they British bikes were the dreams of american bikers, or when the japanese made their entrance in their own market.
However; the Milwaukee brand has always survived with good quality products and most especially a legion of fans worldwide for whom a Harley is the only possible ride. But the company has always understood that the only way to achieve well in modern day market is by getting new riders, and so they’re doing.
But it’s the badasses who now feel a bit disappointed as Harley is now using only one type of chassis for their bikes… so the Dyna is now dead and gone, despite some new Harleys are called Dyna… the essence of the Dyna with the double rear springers is gone.
Harley Davidson heritage starts with the rigid frame bikes they used to sell long time ago. When suspensions were needed, they chose for the obvious choice, two springs at the rear, just like British bikes.
It was a matter of time for Harley to get back to the rigid looking frame, the softail, this time with a clever spring hidden in the frame which made the bike has a suspension, and look like it didn’t.
But the outlaw biker would choose the two spring bikes are they were easier to ride fast, better for bumps when going at high speed and that made the whole bike a bit more aggressive. A shorter first gear will do the kick launching and there you are, you have a motorcycle to be a badass.
The Softail looks great, and it is a bit more relaxed, as the travel of the suspension is a bit shorter and it is intended for a more relaxed riding, not the one you’d choose to ride a bike like you stole it probably.
So many badass bikers are now orphaned from their beloved Dyna chassis, and in addition to that, they include a radiator! yes, the new Harleys are liquid cooled -like mostly any other bike in the market- and that has been another designing exercise, as you have to hide that anti aesthetic device somehow.
So the new Harleys might be great for some new riders, but as usual the old school ones won’t see it that way. It was a bold and brave move for Harley, and they didn’t step back showing the world what they have to offer in order to keep themselves being the very best cruiser motorcycle company in the history.
If I ever buy a Harley I hope I can get a second hand old-school Dyna anyway.