2006 Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Line Features Redesigned, 6-Speed Dynas and More New Bikes

Harley-Davidson's 2006 Motorcycle line.

For 2006, Harley-Davidson has retooled its entire Dyna family of motorcycles with a new six-speed gearbox, new frame geometry, and 49mm forks. The Dyna line also gets two new models, the FXDBI Street Bob and the FXDI35, a 35th-anniversary version of the Super Glide. There is a new member of the liquid-cooled VRSC series, the VRSCD Night Rod, and a sleek new touring family member, the FLHX/I Street Glide, Finally, the classically styled FLST/I Heritage Softail returns to that family's line.

There are also a number of changes and improvements thoughout the line, although the widespread use of the 1550cc engine that many anticipated is not one of them. The touring series in particular see many upgrades. We will be riding these bikes in the next few days and will post our impressions then.

Dyna Family

The Dynas have been completely overhauled with the new frame with a 160mm rear tire, a six-speed "Cruiser Drive" transmission. beefy 49mm-diameter fork legs and more. The FXDX model has been discontinued, but two new Dyna models have been introduced.

The FXDBI Street Bob is stripped-down, single-seat version of the Dyna, with the minimalist style that you might see in a stripped-down homebuilt custom. Styling highlights include a 29-degree steering head and fork angle, "Mini ape-hanger" handlebar, speedo set on the Fat Bob fuel tank, a new wrap-around rear fender over a 160mm rear tire, wire-spoke wheels, mid-mouint footpegs and congtrols, Street Bob air cleaner trim ring, special tank emblems, and a wrinkle-black finish on the console, belt guard, and battery cover, which has polished trim. Fuel-injection is standard. The base MSRP is $13,195 in black or $13,480 for another color.

There limited-production 35th anniversary Super Glide commemorates the introduction of the very first factory-built cruiser. Although it (happily) skips the boattail of the original, the 2006 features the same white with red and blue paint and a number-one logo, wide handlebar, and dual-cap Fat BobTM fuel tank of the original. Suggested price for this recreation of the bike that set Harley on its custom-style path is $16,795--if you can get one of the 3500 examples. It also has the wrap-around rear fender, 160mm rear tire, mid-mount pegs, 29-degree steering head,

VSRC Rod Family

The newest member of the liquid-cooled Harley line is the Night Rod, which is examined in more detail in our just-posted first ride and overview which can be found in the Road Tests section of this site.

Harley has discontinued the B version of the V-Rod. As mentioned in that article, all Harley's 2006 VRSC models-- including the the V-Rod performance cruiser and Street Rod roadster have seen $1000 price reductions. At $14,995 (suggested price for the base black version, $15,240 in another color, or $15,390 for the two-tone wee are testing), the new Night Rod is the most affordable, the Street Rod roadster is $15,495 in black or $15,740 in colors. The V-Rod, starts at $15,995 for the aluminum version, is $16,295 in black, $16,545 in color, or $16,695 in two-tone. All VRSC models now have Brembo brakes.

The VRSC series is also the starting point for the two most interesting 2006 offerings from Harlery's Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) unit. The VRXSE Screamin' Eagle Destroyer is professional-level 1300cc drag-racing version of the V-Rod. It is available by special dealer order only. The other bike, the 1250cc VRSCSE2 Screamin' Eagle V-Rod features an 8-inch wide 18-inch rear wheel with a 240 mm tire. The clutch is beefier, and there are usual extensive CVO custom touches.

Touring Family

Tourers with audio systems now have an Advanced Audio System by Harman/Kardon that Harley says offers superior sound quality and which permits the owner to integrate many electronic devices and enables them to operate with the base radio controls. It can play MP3s and CDs. To provide more power for those electrical accessories, a new three-phase, 50-amp/650-watt charging system is standard on all Touring models. It increases charging capacity by 11 to 32 percent, depending on the model. Touring models with auxiliary lights get a new clear-lens design with reflector optics. These new spotlights match the headlight design introduced in 2005, are more durable, and offer an improved light pattern and intensity.

The Tour Pak trunk is completely new. It has been redesigned to improve comfort for the passenger and lower center of gravity--without reducing storage capacity. It offers a two-position front-and-back adjustability with a one-inch difference in position. The forward position is the same as the 2005 fixed position, and the rear offers an additional inch of room. The passenger backrest is also in a lower, more comfortable position. The 2006 Tour Pak is made of a new GTX nylon alloy that provides a smoother finish and eliminates internal "chalking." Ultra Classic models get LED side lights on the trunk and full-length chrome trim accents have been added to Electra Glide Classics.

Other improvements to the Touring series include reduced clutch-pull effort, an ignition switch for the Electra Glide and Road Glide that requires the fork to be at full-lock before the switch can be turned to the "fork lock" position, and new "pinstripe" rubber pads for the brake pedal and rider and passenger footboards on all models except FLHRS/I and FLHX/I, with a Bar and Shield logo on the brake pedal.

Harley's newest touring-family member is the FLHX/I Street Glide, which undresses the bagger to give a minimalist, custom style. It has Harley's "bat wing" fairing, the Advanced Audio System, hard saddlebags, air-adjustable rear suspension and triple-disc brakes, but loses the driving lights and gets minimized windshield and mirrors. The bike is lowered and its profiles is lowered and lengthened with slash-down mufflers and rear fender "ground effects" to fill the space between the saddlebags and fender. Head-turning touches include LED lighting at the bottom edge of the fender, Streamliner footboards and controls, a stretched chrome fuel tank console with an diamond-cut nameplate, and a special smoked-chrome tank emblem. It is $17,795 in black or $18,185 in colors.

Softail Family

The FLST/I Heritage Softail has returned to the Softail line. It combines the Softail's hardtail styling and a rigid-mounted counterbalanced engine with the traditional Harley-Davidson FL "large" front end and deep FL rear fender. It gets a new seat design with a quick-release passenger pillion that can be removed in seconds, leaving the rear fender uncovered behind a solo seat. A four-bolt rear-fender support attachment design makes it easy to add optional saddlebags and maintains a clean look when the bags are removed.

In addition a wide, 200mm rear tire has been introduced on the FXST/I Softail Standard, FXSTB/I Softail Night Train and FXSTS/I Springer Softail.

Sportster Family

The drivetrain for all six Sportster models has been upgraded with a new gearbox that Harley says works more smoothly and quietly (we had no complaints about previous gearboxes) and a lower-effort clutch. Some models also have a reconfigured sidestand that nakes it easier to lift the motorcycle off the stand.

Watch this site for riding impressions of the new bikes.

For more breaking motorcycle news, visit the home page of www.MotorcycleCruiser.com.

2006 Harley-Davidson Street Bob.
2006 35th Anniversary Super Glide is a one-time, limited-production model.
2006 Harley-Davidson Night Rod
This Destroyer can outgun most cruisers
Tourers get a new trunk, more electrical power, better audio and more.
2006 Harley-Davidson Street Glide
2006 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail