Two of the most skillfully crafted models in the Dyna family, the Super Glide and Super Glide Custom carry on being produced as 2009 model years with little but significant changes and actually manage to look like being in a class of their own as they are long, refined and pretty much reduced to the very essence of riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in style.
The bikes will indeed go for the long haul, but there are no fancy on board systems such as a GPS, radar detector or anything like that. On this thing it’s just rider and machine, pure passion and the open road, all for $12 respectively $13 grand.
Harley-Davidson builds the two Dyna models around the very same engine, a massive torque providing air-cooled, Twin Cam displacing 96 cubic inches and which, fed through an electronic sequential port fuel injection system, develops 92 ft lbs of torque from as low as 3,000 rpm.
Looking good down the boulevard and riding economical down the highway is the perfect balance that the simple and custom Super Glide models achieve as both represent the original American style without the original fuel consumption. Now, thanks to the six-speed Cruise Drive transmission that Harley fits on the bikes, claimed highway mpg is 54 and taking in consideration the 4.8 gallons tank capacity (5.0 gallons on the Custom model) too, traveling range is excellent.
The seats are both positioned at no more than 27.0 inches from the ground despite the fact that the Dyna Super Glide has a solo seat and the Dyna Super Glide Custom a passenger seat too and both models come with mid-mount foot controls, but while the simple base model comes with low-rise handles, the Custom one features mini pullback handlebar. That would be a first difference. The other and most striking one is the wheel style – cast aluminum ones on the simple Dyna and chrome laced steel ones on the Custom. In both cases, we’re dealing with 19-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels.
Once again, Harley-Davidson builds virtually the same bike in slightly different styles and shows how big of a difference can a pair of wheels and different paintjobs do to the numbers on the sales charts.
The FX Super Glide was first introduced in 1971 as a combination between the already existing FLH Electra Glide and XLH Sportster models. The bike had come to meet the demands of riders who simply couldn’t be satisfied with neither the Electra Glide nor the Sportster and who have always looked for means to blend the two styles by modifying the chassis. The bike carried on through the 1970s and in 1974 it got a much needed electric starter.
The early 1980s saw the introduction of the FXR Super Glide, a more refined version of the original as it featured lighter frame tubes and a rubber-mounted engine. A five-speed gearbox had come to replace the previous four-speed one.
Various models (FXDB Daytona, FXDC Dyna Glide Custom, FXRT Sport Glide, FXDL Dyna Low Rider, FXRS-Conv Convertible, FXRS-SP Low Rider Sport and FXDWG Dyna Wide Glide) were introduced through the 1990s and each one of those brought a major contribution to the overall evolution of the Dyna family.
2005 brought the Super Glide Custom and in 2007, the Twin Cam 88 engine was replaced by the Twin Cam 96.
Motorcycles such as the 2008 Honda VTX1800F , the 2009 Star Raider/Raider S and even the 2009 Suzuki Boulevard M90 seem to fade away when it comes to bikes manufactured by the maker which started it all. None of the Japanese builders will ever manage to offer this much diversity and the same riding feel as Harley does simply because they don’t go the same way back and aren’t dedicated to building cruisers only.
Harley-Davidson motorcycles are first heard before they’re seen, but when it comes to this last part, things prove looking as good as they sound from the very simple reason that the American company has remained true to the style that consecrated it.
The 2009 Dyna Super Glide does feature a new low profile front fender and a wrap-around rear one, new fuel sender and graphics, but overall it looks like a modern interpretation of what Willie G. Davidson visualized when first designing the bike back in the early 1970s. The engine is powder coated and features chromed cylinder heads, the seat is a solo unit and the shorty exhaust pipes not only manage to stand out, but enhance the refined look of the bike. Also, on the Dyna Super Glide, we’re dealing with a discrete headlight and new silver-faced speedometer with range countdown. Color options are Vivid Black and Pewter Pearl.
The 2009 Dyna Super Glide Custom is derived from the simple model so apart from the Fat Bob gas tank with chrome tank console and console-mounted speedometer, two-up ribbed seat, pullback handlebars and chrome laced steel wheels with standard spokes there isn’t much to help set it apart from the standard model. I almost forgot. The new Red Hot Sunglo, Two-Tone Flame Blue Pearl/Pewter Pearl color schemes and the already present on previous model years Vivid Black; Dark Blue Pearl and Two-Tone Vivid Black/Pewter Pearl paintjobs do help set the bike apart as being a Custom.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the 2009 Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide starts at $11,999 while the corresponding Custom version will add $1000 to that MSRP. Considering the fact that Japanese bikes start in the same range, we can’t help noticing how good bangs for the buck these Harley models actually are.
Having come such a long way, the original Dyna Super Glide motorcycle, now found positioned next to a corresponsive Custom model, stands for the same values as it did when originally introduced: the freedom to ride on a never ending road in the style that you’ve longed for and just discovered as being the right one for you.
Engine and Transmission
Engine: Air-cooled, Twin Cam 96®
Displacement: 96.00 cu. in.
Bore x Stroke: 3.740 in. / 4.380 in. / 3.750 in. x 4.380 in. - Custom model
Engine Torque: 92.00 ft lbs @ 3,000 rpm
Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Compression Ratio: 9.2:1
Miles per Gallon: 54 hwy / 35 city / 53 hwy / 34 city - Custom model
Primary Drive: Chain, 34/46 ratio
Gear Ratio (overall)
Chassis and Dimensions
Brakes: 4-piston fixed front, and 2-piston torque-free floating rear
Parking Brake: N/A
Lean Angle (per SAEJ1168): 34° / 32°
Exhaust System: Chrome, staggered shorty exhaust w/ dual mufflers
Front Wheel: Silver, 10-Spoke Cast Aluminum / Chrome, Laced Steel - Custom model
Rear Wheel: Silver, 10-Spoke Cast Aluminum / Chrome, Laced Steel - Custom model
Wheel Option: N/A / Chrome, Profile Laced Aluminum, front and rear - Custom model
Front Tire: 100/90-19 57H
Rear Tire: 160/70B17 73V
Length: 92.8 in. / 92.9 in. - Custom
Seat Height: 26.6 in. (Laden) / 27.6 in. (Unladen) / 26.8 in. (Laden) / 27.8 in. (Unladen)
Ground Clearance: 5.32 in.
Rake Steering Head/Trail: 29° / 4.70 in.
Wheelbase: 64.2 in.
Track Width: N/A
Fuel Capacity: 4.8 gal. / 5.0 gal. - Custom
Oil Capacity: 3.0 qt.
Dry Weight: 632.0 lbs. / 645.0 lbs. - Custom
Running Order: 663.0 lbs. / 676.0 lbs. - Custom
Instruments: Handlebar-mounted electronic speedometer with odometer, time-of-day clock on odometer, dual tripmeter, fuel gauge with low fuel warning light and countdown feature, low oil pressure indicator light, engine diagnostics readout, LED indicator lights, 6-speed indicator light
Indicator Lamps: High beam, directional light bar, neutral, low oil pressure, engine diagnostics, turn signals, security system6 (optional), 6-speed, low fuel warnings