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…
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.
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.
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.
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)
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