Harley DYNA vs. Sportster: Which One is Better? Details

The competition is now between two different bikes. Harley Sportster is a smaller bike. Harley DYNA is a giant bike. But, what makes these different bikes each other’s competitors and creates the Harley DYNA vs. Sportster situation?

Well, indeed, it is the performance. Besides, these two bikes are specifically more often chosen by motorcycle enthusiasts. Moreover, as these bikes come from the same Harley-Davidson brand, it becomes another significant factor to compare these giants.

Stick into the end to learn more about these bikes. So, without further delay, let’s jump into the details.

Comparison Chart – Harley DYNA vs. Sportster

Harley DYNAHarley Sportster
Bigger bike than SportsterSmaller bike than DYNA
More robust and powerful engineSmaller engine with less power than DYNA
More modern MotorcycleMore traditional Motorcycle
Different frame from other motorcyclesThe frame is quite similar looking like other standard bikes
Far expensive than SportsterMore affordable than DYNA
For experienced ridersFor entry-level riders
Twin Cam engineV Twin engine

In-depth Discussion – Harley DYNA vs. Sportster:

You can see a quick view of the bikes from the comparison chart above. Now, let’s figure out the details.

Design and Weight

Design and weight is the most significant difference you will see in these two Harley bikes. The frame, suspension, shocks, and aspects look different from the Harley Sportster.  The frame design of DYNA seems similar to the frame design of FXR.

The DYNA has twin shocks. And that is quite different from other softail bikes. Well, the ergonomics are diverse and exciting in the DYNA. It has risers on the T-bar. The gas tank is also more prominent in this bike.

On the other hand, Sportster is a more petite-looking bike than DYNA. It has a smaller gas tank. This bike looks more traditional. Besides, it is straightforward to handle the Motorcycle. As the motorcycle is smaller than DYNA, it weighs less. So, you don’t have to face difficulties to keep it running.

Engine and Power

The engine of a bike is always a very crucial fact to consider. Because everything depends on the engine. The better engine you get, the better the biking experience happens. The engine in both bikes is excellent.

It is a matter that DYNA has a larger CVO twin-cam engine. So, indeed it can provide more power. This engine gives you increased road speed with the best RPM. But it doesn’t mean the Harley Sportster is not capable of delivering good power.

The Sportster has a V Twin engine. And it is quite a rigid engine. As the engine is smaller and less functional than DYNA, it works a little less. But, it doesn’t lack a lot in that. You can still get a good amount of power on this bike.


You would have heard or seen people saying these two bikes are different from each other. And gives different feelings. But in practicality, the scenario is different. Performance-wise you cannot tell any difference between the two bikes.

You will feel the DYNA heavier and the Sportster lighter for sure. But riding them feels almost the same. DYNA doesn’t make a huge difference in riding experience the way it is always stated. It is a sharper bike than the Sportster. But the handling, controls, and throttle are so similar in both.

Sound and Vibration

According to Harley and other biking personnel, DYNA is a more efficient bike. So, it was supposed to carry more power and faster movement. Also, it should have performed well with minor shaking and vibration.

But in actuality, DYNA shakes and vibrates more than the Sportster. Besides, DYNA fails to keep the smoothness in the speed bump and shakes harder. And the sound is consistent. On the other hand, Sportster rides smoothly and does well in cornering and cuts. Moreover, you don’t need to speed down on speed bumps. Because the suspension soaks it up.


The real question is, Harley DYNA vs. Sportster, which is the better investment plan? Right? Looking at the price, you would find DYNA bikes much more expensive than Sportster bikes. No matter which model you choose, bikes of the DYNA class will always be more expensive than the bikes of the Sportster class.

You will find a Harley Sportster in or for less than $1000. At the same time, you will find a DYNA not less than $13,500. And it is only in the standard black version. You have to look up to add changes to invest more in it.

Harley DYNA or Sportster – Which one to choose?

So, which one should you get? Well, the answer depends on two basic facts. One is your riding style. And the other one is, for what purpose do you want to get the bike? 

Riding Style refers to whether you are a new rider or an experienced rider. If you are an entry-level rider and have not ridden many varieties of bikes yet, then Harley Sportster could be the best choice for you. Because Harley Sportster is a compact bike. Which has a good level of power with aesthetics. You can ride the bike as your daily driver.

On the contrary, if you are an experienced rider and want to try something more beastly, Harley DYNA should be your best pick. Besides, if you do a lot of touring and want to rock on the freeways and highways, nothing could be better than DYNA. You can get this giant from Harley only if you are ready to make that differentiating investment in the bike.


What is the difference between a DYNA and a Sportster?

The main difference between a DYNA and a Sportster is the size, weight, and engine. DYNA is a giant bike with a more extensive and more efficient engine. On the other hand, Sportster is a smaller bike with a good engine which is not so heavy. Despite all the differences, both the bikes work great and move OK.

What makes a Harley a DYNA?

The CVO engine specialty and highway riding capability make the Harley a DYNA. Because these excellent features are offered in only a Harley DYNA. Again the similar-looking frame from FXR with added sport suspension is also recognizable in a Harley DYNA.

Is DYNA an excellent first bike?

As a first bike, DYNA is not a good one. Because this bike is engineered for experienced bikers, the handling and components and the weight may seem harsh to a new or entry-level biker.

Is the Sportster the fastest Harley?

Sportster is not the fastest Harley. But it is quick enough to become your daily driver. You can use this bike for day to day driving. Also, you can do a little bit of touring with it. But the Sportster engine won’t let you get the feel of wind forcing your face experience in highway riding.

Final Words

Now, we have come to the end of the Harley DYNA vs. Sportster discussion. Hope that you will be able to choose one. Make sure you don’t get into the fascination of any of the models above. And choose one which aligns with your demand and budget.

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