Review of the 2002 Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide Sport and Softail Deuce

Looking at two of the big guns from the Motor Company

The bikes we ended up choosing for our big twin comparison were the FXDX Dyna Super Glide Sport and the FXSTDI Softail Deuce.Motorcycle Cruiser

This article was originally published in the April 2002 issue of Motorcycle Cruiser.

Picking representative Harley models for a big twin comparison is always a challenge, since both its cruiser families have multiple worthy models. There are seven Softail models, five of which are straight-ahead cruisers that would have been suitable for this comparison. The Fat Boy scored at the top of our last big-twins round-up. This time we asked for the Deuce, since its all-around excellence has impressed us recently. Four of the five Dyna models also would have fit here, but we went for the performance-oriented Sport version of the Dyna Super Glide.

Dynas and Softails use basically the same air-cooled 1450cc 42-degree overhead valve twin driving through five speeds and a belt. However, the Softail family adds counterbalancers and mounts the engine solidly in the frame. The Dyna models rubber-mount their engines and have no balancer. The two also have different frame designs. The Dynas use a conventional twin-shock rear suspension on an "internal" frame. The Softail series also have two dampers, but they are placed horizontally under the engine, and the triangular swingarm creates the uncluttered look of an unsuspended hardtail rear end. Its frame tubes are more outboard.

The 2002 Harley-Davidson FXDX powerplant.Motorcycle Cruiser

The Super Glide Sport distinguishes itself in the Dyna family with a sporting attitude created by a steeper steering head to provide quicker steering response, suspension that's adjustable for preload and damping at both ends, a higher ride height to increase cornering ground clearance, dual discs and calipers up front, a wide 150-section tire on the rear, a tachometer (mounted with the speedometer up by the handlebar), and a blacked out engine and black staggered dual exhaust pipes. The handlebar is low and narrow, and the seat is a sporty, scooped design. The suggested base price (which readers report is beginning to be what you actually pay on many models in parts of the country) is $13,895 plus $210 freight and $290 higher in California. But you can add over $800 more in manufacturer's options including wire-spoke wheels (which seems like a poor choice on a sporting-oriented bike, $320), pearl paint ($240), and a security system ($275). If you don't want the sporting accoutrements, the base model Dyna, the standard Super Glide, is $2000 less.

The 2002 Harley-Davidson Softail Deuce engine.Motorcycle Cruiser

You can get a Softail with a 40mm carb or fuel injection, and our Deuce was fitted with the injection, which adds $600 to the $16,555 (plus $210 freight and $290 for California emissions) base MSRP. You can also add as much as $585 for paint. The Deuce is the most expensive Softail cruiser without saddlebags. The least expensive, the Softail Standard, has a $12,995 base price. The Deuce has a unique stretched style suggesting a real custom. The look is built around a long 4.9-gallon fuel tank with the instrumentation atop it, and stretches back from a skinny 21-inch wire wheel up front. The steering head kicks the chromed, curved-profile fork sliders out to 34 degrees, and the narrow fork legs, small headlight, tiny turn signals, and brief front fender give the Deuce a sleek look. At the back, a low, somewhat narrow saddle leads to a fender that reaches well rear of the 17-inch disc wheel. The engine is finished in natural silver metal colors, and the unique dual "shotgun-style" exhaust enhances the Deuce's long, low appearance.