Harley-Davidson kicked it into overdrive for the 2012 model year with a chock-full lineup featuring 30 returning champions as well as two all-new models. It doesn’t necessarily take a calculator, however, to figure out that we’ll be saying farewell to a few buddies, too. The Cross Bones, Rocker C, and Street Glide Trike are being retired to make room for the new Dyna Switchback and the 10th Anniversary V-Rod.
Back to the Big Twin lineup, there’s some great news coming out of the engine department. All but two Big Twins will be powered by the 103″ Twin Cam! The folks over at the Motor Company must be AIM fans, seeing as the AIM staff on the whole loves the 103 more than both the 96 and the CVO 110. Sporting 100 ft-lbs. of torque, the 103″ sees a six percent increase over the 96-incher. The 103 was designed specifically to improve the power in the midrange, otherwise known as passing power. The 103″ engine is equipped with automatic compression release and features identifying badges on the derby cover, timer cover, and air cleaner trim ring. Not joining in on the displacement increase is the Street Bob and Super Glide Custom. While it’s a shame that two of the lightest Big Twin models aren’t receiving the 103, power is upped from 92 ft-lbs. to 94 ft-lbs. They’ll rely on their lowest base prices to bring in customers.
Also new for 2012 is the availability of a factory-installed security package that pairs ABS brakes with the Smart security system for all Dynas, Softails, and Touring models. The package is standard equipment on the Road Glide, Electra Glide Ultra Limited, and the Road King Classic.
The major changes to the Softail line specifically are the Fat Boy and Fat Boy Lo receiving a more ergonomic handlebar and the lower, narrower seat that already graces the Lo. The new layout is said to improve ergonomics and give the rider an “in the bike” feel, instead of a “sit on top” feel. Also, the Deluxe and Heritage Classic can now be ordered with a new, optional, tubeless, chrome aluminum Profile laced wheel.
The 2012 Touring bikes remain relatively unchanged from last year, except for the addition of the 103″ engine in all varieties. For the Touring models only, the 103″ also comes standard with an oil cooler. These big rigs of the fleet are also offered with the optional, tubeless, chrome aluminum Profile laced wheel, except for the Limited. The Road Glide Ultra receives a set of front fairing wind deflectors to make the ride that much more enjoyable.
It’s impossible to discuss Harley’s 2012 lineup of Touring bikes without touching on the all-new Dyna FLD Switchback. From afar, it might look like a Road King, but up close, you’ll notice the exposed rear shocks, smaller bags, and lack of a color-matched side cover.
If you’re looking for a Big Twin that’s at home in the switchbacks and on the open highway, you might not have to look any further than this new Dyna. With an all-new front end and suspension and a sculpted nose on the seat, this truly is a newly created tourer! But at 718 pounds, 100 pounds less than a Road King, the performance should be pretty solid, as should be its ease of handling. Its bags feature a three-point mounting system and are only 25 percent smaller, while still being able to hold 15 pounds each. The Switchback also receives a different tranny case and muffler mounting system, too. Look for a full review of it in an upcoming issue.
And for the rest of the Dyna lineup, as said earlier, all but the Street Bob and Super Glide Custom receive the 103″ Twin Cam. All Dynas do get the CAN (Controller Area Network) system along with the Softail handlebar switches. The low beam gets a Flash to Pass setup to make flashing the brights easier. Like the Switchback, the mufflers receive new mounting points and 02 sensors.
Next month, we’ll run the spec sheets along with a heads up on what’s new with the Sportsters, V-Rods, and trike. And, if you missed our coverage on the 2012 CVO models last month, pick up a copy of Motorcycle Bagger, which is running them all in the November/December issue.
Below are all the specs for each of the 2012 Big Twins. Click on a spec sheet to view larger. AIM
NEW BIKE SPECS By Tyler Greenblatt
Story as published in the November 2011 issue of American Iron Magazine.