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Harley Introduces New Road King Special

With Harley-Davidson’s recent announcement that it will introduce 50 new models over the next 5 years, one could be skeptical about how “new” those models will be. Harley-Davidson is as guilty as any manufacturer of adding a few new chrome pieces, and a new paint job, to an existing model and calling it “new”. Today’s press release, however, indicates the Road King Special at least has some substance behind its newness.

Featuring the recently introduced Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine, this Road King picks up some significant power versus the outgoing Twin Cam High Output 103, a lower profile and black finish replacing chrome parts. Frankly, we think it looks pretty cool … despite the fact we recoiled a bit at the reference to a “mini-ape” handlebar. Here are all the details from Harley on this bike.

MILWAUKEE (Feb. 9, 2017) – Swapping chrome for black and powered by the muscular Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine, the new Road King Special motorcycle pushes Harley-Davidson’s touring line in a dramatic new styling direction, expressing a contemporary perspective on the classic Road King model.

“The Road King Special pounds down the boulevard like a gleaming locomotive rolling through a train yard at midnight,” said Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson Vice-President of Styling and Design. “The Road King has always reflected the purity of the Harley-Davidson FL riding experience. By exchanging chrome surfaces for black and lowering the bike’s profile, we’ve moved the traditional Road King into a new space that’s very current in the custom bagger scene.”

A dark front end topped by a massive gloss-black headlamp nacelle is the signature styling element of the Road King Special. A new 9-inch-tall, 1.25-inch-diameter mini-ape handlebar puts the rider in an aggressive posture on the bike that’s also comfortable for long runs on the open road.

“Chrome was retained only on some key engine components,” said Harley-Davidson Designer- Stylist Dais Nagao. “The lower rocker boxes, pushrod tubes and tappet blocks are finished with chrome to emphasize the V-Twin shape of the Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine. We added a new engine-turned air cleaner insert, a finish that’s also featured on the tank console.”

The Road King Special’s engine guard, handlebar and hand controls, mirrors, turn signals, engine covers, air cleaner cover, mufflers and exhaust shields also feature black surfaces. New gloss black turbine cast-aluminum wheels include a 19-inch front wheel topped by a low-profile fender. At the rear, stretched saddlebags flow over the mufflers to provide a slammed-to-the-ground appearance without reducing suspension travel. A rear fascia panel fills the space between the saddlebags and rear fender, and a low-mount license plate module completes the tight, low lines of the rear end.

Comfort, control and performance are enhanced by the all-new front and rear suspension components featured on all 2017 Harley-Davidson Touring model motorcycles. New hand-adjustable emulsion-technology rear shock absorbers offer 15 percent more pre-load adjustment than previous low-profile touring shocks. The front suspension features new double-bending valve suspension technology that delivers the damping performance of a racing-style cartridge fork with linear damping characteristics and reduced weight. Reflex linked brakes with ABS and the Harley-Davidson Smart Security System are standard equipment on the Road King Special.

Powered by the new Milwaukee-Eight engine

New for all 2017 touring models, the Milwaukee-Eight engine offers quicker throttle response, more passing power, purer sound, a smoother ride and more of the feeling riders want from a Harley-Davidson Touring motorcycle engine.

  • More Power Each Milwaukee-Eight engine produces 10 percent more torque than the engine it replaces in touring models. In addition to increased displacement, the Milwaukee-Eight engine features a higher compression ratio and four-valve cylinder heads with 50 percent more intake and exhaust flow capacity. The valve train requires no adjustment as the design of the rocker arms enables valve lash to be set at the factory for life. Dual spark plugs for each cylinder contribute to more-efficient combustion. A single chain-driven camshaft is lighter, mechanically less complex and creates less friction and noise.
  • Quicker Acceleration The Milwaukee-Eight engine weighs the same as the engines it replaces, so its extra power contributes directly to improved acceleration performance. The Milwaukee-Eight 107 accelerates 11 percent quicker from 0-60 mph, equal to a two-to-three bike length improvement, and 11 percent quicker from 60-80 mph in top gear, equal to a one-to-two bike length improvement, compared to the Twin Cam High Output 103.
  • Heat Management The Milwaukee-Eight engine offers improved rider and passenger thermal comfort due to reduced heat absorption, increased heat rejection and a redesigned exhaust system. The Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine features a precision cooling strategy that targets a flow of oil around the hottest areas of the cylinder heads. A new knock sensor for each cylinder enables more-precise timing control. The rear exhaust pipe is repositioned and the exhaust catalyst is relocated to move heat away from the passenger. Idle speed is lowered from 1,000 rpm to 850 rpm.
  • Improved Fit A new, slimmer primary drive cover and the low-profile shape of the air cleaner cover provide improved rider legroom around the engine and an easier reach to the ground for many riders. All Milwaukee-Eight powered models are fitted with an assist and slip clutch with improved hydraulic actuation and 7 percent less clutch lever effort.
  • Reduced Vibration The rubber-mounted Milwaukee-Eight engine features a single internal counter balancer that cancels 75 percent of primary vibration at idle for a more refined feel and more comfortable experience for rider and passengers while retaining the classic character of Harley® V-Twin engines.
  • Richer Exhaust Note Lighter valves, a single camshaft, optimized cover designs and improved driveline components greatly reduce mechanical powertrain noise. The engine intake and air cleaner are designed to reduce intake sound while ensuring maximum air flow. As a result, the new Milwaukee-Eight engine is mechanically quieter, enabling a richer exhaust tone that meets all global noise and emissions standards while allowing the unmistakable rumble of its exhaust note to resonate.
  • Improved Charging The Milwaukee-Eight engine charging system delivers 50 percent more output to the battery at idle to better support the power demands of touring riders, including accessory lighting, performance audio, and heated gear and other accessories.
  • New Engine Styling The Milwaukee-Eight engine features sleek, modern styling that respects the heritage of previous Harley-Davidson big twin engines. The Road King Special is the first model to feature the Milwaukee-Eight in an all-black engine finish.

The Road King Special model is offered in four color options: Vivid Black, Charcoal Denim, Hot Rod Red Flake Hard Candy Custom, and Olive Gold.

To experience the style and performance of the entire 2017 motorcycle line-up and feel the power of the Milwaukee-Eight engine, schedule a test ride at a local Harley-Davidson authorized dealer by visiting

See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. SmokinRZ says:

    Looks like the Harley my High School teacher rode 40 years ago. Should appeal to the Frank Sinatra generation quite nicely.

  2. Bubba Blue says:

    I like it, but it’s $3000 more than the basic Road King. Mostly, you get Anti Lock brakes and the silly security feature that I don’t even like on my 2013.

    • mkv says:

      You know a lot of people spend an average of 3-5k on their Touring bikes. The blackout parts and wheels alone cost more than 3k just in parts. Imagine how much extra you pay when having the dealer install those 3-5k parts. That add another 2-3k in labor.

      In this case, this is actually a deal

  3. todd says:

    That gap between the tank, the forks and the top of the engine just looks so awkward to me. The tank doesn’t even look like it fits the bike, especially how it looks jammed against the front of the seat. I don’t quite get the styling of these things.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      While it clearly puts us in the minority of US motorcyclists, I agree with you completely. Most cruisers look like they were put together from some cheap DIY kit.

  4. Dirty Bob says:

    Aluminum frame would be an improvement, like Polaris. Take a look at the Vanguard.

  5. superhawkman says:

    I like all of the posts to this article. There is no such thing as bad publicity!

  6. Kevin Buss says:

    Its amazing how many comments in this article. Even bad publicity is good publicity!

  7. Mick says:

    My only interest in Harley Davidson is to have a look to see what the current trend in industrial design seems to indicate. From an industrial design standpoint, what is the purpose of a too shiny and a little too dark olive drab when olvie drab is really easy to do?

    For my part. I think that maybe the buyers of an olive drab should get something more along the lines of a powder coat, meaning high durability industrial finish. I feel that something along those lines, not just color but type of finish, would create a stronger interest in not just the model, but the particular color. Collectors would be forced to buy both.

  8. Don says:

    Richer exhaust?? Oh no……… Louder??
    Harley doing what it does best. Turning gasoline into noise.
    Certainly not horsepower.

  9. mickey says:

    Harley build something like this.. that would be news

    • Scott says:

      That’s exactly the direction I *thought* they were going with the Ignition concept. I was excited about it, because that may very well have been my next bike. Instead, they copped out with the Octane, so I bought an XSR900 instead (which I’m perfectly happy with, BTW), and the rest is Victory. I mean, History… Well, same thing.

      • mickey says:

        Scott according to an article in Cycle World this month a new pipe, opening air box and remapping got it from stock 90 rwhp to 116 rwhp.
        It’s crazy to me that they didn’t produce something like this for sale, or that Harley or Indian don’t now. Scout sport anybody?

  10. Butch says:

    The novelty of ownership should wear off somewhere around that 3rd payment.

  11. Michael Haz says:

    Fifty new models in five years? Remarkable! Keep the brand fresh. I’d bet that some of those new models will be created by pushing the M8 engine into the Dyna and Softtail lines. That, along with improved suspensions will be a big improvement for both lines.

    And a mini M8 in the 1200 Sportster line would be awesome.

    Keep up the good work Harley. That’s how you earned about 50% of the market, despite whining from the peanut gallery.

    • CrazyJoe says:

      Would be interesting to see how they would update the sportster. Something with liquid cooling and fake fins like Triumph would be very vool. Lighter and faster with a better suspension no ktm or ducati but true to it’s heritage I’m for it. Come on harley America needs to respond to the t-100 with a vengence.

  12. Gentleman Rook says:

    Soooo…it’s a Star Stratoliner Midnight edition from 2007 in dark green with ugly bags? Harley copied Indian, Yamaha copied Harley, and now Harley is back to copying Yamaha? Navel-gaze much, guys?

    • Hot Dog says:

      I wonder how many Yamahas were scattered in parts piles on Harley’s floor, when they designed their “New, across the board, ground breaking design”?

    • Scottie says:

      They finally have a motor to compete with my ten year old Stratoliner.

  13. carolinarider says:

    I like all bikes..they all have two wheels right? Each is unique in its own way, open your minds and appreciate them for what they are. I ride a BMW and have an appreciation for the Harley brand…keep up the good work MD!

  14. jimjim says:

    “mini-ape handlebar puts the rider in an aggressive posture”…SOLD lol

  15. beasty says:

    Good looking motorcycle. I like the change in the wheel/tire sizes.

  16. hh says:

    It is spring and things are new, more, improved, richer and so on. How long have they been making these things? It is a difficult enterprise to maintain making things very particular and yet fresh to be part of the singular on going universal HD brand experience. Aristotle would be proud. Apparently this stuff never grows old. Hold on, I see the latest Gixer has better power range, suspension, weight reduction, plastic bits, graphics etc. I have to go to another site and see if I can get a new and improved garage.

    • Grover says:

      Changes to the Gixxer are usually infantisimal and the latest one certainly falls into this category. Oh well, I guess the lastest changes are better than having only “Bold New Graphics”.

  17. steveinsandiego says:

    two years ago i test-rode a new 2015 street bob – my first HD experience. however, i couldn’t justify forking over the cash jus’ cuz of the price, despite my bulging wallet and two-thumbs-up rating. i’m 68, too, and wonder how HD intends to woo the generations following us fading baby-boomers. i’m surprised that the street 500 and 750 remain on the menu……

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “i’m 68, too, and wonder how HD intends to woo the generations following us fading baby-boomers.”

      it’s an HD so it’s like classic rock which is well “classic”. young or old the “antiqueness” or heritage of the product IS in fact the USP. another way to think of it is like the formula for Coke.

      Q: do we hear Coca Cola Bottling USA asking the question what changes do they have to make to woo any post baby-boomer generations…?

      A: no we do not.

      • Scott says:

        New Coke. Classic Coke. Coke Zero. Coca-Cola Blāk. Coca-Cola Life. Coca-Cola with Lemon/Lime/Cherry/Orange/Vanilla… Etc., etc….

        You were saying…?

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “New Coke. Classic Coke. Coke Zero. Coca-Cola Blāk. Coca-Cola Life. Coca-Cola with Lemon/Lime/Cherry/Orange/Vanilla… Etc., etc You were saying…?”

          behold “variations on a theme”. right then, all readers possessing the basic intelligence to see the “common denominator” in the above list is STILL the ingredient “Coke” please raise your hand…?


          breaking news, the green/black HD special above is the equivalent of your “Lemon/Lime” Coke (OMG). see despite staring right at it, your MotoIQ did not allow you to see it.

          • Scott says:

            Okay, Norm, if you want to continue to try to use this ridiculous analogy to excuse HD from making the same damn bike over and over again for 100 years…

            The Coca Cola Company also makes:

            Minute Maid juices
            Dasani water
            Orange juice
            Flavored waters

            So once again, tell us why Harley can’t be bothered to try to grab ANY other motorcycle market but the same tired shit they’ve been peddling all these years?

          • Scott says:

            [Note: Futile response to Norm posted above, but stuck in “moderation zone” as of 4:49pm. Please wait 5-6 hours to view…]

      • Tank says:

        Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero, Coca-Cola Life, Coca-Cola Lite, Cherry Coke, Caffeine-free Diet Coke, Vanilla Coke, Cherry Coke Zero- some available in smaller cans and bottles to appeal to people who worry about too much soda intake. Maybe Coke IS asking a few questions. “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy

    • blitz11 says:

      My wife has a street 500 – an upgrade from her 1987 rebel. absolutely loves the street 500. Fast enough for her, fits her 5’6″ frame very well, and with SS brake lines and EBC pads, stops just fine. (Brakes were a REAL weakness for year 1 bikes.) She’s ridden the street 500 more in 2 years than she did the rebel in 20.

      I really like the engine/transmission package. Smooth, reliable, and can easily be hopped up (well see how the H-D factory team does this year).

      Bike has been super-reliable, it’s easy to work on (I do all of that stuff), and she likes how it looks. Fit and finish? She doesn’t care at all. Some things are weird (gigantic axles and axle nuts – huh?) and some things are brilliant(how they pre-load the steering head bearings).

      In all, it is not a great motorcycle, but really good for its intended audience. Replacement parts are cheap, too.

  18. Dale says:

    I’m sure this is a wonder cruiser, but aren’t they just starting to copy the copiers?

    • paul246 says:

      That Kawi makes the Road Glide look homemade, I mean really amateur, and its 7 grand less than the H-D to boot.

      Still, not for me. I’m not into cruisers as I’m only 62, maybe someday.

    • Scottie says:

      Problem is I think the the Kawi handles worse that the H-D.

  19. Fuzzyson1 says:

    OOOHHH, look a new color!

  20. chris says:

    Harley says it is trying to reach out to minorities and women to try to bring their bikes to more people (which is great) However they seemingly have little or no interest to reach any people regardless of race or gender who has interest in a sport, sport touring or naked style bike. In the past they have made half hearted efforts with the XLCR 1000 the XR1000 and the XR1200X but these were not good enough to bring the non Harley people in to the dealerships, too heavy poor braking and not enough power, I own an XR1200x which is a great bike but why does it have to be so heavy? If Harley is serious about their future consider bringing back Erik Buell and some of his team and allow him to create some wonderful affordable bikes to fend off the competition from Indian and others which are focusing on bringing Hi performance exciting and affordable bikes to market.

  21. john says:

    I wonder if it will leak oil like the last several HD’s I bought. You’d think as long as they’ve been building bikes they would be able fix that problem but then I guess it wouldn’t be a Harley. No thanks, done with HD, now if I could only unload the P.O.S. I have now.

    • Howie says:

      Obviously John must own some old S_ _ t. They wouldn’t leak if you took care of them.

      • John says:

        Really Howie? Late model Road King that was in the shop 4 times because they kept saying no it’s not leaking. Must be oil collected from the last oil change, bla, bla, bla. They had to replace the transmission sub-assembly because of some inner seal. Never again.

        • Tai says:

          I’ve own a ’91 FXLR, ’02 Ultra Classic, and now a ’11 XR01200x and a ’14 Ultra Limited. No leaks on any of them. Must be lucky I guess.

          • beasty says:

            I’ve got several Harleys in my garage right now and none leak oil. I did, at one time, own an 05 Roadster that leaked at the starter gasket, but one outta 20 ain’t bad. I’ve got quite a few oil spots on the garage floor from chain oil from various other bikes and I’ve had several Japanese bikes that always weeped coolant. They ain’t all perfect. This oil leaking Harley nonsense is getting tiresome, and some folks need to get their heads outta the 60’s. No one seems to refer to older Triumphs which were notorious oil leakers back in the day. They’ve improved their product and so has Harley…….a long time ago.

          • Norm G. says:

            admittedly I have owned very few vehicles in my life that DIDN’T leak oil at one point or another. motorcycle, automobile, diesel truck…? if it’s got a fluid IN IT, gravity’s actively conspiring to pull the fluid OUT of it.

          • Doc says:

            C’mon Norm. Didn’t you know only Harleys leak oil! Geez, haven’t you been reading the posts??

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “C’mon Norm. Didn’t you know only Harleys leak oil! Geez, haven’t you been reading the posts??”

            i’m so silly.

  22. Gham says:

    I own a Harley and enjoy it,that being said I don’t care for the looks of this at all.They can kinda pull it off on the Softail Slim,Low Rider S and Sportster Roadster but on a Road King? Bleh..

  23. Ken says:

    I like it. I love my current Road King. I also have a Ducati I ride track days on, and a BMW GS I travel on. Different bikes for different moods.

    • Chrisgo says:

      I agree with you Ken. I love my Road King for relaxing backroad touring. I have other motorcycles for going fast.

  24. red says:

    I couldn’t wait to read these comments, especially after the “gleaming locomotive” line. not disappointed.

  25. Bubba Blue says:

    Oh good, I can go slow faster.

    Really, this will be a nice ride!

  26. Marty says:

    Bought my first Harley last fall, at 68 years young I thought I’d slow down some. Surprisingly enough I enjoy it. I’ll keep it a year and decide whether or not I’ll move to something else. At a guess the guys that rag on them probably have never owned one.
    It’s just you have to take a different attitude…I probably won’t put 500 plus miles a day on it like I would my BMW, but then I knew that going in.
    Maybe a Goose next time? A Tenere? If I can get my leg high enough…

  27. Ricardo says:

    Now, paint is cheaper than chrome right? will we get a lower price for this “custom” with cheaper parts? don’t think so.

    • blitz11 says:

      You’re exactly right. Chrome has very significant EPA regulations – it’s one of those metals which cause health problems. It has become very expensive to plate with chrome in the U.S. that is why everything harley did went to black/flat black. Cheaper, fewer regulations. Good marketing saved them tons of manufacturing $$$.

    • larlok says:

      Looks like paint is about $3k more than chrome according to The Motor Company website.

  28. Norm G. says:

    admittedly I does have a whole “WW2 vibe” going on, but it works. fit some fancy contrast cut wheels, full apes and SHIP IT…!

  29. todd says:

    Some times I wonder if motorcycledaily posts things like this to bring out all the trolls.

  30. WSHart says:

    Per an email I just received, Indian is introducing a “new” model in a couple of weeks. Perhaps this is just a pre-emptive shot by HD. Regardless, it is a Road King and as such it is a fine ride.

    Whether or not it is “special” is entirely up to the buyer.

    As for the whiners here that whimper and moan about how Harley and Indian don’t build what they want? You obviously don’t want what a great many other people desire. There are plenty of bikes out there for you.

    If you want a Harley but “hate” HD for whatever SocialJustUs Warrior “reason”, then be happy with your Starley or what ever faux styling exercise you choose. Explain to anyone that will listen your reasons for not buying a Harley or even an Indian. Take the identifying emblems off your bike. Scowl under your scary skull face scarf, just like you claim the HD pretenders do and “ride free-er” and be the loner like PW Herman.

    People complain and cry about how the HD crowd are getting older and soon they will not be buying bikes any more. As if the crowd of whiners isn’t getting older too.

    Just like their anti HD/Indian shtick.

    • Scott says:

      Oh, the irony.

      • WSHart says:

        Gee wizzies Scott,if someone doesn’t make what you want, then vote with your wallet and quit whining about it. There’s zero irony in continually complaining about something that is not about to happen anytime soon.

        Just ignorance.

        But if HD or Indian do make a bike that appeals to you, I doubt you will buy one. There will be the “too heavy” or “not enough HP” or some such nonsense to most people but all the same important to you (and there’s nothing wrong with that) that will keep you from getting what you said you wanted.

        It happens all the time. Oh. The. Irony.

    • mickey says:

      Hmmm remind us again Mr Hart of all our options for a standard ergo American made sport tourer or standard? Because other than the $31-$37k Motus I can’t think of many.

      • WSHart says:

        There’s nothing to “remind” you of. You’re more than well aware that HD and Indian don’t make what you want and there’s a reason for that, i.e., they are not in the business of making a “sport tourer” or a “standard” to your specs.

        Buy a Motus if the country of origin is that important to you. The last time I checked, BMW and Japan, Inc. make plenty of excellent bikes in those flavors and they are allies of the US so at least that takes some of the sting off, eh?

        Hmmm indeed.

        And extra points for not using the stupid juvenile term “naked”.

        • Dale says:

          You forgot my Norge.

          Indeed, there are plenty of other bikes out there. That’s why I bought a Moto Guzzi. Davidson chooses not to build an FJR/Concours 14/RT/Norge out of the V-Rod motor, so we vote with our money and go elsewhere.

        • mickey says:

          And I think that’s the point. Americans are asking for something like that, were excited about Victory’s proposed project 56 bike, which Polaris torpedoed, yet Harley and Indian, steadfastly refuse to supply a product like that, prefering instead to bring out more of the same old drivel with a different paint job and calling it a new model.

          Now whether it would sell or not would be up to them. They would have to make a competitive product, but I don’t think people would not buy it just necause of the name on the tank.

          I currently have 2 bikes, a Japanese standard, and a Japanese sport tourer, and I would certainly consider an American replacement with a good dealer net work at a competitive price. For me the bar isn’t that high,I don’t need 150 hp, I don’t need modes, I just need a good dependable, comfortable easy to ride and maintain motorcycle. Is that asking too much for either of our two American manufacturers? If they don’t even want to try for my money, they shouldn’t complain when I ride something from a coountry that does.

          • Max says:

            Have you ever ridden a Road King? The seating is no different than you sitting in your chair typing your message.
            Besides being very comfy and providing nice passenger accommodations and copious luggage space, they also handle pretty well and have decent ground clearance. And the new ones don’t even shake like crazy at idle.
            As far as maintenance, it doesn’t get much easier than a Harley. No valves to check, or chain to lube, or radiators to flush, or cam belts to replace.
            If you’re not out to prove that you’re the second coming of Rossi, the Road King is a very practical bike…though you will be paying top dollar for the fancy badge on the tank.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            I have ridden a Road King. Spent 800 miles on a rental. We have very different ideas concerning what equates to “decent ground clearance” and “handles pretty well.” I also found the riding position to be pretty uncomfortable. It was a nice motorcycle, but it wasn’t good at anything except being a Harley… which for people is all that matters. Nothing wrong with that, but it wouldn’t sell me a motorcycle

          • Dale says:


          • Grover says:

            Max is right on. The Road King is a lot closer to a standard than a cruiser with its upright
            seating position and willl tour all day long in comfort and includes cruise control, an option that you can’t even get on some other bikes that desperately need it. I like the low maintenance aspect of the RK as I’d rather ride than adjust a complex valve system. No, it won’t lap Willow Springs faster than an R1, but then it won’t require a chiropractic after a 500
            mile day trip. There’s a bike built for every rider so find the one you enjoy and ride!

          • mickey says:

            Max, the Road King is undoubtedly a very nice motorcycle, but at 820 pounds it’s headed in the wrong direction weight wise for me, and for a lot of others. My current Sport tourer weighs 717 and it’s a heavy beast. A BMW R1200RT with fairing, bags, twin cyl 1200cc motor and shaft drive weighs a whopping 218 pounds less than the Harley. If Harley knocked 150-200 pounds off the Road King it might be a great motorcycle and competitive with the rest of the world. It would be lighter, faster, handle better, get better gas mileage and be more rider/passenger friendly would it not?

          • WSHart says:

            Mickey, has either HD or Indian ever really complained that you ride a bike from another country?

            Outside of the tariff imposed on bikes 750cc and up in the early 80s (which was dropped early by HD), I cannot recall such a complaint and in reality, the Japanese were dumping a bunch of leftover models from previous years at ridiculously low prices and that was a prime mover in the tariff that HD asked for.

            The only reason the Japanese make knockoff Harleys (i.e., “cruisers”) is because people want a Harley. I’m certain your bikes are great fun but to expect HD and Indian to make one is a bit unrealistic as I doubt they could compete with the might of any of the Japanese Four.

            Maybe Indian will see fit to give it a try and make a Scout based on the Project 156 (with a fuel tank big enough to actually go somewhere) and hopefully people will buy it.

            And Max is correct. The Road King is a very comfortable machine on which to travel for hundreds of miles a day. That is what it is built to do, whether or not the buyer actually does that or just parks at the BBQ (aka: “The HD Corral”…Goldwings line up at the Dairy Queen) is not the fault of the bike.

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “There’s a bike built for every rider so find the one you enjoy and ride!”

            i hear/tell the catchphrase spoke by savvy industry types is…

            (wait for it)

            “there’s an ass for every seat”

    • Auphliam says:

      Just an FYI. The new names Indian recently (1/25) registered with CARB: Chieftain Elite, Chieftain Limited, Roadmaster Classic

      • WSHart says:

        Thanks for the heads up. At least Indian and Harley are trying to appeal to the group that finds them appealing.

  31. Chris says:

    0-60, 11% faster than slow. All good, as long as it SOUNDS 50% faster. Want the Harley experience without spending 20 grand? Buy a recording of a Harley accelerating, sit in your La-Z-Boy, and crank up the volume! Fan aimed at your face optional, but use the low setting.

  32. wjf says:

    A Harley….you’re just moments away from walking

  33. Kitty says:

    Harleys are not my particular cup of tea, although my very first motorcycle four decades ago was a Harley. Having said that, I really like the looks of this one, although I will never buy one, new or used. I am still patiently waiting to see if ELIO ever makes me the ELIO that I ordered. If they ever do, I will be switching then from two wheels to three.

  34. mickey says:

    Showed the picture to my wife. She said, ” They don’t expect a passenger to sit on that little sloping part of the seat do they? “. Then she added ” What’s with manufacturers? Don’t they think wives and girlfriends want to go along too? Nobody makes a decent passenger seat. It’s either a tiny little pad perched way up high, or a tiny little pad way down low. It’s ridiculous”

    • SausageCreature says:

      I’m with you on that. My wife and I have test-sat several different bikes (naked, sport-tourers, and retro standards mostly) over the past several years, and it’s hard to find a good pillion perch.

      I shouldn’t have to shell out BMW or Goldwing type money just so I can carry a passenger in reasonable comfort.

    • stinkywheels says:

      If you want the Harley experience, you need to spend a thousand bucks to take a passenger in comfort. Just open the checkbook and accessory catalog at the same time. Don’t get a superior, American made, Sargent for $500, it don’t have the eagle.

      • beasty says:

        Harley Sundowner seat for RoadKing $349.95. One of the most comfortable seat you can put on a Harley.

  35. Auphliam says:

    Pretty sharp looking bike. Looks like a Springfield comparo in the making, right? Get on that, Dirck 🙂

    To all the cruiser naysayers, when you’re riding down the road (if you actually ride) do you loudly grumble that every vehicle out there doesn’t serve the exact same purpose?

  36. mcmotohistory says:

    Have any of you actually road one of these late model Harleys? I’m not a cruiser guy but I have to tell you they are nice. Unlike the Harleys of my youth that I thought were such jokes (and they were)the engineering of anything in the last 5 years is 1st class. I can see why there selling 200,000 bikes a year.

  37. Wendy says:

    Unoriginal negative comment.

  38. Geoffrey Hill says:

    My old tank shift Flat Head didn’t look like any of the bikes they have now. Wish I still had it.

  39. James Kaplan says:

    Don’t know if I can yawn any louder…

  40. Grover says:

    A Road King is probably the best bike Harley builds as it’s great at touring in comfort. Why Harley has to pretend it’s an all new model is just plain stupid. It’s still a Road King.

  41. Tom R says:

    “As a result, the new Milwaukee-Eight engine is mechanically quieter, enabling a richer exhaust tone that meets all global noise and emissions standards while allowing the unmistakable rumble of its exhaust note to resonate.”

    Ugh, me not understand. Me want loud. Me want bike store to junk wimpy stock pipes, put on loud. OK to charge me many extra fur pelts, I gladly pay. Me want LOUD.

  42. Tim C says:

    Hardly Ableson comes through once again.

    “His name is Ralph.”

  43. Larry Kahn says:

    Hey Motorcycledaily guys, you might want to think about bothering posting much Harley stuff. Seems like most here are all like “dilligaf”. Just sayin.

  44. Alpster1 says:

    All New Fascia between the bags and fender make all the difference to me…

  45. Uffe says:

    Glad it comes out in time for boating season, as I needed a new anchor.

  46. jimmihaffa says:

    About as inspiring as a new flavor of beef jerky, which I guess is the point. Beef jerky ain’t going nowhere and, apparently, neither is Harley-Davidson.

  47. stinkywheels says:

    Whatta joke! The faithful will be thrilled. I’m going to have to get another Road King after selling my 05. Looks like it’ll be an 06 or early 6speed and put some Ohlins shocks and cartridges in it, some shorter bars, not taller. This new one won’t be it. The new engine seems to be an improvement but I wonder if this new stance (?) is just some more crappy low travel shocks. The bike can’t be beat when you just need to run 2 or 3 tanks a day over boring, heavily patrolled roads. Their dealer network can’t be beat either.

  48. Tommy D says:

    Next year they will come out with a Dyna and T-bars on it and call it radical! I wonder if I will ever see a tracker styled H-D or a Cal Rayburn replica from the factory in my lifetime…

  49. allworld says:

    Well cruisers will never be my bike of choice, but for those who enjoy them, this must be a real head turner……..
    If HD managed to build a performance naked street bike, to compete with the numerous one’s that are available by just about every other manufacture, except Indian, then I might take “new” as actually meaning something new. I guess we should look for “new and different” when they make announcements in the future.

  50. Moto-Kafe says:

    I guess G.I.Joe would be riding this one at Bike Week, if still around….?? Personally, I think it looks too “military” (at least in these colors) to sell well to the posers……..

  51. Sasquatch says:

    Lipstick on a PIG..

  52. Bob says:

    I remember back in the 50’s and 60’s when the major announcement for the new model year was “Bold and exciting new colors!!” Still works, I guess.

  53. Tom R says:

    Gee, a relatively “new” motor (they do this every 23 years or so), and we’re now supposed to accept, without skepticism, the virtue of “50 new models” over only a few years.

    I’ll bet that they still all look alike to me.

  54. dt 175 says:

    Harley Dirt Bagger? Why does a touring bike “deliver 50 percent more output to the battery AT IDLE”…

    • Bob says:

      You ever try riding down Main Street in Daytona during Bike Week, or rode in Sturgis during the “event”? Idle you will, and plenty.

  55. Gil Anderson says:

    It is always surprising to me that I see new Harleys and the press releases that stoke the fires of excitement to the Harley faithful. BUT…I’ve never owned one and possibly never will. I see the exact same motorcycle as every other one. Change a piece off of one bike, add a popular accessory, take off something else, change the paint color, and voila!…a new Harley model is born. This doesn’t do it for me. I hated to see the Victory brand go away. I was far more interested in their bikes and direction. Too bad there is no American Ducati or BMW. Our big player rehashes 19th century technology year after year. the best thing to happen to Harley is the V-Rod, and even that is quite dated.

  56. grumpy farmer says:

    Have never owned a Harley but have always liked the Road King. But” Pounds down the boulevard like a gleaming locomotive rolling through a train yard at midnight”!! Puleeaase!!

  57. mickey says:

    Good night it must be easy for the Motor Company to excite the faithful. Everyone else has to really come out with innovation to earn the bucks. THe Motor Company only has to get two new new rattle cans off the shelf and let loose. They are however skilled at jibberish.

    Rolls down the boulevard like a gleaming locomotive thru the train yard at night… Good grief

    I thought this motor only made about 4 more horses than the previous one?

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