2012 Harley-Davidson FLD Switchback | Doin' Time

Photography by Joe Neric

Wrist: Joe Neric
MSRP (2012): $17,579
Miles: 11,400
MPG: 38
Mods: Chrome Ear Cannon air horn, Plug-n-Play wiring harness

That’s it! I’ve had it with dangerous and inconsiderate drivers. I’m talking about those who text while driving. And I’m talking about those who recklessly cross into the HOV lane because their lane is jammed. I have something for the lot of you. Please let me introduce you the Chrome Ear Cannon (www.aerostich.com; $62). What is it? An electric, railroad-type air horn that has been repackaged to fit on a motorcycle. What does it do? It deals idiot drivers a walloping, 130-decibel dose of wake-the-hell-up! And it’s chrome.

Installation was fairly simple. Especially after I opted for the Plug-n-Play wiring harness that literally was plug and play (www.aerostich.com; $24). The wires that run to the stock horn are plugged into a 30-amp relay; connect the other end to the battery and you’re done.

With the install complete and my tools all over the driveway, I did a quick test honk—or should I say blast? The horn was so loud and alarming that I was really concerned the neighbors would call the cops. I quickly shoved the bike in the garage, gathered my tools, and slammed the door, laughing hysterically. Sporting a smirk like Dr. Evil, my first thought was that some fool is going to get blasted.

In preparation for performance upgrades, I had Ari run the Switchback on the dyno for baseline horsepower and torque data. What we got was a respectable 87.7 lb.-ft. of torque, not surprising from the 103-inch engine, but the 68.2 horsepower was less than I was hoping for. Calm down. I know it’s a big ‘Murican V-twin, and I know it’s all about torque. But with so much displacement, more power shouldn’t be hard to find, right?

Our first stop for more of everything is Harley’s own Parts & Accessories catalog. A Screamin’ Eagle Nightstick two-into-one slip-on exhaust and an S.E. Performance Air Cleaner Kit are being installed on the FLD right now. Next month, after road testing and another trip to the dyno, I’ll let you know what they do for the Switchback’s swagger.

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