This text was initially printed within the February-March 1998 subject of Cycle World’s Huge Twin journal.
Twenty-six-hundred bucks. That is how a lot cash separates the ’98 Dyna Tremendous Glide from the subsequent least costly Huge Twin. To get a Dyna Convertible or Low Rider, or any Softail, you’re going to have to put out at the very least 25 % greater than you’d for this FXD, Harley’s low-price chief within the Huge Twin line.
For that you simply get loads of bike and never loads of frills. Tachometer? Nope. Simply the singular velocityometer perched on the highest triple-tree, proper above the galvanized steering-head bolt that appears prefer it got here off a tractor. Additional chrome? Nada. Simply the fundamentals and nothing else; even the headlight shell is painted. Blacked-out cylinders with polished fin ends? You’ve received to be kidding. What do you anticipate for $10,865 ($11,zero15 in pearlescent paint)? Definitely not freeway pegs or twin Bob gasoline tanks, or a tufted seat. No, what you get is crucial Huge Twin, and nothing else.
Luckily, Huge Twin essence is fairly neat stuff. The FXD makes use of the identical fundamental engine and transmission as all different Huge Twins, however at lower than 600 kilos dry, it’s the lightest of the bunch. And whereas all of the Softails have been given Bonneville gearing (2.93:1 in high) to cut back their shaking at freeway velocity, the Dyna fashions, with their rubber engine mounts, can tolerate shorter gearing—totally 7 % steeper at three.15:1. That has precisely the identical impact as a 7-percent torque enhance.
Consequently, the Tremendous Glide is fast, even with inventory mufflers and air cleaner. It scoots laborious away from a stoplight with nearly no clutch slippage in any respect in first, and it simply clicks on up by way of the gears at a speedy fee. In seemingly no time, you may rise up to the 75-to-80 mph fast-lane cruising velocity that appears to be customary on many freeways lately, and run there all day. The one downside is a slight buzzing within the seat that we haven’t observed on earlier Dynas; handgrips and footpegs are lifeless clean at these speeds.
Equally spectacular is the smoothness of shifting. Harley hasn’t been speaking about any modifications in engine design, however all latest fashions we’ve ridden—together with this FXD—have shifted noticably higher than bikes constructed a number of years in the past. Attribute a few of that to refinements within the clutch which have lowered clutch drag; The Motor Firm shifted clutch-plate suppliers in 1994. If a clutch disengages totally and cleanly, impartial is simpler to seek out and shifting effort is lowered. As well as, Harley has overhauled its complete gear manufacturing operation with the set up of pricy, German gear-grinding machines; and maybe tolerances all through the transmission have additionally improved. Or maybe the high-contact-ratio gears that had been substituted a number of years in the past to cut back noise make the distinction. Regardless of the trigger, we will all admire shifting that’s extra “click on” than “clunk.”
When the Dynas had been designed, they got a one-piece steering-head funding casting that was jigged to the remainder of the body independently of the particular steering bearing places. What this implies is that Harley can simply manufacture Dynas with completely different head angles.
In case you favor the raked-out look, the Tremendous Glide isn’t the bike for you; just like the Convertible, it runs a 28-degree head angle. That doesn’t end result within the lengthy, customized look of a Low Rider, which has a 32-degree head angle that pushes its entrance wheel totally three inches farther ahead than the Tremendous Glide’s, however that conservative angle does end in the most effective steering of any Huge Twin. With simply four.1 inches of path, the FXD entrance finish doesn’t flop side-to-side at parking-lot-speed turns the best way some extra raked-out Harley fashions will, and it doesn’t require every day exercises at Gold’s Gymnasium to show at velocity. It simply goes the place you level it readily and simply, shortly constructing confidence with the steering stability.
With about three-quarters of an inch much less suspension journey than a Convertible, the Tremendous Glide sits an inch-and-a-quarter decrease on its thinner seat, and it affords barely much less floor clearance before the footpegs and sidestand start to the touch down round corners. However that received’t occur till you’ve about doubled the quantity posted on a kind of yellow curve-warning indicators. That is one good-handling Huge Twin.
You’d assume that the solo entrance disc may not be as much as the duty, since the remainder of Harley’s lineup is quickly going the dual-disc route. However the FXD is gentle, and the corporate has been rising the leverage for all its entrance brakes by lowering the grasp cylinder piston dimension; so, the Tremendous Glide’s singular entrance brake stops it simply positive. The twin discs of different fashions usually are not noticeably extra highly effective.
Using Impression Of The 1999 Harley-Davidson FXST Softail Normal — From The Archives
Rock-bottom value, rock-solid perfomance
Maybe the one element not included on the Tremendous Glide that’s actually missed are freeway pegs—although the brackets stay on the body for his or her mounting. With its low seat and the normal, alongside-the-engine footpeg location, the FXD isn’t a roomy trip. So, when you’re aspiring to do any touring on a Tremendous Glide, it is best to plan on filling these empty brackets first.
Which brings up the perfect position for the FXD: clean pallette on which to attract your personal supreme Huge Twin, with out leaving a bunch of pricy, “Reside to Trip, Trip to Reside” medallions piled up within the nook of your storage once you’re executed. This easiest of Huge Twins has nearly nothing on it that it doesn’t want; so, once you start modifying it, you’ll merely find yourself trashing fewer inventory elements. With its good dealing with, gentle weight and rubber-mounted engine, it’s the perfect foundation for a performance-oriented customized; and the cash you saved on its buy will purchase loads of hot-rod elements.
Need to enhance the braking to present, state-of-the-art ranges? Effectively, take solace in the truth that you’ll solely should dispose of 1 inventory front-brake caliper on the swap meet, not two. Need extra floor clearance? You may jack the FXD as much as Convertible ranges, and find yourself with higher-quality aftermarket suspension parts than the stockers. Need to go touring? There’s a variety of saddles, luggage and windscreens obtainable that can bolt proper on. About the one factor that can be troublesome to do is construct an extended, low customized from this Tremendous Glide; the inventory body doesn’t lend itself to the stretched-out look, and customized builders will inform you that it’s not definitely worth the appreciable trouble to rake out a inventory Dyna chassis. If that’s the look you’re after, begin with one other bike, or else plan on shopping for an aftermarket body.
No, the FXD Tremendous Glide is essentially the most function-intensive of the Huge Twins. It affords higher steering, much less weight and extra inventory efficiency than anything within the line.
If enhancing these traits even farther appeals to you, and when you’re way more focused on clear, easy seems than within the final customized design assertion, you couldn’t discover a higher—or inexpensive—place to start out.