The biggest difference between the Switchback and other Dynas we’ve experienced is the ride-quality. The Switchback is very neutral and steers with little input from the rider. Harley has got it together with the suspension too - the cartridge-type front forks aren’t adjustable but they don’t really need to be and the two rear shocks work well too. While the stylish set-up of one front caliper copes surprisingly well, preference for total stopping power would involve a dual disc set up. But it was the ABS that surprised us most. Firstly, by not being so openly noticeable and, secondly, because it doesn’t intrude until the last possible moment.
The Twin Cam 103 is a torque-monster and it has to be to pull 330kg in the smooth, compliant way it does. It doesn’t feel particularly powerful because peak torque of 93ftlb is at just 3,500rpm and the engine doesn’t rev much higher than this. Simply put, this Twin Cam engine is the finest air-cooled motor from Milwaukee yet. Even the gearbox is decent - a bit noisy and clunky in the first two gears maybe, but like the other four gears they too slot home and stay there.
They may look old but Harleys have always been relatively reliable bikes and there's no reason the Switchback should be any different.
The removable screen and panniers are standard items in the Switchback’s £13,499 price (£13,799 for red or silver models). But whichever colour scheme is chosen, both are considerably cheaper than any of the present Harley-Davidson Touring range.
Being a Dyna model, the Switchback is a traditional-styled heavyweight cruiser with visible rear twin-shock suspension and a large capacity engine (1690cc). But with the addition of a quick-to-fit tall, clear screen and solid, lockable panniers the Switchback becomes a viable touring machine too, so you're essentially getting two bikes for one. The black five-spoke, blade-like wheels with polished rims are cool and make the chromed headlight, handlebars and fork shrouds stand out even more.