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Harley Reportedly Set to Lay Off 200 Employees in the Fall

Harley-Davidson logo

Reports by The York Daily Record (YRD) and Milwaukee Sentinel Journal state Harley-Davidson is preparing to lay off approximately 200 employees this fall. The cuts come as a Harley adjusts “our production plan to align with 2016 guidance.”

That guidance includes a cut in shipment projections to 264,000 to 269,000 motorcycles announced in Harley’s second quarter financial report of 2016, down from the initial projections of 269,000 to 274,000 released in its first quarter 2016 report. This comes on the heels of lowered shipment totals in 2015 as well which were first projected to be in the 282,000 to 287,000 range before scaling back due in part to aggressive price cuts by competitors and a strong dollar hurting sales internationally. Retail motorcycle sales on the whole were down 1.3% for in 2015 with 264,627 units sold compared to 2014 totals of 267,999 motorcycles.

According to news reports, the layoffs will be divided between its York, Menomonee Falls, and Tomahawk plants. The York Daily Record reports 117 workers will be laid off at the York, Pa. assembly plant that handles production of Harley’s Touring, Trike, Softail and CVO motorcycles, while the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal reports 35 layoffs are slated for Harley’s windshield and plastic-parts plant in Tomahawk, Wis. This leaves 48 cuts to Harley’s engine division at Menomonee Falls, Wis. These numbers may vary as “some of the reductions will come from not filling vacant positions” according to YDR.

While recent sales have been slow, the curve has the potential to swing upward as Harley-Davidson just released new engine platforms, a 107” and 114” version of its new eight valve, single cam Milwaukee-Eight V-Twin. The 107” Milwaukee-Eight will power Harley-Davidson’s Touring motorcycles and trikes while the 114” can be found in its premium CVO models. Harley-Davidson also updated suspension on its tourers, another attractive factor to potential buyers.

An Animated Evolution of Harley-Davidson From 1904 to Present

Harley Engine Animated GIF

With Harley-Davidson’s recent introduction of its new Milwaukee-Eight engine, we thought it’d be fun to share this animated GIF with you showing the evolution of Harley-Davidson by generation from 1904 to the present. The GIF was pieced together by the staff over at GearHeads.

We figured we’d add a pictorial history of Harley-Davidson’s Big Twins over the years for good measure. Be sure to check out our “Harley-Davidson Launches 107” & 114” Milwaukee-Eight Engines” and “Our First Ride Impressions of Harley’s New Milwaukee-Eight” articles to learn more about Harley’s latest V-Twin or grab Issue 341 of American Iron Magazine that’s just hitting the newsstands for the full, in-depth overview. (Photos Courtesy of Harley-Davidson Archives)

Harley F-Head (JD) 1914-1929

Harley F-Head (JD) 1914-1929

Harley Flathead 1930-1948

Harley Flathead 1930-1948

Harley Knucklehead 1936-1947

Harley Knucklehead 1936-1947

Harley Panhead 1948-1965

Harley Panhead 1948-1965

Harley Shovelhead 1966-1984

Harley Shovelhead 1966-1984

Harley Evolution 1984-1998

Harley Evolution 1984-1998

Harley Twin Cam 1999-Present

Harley Twin Cam 1999-Present

Freedom to Ride: Capt. Ken Kraft Chosen for 2017 Combat Hero Bike Build

Capt. Ken Kraft Combat Heroes Bike Build recipient 2017

Retired Army Capt. Ken Kraft (R) arrives at Valley of the Rogue State Park to a hero’s welcome.

They gathered to honor one of their own, patches and rockers on weathered leather vests telling their tales of service to our country. The greeting party gathered at Valley of the Rogue State Park in southern Oregon, a cross-section of American veterans from local motorcycle clubs including members of the Old Guard Riders, Combat Vets Association, others donning POW-MIA and Run for the Wall patches.

The group greeted retired Army Capt. Ken Kraft with firm handshakes, hugs and smiles. Kraft was injured in a mortar attack at Camp Slayer in Baghdad, Iraq, in 2005. As a result, he has had over 40 surgeries on his right leg before finally losing it in 2015. But he hasn’t let a prosthetic leg slow him down. In his quest to support other military members, Kraft founded the Lake Oswego VFW Post 12140. He’s also about to get his first taste of riding a customized trike as the recipient of the 2017 Combat Hero Bike Build.

Shaking hands with a hero Combat Hero Bike Build welcoming party

The Combat Hero Bike Build is spearheaded by Eagles Up! a non-profit whose mission is to “support and assist our military personnel.” One of the ways it does that is by having a motorcycle tailor-made for a wounded warrior. Kraft had made the trip down from Oregon City to talk over design ideas and get fitted for his new trike with the team at ThunderStruck Custom Bikes out of Medford, Oregon, who will be converting a 2011 Road Glide Ultra into a trike for him. But not before meeting up with a welcoming party along the way who would escort him from the park to the shop.

Combat Hero Bike Build

The Combat Hero Bike Build program awards wounded vets a motorcycle tailor-made for them.

“I’m just blown away. I think it’s amazing,” said Kraft.

This is the fourth time ThunderStruck has teamed up with Eagles Up! for the Combat Hero Bike Build. Last year ThunderStruck turned a 2005 Dyna Low Rider into a hot rod trike for bilateral above knee amputee Air Force Staff Sgt. Shaun Meadows. For that build, ThunderStruck moved all functions to the bars so Meadows could control everything with his hands, outfitting the trike with a Pingel Electric Speed Shifter and a Kliktronics K-Lever 2, a system that puts hand levers for both brakes on the same control housing.

ThunderStruck and Capt. Ken Kraft

ThunderStruck’s Travis Linebaugh (L) and Mark Daley (R) are the talented duo who will make one mean machine for Combat Hero Bike Build recipient Ken Kraft (Center).

While visiting ThunderStruck, Kraft bounced ideas off painter Jason Titus, images of Black Hawk helicopters and the toppling of Sadam’s statue entering the conversation. He then hopped onboard the 2011 Road Glide Ultra so that ThunderStruck’s Mark Daley and Travis Linebaugh could get a feel for placement of the controls, the seat, and ergonomics. Kraft has never ridden before but is excited about learning to ride and the freedom he’s heard that comes along with it.

Capt. Ken Kraft Army tattoo

Retired Army Capt. Ken Kraft wears his love of our country openly on his arm.

Yelvington USA Mechanical Reverse Pulley for Harley Tourers Install (Intro)

By Chris Maida/Photos by Chris Maida

How many times have you found yourself struggling to back your Harley Touring bike out of a corner, parking spot, or wherever? Sucks, doesn’t it? Well, the crew at Yelvington has a simple and easy way to end that hassle forever. And it has nothing to do with altering the transmission or any other major component on your bike. All the magic is done in the rear wheel pulley. Just swap out the stock rear pulley and axle for one of Yelvington’s reverse units, and then add a few other Yelvington parts onto the bike. This unit will fit all 2009 and later Touring models, and Yelvington is hastily working on manufacturing the product for older models and cruisers. Once installed, going in reverse is as simple as pushing a button, letting out the clutch, and walking the bike backwards under its own power just as you do when you walk it forward. A cool gadget like this (introductory price $1,995) is just what you’d expect from a company started by a few guys with NASA (yup, the rocket people), NASCAR, NHRA, and various US defense contractor credentials.

After four years of R&D, the crew at Yelvingon offers a simple way, engineered for strength and durability, to propel your bike in reverse. It’s constructed of aircraft billet aluminum, advanced polymers, and high-strength steel and bronze alloys. All the major parts were created by Yelvington engineers and designers and built in the USA using precision CNC machinery.

Yelvington Mechanical Reverse Pulley System

Here’s where all the magic happens: the stock rear drive pulley is replaced with this Yelvington drive unit, which has exactly the same tooth count as the stock pulley. No tranny modifications or additions are made.

So how does it work? In a word, great! When you push the Harley-Davidson accessory switch included with the Yelvington kit to On, you hear the air compressor build up pressure and then shut off once it has moved and engaged a splined gear in the Yelvington pulley. This mechanism causes the forward motion of the stock rear drive belt to turn the rear wheel in the opposite direction. You then operate your bike just as you would to walk it forward. Just pull in the clutch lever, shift the transmission into first gear, and let the clutch out just a little to slowly walk the bike backward. You’ll hear the reverse setup in the rear pulley working as you do this. Once out of the parking space, put the bike back into neutral and turn off the Yelvington reverse, which disengages the splined gear in the Yelvington pulley. Then shift the bike back into first gear, and ride away. It’s that simple! The unit requires no maintenance and comes with a one-year warranty.

Yelvington Reverse for Harley Tourers Install

Here’s our 2016 Street Glide Special with its rear section on a bike jack with its seat, saddlebags, mufflers, rear shocks, rear drive pulley, and rear brake caliper and bracket removed. The battery’s negative cable has been disconnected using a 10mm wrench.

As for where to do the install, what better place than with the guys who designed and install it every day on a variety of H-D Touring bikes? I spent the day at the Yelvington facility in Seminole, Florida, with Senior Engineer/Operations Manager Mike Alex and tech Joe Kruger as they installed one of their reverse setups on our test bike, a 2016 Street Glide Special, as I shot and wrote the accompanying photos and captions. As you’ll see, this kit can be installed in a home garage by experienced wrenches (Yelvington recommends dealer installation) using standard tools, a belt tension tool, a rear wheel alignment tool, and a bike jack. A bike lift will make the job easier, but it’s not required.

Note: The parts shown in this installation may vary from the final production units. AIM

Yelvington Reverse install

After jacking the bike up so the wheel clears the worktable, Mike from Yelvington positions the stock rear drive belt on the top of the Yelvington reverse/pulley unit and rotates the tire as he pushes the belt onto the pulley.

**********

SOURCES

Yelvington

727/233-3610

YelvingtonUSA.com

Like what you see? The full article with all the steps, tips, tricks, and tools needed is in American Iron Magazine issue # 339! To order a back issue of this or any other issue of American Iron Magazine, visit Greaserag.com.
 
Follow American Iron Magazine on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
To subscribe to the PRINT edition, click here. To receive DIGITAL DELIVERY, click here.
 
 
 

Our First Ride Impressions of Harley’s New Milwaukee-Eight

Cornering on the 2017 Milwaukee-Eight-equipped Road King felt more agile than ever.

Cornering on the 2017 Milwaukee-Eight-equipped Road King felt more agile than ever.

American Iron Magazine editor Steve Lita was fortunate enough to get in a day of riding on the new 2017 Harley-Davidson Touring models featuring both versions of the new Milwaukee-Eight engine; standard 107″ and CVO models equipped with the 114″ version.

The first thing you notice when you start up the new Milwaukee-Eight is, well, the precise and consistent starting. Thanks to a new automatic compression release and a more powerful starter motor, the engine comes to life every time without a hitch or a hiccup, which can’t be said for Twin Cam models. Once the engine settles to life at a calm 850 idle rpm, you’ll recognize the traditional Harley rumble, albeit a little smoother. Don’t get me wrong, this engine is not sewing machine-boring, it still has that chugging cadence to it.

The 107" Milwaukee-Eight, staying true to Harley's Big Twin tradition while leaping forward.

The 107″ Milwaukee-Eight, staying true to Harley’s Big Twin tradition while leaping forward.

Click the bike into first gear and release the clutch, and you’ll be pleased with the easier feeling on your left hand. Roll on the throttle easy, the Milwaukee-Eight smoothly pulls this heavyweight up to speed. But gun the throttle, and get ready for an aggressive bark from the stock exhaust. Thanks to less drivetrain noise and the added cubic-inches, the exhaust emanates an aggressive tone. After my first ride I commented to Harley engineers how much I liked the sound of the bike.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have access to a timed acceleration course, but suffice it to say the seat-of-the-pants-feeling under hard acceleration was that the new bikes pull away from a stop or roll on at speed harder than before. This Milwaukee-Eight pulls hard all the way to the 5500 redline, and I found the rev limiter many times when not judiciously watching the tach. I felt consistent thrust all the way up the tach range without the power petering off. It just pulls, pulls, pulls, and then smack! You’re on the limiter. Step up to the larger 114″ Milwaukee-Eight, which is available only in the CVO models, and get ready for a kick in the butt over the 107″ version; you will definitely feel the difference in power output.

And the 114" Milwaukee-Eight, a CVO-only option that will blow your socks off.

And the 114″ Milwaukee-Eight, a CVO-only option that will blow your socks off.

All of that is great for straight-line riding, but what happens when you throw the new Touring models into a curve? Much improvement has been made to this line of bikes, and the new 2017 models can handle some twisties better than ever before. New front fork updates feature SHOWA Dual Bending valve (SDBV) technology, which is similar to current cartridge fork inserts, but more adept for mass production use. Out back is a hand-adjustable SHOWA emulsion shock. Turn the adjustment knob 23 times to allow for 25mm of total adjustment. No more worrying about blowing out air shocks. Confidence in riding through corners at high speed is greatly increased.

The 114" CVO Touring Model handles better than you could imagine for a Big Twin.

The 114″ CVO Touring Model handles better than you could imagine for a Big Twin.

My overall riding impression of these new Milwaukee-Eight-powered models is that Harley has taken all the right feelings and emotions of the previous engine and refined them, doing so with new high-tech components. The looks of the engine are right. It’s not some foreign, radical departure. Yet under the skin, the internal components work in better harmony than before. I think of this engine as a well-sorted Big Twin. It’s better than you ever thought the Big Twin family could perform.

For the full first ride review of the all-new Milwaukee-Eight Touring models, pick up a copy of Issue #342. In Issue #341, on sale 9/13, we give you everything you need to know about the new engine platforms.

Top 5 Harley Road Glide Ultra Features on the Ride to Sturgis

2016 Harley Road Glide Ultra in Zion

You can learn a lot about a motorcycle over the course of a 3400 mile road trip. For ten days straight we called the saddle of Harley’s 2016 Road Glide Ultra home. Our ride started at Harley’s fleet center in Carson, California, and ended in Grants Pass, Oregon. In between, we blazed a path across the Mojave Desert on an overcast day, got stuck huffing car exhaust fumes while stuck in Vegas traffic on a sweltering evening, then were rewarded with a chance to explore the splendors of Zion National Park. We kept revs up and rode hard, the only sane way to approach the desolate 110-mile stretch between Salina and Green River, Utah. It’s so long between services signs warn against fatigued driving and roadside pull-outs are provided. Stretches with 80 mph speed limits suited us just fine. Montana’s I-90 means go 90, right? On the final day we just missed going iron butt with a 900 mile run, the Road Glide Ultra never missing a beat.

That said, long, lonely stretches gave us plenty of time to think about the features of the 2016 Road Glide Ultra that were the most useful during our trip. Let’s start with No. 5. (Just click on the page links below).

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Celebrities Power 2016 Sturgis Buffalo Chip Legends Ride

Arlen Ness Legends Ride 2016

The incomparable Arlen Ness rolls into the 2016 Legends Ride on his custom Victory Vision.

For the last nine years, the Sturgis Buffalo Chip has made giving back to the local community a priority via its annual Legends Ride. Buffalo Chip owner Rod Woodruff said he frequently heard how “the rally never did anything for the local folks.” As of last year, the annual benefit ride has bought the kids of the Black Hills Special Olympics a beautiful black bus to attend events and competitions in, a new gym for the kids is in the cross hairs next, and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame has big plans on the horizon thanks to money raised by the event, the sum in the area of a half-million dollars before this year’s totals are tallied.

The procession of riders participating in the 2016 Legends Ride began congregating in front of Deadwood’s Franklin Hotel early Monday afternoon and didn’t stop until it was almost 300 motorcycles strong. Freestyle motocross legend Carey Hart came rumbling in on an Indian Chieftain in a show of support of the event. Not long after, the Ness family joined the party, Arlen and Cory on customized Victory Visions, while Zach rolled in on the wild twin-engined bagger his dad Cory built. R. Lee Ermey, affectionately known as “The Gunny,” soon joined the fray, the seasoned actor mingling and posing for plenty of pictures with the crowd. Ermey, a former Marine, was a big hit with veterans in attendance, which there were plenty. Josh Owens, the overall-wearing actor of Moonshiners fame walked arm-in-arm with a posse of Special Olympians, the affable character a big hit with the kids.

The Gunny Chris McGee Legends Ride 2016

The Gunny shares a story with emcee Chris McGee at the 2016 Legends Ride.

Tom Berenger, an Academy Award nominee known for his roles in “Platoon” and “Major League,” was another celebrity who lent his name to the cause. Berenger shared a funny story of his first motorcycle, a 450cc Honda, and how on one of his first rides he hit an oil patch, fishtailed and went down. He recalled getting chased by a German Shepherd on the same motorcycle.

Before long, the annual street-side auction struck up, the big ticket items a fully customized John Shope Signature 2015 Indian Chief Classic and a Rusty Jones Signature 2016 Victory Cross Country. (We’ve featured both motorcycles in American Iron Magazine.) The beauty of these bikes is the fact that they were built by local high school students under the guidance of mentors, the students learning both trade and life skills along the way. For these builds, Keith Terry of Terry Components and Randy Cramer of Dakota V-Twin led “Team Victory” while Chris Malo of Baggster headed “Team Indian” and the construction of the John Shope Signature Indian Chief.

Josh Owens and the Black Hills Special Olympians 2016 Legends Ride

Moonshiner Josh Owens hangs out with his friends of the Black Hills Special Olympics at the 2016 Legends Ride.

The auction was “Bidder’s Choice” giving the winner the option of either motorcycle. The students of the Buffalo Chip Challenge program who built the bikes helped stoke the flames of the friendly rivalry between “Team Victory” and “Team Indian,” as did the namesake builders John Shope and Rusty Jones.

When the auctioneer finally called out “Sold!” it was Tom Vasilaros of Santa Barbara, California, who put up the biggest bucks, his $32,000 bid earning him the right to choose which bike he’d be taking back to Cali. Wearing the unmistakable yellow t-shirt of the Hamsters Motorcycle Club, Vasilaros surprised few when he chose the Victory Cross Country with the vibrant yellow paint job. Bidding climbed almost as high the second-go-round before Fred Robinson from Dayton, Tennessee, sealed the deal with a $29,000 offer. Moonshiner Owens said he’d throw in a jug of his personal stash to sweeten the pot. Afterwards a smiling Robinson said “I’ve been wanting from something Shope for a long time.”

An Epiphone Les Paul Guitar signed by Zach, Cory and Arlen Ness and autographed by a handful of celebrities who came out for this year’s ride sold for $1500 while an original David Uhl painting, the artist’s name virtually still drying on the canvas, went for $1100. Jess and Heather Slaughter out of Texas are taking both home to the Lone Star State after winning the bidding war.

The Legends Ride festivities were just firing up, though. Riders soon mounted their motorcycles for a back roads ride through the scenic Black Hills to the Buffalo Chip’s CrossRoads for some scrumptious vittles and the opportunity to take home an array of items up for grabs at the secondary auction held at the reception. Legends riders wrapped up the night with a rockin’ set by the ultimate biker band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Southern rockers headlining a trio of acts on the Wolfman Jack Main Stage.

Lynyrd Skynyrd 2016 Sturgis Buffalo Chip

Lynyrd Skynyrd lit up the Wolfman Jack Stage Monday night at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip.

 

Arlen Ness Billet Sucker Stage I Air Cleaner Install (Intro)

Arlen Ness Billet Sucker Stage I Air Cleaner Install

By Chris Maida/Photos by Chelsea Maida

We gained 9 hp with this air cleaner kit and a Dynojet Power Vision tuner!

Who wouldn’t like to get more power and a big improvement in his bike’s looks with one upgrade? The Arlen Ness Billet Sucker Stage I air cleaner kit for 1999-2013 Twin Cam engines gives you both at a great price. We went with a chrome scalloped cover (#18-811/$229.95) on our 2006 bike. However, if you prefer to keep your bike looking stock, the Stage I kits give you the option of reusing the stock cover.

The Ness Big Sucker line of air cleaners has been around for over 10 years, and they have proven to be a winner time and time again. This setup features a one-piece aluminum backing plate that has two hidden breather ports, which have an O-ring where they join the head. The oily mist from the engine is then brought right to the mouth of the engine’s carb/throttle body. This design eliminates the ugly stock external hoses and hardware. This backing plate — available in standard, black powdercoat, or chrome finish — also has a radius air inlet for unobstructed airflow into the engine. More air in means more fuel can be added with the result being more power. As for the filter element, you can get a standard red filter, which is pre-oiled, washable, and made of four layers of surgical grade cotton. This is our version. Arlen Ness also offers a synthetic material steel jacketed filter element that’s water resistant and never needs to be oiled. Just wash it when dirty and reinstall.

Stock Harley Air Cleaner bracket

After taking off the stock Harley air filter, remove the outer cover’s bracket from the filter element using a T-27 Torx on the three bolts.

As we said earlier, more air in means you can add more fuel. To add that additional fuel, we also used a Dynojet Power Vision tuner (#PV-1/$549). This setup is very easy to use and completely eliminates the need for a computer to monitor the system or load fuel maps. You just select the tune that best fits your bike’s air cleaner and exhaust setup, upload it using the included Power Vision screen, and fire up the bike! You can even edit the tune you just loaded if you choose. The Power Vision device also downloads and stores your bike’s stock calibration maps, as well as let you store up to eight different tunes, which can be flashed to your bike any time you want. If you make major changes to your engine later on, Power Vision can be used to make a custom tune specifically for that performance part configuration. As for its monitoring features, Power Vision shows you how your bike is running, allows you to check and clear diagnostic codes, reset adaptive fuel trims and idle offset (with the bike running), and display all J1850 and CAN H-D vehicle data, as well as wide band air/fuel ratios and various other channels, like MPG instant and trip readings.

Breather Hoses Stock Harley Air Cleaner

Now pull the filter element from the air cleaner inner cover and disconnect it from the two breather hoses that are on the breather bolts.

Though you can tune your bike yourself with a Power Vision unit, we went to our buddy John at Dyno Solutions to have him load up the proper map and then do our dyno runs. Be sure to check out the accompanying dyno chart to see what and where our gains are. Just remember, this bike also already has a set of performance slip-on mufflers. We did the build this way this time since many owners first change out the mufflers for a better sound and a bit more power and then do the air cleaner. AIM

Arlen Ness Billet Sucker Backplate

Torquing the new Arlen Ness Billet Sucker backplate into place.

**********

SOURCES

Arlen Ness Enterprises  (925) 479-6300

http://www.arlenness.com/

Like what you see? The full article with all the steps, tips, tricks, and tools needed is in American Iron Magazine issue # 337! To order a back issue of this or any other issue of American Iron Magazine, visit Greaserag.com.
 
Follow American Iron Magazine on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
To subscribe to the PRINT edition, click here. To receive DIGITAL DELIVERY, click here.
 
 
 

2016 Harley Low Rider S First Ride Review

2016 Low Rider S Review

NEW BIKE REVIEW by Tyler Greenblatt  Photos by Riles & Nelson

There’s fast, and then there’s 110” Screamin’ Eagle Dyna fast

You know you’re in for a fun ride when fleet center manager Alan has to replace all the ground-down footpegs on the test bikes from the previous day’s grouping of motojournalists. I promised to take care of the fresh pegs on the new 2016 Low Rider S when my day came to ride it, unlike the local Los Angeles hooligans who had been riding that day. After about 30 seconds of riding the FXDL-S, I realized I wasn’t going to be able to keep my promise.

Walking up to the S for the first time, it takes a second to recognize it as actually being a Low Rider as so much is physically different between the two machines that share a name. Gone is the chrome and metallic look from the original Shovelhead Low Riders. The back half of the rear fender is noticeably missing, and the handlebars are entirely different. At first glance it looks more like something coming out of a Southern California custom shop than a factory Harley. That defining look is the first complete bike to be headed up by H-D Director of Styling Brad Richards, who started at Harley just over a year ago and whose name you’ll be seeing a lot.

2016 Harley Low Rider S

The Low Rider S is equipped with “Premium Ride nitrogen gas-charged emulsion shocks and a Premium Ride cartridge fork.”

The split, five-spoke Magnum Gold cast aluminum wheels look as though they were pulled from the 1982 FXSB, while the gold tank badge was pulled directly from the 1977 XLCR. The drag bars, speed screen, side-mount license plate, bobbed rear fender, and deep-scoop solo seat are all modern takes on the traditional high-performance Harley.

It’s impossible to discuss high-performance Harleys without making mention of the legendary FXR motorcycles of the 1980s and ‘90s, which mixed a stiff, triangulated frame and sporty suspension with a rubber-mounted Big Twin. FXRs have grown in popularity in the past few years, and with that resurgence came a subsequent rise in Dyna interest. But today’s twin-shock enthusiast isn’t looking for the same chopper-esque feel of Willie G’s Shovelhead FX creations. The name of the game today is speed, around corners as much as in a straight line, and the ability to stop. The 2016 Low Rider S delivers on all fronts.

2016 Harley Low Rider S Screamin' Eagle Twin Cam 110 engine

The latest addition to Harley’s Dyna range is equipped with the Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110 engine, a forward-facing Screamin’ Eagle Heavy Breather performance intake and Fat Bob-style 2-into-2 exhaust.

The Low Rider S sports a set of premium adjustable emulsion-type shock absorbers at the rear and a premium ride cartridge fork suspension at the front, good for 2.13″ and 5.1″ of travel respectively. Although rear travel seems short, the premium adjustable shocks held their own while carving California’s canyons for over 100 miles. Unlike typical stock shocks, these didn’t bottom out once on me, and they kept the rear of the Dyna tracking through turns as if it were on rails. The improvement in the front isn’t as obvious, but undoubtedly aids in the bike’s road manners.

The Low Rider S sports 28-1/2-degree left- and 27-1/2-degree right-lean angles, which leaves some lean room to be desired, although as I found out you can go right up to and past the pegs around turns. In fact, after about an hour of spirited riding, your pegs should be worn down enough to increase those angles. Any new buyer should just consider footpegs a regularly replaceable maintenance item thanks to the 4.1″ of ground clearance. That low center of gravity and 27″ unladen seat height also make the S easy to control and predictable even when sparks are flying. The sticky Michelin Scorcher tires still have some tread left once you run out of bike, which further improves confidence.

2016 Harley Low Rider S first ride

Tyler cracks the throttle on the 2016 Low Rider S and said he likes the Twin Cam 110 platform in this Dyna. 

Wait, there’s more! For the full ride review, custom bike features, tech stories and more,
CLICK HERE American Iron Issue 338

Also available in digital format CLICK HERE American Iron Digital

Harley Low Rider S Dyna

“Riders have been asking when Harley-Davidson would build another aggressive, performance-based bike like the legendary FXR models,” said Harley-Davidson Director of Styling Brad Richards.