In a moment of clarity that can only come from consuming adult beverages while breathing the thin air of Denver, I realized that over the years I’ve had the good fortune of riding every member of the Dyna family except the Street Bob. With that revelation fresh in my mind, I decided to remedy the situation by racking up as many miles as I could on this model while attending Harley’s 2010 model launch in the Mile High City.
Street Bobs burst onto the scene in 2005 as a 2006 model, and American Iron celebrated that event with world-exclusive coverage in our September 2005 issue. The bike went on to become surprisingly popular and sold relatively well for a Dyna. Then for the 2009 model year Willie G. and his posse refreshed the bike by giving it a styling update. Fast-forward to the 2010 version you see here, which I finally got to spend some time flogging around Denver and the surrounding mountain roads.
It’s no secret that the Dyna line is my favorite family of bikes currently in production by the Motor Company. I would describe this Dyna as Harley’s attempt to mass-produce a pure minimalist, post-war-style bobber. In other words, a modern interpretation of the classic, stripped-down bike that American GIs created after coming home from World War II.
Distinct features that make the Street Bob stand out from its Dyna siblings include mini-apehanger handlebars, a chopped rear fender, and a retro taillight. The mini-apes seem like they may have been sourced straight from the last generation of Wide Glides, but they’re internally wired for a nice clean look. If the LED taillight wasn’t so bright I would swear it had been lifted directly off an old Crocker. Compared to the first incarnation, the rear fender of this year’s Street Bob is heavily chopped and void of support covers. The combination gives the rear end of this bike a distinctly classic bobber look and feel.
Like all Dynas, the TC 96 in the Street Bob is rubber-mounted giving the bike a smooth, comfortable ride. The six-speed Cruise Drive transmission has gotten an upgrade for 2010 and now boasts a helical-cut fifth gear which is much quieter. This change is across the board for all Big Twins and a welcome upgrade for this journalist, since I only shift into sixth gear when I am doing well above the speed limit.
This bike and the newly redesigned 2010 Wide Glide share a laden seat height of 25.5″ which is the lowest in the Dyna family. A solo seat and mid-controls make the Street Bob easy to ride even for the shortest folks, like our fearless editor Chris Maida. The 19″ front and 17″ rear, steel-laced wheels have gloss black rims and roll on 160mm rear/100mm front Michelin Scorcher 31 tires. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time since the early ’80s that Harleys are rolling out of the factory with tires other than Dunlops. A 29-degree fork angle makes this bike’s handling quick and nimble even on mountain roads.
Like its Super Glide siblings, the Street Bob features a combination neck/ignition lock conveniently located just forward and to the right of the 4.7 gallon Fat Bob fuel tank, which is now adorned with two new-for-2010 medallions. Also new this year is the all-black finished powertrain, which, by the way, is my favorite look for Harleys. The battery cover and belt guard are also finished in wrinkle black and complete the dark, minimalist profile a bobber should have. The tank console is full-length and features a silver-faced speedometer with a functional fuel range readout.
While spending two days riding the Street Bob, I came to some simple conclusions. First, the mini-apes put my hands in almost the perfect position for comfort, but not necessarily for steering on tight, technical roads. Next, the low solo seat and mid-controls were plenty comfortable for me on short stints, but after extended time in the saddle I found my 6′ 2″ frame got cramped, especially in the hip area. If I were to own this bike, both these issues could easily be remedied with new bars, a different seat, and maybe even forward controls. I also found that the front single-disc brake setup works well on this bike since it doesn’t overpower the front wheel under hard braking. Straight-cut, chrome, staggered, shorty dual exhaust pipes look like they belong on the Street Bob, while the low-profile front fender has a cool, custom look.
Like all Dynas this model delivers great handling and bold styling for a reasonable price. You could park a Vivid Black Street Bob in your garage for the MSRP of $12,999 or choose from four different colors like the Black Ice Denim you see here for $13,374.
Now that I’ve finally ridden the Dyna Street Bob, I’m happy to say that my fondness for the Dyna family has only been strengthened. And that is not the adult beverages or the thin air talking. AIM
–Joe Knezevic as published in American Iron Magazine, the world’s best selling Harley magazine.