Walters Manufacturing of Plano, Illinois has just designed and built an automatic transmission conversion for 1999 to 2005 Harley Davidson Dyna Glides. Before you start thinking this is some belt and pulley CVT, let me point out this is a genuine, fluid filled, torque converter equipped automatic transmission, a 3 speed MoPar TorqueFlite to be exact. You start the engine, select drive and off you go. There's even a reverse!
Walters Manufacturing is the father and son team of Rick, Sr. and son Rick, Jr. who together created an automatic transmission setup that could make an awful lot of riders very happy. If you already ride, shifting is second nature and you might question the need for an automatic but there are more riders than you might think with disabilities that make it difficult to shift a manual transmission, plus more than a few potential riders who would try motorcycling if only they didn't have to master the shifting along with everything else.
When you look at this conversion you have to think about the all of the creative design work that went into this, coming up with adapters and covers to contain the TorqueFlite and mate it to the Harley Davidson V-twin. Installed in their 2001 Harley Davidson Dyna, it looks like a factory install. The difference is the lack of a clutch lever on the handlebars and the addition of a jockey shift lever on the left that is used to select the desired gear. The transmission has a black wrinkle finish which blends into the bike and adds to the factory look.
This is one very impressive project and I would think, if successful, could attract the interest of Harley Davidson. At present, plans are to offer the conversion for somewhere in the $12,000 to $15,000 range, you bring your bike, they do the conversion. When you consider what you're getting, that's not a bad deal, especially if it extends your ability to ride when a scooter is your only other option. Very cool, very nice work.