2016 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S Preview
Following a five-year hiatus, the legendary Low Rider returned to Harley-Davidson’s lineup for 2014.
This modern Low Rider rightly lived up to the FX status, providing serious V-twin performance through its Twin Cam 103, laid-back no-BS cruiser handling through its Dyna chassis, and pure in-your-face FX styling through its minimalist design.
The bike was a breath of late 1970s air, and paid homage to the original Low Rider that arrived in 1977 as an FSX built on the Super Glide Chassis – a bike that outsold all other Harleys during its first year of production.
Satisfaction was there, but in a world where motorcycles change upon the very fast-paced culture in which they live, things needed revision. Harley’s response is the Low Rider S, which arrives as a mid-year 2016 model.
The 2016 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S joins two others in the new S range – the Fat Boy S and Softail Slim S. The bike arrives with the S models’ stripped-down styling and a blacked-out themes. The only exception to this blacked-out concept are the Magnum Gold lightweight cast-aluminum wheels, “a finish inspired by the gold-tone magnesium wheels used on race cars in the 1960s,” and the gold tank page that “pays homage to the 1977 XLCR Café Racer model.”
Harley didn’t slack on power; the Low Rider S is equipped with the Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110 – the same engine that arrives in the exclusive Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) models. But due to some updates, the Low Rider S’ motor produces 115 ft/lbs. of torque at 3500 rpm.
Defined by styling that derives from “global custom motorcycle culture,” the Low Rider S is features upgraded suspension and brakes for a true “S” model experience.
“Riders have been asking when Harley-Davidson would build another aggressive, performance-based bike like the legendary FXR models,” says Harley-Davidson Director of Styling Brad Richards. “This is our answer to that question.
“The Low Rider S is informed by the current tall-bike custom trend and our own styling heritage, but also seeks to redefine Harley-Davidson performance for a new generation of riders. We wanted to really connect the rider to the road by delivering instantaneous power and agile handling with a bike that’s trimmed to the essentials.”
The Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110 – the largest factory-installed engine on a Harley-Davidson – gets the extra three ft/lbs of torque over the same engine found on the CVO Pro Street Breakout due to a Screamin’ Eagle Heavy Breather performance intake and Fat Bob-style 2-into-2 exhaust. This also equates to 13 percent more power over the standard Low Rider.
The Low Rider S’ engine is mated to a 6-Speed Cruise Drive transmission that features a heavy-duty clutch. To further appeal to the minimalist style, the entire powertrain and exhaust arrive with gloss black and wrinkle-black powercoat.
Suspension duties are handled by Premium Ride nitrogen gas-charged emulsion shocks out back, and a Premium Ride cartridge fork up front. Braking is handled by twin 300mm discs up front squeezed by fixed four-piston calipers, and a single 292mm disc squeezed by a fixed two-piston caliber out back.
Other enhancements include a solo seat with a low height of 26.6 inches, flat drag bars with 5.5-inch risers, mid-mount controls, a unique speed screen, chopped rear fender, and side-mount license plate.
“When you ride fast in this upright position, you need a little wind protection,” says Harley-Davidson Senior Stylist Dais Nagao. “Then the way we inset the headlamp deeper into the speed screen gives the Low Rider S an aggressive face. It’s a powerful way to communicate the personality of the motorcycle.”
The Harley-Davidson Low Rider S is the sixth motorcycle in the 2016 Dyna family, which includes the Switchback, Wide Glide, Fat Bob, Street Bob and the base Low Rider. The Harley-Davidson Low Rider S sells for $16,699 – $2,300 over the base-model Low Rider (vivid Black, no options).
2016 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S Specs:
- Engine: Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110
- Displacement: 110 cu in
- Engine Torque: 115 ft-lb @ 3500
- Transmission: 6-speed Cruise Drive
- Length: 89.9 in
- Seat Height: 26.6 in (laden)
- Fuel Capacity: 4.7 gal
- Dry Weight: 646 lb
- Front wheel/tire: Magnum Gold, Split 5-Spoke Cast Aluminum / 100/90B19 57H
- Rear wheel/tire: Magnum Gold, Split 5-Spoke Cast Aluminum / 160/70B17 73V
2016 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S Colors:
- Vivd Black
2016 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S Price:
- MSRP: $16,699