Celebrated quality time on Presidents Day Monday on on two different motorcycles — my Harley Switchback and Amy’s Can-Am Spyder.
Different bikes, different styles, different ways to ride.
The Switchback is a classic cruiser, based on Harley-Davidson’s tried and true Dyna chassis. Dynas have been upgraded and improved over the years and the Switchback — which Harley sold for four years from the 2012 model through 2016 — is something of a hybrid that combines adds hard saddlebags and a windshield that can be removed easily to turn it back into a stripped down cruiser.
Some consider the Switchback a downsized Road King, one of Harley’s touring models. It has become my personal favorite among the bikes I have owned over the years.
Amy’s Spyder is a three-wheeler but not a “trike” with one wheel in the front and a single in the front. The Can-Am puts two wheels in the front and the single drive wheel in the back. In my opinion, it handles more like a motorcycle and has lots of power, traction control, anti-lock brakes and an electronic system that dials engine power back if it senses there is a chance of a rollover.
Unlike a two-wheel motorcycle, the only leaning involved in turning is by the rider and one has to lean against tight turns to properly control the bike. It is a lot of fun to ride (when Amy allows me to do so) and the 990cc “Rotax” two cylinder engine has gobs of power and a 9,000 RPM readline.
Newer Can-Ams have three cylinders and even more power. The Canadian company, which specializes in snowmobiles and jetskis, also offers a police model.
My first Dyna was a 2009 Super Glide and I put 100,000 miles on it in three years before laying it down in 2012 to try avoid hitting a black cow on a dark night on U.S. 221 between Cave Spring and Bent Mountain in Roanoke County.
The bike faired better. It remains in our garage and is on the road at least weekly during good riding weather.
Another fantastic weather day with temperatures in the 50s this afternoon and zero chance of rain in the daylight hours.
Time to ride. Where to go is subject to whim and changes of mood, even during the ride itself. The only other question is which bike to use.