Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King

 

HARLEY-DAVIDSON ROAD KING – …one of my favorite baggers.

The Road King model was introduced to the Harley-Davidson lineup back in 1994 with the gear-driven, one cam 1340cc Evolution V-Twin motor (EVOs). The bike caught my attention immediately as a cool looking combination cruiser and touring machine. It also caught the attention of many Fire Departments and Police Departments all over the world…they love the Road King. It’s a great all-around HOG.

EVO motors were retired in 1998 and the engine went full Twin Cam 88 (1447cc) in 1999 housing two chain-driven cams and two valves per cylinder. In 2000, a 95ci big-bore kit was offered that took displacement to 1550cc…big power for the day.

 

Riders demanded even more power.

Harley-Davidson’s marketing gurus and dealers noticed consumer demand increasing for engine power so they introduced the Twin Cam 96ci (1584cc) in 2004. By 2012, the engine had grown to 103ci with a displacement of 1690cc.

Here we are, 23 years after its introduction and the FLHR Road King motor, the Milwaukee Eight, pushes out 107ci with a whopping displacement of 1746cc. As you’ll note in this blog post, the Road King continues to be one of Harley-Davidson’s classic rides. Read on…

 

Good-lookin’ Harley-Davidson lines and profile come standard with the new 2017 FLHR Road King. This is the FLHR Road King I road tested courtesy of San Diego Harley-Davidson.

 

Truth be known, I’m an old school biker. I love the stripped down, sexy nostalgic style of the Road King touring bagger-cruiser look. It’s a work of classic mechanical art presented with a modern technological touch as far as I’m concerned.

 

The Road King’s stability, smoothness & handling is impressive!

I tend to have a sporty, fun temperament no matter the ride I’m on so stable, smooth handling is what I go for on motorcycles. My body position is typically cruiser-style, straight back up with feet forward. This riding approach fits the Road King perfectly for me. The Harley-Davidson Road King is no crotch rocket but it’s one of the best handling bagger-cruisers on the market today. I’ve ridden Harleys most of my riding career and I got to admit, the Road King is one of my favorite rides.

 

King of the Road…the Harley-Davidson Road King. Powered by the Milwaukee Eight 107ci engine (111.4 ft. lb. & 1746cc). Ride courtesy of San Diego Harley-Davidson. Click image for more information from SDHD on this black Road King.

 

Also for 2017, Harley-Davidson introduced the Road King Special.

This ride is super cool in my opinion. It’s got larger wheels, lower seat and is even 10 pounds lighter. Note the signature new headlight profile.

This is a dark, bad-ass looking Harley. Minimal chrome accentuates can be found around the engine but you have to look hard to see it…Hint: See lower rocker boxes, pushrod tubes and tappet blocks.

 

Just look at this 2017 Road King Special…blacked-out from its front headlight and front forks back to the 107ci Milwaukee Eight engine to the headers and pipes. Note the stripped-down styling, mini-ape handlebars, 19-inch front wheel and stretched saddlebags. Rear wheel is 18 inches compared to 16 inches in the standard FLHR. Seat height is 26.4 inches compared to 28 inches on the standard Road King…It’s a beautifully slammed profile. Photo: HDmedia

 

The Road King is Harley-Davidson’s base level Touring Model (FL).

It’s the perfect motorcycle for motorcycle purists like me. I don’t need a stereo, GPS or any fancy infotainment stuff. My butt and back do appreciate that the 2017 Road King has new and improved front and rear suspension and I just love twisting the throttle on that 111.4 ft. pd of torque out of that Milwaukee Eight motor. And yes, I’ll take a standard FLHR windshield with that ride.

 

San Diego Harley-Davidson has an excellent selection of Road Kings and Road King Specials on their show room floor. Click image to pay them a visit online. Better still, visit one of their showrooms and test ride a Road King for yourself.

 

The Bottom Line

The SDHD Road King road tested for this blog post came powered by the sporty 107ci Milwaukee Eight engine. It’s a powerhouse, high-displacement motor (1746cc) that is quick off the starting line and will even spin the rear tire changing from 1st to 2nd gear should you want it to. It’s one hell of an impressively fast and smooth motor.

The Harley-Davidson Road King (FLHP model) is used by over 3,500 U.S. police and fire departments in 45 countries. If the Road King is good enough for our first responder heroes, it’s good enough for me. Great ride!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Motorcycle Marc – I’m a motoblogger, some say a motorcycle industry influencer, ambassador and sponsor. I prefer to ride motorcycles but when I can’t ride I blog about it. Since 2009, I’ve developed a strong, dedicated following of thousands of gearheads, motorheads, biker-wannabes and 2-wheeled adventurers who love motorcycles and everything motorcycle-related. Welcome to my world – Marc J. Beaulieu (MJB)

 

 

FYI – The vivid black Harley-Davidson Road King road tested for this blog post was equipped with a new set of Michelin Scorcher 31 tires. Click banner to read my complete tire test and if you want to save $40 on a new set of Michelin Scorcher tires for your Harley-Davidson, click on the Michelin banner in my post.

 

 

Note: Copyrights and Trademarks are the property of their owners. No infringement ever intended. Some of the material for this blog was gathered from numerous articles and websites available in the public domain. Manufacturer Names, Logos, Photos/Images, Websites, Links and Model Information are Registered Trademarks of the Manufacturer and/or Organizations represented. Also, note that specifications and any information in this blog is subject to change without notice. No representation of accuracy is made.

 

12 comments

  1. Colin E. says:

    Hello Marc,
    I love my 2004 Road King but now thinking now about upgrading to the new Milwaukee Eight motor. By the way, superb weblog layout!The entire look of your web site is excellent, let alone the content!

  2. Eddie C. says:

    Thanks for this article Motorcycle Mark. Time for an upgrade from my Sportster so this was well timed.
    I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blog is really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back in the future. Many thanks
    ——————————————————————————–
    Thank you Eddie…glad you find my blog helpful in making the best motorcycle purchases for you. Ride Safe Out There. – MJB

  3. Oliver C. says:

    Excellent blog Mark. Do you have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this fantastic blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will share your blog with my Facebook group. Chat soon!
    ———————————————————————————————————————
    Hello Oliver…thank you for your kind words.
    Feel free to donate via my PayPal…Send funds to PayPal.Me/MarcJBeaulieu.
    Thank you! — MJB

  4. Peter K says:

    Hi Marc… This article is awesome, has all the significant info I needed. Going for a test drive next week. Thanks for your insights on the Road King. – Pete

  5. Jeremy T says:

    Great write-up Motorcycle Marc. I ride a 2000 Road King and love it. I can only image it with the 107ci. God Bless you man. Have a great day.

  6. Frank A says:

    Hello! I love your blog and read it often. One of the best motorcycle blogs I follow. Got it book-marked. I too ride a RK. Fits me well and I like the handling. Can’t afford the new 2017 but will get a used one in the coming years. Have a great day Motorcycle Marc.

  7. Eddi K says:

    Nice ride! Nice life you have road testing bikes.You have done an impressive job with this website brother. Thanks. Keep up the good work and as you like to say – “Ride Safe Out There.”

  8. Ethan W says:

    I love Harley-Davidsons. This is one of my favorite models. Great job showcasing it in this post. Unfortunately, they are too expensive for me at this time but hey a man can dream can’t he? Love your blog man.

  9. Galen McN says:

    What a beautiful ride you have there! Too expensive for my pocketbook but sure is beautiful. Love reading your blog since I’m a motorcycle nut too but can’t afford one at the moment. Thanks for letting me dream about owning a motorcycle someday.
    ———————————————————————————————————
    Keep the faith Galen. Love what you have today. Hug your family members everyday all while prioritizing some savings each paycheck so that one of these days, you’ll be able to get an excellent used motorcycle. There’s a huge market out there for everyone’s budget. All the best and may you ride sooner rather than later. Thank you for reading my blog. — Motorcycle Marc

  10. Racedo G says:

    Nice bike the FLHR. Hey, Some truly wonderful articles on this website , appreciate it for contribution. Thanks.

  11. Bruce A says:

    Good Information. I like the Road King. Nice motorcycle.

  12. Allen K. says:

    I’ve been riding Road Kings since 99. Love the lightness of it as a bagger. Don’t much like the batwing of the Street Glide.

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