If I had to describe the new for 2006 Harley-Davidson FXDLI Dyna Low Rider in one word, I’d call it predictable. The Dyna Low Rider is not necessarily boring, but reliable. The bike reacts well to rider inputs, and the road, exactly as you’d expect it to.
As the name suggests, the Dyna Low Rider boasts a low seat height of just 26.8 inches, allowing even vertically challenged riders such as myself the confidence of flat-footing the pavement, which is a nice feeling on a large machine. The Dyna Low Rider is no lightweight, tipping the scales at 641 pounds dry and 672 pounds with fluids, but the bike is well mannered and makes its heft known only during slow, tight maneuvers.
Harley’s Dyna Low Rider is an open road bike, so the riding position is extremely comfortable and forgiving. Relaxing, even. Mid-mount pegs and controls situate the rider’s feet in a natural position, and the bars angle back far enough to put the grips within an easy reach from an upright seated position. For long stretches of highway the Dyna Low Rider provides a pair of highway pegs up front as well, in case you feel the need to stretch your legs.
Our demo also came with a dealer installed back rest and wind screen. Riding one up the backrest was just along for the ride, but I found the windscreen to be at an awkward height. At five foot six I’m just tall enough to stare directly through the top edge of the screen, which can be distracting. Aside from that minor irritation the screen did its job well, with minimal wind buffeting at interstate speeds. Of course, with Harley-Davidson’s extensive accessory catalog you should be able to find a windscreen, or any other accessory to your liking.
Sequential port fuel injection comes as standard equipment on the 2006 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider’s twin cam 88 cubic inch V-twin. In previous years it had been an extra cost option. Fire up the big twin and it settles into a nice steady idle, and the bike shivers in place like any good Harley should. On the road the engine makes good linear power with a pleasant absence of peaks and valleys in the power band, and a pleasant exhaust tone.
Another new feature on the 2006 Dyna Low Rider is the all new CruiseDriveTM overdrive six speed transmission providing improved fuel economy with a claimed 50mpg highway and 44mpg city. The bike will cruise all day at an indicated 60mph turning just 2,400 rpm. The six speed on our demo bike shifted smooth like butter, a notable improvement over the sometimes chunky transmissions of older models. Coming off of the I-64 acceleration lane the Low Rider let me row through the gears in a series of quick shifts, merging into interstate traffic with plenty of power to spare.
As a bonus to the smooth new transmission, the Low Rider’s clutch offers great feel with super light effort. Harley-Davidson engineers worked hard to improve all of the 2006 HD models, with a reduced clutch effort high on their priority list. The Dyna series benefitted most, with a claimed 35% reduction in clutch pull effort.
Dual rear shocks combined with new for 2006 49mm forks and 160/70B17 rear and 100/90-19 front tires do an incredible job of smoothing out Hampton Roads’ interstates without drama, or a bruised bottom. Single disc brakes up front are more than adequate, proven by a cell phone wielding Mercedes driver who forced me to grab a handful of brakes as he cut me off on Virginia Beach Boulevard. The bike, and the brakes responded steadily and predictably.
The tank mounted speedometer and tach are easy to read and feature a classic design fitting the rest of the bike. The filler cap on the left side of the fuel tank is actually not a removable cap at all – it’s a cleverly disguised fuel gauge.
The warning lights and turn signal indicator lights are neatly located in a rectangular screen mounted in the center of the handlebar. Self-cancelling turn signals with left and right side handlebar switches, while not a new feature to Harley-Davidson are a welcomed convenience to riders accustomed to cancelling their own signals.
With a host of improvements for 2006 combined with a range of available factory options and accessories, the FXDLI and its Dyna family members offer an excellent combination of comfort and reliability in a classically styled and user friendly package.
This article was originally written for Octane Magazine in 2006. The 2006 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider demo bike was provided by Southside Harley-Davidson in Virginia Beach, VA.