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Dyna vs softail

Softail Models

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Old May 10th, 2010, 12:01 PM     #1
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Smile Dyna vs softail

In your opinion which family would be the better way to go the Dyna or the Softail family not taking into account the touring family . My son-in-law wants to buy his first Harley and I'd like him to get the best for his buck . I'm parcial towards the softails but that's me . I just read a thread where the fx models don't have a grease fitting to grease the head bearings seems kinda odd to me . I know the dyna's are rubber mounted and the softails are rigid . He can't afford a brand new one so in buying a used one I'd like him to get one that will give him the least amount of trouble and yes I already know any of them can be trouble but you know what I mean . Any thoughts or ideas of any problem areas would be appreaciated . PS not trying to start any wars over mines the best or yours is the best just trying to look out for his best interests since he can't buy new if you know what i mean .
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Old May 10th, 2010, 12:14 PM     #2
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Re: Dyna vs softail

softail is the way i would go. But I may be partial to softails since i own one. like the guy above me said, have him sit on them and see what he likes...
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Old May 10th, 2010, 12:23 PM     #3
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Re: Dyna vs softail

You said "first Harley" so I'm assuming it's not his first motorcycle. In that case he has a motorcycle endorsement on his license. You can't just sit on a motorcycle in a showroom and pick one out. He's got to ride one or two models within each family. Even better to rent for a full day when he gets down to his final 2 choices since a 20 minute demo ride can be quite different than a 300 mile day in the saddle. He should factor in what type of riding he'll primarily be doing. Any 2 up? Overnight trips or just day cruising?

By the way - you're a very thoughtful father-in-law to be getting so involved in his decision and going out of the way to gather input and help him out. Sure hope he appreciates it!
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Old May 10th, 2010, 12:38 PM     #4
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Re: Dyna vs softail

Couple of quick thoughts:

Depending on how mechanically inclined you and your son-in-law are will affect what YEAR/engine model to look for. The EVO engine based models will likely be your best bet from a cost stand point, and are GREAT learning platforms for the simple maintenance associated with DIY. The EVOs remove the worry about the cam chain tensioners issue, the cam support plate bearing and the runout potential problem that are a concern in the early TC engine models.

If you have decided on the TC for the EFI, bear in mind the issues listed above for the pre 2006 (Dyna) and 2007 (Softail and the rest) models. The 2007s had some issues too.

So how much you are gonna want to spend, how much maintenance and repair work you are willing to undertake, and whether you want carb or EFI enter into your decision making. Once those things are thought through, then finding a Dealership that has the used bike configurations you are looking for is just a mission on the phone. Line up 2 or 3 options in each configuration and go see/ride. As mentioned above, if you can get them for an extended period (like a rental) all the better. Not sure you learn much in a ride around the block unless it is an obvious NO!!

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Old May 10th, 2010, 01:46 PM     #5
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Re: Dyna vs softail

I ride a Dyna, but I also tested a Fat boy...
Both are enjoyable.
The reliability is the same.
The weight is slightly higher for the Softail together with a very little reduction in power and torque (because of the internal balancing shaft "sucking" power).
Usually the seat height is lower for Softails (depending on the model though).
Also, the rear tire is wider (beautiful, but higher fuel waste...)

All this is more than 4,000$ difference for new bikes, and the difference remains also for the used ones.

My opinion:
  • if you choose with your head, you probably get a Dyna: more value for money
  • if you choose with your heart.... the one you like most!
For the latter... go to a dealer and "touch" them both, then you can decide.

Ciao
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Old May 10th, 2010, 03:41 PM     #6
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Re: Dyna vs softail

+1 on the "getting out and riding one" not just sitting on it.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 05:11 PM     #7
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Re: Dyna vs softail

In my stable of bikes i have both a softail and a dyna i prefer the softail and wife prefers the dyna so the answer to your question is both have to be tried to see which suits best
Both mine are evos

Brian
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Old May 10th, 2010, 11:50 PM     #8
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Re: Dyna vs softail

You need to take into consideration the type of riding he will be doing. If he will be using it for running around town and a few road trips I'd go with the softail, they are just more comfortable, less wind, less vibration. If he will be using it for just running around town and price is an issue go with the dyna.
I have a dyna, fatboy and a SG. I like them all but ride the SG the most, the fatboy next and the dyna the least.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 09:29 AM     #9
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Re: Dyna vs softail

I just bought my first Harley and I shopped all the different models. I ended up buying a 2010 fatboy. I think the looks of the rear suspension has always pulled me towards the softail family. As far as comfort and power I wouldn't know because I'm a newbie to Harley's. I love my new addition to the family and so will your son in law.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 10:16 AM     #10
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Dyna vs softai

Thanks for saying that , I always look out for my kids best interests , I was young onece an I know I made a lot of stupid mistakes . I want to make sure he doesn't get burned on a piece of junk I want to make sure he doesn't end up with a money pit .

what was the last year for the evo ?
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Last edited by glider; May 11th, 2010 at 10:40 AM. Reason: merged
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