HD-Road King vs Street Glide hmm

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by wannabe1, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. wannabe1

    wannabe1 Been here awhile

    Oct 28, 2006
    Just sold my DR650 yesterday and am now bikeless for the 1st time in many years. Got the big 50 bday coming up this year and some financial obligations coming up in the next several years. I am thinking if I am ever going harley now is the time.
    Being the ADV forum I know my audience is limited but I know there are a few HD kool-aid drinkers, so here goes it.

    Been looking at road kings and street/electra glides. Other than the batwing fairing and music what advantages do the glides have over the king? The road king looks like a highly adaptable platform to work with. It would be real easy to go from solo street cruiser to 2-up over the road. It would be real easy to alter windscreen sizes and lowers where as you are kinda stuck with the glides fairing for life. I know the screens come in different heights for the fairing also. I assume some sort of music option could be added to the king. Currently these are the only 2 bikes in the HD line-up I am considering and I would be buying older used models. Any thoughts from any of you whom have owned/ridden both models?
  2. What?

    What? curmudgeon

    Oct 3, 2007
    Biddeford, Maine
    Of the two, I have only owned the Road King. I bought it used and saved thousands. I would buy used again.
    I can't imagine ever listening to music while riding.
    If you are riding two up, you can get a more comfortable seat for your pillion.
  3. Advntr

    Advntr Dilbert

    Dec 27, 2007
    Western NY or passing you somewhere
    I started on a FLHT Standard and ended up on an ultra. If the OL likes to ride she will be the happiest at the end of the riding day [and so will you] on an ultra. If you can afford an 09 model or newer you are farther ahead in safety[abs] handling and comfort.
  4. 0ldhippie

    0ldhippie Been here awhile

    Nov 29, 2010
    The Streetglide comes with shorter rear shocks. Neither has cruise standard. The better deal is a Electra gilde as it comes with cruise and a truck for the same price as a street glide, just not as much fancy stuff which is all taste anyway. I'm not a fan of the batwing because it is heavy on the forks/steering and the wind messes with it. I had road kings and one road glide. The road glide is my fav but the Road king looks better.
  5. d2wing

    d2wing Been here awhile

    Jan 22, 2007
    Weather protection is the main difference. If you ride in foul weather it makes a difference. If you like more air get the Road King.You can add a fairing to a Road King.
  6. bloochdog

    bloochdog Itinerant jackass

    Jan 12, 2006
    I cover the waterfront in Norfolk Virginia.
    Had an 2001 FLHRCI . Great bike ! The quick disconnect windscreen and riders backrest off in less than 30 seconds .. Changed the look instantly.. Less is more.

    Good luck.
  7. Cakeeater

    Cakeeater Long timer

    Jan 9, 2011
    I forget
    I've ridden an 09 Road King on a 3500 mile six day trip with three fast riders riding faster machines. It was a great ride. Never even thought of having tunes.

    I've ridden a 10 Electra Glide for a shorter trip wirth slower riders and LOVED the tunes, didn't like the compact seating space.

    I bought a '11 ROAD GLIDE, and love the extra seating space. I really like the fixed fairing, and it's nice to have the little storage compartments right there for gloves, toll-tickets, micro-derringer, whatever. And my wife -- she loves the stereo. First thing she demands when we go for a ride is to turn it on. Cruise is awesome.

    The Road Glide is my favorite. The Street Glide looks cool, but I don't like the shorter shocks. I like the better ground clearance of the Road Glice/electra glide.

    The newer 103 cu powerplant has a noticible better kick than the 96, esp. on the top end. The 96 would run out of ooomph around 100. The 103 does the same at about 110 mph.

    All are extremely fun bikes, and surpisingly good on gravel roads. I've done almost 15,000 miles on the rentals and my own. No problems.

  8. EricD10563

    EricD10563 Been here awhile

    Nov 15, 2009
    Central Arizona
    The nice thing about the RK is you can make into just about you want all the accessories are on quick disconnect mounts you can go from “bar hopper” to touring mode in less than 10 minutes. You can purchase a batwing fairing too from an aftermarket source if you want. I have two windshields, tour trunk, luggage rack and a backrest that I can add when needed. I think it’s one of Harley’s most versatile platforms but if you know you want tunes and you never want to take the fairing off I would get an Electra Glide I don’t the Street Glide sits an inch lower limiting the already limiting ground clearance even more. I would also look at an 09 or later model Harley did major changes to the FL line in 09.
  9. Jamming

    Jamming Desert RAT

    Sep 7, 2005
    Buckeye AZ.
    Before you get all riled up about the HD..and don't flame me..I love em.....
    Check out the Victory Cross Country and the Cross Roads...

    I did a long ride last Thursday on an 02 Electra..it was fun.
  10. blk-betty

    blk-betty bam-a-lam

    Aug 7, 2009
    Johns Island, SC
    Had an '06 Street Glide and traded up for a '12 Road Glide Custom.

    Street Glide does have 1" shorter shocks but so does the Road Glide Custom, otherwise supsensions on all the touring bikes are the same, the only thing that makes the SG lower are the shorter shocks. Easy fix, there are OEM take off shocks on Ebay all the time and for less than $100 you can buy a set of the longer shocks (13") and sell your shorter ones (12"). I did that with both the SG and the RG.

    Never spent much time on a Road King but loved the weather protection that batwing fairing provided. Tunes on a bike, WTF...until you have them you don't know what your missing, then you can't ride without them. Yes you can add a detachable fairing to a Road King and tunes but once you get it painted your looking at about $1000. A lot of cash for something that you'll only use temporarily.

    You can use the OEM SG windshield, which is really a joke, it's so short and get all the wind you want in your face, or swap to any of several height shields or tint (check out Fastaire.com) for under $35.

    As metioned, if you can swing it regardless of which you get try to find an '09-present. The new frame handles so much better.

    Good Luck...my 40th B-day present to myself was the '06 SG. As long as I ride I don't think I'll ever be without a full fairing touring HD. Too bad you couldn't keep the DR, mine satisfies all needs the Road Glide can't.
  11. wannabe1

    wannabe1 Been here awhile

    Oct 28, 2006
    Thanks for the replies and suggestions, you all have made a few points I have not considered and will help in my search for the next bike.
  12. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

    Mar 18, 2007
    Begin Op Zoom
    Buy a Dyna instead. 100 lbs lighter. More fun too ride. Better in town, more fun on the twisties and with less than a a thousand dollars in suspention mods they make fine mile eaters.

    Just my opinion. Buy the one YOU like. :deal
  13. BadKarma

    BadKarma Long timer

    Dec 29, 2011
    Rocky Mountains, USA
    +1 and if you're looking at used bikes there are some smoking deals out there. Craigslist in Denver shows an 09 Dyna with 18,000 on the clock with bags and windshield and an asking price of $8900... Hard to go wrong with that..
  14. Lost in the world

    Lost in the world Been here awhile

    Mar 17, 2008
    Southeastern Minnesota
    I have had a number roadkings. Put lots of miles on them. Have a Street Glide now. If you don't need the radio I would go for the road king...just personal preference. Both are great touring bikes. With the road king I used to take the windshield off after a 500+ day put it in the hotel shower, turn it on, go eat and have a clean windshield by the time I got back. Always thought that was kinda neat. Enjoy which ever bike you choose. Spook.
  15. NuckaMan

    NuckaMan Space Available

    Aug 4, 2008
    Orange County, CA
    Just got back from a day rental of a 09 Electra-Glide and laid down almost 500 miles in about 9 hours of straight riding. Did it for shits/grins for a free weekend and took advantage of a winter promo the rental shop was having. Other a couple niggles from a well-used and abused bike….I thought the ride was fantastic. It had the 96in motor in it, thought it did fine. I know the more recent models come with 103 standard now….more displacement never hurts.
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    Most of the riding was backroad stuff with as much twisties as possible thrown in, kept the freeway stuff to a minimum. I thought it handled pretty well for the size and weight, but doesn’t like to be pushed too hard like my GS or Hayabusa, nor should it be since it a completely different type of a bike. I got used to the heavy shake at idle….REALLY got used to it when at speed. Got it up to 100 on the way back to the rental-shop….didn’t like it at all, actually felt unsafe to me, but really liked a steady 70-80. Kick it in 6<SUP>th</SUP> gear, hold her steady at 75 or so….I felt like I could go forever, even with a nap thrown in as long as the road stayed straight. One area I was in got very windy for awhile, got a little sketchy with the batwing acting as a sail. Stock seat was pretty good in for me.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Never owned a HD product, but it is also entering my mind every so often. It would be a Street Glide for me, only because of the lower seat height is a better match to my 29inch inseam.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Shared a gas-stop with a Victory Cross Country….that looked pretty tasty also, similar setup as a SG.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    While I have read both good and bad stuff about the Twin Cam motors, at least if you go with Harley, there will always be someone who can fix it or get the knowledge/know-how for as long as you own it. That to me is important because I tend to keep my bikes for quite some time.
  16. 131unlimited

    131unlimited Been here awhile

    Aug 14, 2008
    Rode an 89 Glide, a 05 King and now an 11 SG. You simply can not go wrong with either style bike.

    As long as we are talking an RK or a Glide that is the same model year; then the frame, drivetrain, forks and brakes are the same. All the rest of it is bolt on stuff ( shocks, wheels, bars, seats, bags, etc..

    Really reccomend you take both out for a test ride at the local dealer and then decide which one is for you.
  17. Inked

    Inked Tattooed Biker

    Aug 8, 2010
    Boyds, Maryland
    Ride both and go from there---they have very different feels. I've had two Street Glides (FLHX). For me, I prefer the batwing fairing. Everything tucks in there nicely---again...it's really a personal preference.

  18. perturbedmax

    perturbedmax Mr. n00b to you.

    Aug 22, 2010
    I had awful buffeting on my old SG. And I never could hear the radio very well, always use helmet speakers now. Haven't put many miles on a RK but realy liked the removable windshield.
  19. Max Bialystock

    Max Bialystock Been here awhile

    May 7, 2010
    Close to Foat Wuth
    I have an 06 Road King with the 88TC engine. If you are looking at the 88's make sure to find out if they have had the cam chain tensioners upgraded or replaced with gears. The OEM tensioners can and do occasionally fail. Add $1000 to $1500 to get rid of them with the Harley hydraulic tensioner upgrade or a cam and gear kit from S&S or Andrews.

    The new frames are supposed to be the cat's pajamas due to increased frame rigidity. The 06 and older touring bikes can be fitted with a stabilizer ($150 to $400) to eliminate the frame/suspension wiggle.

    The RK is an honest bike and great for touring. If I want cruise, abs, stereo and a lot of gauges I drive my car.
    Ride safe!
  20. nskitts

    nskitts Long timer

    Apr 21, 2006
    Southern Ohio
    I just wonder if I am missing anything with that new frame. I was thinking I should trade my '07 in for an '09+ but I just don't know if it's all that much greater. What I would like to have is that 6 gallon tank. I just wonder how much I would have to kick in to upgrade to an '09+...I have a KLR I could throw in as well but I am sure it would cost more than I can get out of the KLR plus my '07 Glide