Maybe the good people at Harley-Davidson should rename the Street Bob Special as the Road Bob.
This limited-edition Dyna is only available in select markets including Australia and New Zealand and it seems the HD customisation department in Juneau Avenue, Milwaukee, may have been trying to give the Street Bob “more legs”.
For a start, the Special goes from a solo saddle to a dual Badlander seat with pillion pegs. It also features comfortable forward controls, the Fat Bob’s “boomerang-shaped” drag bars and when you fill the 17.8-litre tank, the range indicator reads 386km.
That all seems to suggest it can do some touring.
Maybe they should call it the Road Bob, instead of the Street Bob Special.
It also gets a few styling treatments such as a teardrop air filter, mag wheels instead of spokes and a little more black here and there.
For all that you pay an extra $1500 for a $23,995 ride away price.
The riding position is the most obvious change and it certainly gives this bike a feeling of more legs.
It is a very comfortable position with the knees only slightly bent, a gentle reach to the bars and a more comfortable rider’s saddle.
This all adds up to a bike that is more comfortable on longer trips than just a ride down the street to your favourite cafe.
I gave it a good 300+km ride from Brisbane to Tenterfield and back over two half days and it was most accommodating.
The only thing holding it back was the hard-sprung suspension over the inordinately bumpy roads in the Qld/NSW border region.
Your pillion won’t be quite so comfortable as the seat is very narrow, it is a short reach to the footpegs and there is only a seat sash to grip.
The rear seat also won’t allow you to tie down much in the way of luggage.
Still, it has “more legs” than the standard solo-seat Street Bob.
Everything else is the same as the Street Bob so it handles quite well.
The bike steers a little slow because of the 19-inch front, but the wide Fat Bob bars give you more leverage for tipping into corners and provide plenty of stability out on the highways.
Ride is taut and only becomes uncomfortable on really craggy tarmac.
Lean angles are reasonable, although with the right-mounted dual pipes, there is less lean on that side.
Over the tight and twisty Bruxner Highway, the right pipe touched down a few times and eventually wore out one of the “hose clamps” holding on the pipe.
Brakes on all Dynas these days come with ABS and it’s very smooth in activation.
Although it’s only a single brake disc on the front, it seems to have a lot of early bite and good progression for an effective stopper if used in conjunction with the hefty rear brake.
I love the gritty feel of the rubber-mounted unbalanced Dyna 103 Twin Cam engine as it throbs away at the lights and revs up so quickly and responsively.
The only drawback is the vibration creates blurred vision in the mirrors.
Gears are well spaced for rapid acceleration, but sixth gear is so tall it’s really only for illegal speeds.
While the cogs clunk a little easier into place these days, neutral is still difficult to find.
As for the fuel range reading of 386km of range when full, that is false.
Even with plenty of highway riding, I only achieved 275km from the 17.8-litre tank which is 6.4L/100km and a lot more than the claimed 5.5L/100km.
Still, it’s a bike that deserves to be freed from the shackles of the city for the odd country romp and maybe a name change to the Road Bob.
2016 Harley-Davidson FXDBC Street Bob Special
- Price: $23,995 ride away
- Warranty: 24 months, unlimited mileage
- Service: 1600/8000km
- Engine: Air-cooled, 1690cc Twin Cam 103
- Power: N/A
- Torque: 130Nm @ 3000rpm
- Bore x Stroke: 98.4 x 111.1mm
- Compression: 9.6:1
- Transmission: 6-speed Cruise Drive, belt drive
- Tyres: 100/90B19 57H; 160/70B17 73V Michelin Scorcher
- Chassis: tubular steel
- Suspension: 49mm forks, dual shocks
- Brakes: 300/292mm, ABS
- Length: 2395mm
- Width: 895mm
- Height: 1130mm
- Seat: 670mm
- Clearance: 100mm
- Wheelbase: 1630mm
- Fuel: 17.8L
- Economy: 5.5L/100km
- Wet weight: 304kg
- Lean Angle: 30° (right), 31°