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So here I am 6 months and 5000 miles into ownership of “Doris the Dyna” so I thought time for a unprofessional Bosun review.

You can probably tell that despite the horrid weather for the first few months and then a sunny summer since purchase I have been enjoying the FLD Switchback with almost as many miles I have done per year over the last few years in 6 months. And over a quarter more of the miles technically I should do for my loan plan.

As you may recall having had just over a year on my Triumph I started to fancy the new 1200 triumph bonneville as wanted a bit more oomph for motorways and the like, however adding screen/bags etc would have brought it to Harley territory and I did miss the thud of a v twin as I have been riding v’ twins since 2002. My good lady was looking at the bike range at Guildford Harley Davidson and suggested I go and have a look. well you must do what the wife says.

So on a Tuesday afternoon I wandered into Guildford Harley Davidson to look at options I was considering the sportster tourer as I still wanted bags and a screen but it felt a bit cramped and was soon dismissed and the guys at the dealers know the type of riding I do so suggested against it. They suggested I tried a switchback  but I was concerned I  was heading back into Roadking territory until I sat on both bikes and remembered how heavy a roadking is.The switchback was not an option I had considered but all fell to hand easily and Michael did some magic with a calculator and the deal was done. At a similar monthly price to what I was going to spend on a sporty I was now the proud owner of a brand new FLD Switchback without even a test ride.  

The switchback is an almost forgotten model being a Dyna with quickly detachable bags and screen oh and big easy to clean wheels a nice cross between old and new. It has a huge exhaust to keep to current regulations which does steal some of the Harley noise but as yet I have no plan to change.

Picking her up on 20 February the Saturday after it felt so natural and despite higher bars than I normally like all just spot on. As ever it rained on the way home and despite running her in less than 10 miles by now  she sat stable and solid in the rain on the dual carriageway, oh yes Bosun is a happy bunny and I went to visit parents and then home, I was told the smile think Cheshire cat grin said it all.

Initial view even running in she had plenty of power and the 6 speed box and 103cui engine (1698cc is bigger than any other vehicle at home) is more than enough for my style of riding, the side stand at first was a pain to hook out but have found the knack since. As the miles have racked up the engine has freed up nicely and it smoothly pulls through all the gears. I just have to remember there are 6 gears as easy to forget.

It didn’t take long to get used to the ABS braking which although only single front disc brings the bike to a rapid halt if required.

The bike handles like a dream and well within my capabilities too. I had read about this previously and can only agree, wherever you point the bike it goes and feels light (for a tourer) and nimble. After a while I made a small tweak of the bars and lever position to adapt all to a more comfortable arm reach allowing a more natural position. The change is so small you can almost not notice.  The bike does vibrate more than the road king I used to have, though I had been warned but then so did my Bonneville's being an older rider I understand this feeling though. I have since found it is best not to put fragile items in the bags and even bottles of drink can explode in transit. The bags also are not that large but careful packing you can stuff a lot in.

On my first long journey the seat that felt somewhat firm at first soon became a plank, why do Harleys make such evil seats on tourers? Ah yes so you can buy a better one and I am now looking for a touring saddle solo or full does anyone have one?. I haven't tried her two up. With a small rack added it helps carrying gear and lugged camping gear easily.

It’s also great to be able to interchange and during our recent hot spell riding without the screen is great, the engine really does not like 30 degree plus weather though and gets very hot, it’s not the norm here though and gives a reason to stop.



Steady riding can reward a decent 60+ Mpg. Enthusiastic riding a lot less but I am happy with that, and the fuel gauges seem trustworthy, though I tend to fill up on miles anyway.

So overall a great bike, just need to modify the seat, sadly it now looks like it’s been dropped from the range. Which means it will be more of a forgotten model, which is a shame as it is a great all rounder.

I feel the 5000 mile service could be about a 1000 miles overdue as have just found there is a backlog at dealers and I am having fun.