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Tell me about your Road King

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by rauchman, Oct 7, 2016.

  1. rauchman

    rauchman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    688
    Location:
    Northeast, NJ
    Greetings,

    I'm on a 2013 HD Switchback and had the pleasure of test riding a 2017 Road King recently. I LOVED the bike.

    As I'm now seriously contemplating how to get one, tell me about your Road King. Do you like it? Any niggles? Suggestions for "stuff"? etc.....

    Any advantages / disadvantages going with a Police Road King?
    #1
  2. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze I keep blowing down the road

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    12,283
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I LOVE mine, but it's not exactly a Road King. :lol3

    IMG_0539.jpg
    #2
  3. ag_streak

    ag_streak Tiene Ruta Cuarenta?

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,935
    Location:
    Blue Ridge, GA
    In my humble opinion, the Road King is the finest handling big twin Harley ever made, and can absolutely rail the curves in the right hands. It's also a relative bargain among Harleys, and looks amazing.

    I want one bad! :beer

    Is the Switchback a twin shock Dyna or a single shock Softtail?
    #3
    TheProphet, rodteague and rauchman like this.
  4. hammick

    hammick Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,860
    Location:
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Got the Harley bug a couple years ago even though I'm pretty sure my mid-life crisis was long over. Bought my 2010 Road King police used thank God. The dealer quoted me 8k over MSRP on a new one. Gave it a try for a few months and sold it. Not sure how people can tour on them without needing back surgery when they get back. Mine had a bitchin' street glide type faring with four speakers and an amp bigger than most boats. I made a pretty profit when I sold it.

    If you end up getting the police model send me a PM so I can tell you how to add the factory cruise for under $100

    My best advice to you is if your are not 200% sure that a RK is a long term bike for you buy it used and buy it cheap.
    #4
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  5. hammick

    hammick Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,860
    Location:
    Kansas City, Missouri
    I'm not a cruiser guy but that's probably the best looking one I've seen.
    #5
  6. Idaho Pakeha

    Idaho Pakeha formerly known as Claimjumper (2003-2016)

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2016
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    I recently bought an '04 Road King for 7K (with 13k miles) and i really like it. Great bike for hauling a passenger and fun at legal speeds (I have plenty of speeding tickets on motorcycles...). I like the looks and love the ride. It is my first HD (although i did own a xb12r firebolt for a while) and I am digging it. I have zero interest in doing an iron butt on it but some light touring on Idaho and Oregon's great back roads sound like a lot of fun to me.
    #6
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  7. LABCAB

    LABCAB Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    69
    Location:
    South
    Swirchback is a Dyna

    I think the Rod King is Harley's most versatile bikes. It is a great handling bike.
    #7
    TheProphet likes this.
  8. rauchman

    rauchman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    688
    Location:
    Northeast, NJ
    It's a Dyna. When I purchased the Switchback in Oct 2013, I had also test ridden a 2014 RK, 2013 FatBob, StreetBob and 2005 SuperGlide. Of them all, the RK handled the best, but coming from an SV1000S, it felt heavy. Of the Dyna's, I thought the Switchback road the best and was also the most touring friendly. From what I remember of the 2014 RK, the 2017 is noticeably better.
    #8
  9. Metallhouse

    Metallhouse Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2014
    Oddometer:
    26
    My father's first bike back from a near 25 year hiatus of not riding was a road king, it was what got into motorcycling with a Sportster. We've since moved on to different brands, but that bike still holds a great place in my mind as a pure and capable cruiser.
    #9
    TheProphet likes this.
  10. Cakeeater

    Cakeeater Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,255
    Location:
    I forget
    These comments both cause me pain (cuz I've spent a fair bit of elbow grease and $$$ upgrading my 2011 RGU) and pleasure (cuz I like where HD is going with their bikes....the same direction I am). I'm looking forward to demoing the 2017s but I fear I'll like them.

    I did just get back from a great camping trip into Wisconsin before the first cold front of the year hit. Love traveling on this bike.

    Cakeeater
    #10
    rauchman likes this.
  11. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,888
    I've an 04. There's a few pictures of it on this forum, doing things others, and sometimes I, believe impossible for such a big, heavy bike.

    I love it, and riding it is akin to straddling a locomotive.

    I fixed the slop in the swing arm bushings, played with oil viscosities and quantities in the shocks and forks. Now it handles pretty good, and was perfectly well behaved on the track.

    Yesterday I was at a huge show, with a number of old vintage bikes. Something I've always loved. My RK has the feel and flavor those old machines. Enough that I wasn't try to figure out how to afford to buy one. Well, except for that Thor.

    Farkling any Harley is a joy of choices. The RK perhaps having the most and the widest breadth of choices.

    Police seat sits you up a few inches. If you've long legs, that's fine. It's not a choice for a smurf like I.

    I also installed a reverse gear. 700+ pounds and adventurous riding make it a good idea. At least in my opinion.
    #11
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  12. rauchman

    rauchman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    688
    Location:
    Northeast, NJ
    Yeah, that test ride was revealing. I REALLY liked the RK. Probably the nicest bike I've ever ridden, demoed, etc. My runner up is the R1200GS wethead. My bike to the RK was something like a Honda to an Acura or similar.
    #12
    BadKarma likes this.
  13. sixspeed

    sixspeed Put on the WHOLE armor

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    405
    Location:
    Exiled from the land of gum bands & bottle of pop
    Before I tell you how I love my FLHP I'd tell you to follow Hammick's advice and ride a lot of other kinds of bikes from other manufacturers... GS750T just sold his Harley Police and went to a DL1000. You just might find a new love somewhere else.

    For ME, the RK fits my riding style perfect. I'm not a trackie or corner carver so a fast, light, nimble bike wasn't what I wanted or needed. And it's HEAVY so a ho-hum rider like me still has to duck walk it back into parking spaces. HOWEVER in the right hands Harley Police bikes can be ridden very well, though for a civvy that fears dumping a $20k bike this learning curve can be a whole lot longer. I still haven't mastered the bike after 4 seasons and 30k miles... doesn't anyone offer a Harley Touring riding class where the bikes are provided? :D

    With the cop seat and the supportive utopia backrest the cop road king fit me perfectly and the chair-like upright seating makes for all day rides with no lower back pain. That and the torque curve of the HD twinkie make it a sheer joy to ride. My bike came no miles and with a Thunderheader which is a bit louder than I would have chosen. Nevertheless, that low rumble just sounds good, period.

    Downside, the cop spring shock (in my era air spring) seats sit high and with a bit of forward rake. At 5' 10 1/2" I can barely flat foot it and on uneven pavement like coming up to a stoplight where the trucks have made the lane into two deeply rutted grooves it becomes a challenge to one-foot the stop. It sits tall for an HD, no two ways about it.

    Upside is the look and feel of the bike is like no other. I've owned dozens of vehicles including some drop dead gorgeous fast cars and as strange as it may seem none other has got me more positive conversations than that FLHP.
    #13
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  14. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    21,636
    Location:
    Way Out There.
    Just bought this '01 yesterday. Haven't ridden it yet, but I love the looks.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #14
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  15. rider33

    rider33 Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,137
    Location:
    The Wilds of Western Wisconsin
    This. I had an '04 which I put about 60 thousand miles on touring to the left and right coasts. It was a great a bike, dead stable into a hurricane and once you sorted out the seat (there are about 100 options on that) very comfortable. I likely would still have it but I just kept finding myself 3-4,000 miles out and wondering where that little dirt road to the left went but not wanting to take a 800# bike with 5" of clearance down to find out
    (it's a bitch to pick up, particularly on a narrow, sandy road to say nothing about turning it around). To me it's the most classic of the FL's, the most flexible too. My touring bike is a S10 now which is capable of doing just about anything well but in the wide open spaces out west, I still sort of miss that steamship of a bike, the quintessential Harley.
    #15
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  16. Cactus10

    Cactus10 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    SW Kansas,No trees, No water, No people
    I've got a 2014 Tiger 800 XC and a 2005 Road King. Obviously two very different bikes with two different purposes...and I love riding both of them. The RK seems to just eat miles and I can put in big days and not really feel it....but it can't get me to places people aren't like the Tiger. Guess my shed's like a toolbox - just pick the right tool (bike) for the job that day. Here's a shot of the RK and a friends Street Glide in New Mexico this summer. Road King.jpg
    #16
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  17. grelcar

    grelcar Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    445
    Location:
    757 VA
    I have a 2010 I bough used in 2012. I have put just over 50K miles on it. The windshield comes off in early spring and stays off until winter. I think the removable windshield is one of the best features of this bike. I installed Progressive mono-tube struts in the front forks and Works shocks on the rear. Day and night improvement in ride and handling. Only routine maintenance required, tires, brakes, fluids and filters. Replaced the battery this past spring as a preventive measure. No tupperware to remove for servicing other than side panels that snap off. My bike cam with an analog tach with digital speedometer, I don't care for the tiny RPM readout on the stock analog speedometer. This is the only bike I have had that I plan on putting over 100K miles on.
    #17
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  18. rauchman

    rauchman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    688
    Location:
    Northeast, NJ
    Gorgeous!
    #18
  19. rauchman

    rauchman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    688
    Location:
    Northeast, NJ
    My previous bike was an SV1000S with Convertibars, Sargent Seat and Buell pegs. While I loved the motor in that bike, it could never get comfy enough for touring. During the test ride of the M8 RK, I never once found the bike too much to handle at low speed. I ride aggressively on my Switchback and found the RK very easy to ride.
    #19
  20. BigIron

    BigIron Tenured Prof - Leghump U.

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,073
    I've had a couple of new-ish big twin baggers over the last few years, including a 13 RG, 15 RK, a police FL. The short version is that I'd get another RK if I were to do it again.

    Any of the big twins handle well at anything above walking speed, tho none of them (or any other cruiser-ish bike) even sniff an FXR. The RG was GREAT, effortess high speed running, quiet (for me anyway) behing the fairing, and it handled well enough. For me, there were too many trinkets and distractions, stereo, cb, etc.

    The RK was the most versatile with the quick detach barn door windshield. It was really nice to quickly install or remove it. My two complaints were the seat and wishing for more power when riding in high wind. Pushing the barn door thru a stiff headwind required generous throttle. Seems like both complaints are addressed in the M8. I haven't ridden an M8 (and wont until I'm ready to ride one home). Rumor has it that the M8 is comparable to the 110, and the 110 in Mrs Iron's Fatboy is strong.

    The police FL should have been my favorite but i got rear ended before I got it sorted. My only caution on police bikes is to be sure of the seating setup. The sprung solo on mine was super comfy, but made finding the right windshield a challenge. So go with a standard seat or be sure you like the setup with the cop seat.
    #20