The Sporster is one of the longest-lived motorcycles in the marketplace.
The Dyna and Sportster lines of Harley-Davidson motorcycles are both made up of cruisers. While several bikes and models over the years have fallen under the Sportster name, the Low Rider is a specific model within the Dyna range of bikes. Generally speaking, Sportster models have been smaller and more affordable bikes compared to the Dyna range, and the Low Rider is no exception.
The Sportster line of bikes has a long and storied place in the history of Harley- Davidson. Few of today’s bikes can boast that they’ve basically been in production since 1957, but that is claim the Sportster line makes. Since Harley debuted the bike, many alterations, variations and special editions have been released. However, just as you could with the original model in 1957, today you can buy a new Sportster from Harley-Davidson with a 883ci engine, an engine size recognized as a calling card of the brand.
The Dyna Low Rider has a much more limited history. The Dyna range itself did not emerge until the 1990s, although several different variations of the Low Rider have been available since the introduction of the Dyna frame.
Dyna Low Riders have the same basic frame design as all other bikes in the Dyna lineup. This is a form of perimeter frame. This means that the engine and transmission are encased by a frame of steel instead of having a center pipe dividing those two components. The Dyna frame also has its engine isolated from the frame with rubber. This didn’t start happening on the Sportster frame until 2004.
The engine options available in the two bikes have differed considerably over the years. As of the 2012 lineup, the various Sportster models are available in either a 883 cc or 1200 cc engine. The last year the Dyna Low Rider was in production was in 2009, at which time it was available with the considerably larger 1584 cc engine.
The Sportster line of bikes has traditionally been positioned as the entry-level Harley Davidson. The basic 883 Sportster model is typically the most affordable stock Harley Davidson. The MSRP on a Dyna Low Rider in 2009 was $15,099. By comparison, a Sportster 883 Low model of the same year has an MSRP of only $6,999, less than half the price of the Dyna.