What sets the Low Rider apart from the rest of the Dyna models is the fact that it looks like the closest thing to a Sportster and it has the 1,584 cc engine so it gets the best of both worlds at no great expense. Destined to riders who simply can’t get enough of the Sportster style, but which crave for a healthier engine grunt and the benefits of a six-speed tranny, the Low Rider is one of those bikes that everyone ordered at a custom bike builder before Harley-Davidson introduced it.
It’s all about meeting everyone’s demands and because the low rider style originated in owner’s garages and chop shops, Harley had no other choice than to give particular builders credit and start work from where these firsts originally arrived. This is how the 2009 Dyna Low Rider is pretty much reduced to its bare necessities while comfort, looks and performance stick to the American Company’s standards.
The engine is the same Twin Cam 96 V-twin behind the Dyna lineup, one that is vibration isolated and exploited through a six-speed gearbox. Weighing 672 lbs, around 100 pounds more than the Sportster 1200 Low and benefiting of 92.00 ft. lbs. of torque at 3,000 rpm instead of only 79.00 ft. lbs. of torque 4,000 rpm on the Sportster, the Low Rider is indeed a step further, but no dramatic one as the engine is less of a revver compared to the Sportster.
Other benefits of the aptly-named Dyna Low Rider consist in it providing a low center of gravity with 25.8-inch seat height, stylized low-profile suspension and raked-out forks. Pull-back handlebar riser, mid-mount foot controls and standard highway pegs add to functional ergonomics and long-range comfort.
Harley-Davidson first introduced the FXS Low Rider more than three decades ago (in 1977, to be precise) as a totally unique factory motorcycle eager to benefit of the continuously expanding custom style. The first engine it got was the 1,200cc (74 c.i.) shovelhead which was enough powerful for the time (60 hp), but which still was replaced by a slightly more powerful (65 hp) 1,340 cc one in 1979. The bike stood out as a custom thanks to being low and to the 32-degrees rake.
The early 1980s brought dual disk brakes and a less vibrating 1,340cc Evolution engine with entirely redesigned components which ensured greater reliability. The bike was by now called FXR Low Rider.
Due to the Dyna chassis received in the early 1990s (still, they kept the 32-degree rake) and the 1995 resurrection, the bike ended up as FXDL Dyna Low Rider.
In 1997 Harley added new spring rates so that the bike would perform better around the corners.
In 2006, the now 88 c.i. FXDLI Lowrider was lined up to the rest of the Dyna models in what concerns the 29-degree rake. The next biggest upgrade came in 2008 together with the 96 c.i engine.
As modern and refined the 2009 model year might be, the similarities to the early models are there for a trained eye to see. For instance, the black 10-spoke cast aluminum wheels (19 inches front and 17 inches rear) resemble the original mag wheels, the Fat Bob fuel tank is also a feature that the latest model year shares with the first ones and so are the low-rise handlebars.
The headlight is small and the front fender nicely contoured around the custom front wheel, just like on the Sportster models. Powder-coated and featuring chrome covers, the engine is this bike’s biggest advantage over any Sportster model and it looks good too. So does the chrome staggered shorty dual exhaust (and there’s another feature shared with those first models).
Not only the seat is positioned at just 25.8 inches from the ground, but the passenger one will work as a backrest for the rider and, also taking in consideration the lowered suspension, this bike does make a low rider out of each one of you out there.
Color options are surely worthy of a custom - Vivid Black; Black Pearl; Red Hot Sunglo (New); Two-Tone Vivid Black/Mirage Orange Pearl; Two-Tone Black Ice/Blue Ice (Custom Color Available October through December 2008); Two-Tone Light Candy Root Beer/Dark Candy Root Beer (Custom Color Available January through March 2009); Two-Tone Big Purple Flake/Brilliant Silver (Custom Color Available April through May 2009)
The only bad news is that the color options also have an influence on the price although not a dramatic one. So the starting prices go as such: $ 15,099 for the simple Black paintjob, $ 15,444 for any of the other single colors, $ 15,754 for the two-tone ones and $ 15,924 for the Custom colors.
We haven’t yet gotten the change to test ride the 2009 Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider, but one thing is for certain – this model is an invitation to ride from the very first glance so we’ll be coming up with a full review as soon as we get it underneath us.
Engine and Transmission
Displacement: 96.00 cu. in.
Engine: Air-cooled, Twin Cam 96®
Bore x Stroke: 3.75 in. x 4.38 in.
Engine Torque: 92.00 ft lbs @ 3000 rpm
Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Compression Ratio: 9.2:1
Miles per Gallon: 53 hwy / 34 city
Primary Drive: Chain, 34/46 ratio
Gear Ratio (overall)
Chassis and Dimensions
Brakes: 4-piston front and 2-piston torque-free floating rear
Parking Brake: N/A
Lean Angle (per SAEJ1168): 31° / 30.5°
Exhaust System: Chrome, staggered shorty exhaust w/ dual mufflers
Front Wheel: Black, 10-Spoke Cast Aluminum
Rear Wheel: Black, 10-Spoke Cast Aluminum
Wheel Option: Chrome, Profile Laced Aluminum, front and rear
Front Tire: 100/90-19 57H
Rear Tire: 160/70B17 73V
Length: 93.1 in.
Seat Height: 25.8 in. (laden) / 26.8 in. (unladen)
Ground Clearance: 4.92 in.
Rake Steering Head/Trail: 29° / 4.50 in.
Wheelbase: 64.6 in.
Track Width: N/A
Fuel Capacity: 4.8 gal.
Oil Capacity: 3.0 qt.
Dry Weight: 641.0 lbs.
Running Order: 672.0 lbs.
Instruments: Tank-mounted electronic speedometer with odometer, time-of-day clock on odometer, dual tripmeter, fuel gauge with low fuel warning light and countdown feature, engine diagnostics readout, tachometer, 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