Harley-Davidson introduces new rear suspension for 2006 and up Dyna motorcycle models.
This may not sound like breaking news coming from the brand, but Harley-Davidson makes a big deal about listening to feedback from riders. Many H-D’s have been plagued by poor suspension, and product reps enthusiastically responded by introducing upgraded suspension parts for all ’06 and later Dyna models.
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A result of miles of high-speed track testing, harsh road driving, lab testing, direct comparison with competitive products, and extensive consumer feedback, the system includes a single cartridge fork kit with a triple rate spring and revised shock valving as well as a pair of nitrogen-charged rear coil-overs with infinitely-adjustable threaded spring preload perches.
It all sounded impressive, but you can’t ride PowerPoint presentations and engineering diagrams, so Harley-Davidson had the new suspension parts installed on a few Dyna models for us to sample. My ride for the afternoon was with this factory-modified Street Bob. Note the gloss black fork tubes and upgraded coil-overs.
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Important to Get it Right, Easy to Adjust
It’s critical to dial in the correct amount of spring preload to get the most benefit from these parts. The process is easy, too, because the kit comes with a ruled spanner to measures the free (unloaded) spring height. The instructions include a chart telling you where to set the preload, based on rider weight.
I’m a skinny dude, so they had to crank out quite a bit of preload. With the suspension set-up correctly, I found the ride to be very comfortable. Normally, I’m bounced off the seats of most motorcycles over relatively small ruts in the road, yet I experienced none of that during our two-hour ride over nearly every road surface you can imagine. The ride was compliant, without being mushy, floating, or harsh. The bike always felt solid, planted, and reassuring.