HARLEY-DAVIDSON ROAD KING (1993 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£200|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
For some, the Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King is the best Harley of all, mixing the 50s style of the Fat Boy with the versatility and comfort of the Glides thanks to its twin shock chassis and built in panniers and screen. For extra cool there’s also the Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King Classic and Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King Custom versions.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
Impressively plush and manageable. With its weight carried low the Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King is refreshingly stable and easy to steer, even at low speed. The ride is smooth and comfortable, too. Just be aware that, although improved in recent years, Harley brakes aren’t the best and like most big Hogs the Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King takes a fair bit of stopping.
EngineNext up: Reliability
Like the rest of the big twin Hogs, the Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King's ‘Twin Cam’ motor has just been boosted to 1584cc (from 1450cc and, before that, 1340cc) which gives it a healthy torque and midrange boost. The Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King's engine is authentically vibey and useful enough but don’t expect anything like modern Japanese performance.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Classic Harley in every respect: the Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King's powertrain is understressed, made from girders and been in production for decades, so no worries there. The chassis and cycle parts are hefty, lavishly painted and chromed and built to last. The Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King is a glossy tank among motorcycles.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
£13,000+ new is a huge amount of money, whichever way you look at it but Harleys, certainly in terms of appeal and depreciation, are different to other motorcycles and the Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King is one of the best Harleys. For our money, the Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King Classic, at £400 more than the stock King, is a better buy. Find a Harley-Davidson Road King for sale.
The Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King may not have all the bells and whistles of its full-dresser Glide brothers but its still a fairly tasty bolide. Panniers and screen are on the clunky side of robust, instrumentation and seating is lavish. Of the three, the Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King Classic is by far the sweetest.
|Engine type||4v V-twin, 6 gears|
|Frame type||Steel double cradle|
|Fuel capacity||18.9 litres|
|Front brake||2 x 292mm disc|
|Rear brake||292mm disc|
|Front tyre size||MT90 B16|
|Rear tyre size||MU85 B16|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||44 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£101|
|Annual service cost||£200|
|Used price||£7,500 - £16,300|
15 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||65 bhp|
|Max torque||91 ft-lb|
|Top speed||110 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||12.3 secs|
|Tank range||135 miles|
Model history & versions
1993: 1340cc Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King introduced.
1995: Quick-release catches added to panniers. Fuel injected FLHRI added to range.
1996: New smoother switchgear and master cylinder employed.
1997: Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King Classic added to range.
1999: Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King now with 1450cc Twin Cam engine.
2001: Immobiliser and alarm system now standard.
2002: New swingarm and uprated rear suspension.
2004: Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King Custom added to range.
2006: New 1548cc engine introduced to Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King from September.
Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King Classic: as per base King but with slightly more retro, rounded styling complete with leather-look, buckled panniers, whitewall tyres and wire wheels.
Harley-Davidson FLHR Road King Custom: a sleeker styled Road King with the screen and some trim removed, a lowered rear end and more pull-back bars.
Owners' reviews for the HARLEY-DAVIDSON ROAD KING (1993 - on)
9 owners have reviewed their HARLEY-DAVIDSON ROAD KING (1993 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£200|
Annual servicing cost: £100
This bike is a shameless attention seeker. Gets noticed wherever it goes. Pros comfortable, powerful and the low speed handling is great. It's an absolute chromefest Cons noisy brake pads and it's a lot of polishing as I said it's a lot of chrome.
Great through the corners. A full on mile muncher. Only need a break when it needs filling up.
Good all round gearbox can be clunky.
Only niggle is damage to the chrome on the rear wheel rim.
I do most of my own easy to work on but no centre stand
Massive headlight that wouldn't look out of place on a steam train is awesome and the detachable screen luggage rack and sisy bar are great
Buying experience: Main dealer good customer service and part ex fair price for the bike
Significant improvement on the 103cu in version. Smoother delivery of power. This bike is faster accelerating, runs cooler , handles better and (as standard) sounds great.
Ride quality is good, again improvement on previous model with better suspension and brakes
First 3,000 miles no problems. There was a 'recall' issued for these models but this was basically a visual check of oil cooler pipe fitment .
Noticeably better than the 103cu in . 4 valves and 2 plugs per head which also benefit from oil cooling. The new power plant utilises a single cam rather that the 'twin cam' on the old model. Less noise from the engine gear has allowed some 'engineering' on the exhaust system that has resulted in a much better sound from a standard setup. New clutch (now hydraulic) makes for much smoother gear changes. When cold the selection of first is now usually silent. The agricultural "clunk" hasn't been totally eliminated but it's noticeably better. A newly designed alternator delivers more power to the electrics and a battery tender lead is standard fit Cruise control is standard as are 'linked brakes' and ABS of course So overall a lot has changed - faster , runs cooler, handles better, more economical and sounds more like a Harley as standard. It does have a fair bit of tech on board as standard and of course you're free to add on as much as your credit caters can stand
Buying experience: Dealer experience is normally good and you don't need to be retired and look like a member of a ZZ Top tribute act to be well looked after
Version: Standard model
Annual servicing cost: £300
Only driven my new Road King a few hundred miles, but it's got everything I could ever have hoped for in terms of performance. Engine power and transmission marry seamlessly, and make for a great ride. Awesome torque. My only complaint is that the windshield stops right at eyeline, so you have to either sit up super straight to see over it or slouch a bit to see through it. Which is probably specific to my height (6' even).
They say the brakes wear in and perform better at 500 miles. At 300, i have no complaints as is.
Really a 6 out of 5. New engine has amazing power, smooth shifting transmission, absolutely love it.
Nothing to complain about yet. Everything I bought from H-D, a jacket, helmet, gloves were premium quality. Nothing cheap or flimsy.
Expect to pay $300 after 1000 miles for a required service.
Hard case lockable saddle bags and easy to remove windshield are standard. Only added a $200 power chord and handlebar mount for cell phone/gps.
Buying experience: Fair.
I have the 2010 road king classic with the 1584 engine. I was able to hire a standard road king in florida with the 1690 engine stock tune. I felt like a god riding on it but have to admit the performance was awful. My bike has the stage 1 tune with k&n filter, power commander and vance and hines full exhaust system: it is a different bike. It is amazing, it rasps, growls, has the Harley sound ("brook brook brook" when throttling off) and the performance is now excellent. I ride with friends on sport bikes and on the throttle I can keep up on all but the sharpest of bends. its an amazing bike, but get the stage 1 tune
You need to carry out a new review of this bike. Ive just bought a 2011 version of the Road King Classic and it now has a 1690 engine, with updated suspension etc etc etc..... Brilliant......
This is my second classic and I love it. I bought it in Alaska to ride Alaska and the the Alcan highway and just sort of kept on going after finishing! Now touring all of the states and what a machine to do it on. It is a joy to ride over long, over 500 miles, rides. It commands respect and always admiring looks from passers by. It looks a truly beautiful machine. Though I question the lack of proper touring equipment...like ABS as standard, music system, electric or adjustable screen, heated grips. Ok ok...most of these are extras and we all know where Harley make their money....extras, accessories and clothes. But this IS 1 of their 2 main touring models so it should be fitted out as one. Not a week end decoration. The speedo and warning lights are in a daf(no, dangerous) place. You have to take your eyes off the road to focus and check. really bad! Brembo brakes are ace.....much much betteer than my 2003 Electra Glide Ultra. About damm time. It does what it says on the tin and does it well. I feel at home on Lucy (her name!) every time I throw the old leg over. She never complains, is always ready, warms up quick, she does what I say, never answers back, and takes me anywhere.... the exact opposite of the GF! Buy one and enjoy.
I've had my road king classic just over a year and done nearly 12 thousand miles. Apart from warped front discs,(changed under warranty)i've had no problems.Cleaned regularily it's holding up quite well dispite all year riding. Ridden as it's meant to be, ie slowlyish, it's comfy, relaxing and enjoyable. Try to ride it hard it's bouncier than tigger on acid!! It's my first Harley and overall im more than happy with it. Fuel range is ok, between 165/170 miles per tank and so far it's not used a drop of oil. Ride it like a Harley cruiser and it does exactly what it says on the tin!
There is no sufficient luxurious gadgets to make you feel like a King. Bike is on the heavy side, poor rear suspension, fuel tank too small and useless original windscreen. Classic is better.
And loved it. I'd recommend the classic version - the custom model has a weird bar bend that is a bit of a strain on longer trips