Dyna Vs Softail | Comparing Harley-Davidson’s Iconic Legends

Are you confused between Harley Dyna and Softail and want to know their differences? Both bikes have some things in common, but the differences could affect your decision. 

Harley Dyna and Softail bikes have differences in design, pricing, engine type, speed, and comfort differences. These differences set them apart from each other.

It’s important to break down both models’ key features, performance metrics, and design elements before choosing either. That’s what you are about to find here.

Harley Davidson Dyna Specs

Harley Dyna is one of those five motorcycle line-ups from Harley-Davidson, and Dyna is often mentioned as the middle child of Harley. 

The Dyna line-up includes the Super Glider Custom, Street Bob, Wide Glide, low rider, Fat Bob, and Switchback.

Most of these models use the iconic 1584 cc Twin Cam 96 engine. Only the Switchback model has a 1690 cc Twin Cam 96 engine. This engine has an air-cooled cooling system. 

All Harley Dyna models have a compression ratio of 9.2:1, except the Switchback model, which has a ratio of 9.6:1.

Now, let’s see their other specs below:

Engine typeTwin Cam 96
Engine displacement1584 cc, 1690 cc
Cooling systemAir cooled
Maximum torque94 lb – ft @ 3500 rpm
Transmission 6 – speed manual
Front and rear brakesBoth single disc
Maximum dry weight 306 kg

Harley Davidson Softail Specs

Softail line-up motorcycles have hidden rear wheel suspensions under their body panels. As a result, these bikes are soft at the tail, which also reflects their name.

Harley Softail models use the Updated Twin cam engine version, known as Milwaukee-eight. This is also an air-cooled engine, but different models have different capacities.

Let’s see the other specs below:

Engine typeV-Twin, Milwaukee-eight
Max. engine displacement1868 cc
Cooling systemAir cooled
Maximum torque119 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm
Transmission 6- speed manual
Front and rear brakesBoth single disc
Maximum dry weight317 kg

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What Are The Similarities Between Harley Dyna And Softail?

Harley-Davidson Dyna and Softail are two different lines of motorcycles. Despite being different, they have a few similarities. Here they are:

Same engine platform

Dyna and Softail use the same engine platform of the V-twin engine. It means their engines have similar engine architecture or design. So, many of the engine’s components, like crankcase, cylinders, and cylinder heads, are the same.


Both Dyna and Softail motorcycles have a similar transmission system of a 6-speed manual gearbox with a final belt drive.

Customization option

Both models allow their riders to customize and personalize their bikes with accessories, performance upgrades, and custom paint and graphics.

Read Also: Milwaukee Eight 107 Vs 114: Head-To-Head Comparison! 

Harley Davidson Dyna Vs. Softail: Quick Comparison Table

Harley-Davidson Dyna and Softail have several differences that could impact a rider’s experience. Let’s take a quick look at this comparison table for a better understanding:

Point of ComparisonHarley DynaHarley Softail
Engine type4V air-cooled, Twin Cam4-stroke, Milwaukee-Eight
WeightLighter than SoftailGenerally heavier than Dyna
Frame designDual downtube steel frameSteel frame with hidden rear frame suspension
Price rangeIt was cheaper than Softail but currently expensiveCurrently cheaper than Dyna
Top speed170 kmph110 kmph
Comfort & designComfortable, sporty cruiser designComfortable and classic old-school design

Read Also: Harley Super Glide Vs Wide Glide- Core Differences Unveiled

What Are The Differences Between Harley Dyna And Softail?

You already knew about the differences between Harley Dyna and Softail from the quick comparison table. Now, it’s time to see those differences’ impact in detail:

Engine Type

As we said earlier, Dyna and Softail share the same engine platform but with different specs and configurations. A 4V Twin Cam engine is being used in all Harley Dyna bikes. These engines are rubber mounted, and they have an air-cooled cooling system.

On the other hand, Harley has used a counterbalanced version of the Twin Cam engine 88B in Softail bikes. Later, this engine was replaced by the Milwaukee-Eight engine. This engine can provide improved power and torque than Twin Cam engines.

Frame Design

Harley Dyna motorcycles have a traditional exposed frame design. You can see a downtube running from the steering head to the engine in these bikes. This frame is made from steel, allowing the riders more customization options.

The Softail family features a hidden rear suspension design. This hidden rear suspension gives the Softail bikes a more classic cruiser look. This difference in their frames has an impact on their performances.

Read Also: FXR Vs Dyna: Comparing Harley-Davidson’s Iconic Legends


In general, Softail bikes are heavier than Dyna models. Softail’s hidden rear suspension design and decorative elements are the reason behind this extra weight.

Due to their lighter weight, Dyna bikes are easier to handle in tight turns. Don’t worry; the heavier weight helps to have a stable ride on a Softail.

Price Range

Harley Dyna motorcycles have been discontinued from the market, and that’s why they have become expensive. A newer model from Softail will cost around $14k, whereas a used model of Dyna from 2016/2017 may cost you around $14k – $17k.

Top Speed

Harley Dyana is faster than Softail motorcycles. The top speed of Dyana Super glide is 170 km/h. On the other hand, the top speed for Softail is BS6s’ 110 kmph.

Comfort and Design

Both Harley Dyana and Softail are comfortable for riders. Dyana is suitable for a long and comfortable ride with your mate. On the other hand, Softail is good for comfortable solo rides as their seats are not spacious enough for two.

Regarding design, Dyana seems sporty, while Softail has a more classic old-school vibe.

Read Also: Harley Sportster 883 Vs 1200 – Which Reigns Supreme?

Harley Dyna Or Softail: Which One To Choose?

Harley Dyana motorcycles are suitable for speedy riding and handling. All Dyana bikes have stiffer suspensions with lightweight frames. As a result, they are easy for critical cornering. If you love to have a companion while riding, Dyana is a good option.

On the other hand, Harley Softail can provide you with a smooth and comfortable ride with a softer suspension. These bikes are good for solo cruising or long rides.

Now, it comes down to your personal preferences and riding style to decide which of these classic motorcycle line-ups to choose from. You can take both for a test ride and then decide.


Having confusion and questions before choosing between Harley Dyana and Softail is obvious as they both have excellent cruise bikes. Let’s try to get the answers below:

Which Of These Bikes Is Suitable For Riding In The City?

Harley Dyana is more suitable for riding in city traffic because it has a sportier handling. The quick movable frame helps the riders to navigate in tight spaces.

Which Of These Bikes Is Discontinued On The Market?

Harley Dyana was discontinued in the market for the 2018 model year, and the Softail lineup took its place. However, finding new or used Dyana bikes in some Harley-Davidson stores is still possible.

Can You Customize Both Harley Dyana And Softail?

Yes, both Dyana and Softail bikes are suitable for customization. A wide range of parts and accessories to customize them are available on the market.

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