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Old 05-20-2012, 05:45 PM   #1
alii1959 OP
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Test rode an '04 Road King today...

I started a thread a while back about my back hurting. Well, it hasn't gotten any better...as a matter-of-fact it seems to be getting worse. So, I have begun to look at other types of bikes....

Today, I test rode an '04 Road King, expecting I would be very bored with it. They tossed me the keys and I took off...err slowly. That was me making it go slow. After a couple of miles I began to get a feel for the RK, which didn't have a windshield which was a very nice thing. I decided that I would take it around some of the road I normally ride. I noticed that I was riding at the same speeds that I normally do, but it seemed a bit more relaxed...nice. I noticed that a lot of the turns were taken at nearly the same speed as normal. I was still two finger breaking without trouble. Upper back was fine...blissfully so. I think that with a change in bars it would be great on my back (although the lower back did experience a bit of discomfort). I looked down at one point and I was zipping along at 70 w/o any vibrations...no buzzy hands...nice. I didn't scrape the boards even though I wasn't going that easy on it. It accelerated nicely. For an 800lbs beasty it really hiked up its skirt and moved out. I could see a few changes making it very comfortable.


I did not want to like this thing, yet I decided to go into it with an open mind. Well, most of the myths that I keep hearing are just that myths. It was hot today, yet the heat from the engine wasn't that bad. It stopped very well, even with 2 fingers and I have girly hands. It accelerated with authority, not like a sport bike, but without much drama (kinda the difference between an old Caddy and an old Sports car, same speed different method of obtaining it). Yes, vibrated like an epileptic crack whore at idle, but once moving the vibrations seem to disappear. Heavy, dog yes, but the easiest bike to ride slowly I have ever seen.

So, whats the bottom line........Houston I think we have a financial problem! God help me I think I want a Harley....crap. Crap! CRAP!!! (And, for heavens sake they say the new ones are even better.....yet, I am a poor man).
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:05 PM   #2
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I think you should buy the newest one you can afford.
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:05 PM   #3
blk-betty
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Glad you liked it!

Yep, the '09-later frames really do ride much nicer.

If you serioulsy think you may get one....'06-later have 96" engine, 6 speed tranny, and a 6 gallon gas tank.

Brembro brakes became standard sometime around '09 or '10 with ABS option. '12s come with 103"
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:51 PM   #4
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Thumb 87,000+ and counting on my 04 RK

I rolled over 87k recently and expect many more to come. Is it a Ninja, NO, but I didn't buy it for track days.
It is a bike that does what it is designed for and does it well. If you can afford a 09-12, the ABS option, 6 speed
and new frame are a big plus. You can find a 04-05 for under $ 10K if you look hard enough. Good luck
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:38 PM   #5
alii1959 OP
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I understand that, as a sportbike kinda guy, I am not supposed to like these big 'ole girls...but ya know big girls need luv too.

This experience reminds me of all of my Ducati test rides. I love the idea of a Ducati. I love Vale and the fact that he now rides Ducati. I so desperately want to like them. I HATE THEM. They just don't suit me in any way...at least not the ones I have tried. Can't imagine trying to live with one...yuck. The Harleys tend to be the opposite: don't want to like them, but I do...what is wrong with me???

I can't imagine what a 6th gear would be for. I was up near 70 in 4th and it was just purring along. 5th made it feel like it wasn't even working....very lazy. Absolutely the most peaceful motorcycle ride I have ever had. Don't know if that is good or bad.

While the new ones may be a whole lot better...I cannot afford one. Probably can't afford the '04 either.
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Old 05-20-2012, 07:54 PM   #6
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Timely thread.

Though I've not yet gotten as far as a test ride, I'll admit to Harley Fever; specifically the Dyna type. Currently educating myself on the breed.

Glad you enjoyed the ride. There's quite few on the road; how bad can they be?!

I figure, hey, it's still an airhead!
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:19 PM   #7
alii1959 OP
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That is exactly what I thought. How bad could they be if so many people want to own one? Can't just be nostalgia. Further, they have a dealer network second to none around here. And, they offer test rides, while many other brands do not. That goes a long way toward sales in my opinion.

This is the exact thinking that led to my investigating Apple products....now I have 4 laptops, 2 ipods, 1 ipad, 3 airport wireless stations, etc. I have a real bad habit of being all in or all out. (Love my Apples!!!)

I think that, from what I have ridden, Harleys are far more competent than we are often led to believe. The brands with the most fanatical owners are Harley, BMW, and Ducati. Don't like Ducati. BMWs are a bit bland, but very nice. But, I believe that I am developing a Harley bug....drat. I won't be a pirate, but I may become a rider.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:40 PM   #8
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Had an '96 RK with the EVO engine. Was a pretty nice mile muncher, cruising at 70-80 at 3-3500rpm sweet spot. Handles like a pig and would scrap floor boards and kickstand. I liked the floorboards and a backrest really made long distances seem much shorter. Replaced it with a DL650, light and flickable. but missed the relaxed cruising. Enter the Ulysses, best of both bikes.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:52 PM   #9
Mrmerlin
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before you plunk down your cash go ride a Rocket 3 Triumph,
make sure your holding on when you open the throttle.
You should be able to practice figure 8s in the parking lot ,
and you will see how well the balance is on the Triumph
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Old 05-21-2012, 06:11 AM   #10
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A friend has an Aprilia Mille R (stay with me, there's a point). He loves it because it has the best of everything: Ohlins suspension, Italian styling, Rotax engine... it's the best. On our last ride together, I asked, "Wanna make a stop and take a break?" Answer: "Yeah, I can't feel my hands!"

A Formula One car has the best of everything, but it stinks for sightseeing and getting groceries. Harley's are great at what they do. If you like them, you like them. I like them. Nice place to spend a bunch of time, and great for sightseeing, which is what I like to do. I wish they were free.
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Old 05-21-2012, 06:25 AM   #11
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" I wish they were free. "


Price has been a surprise to me. I'm not seeing any substantial difference between new & 3-5 yrs. Many do seem to have extremely low mileage @ 2-3k/yr!? Quite a few seem "well-farkled" as well, Screamin' Eagle is prevalent, so perhaps that brings price up? Or do they simply hold their value?
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrmerlin View Post
before you plunk down your cash go ride a Rocket 3 Triumph,
make sure your holding on when you open the throttle.
You should be able to practice figure 8s in the parking lot ,
and you will see how well the balance is on the Triumph
In the big general scheme of things, the world of motorcycles is incredible today. I would also urge you to look at everything. There is a whole lot out there.
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blk-betty View Post
Glad you liked it!

Yep, the '09-later frames really do ride much nicer.

If you serioulsy think you may get one....'06-later have 96" engine, 6 speed tranny, and a 6 gallon gas tank.

Brembro brakes became standard sometime around '09 or '10 with ABS option. '12s come with 103"
If you liked the 04 your really like an 09 or later with the updated frame which is stiffer than the previous years. 09's come with Brembo brakes not sure about the previous years and ABS is an option.
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:03 AM   #14
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I agree with this, except I believe it was 07 or 08 that the gas tank was increased to 6 gallons? I believe FI was an option through 2005 and I prefer it over the carburetor. The cam chain tensioners are problem waiting to happen on the 88ci engines. The good news is Harley has an up-grade for them which solves the problem. Just be aware of this though. In general buy the newest one you can afford. The big change occurred with the 09's and the new frame. Watch the prices on used ones though because many seem pretty high. A new 2012 RK Standard will run you $17,900 blk, $18,300 color and this is full list including freight. Optional ABS is now packaged with a security alarm which can add another $1,100.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blk-betty View Post
Glad you liked it!

Yep, the '09-later frames really do ride much nicer.

If you serioulsy think you may get one....'06-later have 96" engine, 6 speed tranny, and a 6 gallon gas tank.

Brembro brakes became standard sometime around '09 or '10 with ABS option. '12s come with 103"
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Old 05-21-2012, 09:03 AM   #15
jules083
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blk-betty View Post
Glad you liked it!

Yep, the '09-later frames really do ride much nicer.

If you serioulsy think you may get one....'06-later have 96" engine, 6 speed tranny, and a 6 gallon gas tank.

Brembro brakes became standard sometime around '09 or '10 with ABS option. '12s come with 103"
Quote:
Originally Posted by milo View Post
I agree with this, except I believe it was 07 or 08 that the gas tank was increased to 6 gallons? I believe FI was an option through 2005 and I prefer it over the carburetor. The cam chain tensioners are problem waiting to happen on the 88ci engines. The good news is Harley has an up-grade for them which solves the problem. Just be aware of this though. In general buy the newest one you can afford. The big change occurred with the 09's and the new frame. Watch the prices on used ones though because many seem pretty high. A new 2012 RK Standard will run you $17,900 blk, $18,300 color and this is full list including freight. Optional ABS is now packaged with a security alarm which can add another $1,100.

Almost.

Fuel injection has been around a bit longer, I want to say somewhere in 2001 to 2003 ish.

2006 had a 5 speed with a 88" motor
2007 got a 6 speed transmission and the new 96" motor
2008 I think got the Gas tank, may have been 09
2009 Got the new frame

I don't know what year they switched them over to 103". I think it started with just the Ultra, then they added the other models on. It's kinda weird to me why they would design and produce the 96" for a few years only to switch everything to the 103"


I thought the cam chain tensioner was an 80" problem, and fixed when they went to the 88? Either way it's not too big of a deal to fix, it wouldn't be a deal breaker for me.

OP, it doesn't say where you are from but the deals are out there, it's just a matter of being patient. These bikes are fairly easy to work on and reliable, I wouldn't be afraid to get one with some miles on it if it's priced accordingly. The value seems to bottom out around 8 to 10 grand, assuming it's taken care of.

Here's some that just came up on CL, seem to be in good shape and around 10 to 11 thousand price range. This is where I'd be looking to buy, the value isn't going to go down much more over a few years if you decide to sell. I've rarely seen them go below 8000, unless there's a problem with the bike.

http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/mcy/3012675514.html
http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/mcy/3025220182.html
http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/mcy/3023688070.html
http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/mcy/3002125871.html
http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/mcy/2999805191.html
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