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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so this is a total newbie questions and for that I apologize in advance.

I'm looking to get a new bike in a few months hopefully (graduating college, getting a "real job") and need some help. What are the main differences between the Softail and Dyna lines? I've had a Sportster before, but other then that my H-D knowledge is seriously lacking I'm afraid. Even if you can just point me towards a good source of info I'd be happy to read through it myself. I just can't seem to glean the main difference between the lines from the H-D website.

I've always thought of the Softail as the quintessential Harley, but I'm really liking some of the Dyna designs too, and some of them appear to be less expensive.

Any help is appreciated in pointing me down the right road. Thanks!
 

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I'm Paid Up...
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A softtail rides very firm, and a dyna rides good. The rear suspension is hidden on the softtail and is tucked horizontally under the trans. Dynas have "conventional" rear suspension geometry. But I guess you have to buy what looks the coolest to you. I have one of each, plus a road king.
 

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Softails have a solid mounted balanced motor and Dynas have a rubber mounted unbalanced motor.
 

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Ironbutt
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slide13 said:
What are the main differences between the Softail and Dyna lines?
Different motor, different suspension, different ride. Other than that they are the same :laugh: Seriously though, before you buy something you really should try to test drive a few models. Some people buy strictly based on looks and then end up regretting that decision.
 

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Lazy 98
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Rent One

Rent one- it's a hundred bucks well spent, considering the investment. For long hauls, the dyna has a 6-spd transmission. The softail is raked out a bit more (classic looks, worse handling), but i liked the balanced motor after having a sportster myself. I rented a Road King, fell in love with a red Dyna low rider, and married a Heritage softail classic.
 

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Think of the Dyna as a "Big Sportster" :-D

I recently stepped from my sportster to a softail (bought the sporty with first paycheck after college). Whole different ride. It handles fine in the turns, but I find I drag things more.

What type of riding did you do on the sportster? If you did a bunch of turns and playful type stuff, you'd probably like a hopped up dyna more. Depending on what you had done to your sportster, any of the bigger bikes may seem a little sluggish to you until you start working on the engine.

I love my softail. I miss the performance of the sporty. People say the softails ride rough, but coming from an '03 sporty, mine rides just fine :)

I agree, though, if you can get a hold of either one for a day... do it. Then make your decision.
 

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Incredible
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They both ride great. Just decide if you want a rubber mounted or hard mounted balanced engine first. That is one of the main differences and also do you want a horseshoe type oil tank that the softail has or a huge square battery box under your seat. There are MANY differences appearence wise, but they both have their own character.

Personally on the Dyna type suspension I would only have a RK Classic since it covers the ugly shocks up with the bags and has the cool white wall tires giving it an old look. Otherwise I have to stick with the Softail family since the shocks are hidden out of the way. Those are just my personal preferences.
 

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Fatb0y said:
....

Personally on the Dyna type suspension I would only have a RK Classic since it covers the ugly shocks up ...

Ahmmmm.... Ain't they two different frames. Did something change this year?? RK is a touring frame not a Dyna frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the info guys, really helps in sorting things out. I do plan to take them for a ride when buying time comes, but right now I'm thinking the Softail is the way I'll go.
 

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Punch It!
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Mike H. said:
The softail is raked out a bit more (classic looks, worse handling)
The 2005 and older dyna wide glides have the same rake as the softails 32*. The 2006 dyna wide glides have a rake of 34* so they have 2* more rake than the softails................Ward
 

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Who, me?
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Slide,

I have a preliminary question - do you have your endorsement yet? If not, concentrate on that rather then the bike you're going to buy. Get to a MSC and it will tell you alot about what kind of bike you're gonna want. If you already have your endorsement, you will still gleen a lot of info from the MSC.


I'm surprised the bagger crowd hasn't piped in yet about how great their Road Kings and E-Glides are.
I personally have a bagger (RK Classic) and it's the best.... How's that Starts? :wootdnc:
 

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Just Sayin'
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Take a Lowrider out for a test run before you buy.........just might change your mind:D :D :D

Dr_Deuce
"But I guess you have to buy what looks the coolest to you. I have one of each, plus a road king.".........Man that must be tough:bowdwn: Which one to ride...hmmmmmm:D :D :D Lucky dog you!:D
 

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:beatdh: I went from a sportster to a Fatboy after extensively test-riding RKs, softails and a dyna (low rider). I'm a day tripper so the FB seemed to me to be the best choice. Suspension wise I think the softail is fine for the rider as you are perched at the point where it flexes. Not so good for the passenger though. You can bounce a passenger right off the sucker. I didn't find significant handling differences and I like the "sit in it" feel of the softail rather than sit on it. I also like the "up-straight-feet on the boards" position of the Fatboy. Lots of things to consider. It's great they make so many as well as one perfect one, the one and only FATBOY.

Lefty
'05 Fatboy (Jolene)
 

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?????
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stratslingr77 said:
I'm surprised the bagger crowd hasn't piped in yet about how great their Road Kings and E-Glides are. %[email protected] :boxin:
did someone say E-Glide....:harhar: Actualy I like softails also, if I had to pick between a Dyna and a Softail I would go with the Softail. The reason I would go with the Softail is the clean lines there are no rear shocks in sight, to me the Softail line doesn't ride that bad they actualy ride a bit smoother over the bumps 2 up than my Ultra does. I've ridden the Heritage Softail Classic and the Softail Deluxe I like them both for cruising around town, when I want to strap on some serious miles then there is nothing like the big road going lazyboy Ultra Classic.
 

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Lazy 98
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bigblock455 said:
The 2005 and older dyna wide glides have the same rake as the softails 32*. The 2006 dyna wide glides have a rake of 34* so they have 2* more rake than the softails................Ward

I stand corrected. Coming from a sporty, though, the first few times i dragged hardware in a turn really woke me up. Also, the front end likes to slide out when the road's wet, unless you get rid of the stock tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
If by endorsement you mean my motorcycle license, then yeah, got that a few years ago right before I got my sportster. If you mean something else, please fill me in because I'm not familiar with the terminology.

Thanks again to all for the great info, this has really helped me to clear things up as to the differences between the models. I'm leaning towards the Softail right now, but still giving it some thought. Went to the dealer today to have a look around...ended up drooling over a few things for a while. Wish I had the $$$ now, it's about 60* out and sunny here today...great day to go for a ride if only I had a bike. Oh well, few more months hopefully and I'll be rolling. Thanks again!
 
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