The 2016 Harley Switchback

The Harley Switchback, Cruiser or Touring Bike

A while back I wrote about Yamaha’s V Star 1300 Tourer. I mention it in passing but you may not have to look twice to see how much these two bikes look alike. The 2016 Harley Switchback is built on Harley’s Dyna frame and is powered by the Air-cooled, Twin Cam 103 (1690 cc). The name Switchback comes from its ability to go from cruiser to touring bike and back rather quickly and without much work. Whether you are planning to take it on a cross country adventure or just sporting around town or shorter drives, this bike changes its complexion in just minutes.

Harley’s marketing literature is quick to point out the versatility of the Switchback. Touring bike or cruiser or anywhere in between. Emphasis is placed on the riding experience which was inspired by the choppers of the 70’s and post war bobbers. The execution of those inspirations is spot on. The Harley Switchback is a looker. And it’s a remarkably nice riding looker.

The 1690 cc V Twin Power

Besides the great nostalgic looks, the Switchback has one very potent power plant. The 1690 cc V Twin has the power and torque to get you going. Fast. I can’t adequately articulate the rush that comes from riding this bike. The seat height is low enough so that I felt stable immediately despite the size of the Switchback. Sit down, fire it up, and go!

Ok, so the power is “authoritative” or “pronounced”. The handling is “sporty” or “nimble”. Cornering is just plain fun. Braking is just as impressive as the engine is powerful. There isn’t much flex in the chassis which lends to the solid feel.

Does The Switchback Have a Downside?

You can tell by now that I really like the Harley Switchback. I do. What’s not to like? I really have to say that there isn’t much not to like except. The price. The basic price is $17,199.00. There are a couple options that will push this up but if you’re ok with the base price a few more hundred for this and that probably won’t sway you.

What the hell, the Switchback is a Harley, through and through. And a very good one. If the price isn’t a show stopper, go for it. If the price is a showstopper check out the V Star 1300. But, it’s not a Harley.

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