It was very possibly somewhat un-Australian to be riding a Harley on Australia day, but hey we don’t make any bikes here! Not anything worthwhile anyway.
I had the choice of sitting in a park all day or getting on board a Harley Davidson Dyna Super Glide 35th anniversary edition. I was up at the crack of dawn to pick it up.
There is something about the simplicity of the Dyna family that appeals to me. To me, they represent the quintessential Harley with the timeless styling and more on the bike than necessary.
This particular model was the 2006 35th Anniversary Dyna Super Glide, which just looks super cool. This model was styled to resemble the original 1971 Dyna, but even if you didn’t know that the bike looks great. Plenty of chrome, bike-specific details and a grand retro colour scheme. Never thought a white paint job would appeal to me, but it’s impressive what combinations of design can do to change your mind.
35th Anniversary edition - What’s new?
Nuts’ bolts it wasn’t much different than your standard super glide custom, so most of the goodies are cosmetic, but they do make the bike special. An array of badges chrome and the red-white-blue colour scheme pull it together nicely. The blacked out frame recedes to make sure the engine stands out nicely. A personal choice but I’m not a fan when HD paint the frame bright colours (screaming eagle Dynas or deuces for example). A silver powder-coated engine with chrome covers look a cut above the standard and in the long run, probably saves you a few bobs at the “mods and upgrades” section of your local HD dealer.
Harley Dyna Original colours from 1971
The 35th anni’ Dyna Super Glide was built a year before they started rolling out the 96 cubic inch engine, so it fired up with the trusty 88, which is plenty anyway. The Vibration-isolated Twin Cam 88 shakes plenty on idle but smooths right out once you get rolling. The idle-shake adds to the character, which I never found annoying, and it always let me know I was on an American classic. This particular bike had some unbranded free-breathing pipes, which not only breathed but also blew the doors of the garage on start-up.
Been a while since I’ve been on an obnoxiously loud bike that was fun while it lasted! Up front, the standard single disc stopper mounted on a slim spoked wheel looks the part and adds to the relatively nimble handling. Up to the back a 160mm tire with the same retro-spoke treatment. The mid-mounted pegs on the Dyna Super Glide give a good riding position unless you’re a rider who prefers the “couch recliner” position. I’m 180cm, and it was just right, but I get the feeling tall riders would feel a little cramped on long rides. Easy fix though, a set of forward controls would also improve the ground clearance a bit too.
Rolling off, the Dyna’s weight disappears in a wave of torque and slow speed manoeuvring is simple due to the low centre of gravity like most Harleys. Don’t park it on a downward slope front-to-curb because this baby doesn’t have reverse and your perceived coolness will vanish with you desperately trying to heave the Dyna uphill.
Cruising along the motorway towards the mountains gave me a chance to wind in on a bit, and I was surprised that the dunk on this bike revved out far more than expected. Probably the pipes and a better cleaner gave it a better set of lungs. Things just got a whole lot more enjoyable from that point on. The sound, the acceleration and overall grin factor went up with the revs. This Dyna is not equipped with a tacho, probably to keep the clean look, but I would have liked to see what it was pulling at the rev limiter. From the last big Harley, I rode I couldn’t recall they wanted to rev so much or sounds so good doing it. This one was on loan, so likely had a few mods that made it more spritely.
A HOG that like curves
My next big surprise was the corners. Assuming this beast would be a bit reluctant in the twisties, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to the mountain climb, but boy was I wrong. Not to say the Dyna is a Superbike by any means, but keeping things within reason, it was a real treat to throw about, and the ground clearance was much better than I expected. I had a lowered Fatboy on loan once, and I had to give it back after 2o mins because I was afraid there would be nothing left of it when I got back. To touch down when you are giving a cruiser a proper flogging is fine, but to be dragging the hard parts on every corner is just stupid.
Flogging the HOG
So while I’m not pretending this Dyna Super Glide is a race bike, you can ride it pretty fast with decent cornering ability. I’m told by a lot of HD die-hards the Dyna is the best handling and I tend to agree. Most people won’t buy a Harley to ride the pants off it, but it’s good to know that it has a bit of bite along with that bark. Steady in the corners at speed and the clearance made swinging this hog enjoyable. No doubt your local friendly HD dealer can sell you plenty more go-fast parts to hustle the hog some more, but let me tell you it goes pretty well straight out of the wrapper.
The pull-back broad bars are comfy and aid in tipping the Dyna in the corners, the rest of the switchgear is pretty standard fare. The only tacho on the tank seems a little out of range, which had me looking down at it continuously (who goes for an epic bike ride on a double-demerit weekend??). The cool thing about Harleys is that with all the noise and wind-blast, you always feel like our going faster than you are. Which is excellent in this country of ours where losing your license is almost a hobby for any biker.
I spent around 10 hours straight on this Dyna Super Glide, and overall, I can say it was comfortable. The rider’s seat was standard - firm enough but not sponge-bob. Can’t say the same for the passage perch, but that is expected- any setup for a long-distance passenger just doesn’t look quite as cool.
All up I enjoyed the 35th Anniversary Dyna experience. It looks great, goes well and has enough unique styling to stand apart from the regular hog.
FXDI35 Dyna 35th Anniversary Super Glide features:
- Vibration-isolated Twin Cam 88 engine with ESPFI
- Silver powder-coated engine with chrome covers
- Chrome staggered shorty dual exhaust
- New 6-speed Cruise Drive transmission
- New 49 mm forks
- New 29 degree fork angle/29 degree steering head angle
- Mini pull-back handlebarsFat Bob fuel tank
- Leather console with single speedometer
- Mid-mounted foot controls
- Ribbed two-up seat
- Chrome battery side cover
- Chrome Aluminum Profile Laced wheels
- New wrap-around rear fender
- New 160 mm rear tire
- Chrome belt guard, sprocket cover, electrical panel cover and coil cover
- Anniversary fuel tank medallions and decals
- Anniversary Number One logo on fuel tank
- Anniversary label on air cleaner and battery box
- Red-white-blue paint scheme with front and rear fender stripes
- Serialised production limited to 3,500 units