Test rode an '04 Road King today...

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by alii1959, May 20, 2012.

  1. Robert OK

    Robert OK Been here awhile

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    To 131unlimited:

    Do you ever carry a passenger with that adjustable backrest? I was almost tempted to go for one, but I've read in the HDForums that it can be a little wide for the pillion's legs. There's a CVO back rest that's narrower but not adjustable.
    #41
  2. bobobob

    bobobob badbadbad

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    About 9 bhp and ft.lbs. of torque.
    Reviews say the big difference is better off the line and roll on performance.
    Not a huge difference, but noticeable.

    A fuel controller, cam, pipes and breather will get you another 30 of each fo about $2K
    and really wake up the motor.
    #42
  3. blk-betty

    blk-betty bam-a-lam

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    Just to add, a fuel controller, pipes and breather minus the cam will get you another 10 of each for about $1K

    So stock 96" to stock 103" is about 8-10 points difference...... whereas stock 96" to 103" with fuel controller, pipes, and breather is about 20 points difference.

    Of course most guys with 96" probably already have pipes, controller and breather so your back to only about a 8-10 point difference if comparing equally equipped engines.

    I have a '12 Road Glide Custom and added the controller, breather and Supertrapp mufflers with FuelMoto 2-1-2 header that eliminates the catalytic converter and it is only slighlty louder than the stock mufflers. It runs much stronger than stock and is not as lean so heat is not an issue which can be as one increases the cubic inches, especially now with the catalytic conveters.

    fwiw, I had an '06 88" carbed Street Glide with breather and a 2-1 pipe/muffler. It replaced an '02 FXST with a built 95" that started out as an 88"....it made 109 hp / 108 tq. The 103" Road Glide with the stage 1 mods is much closer in performance to the built 95" and I could add cams bolt-in cams to the 103" and get within 5 points of the 95" which had a lot of high dollar parts....easily over $3.5K

    Point being the larger engine (103") can be made to produce similar power numbers as a built smaller motor with just a few mods and not a lot less $$.
    #43
  4. alii1959

    alii1959 Been here awhile

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    Well,
    Went to another dealership and rode both an '04 and an '06. The '04 was one of the worst bikes I have ridden. Terrible brakes, pulsing, weak pressure. Heavy vibrations throughout the rev range. Very wobbly. While it had low mileage it seems to have been badly maintained. Yuck, but it did look nice. And, they were more than willing to deal on it....not me.

    The '06 was very nice. Handled pretty well. Brakes were great. Vibration could be tolerated. Seat was very cushy....not sure how it would be after a full day, but it was nice during my short ride. A bit pricy for my pocketbook, but they would've made a great deal (if I could've afforded it). All around good bike. No surprises.

    Test rode a VStar 1100 paint shaker. What a terrible bike. Second VStar I have ridden...both were bad. Maybe it is just those two or maybe it is just the smaller engined variety, but I didn't like it at all. Very loud pipes, very wobbly front end (felt like I was going into a tank-slapper at moderate speeds), never smoothed out, uncomfortable, etc. Just not the ride for me at all.

    Also rode a 2012 Ducati 848 Streetfighter....holy crap!!! Wow, that was amazing! Had the termi exhaust...nearly wet myself when they started it. Acceleration was amazing. Stability was amazing. Brakes were outstanding. I could ride that....but, my budget would never be able to deal with the strain of the tickets, loss of license, rear tires, maintenance, bail, etc. Whew! I had to run away from that before I sold my dog, my van, my truck, my mother-in-law, to get it. Totally impractical for my style of riding, but wow!

    I rode nearly 2 hours to Athens to do the test rides. I was fairly comfortable on my bike. Then after all the testing I ate lunch and headed home. About 5 minutes into the return trip my back started hurting again....ugh! Still hurting hours, aspercreme, and a nap later. I think I am gonna have to make a change soon.

    So far, the original '04 RK that I rode is the best of the bunch. I will probably go talk to them tomorrow and see what they can do. Don't know if it I'll pull the trigger or not, but I would like to see what they can do. I normally don't ride very far, during the school year...just to work and back, so it is not a desperate need, but I had been hoping to take a few long trips this summer....stay tuned.
    #44
  5. alii1959

    alii1959 Been here awhile

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    Well....
    So I went back to Augusta Harley-Davidson today spoke with Ray, again. Long story very short....traded Gixxer for '04 Road King. I got a great deal. They really did work with us.

    So now, I am setting about to adjust it to me. I rode it for 30-40 miles today while they were making their offer to me and I had very little back pain. Most of the pain, I think, was left over from yesterday's long ride. The current seat is toast so they threw in a new one....haven't picked it out yet...but, I will soon.

    Crappy Ipod photo:

    [​IMG]
    #45
  6. Chuck Pryce

    Chuck Pryce Been here awhile

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    Enjoy,great looking bike have fun!!!!!
    #46
  7. Xdriver

    Xdriver Been here awhile

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    Nice bike. I test road a '10 standard with heritage bars on it today. Really nice, but sooooo much $$. I also have my eye on a two tone '09 RK Classic in a red and goldish color.

    Again, nice bike. Enjoy.
    #47
  8. Cakeeater

    Cakeeater Been here awhile

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    Nice bike! Nice dog too :)

    The two seem to go together nicely.

    Cakeeater
    #48
  9. alii1959

    alii1959 Been here awhile

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    Never thought about it like that but they may go together. After 14 years of a wonderful, but highly excitable, rottie we now have a boxer/greyhound mix. He is the quietest, calmest dog I have ever known. So, maybe we are slowing down abit. Not stopping just fixing it where life isn't such a blur anymore...hahaha.

    Thanks for the compliments. I'll have up better pics soon.
    #49
  10. Ohio Stihl

    Ohio Stihl n00b

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    Fuel injection was on the bikes since 99. It was Magnetti Marnelli system. They worked great or sucked bad, no middle ground. Mine sucked ass so I converted to carb and loved it. 02 went to a Delphi system that is nothing but trouble free.

    Oil puking out of air breather is combo of pressure in case and crappy umbrella vent material in the heads. It has been upgraded.

    If you slouch at your dinning room table your back will hurt. Same on the bike. As stated earlier, the softail heritage bars work great on the RK. They are about the same as the police bars.

    Cam chain tensioner is a bitch. They are a peach/orange color. I used to cut open my oil filters and check for particles. To check them you have to remove the exhaust then open up your cam chest. There is a upgrade kit for the older style. It is worth putting in adjustable pushrods so you don't have to remove the heads when you upgrade. Or you can go gear drive and never touch it .

    Someone else stated it before. They are great bikes for what they are intended to do. I posted in another thread that the RK will haul groceries across town or you across country. Versital bike.

    Enjoy your ride.
    #50
  11. alii1959

    alii1959 Been here awhile

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    Went for my first shakedown ride today. 70+ miles, not a long ride, but one that would have had my back screaming before. Not bad on the back...need to adjust handlebars (today) and order the new seat (tuesday) and I should be good to go.

    I must have just gotten a good one, it is fairly quiet, brakes are excellent, and the vibration, after you get past walking speed, is non-existent. While she doesn't accelerate like a sport bike, she will absolutely haul. I went on one of my "normal" loops and I was running nearly the same speeds on the RK that I was on the Gixxer (guess I just never did push that bike very hard). Love the fact that my hands do not tingle/go numb during the ride. So far, so good.
    #51
  12. Xdriver

    Xdriver Been here awhile

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    How is it cruising at 80? Still is a pretty relaxed ride?
    #52
  13. alii1959

    alii1959 Been here awhile

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    Probably, can't say I've seen 80 yet...but soon. I rode the back roads today and found myself pushing 70 quite often smooth as glass. I am amazed at how well the big girl hustles herself along. Always loved plump girls!!!

    This is becoming an eye opening experience. This bike is much faster and more competent than I ever expected a Harley to be. Never rode one of the touring bikes until recently. They are nothing like the sportsters or even the Dynas or Softtails. I have not changed much of my riding style from the Gixxer to this, with the exception of being very conscious of the mass this bike has and respecting it. No, its not a sportbike and I did scrape the left floorboard today, but she'll still move out pretty well. And, at low speed there is no comparison...this is much better.

    I added a pillion backrest (pain in the ass instructions), adjusted handlebars, and adjusted headlight today. I really like the fact that I can't break things very easily...kinda cool. I've still a few things to do to make it comfortable, but we are getting there. Overwhelmed by the number of choices of everything when trying to decide what to order.

    I think I am gonna like this a lot. Every bike I have owned has suited me well at the time....I guess it may be time for a bagger.
    #53
  14. marshrat

    marshrat Been here awhile

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    The Sundowner seat suits me perfectly and has the adjustable-backrest option. I went with the early style Heritage bars also.
    #54
  15. Jofa

    Jofa Adventurer

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    congrats on the new bike, the RK is a fun bike, ive got an 01 now thats kind of a beater, but it still roars around town - and scraping around corners is always fun :evil

    I had a brand new RK in 06 and it was like night and day compared to the 03 i had, the 06 had significant power, and would really accelerate a lot quicker than the previous bikes. Riding the RK slowly can be a task for ppl new to the heavy bike, With a little practice, you can really make the RKs turn and maneuver though,

    Good Luck!!
    #55
  16. twinrider

    twinrider pass the catnip

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    +1. That and Heritage-style handlebars with 3" more pullback and a Sun-Ray seat (Sundowner with heat) did the trick for me. Can ride all day in comfort.

    Also use three foot positions when doing LD rides, driver's floorboards, passenger floorboards (when solo) and highway pegs. Keeps my legs feeling fresh.
    #56
  17. twinrider

    twinrider pass the catnip

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    When I went from a stock 96 (with SE air cleaner) to the SE Stage 2 103 (SE 255 cams) the difference was tremendous. Finally the bike had the grunt it needed.
    #57
  18. wannabe1

    wannabe1 Been here awhile

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    Congrats on the new bike, I made the same move you did from other bikes to a Harley. I went with an 06 FLHTi (electra glide standard) and couldn't be happier, at least for now.
    A few tips that might further enhance your comfort, like the others stated, get the drivers backrest. When you do buy a new seat make sure it is the HD seat that has the slot in the middle or go Mustang that is made for the driver backrest.
    Remove the heel shifter, coming from the gixxer you wont use it anyway and it will allow you even more room to move your left foot around. You will then have over a foot to move your feet around in different positions.
    As ridiculous as it looks, also spring for some highway pegs for the crashbar, again another place to put your feet and vary your position.
    Stock pipes, I can't tell if your RK still has them or not, but while the "real" HD sound is nice and fun to run through the gears with I wish my stock mufflers were still on. I have Rush slip-ons which sound great, but do get tiring after a while.
    Your in GA right? If your crotch gets a little warm, if you ever ride in shorts, or get caught in city traffic also look into some heat deflectors for the rear cylinder. RJsoriginals (google) look like they were made for the bike.
    Enjoy the ride and welcome to the HD brotherhood!
    #58
  19. alii1959

    alii1959 Been here awhile

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    Well, I ordered the new seat..a reduced reach seat. That was the recommendation of the parts guy. He explained fully why I would be more comfortable...so we ordered it. Will probably get the backrest in a while. Also picked up a "nipple" to replace the heal shifter...classy. That was my first trip to the dealer today. I told them I was looking for one of the hi-viz jackets that Harley had out a couple of years ago....waddaya know they found one called me and I went for a looksee. Surprisingly it fit and was half price..so ATGATT with Koolaid infusion!! Harley doesn't produce them anymore so finding one is difficult....probably didn't sell well to the pirates :D..so I benefit.

    Two visits one day....eegad! Am I already addicted?

    BTW, my pipes are stock and sound nice. I had been wondering if true 2-2 pipes would sound better, although I would like the quieter ones. To me, right now, I am please with the power, handling, and sound. Just got to get the ergos right and we'll be good to go. My wife even rode with me yesterday!!! So far, I have over 200 miles in two days....a good start (would be more but Beryl is messing with me).
    #59
  20. twinrider

    twinrider pass the catnip

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    At first my '09's heel shift felt a bit odd to me but now it's part of the bike's character. Plus the shift lever is pretty stiff if I try to upshift using toe only, would need to wear a steel-toe boot.

    You'll lose lower end torque with the true duals.
    #60