Advice on buying a Road King.
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  1. #1
    My Bike(s)

    Advice on buying a Road King.

    Hello all, new here from Raleigh, NC by way of Milwaukee, WI.

    I'm in the market for a new bike and after some test rides I've settled on the Road King. I want a "touring" bike me and the old lady can get away on and the Road King just fits. I like the style and the feel of it vs anything with a batwing. The Ultra Limited for example is a beast of a bike and I just don't have the skill set to tool around town on that thing. The Road King however is something I can pop over to the local watering hole/event with ease or load it up for a long trip with the wife. I've been riding on/off all my life but quite a bit in the last 4 years. This will be my first Harley Davidson.

    So, I test drove a 2014 Road King in Blue/Black (she sure is purty), it has ABS, security, pass floor boards, highway pegs, driver & pass backrests, 4-point dock and only 2300 miles. They are asking $16k

    I also test rode a 2017 Road King (Silver...meh), it has ABS, security, pass floor boards, 4-point dock. Tagged at $20k

    My impressions, first off.... that Milwaukee Eight engine is really different from the 103. The power right off the throttle startled me and it really is an overall "smooth" engine. You still get some Harley rumble but just the right touch IMO. The 103 wasn't bad, plenty of power but not close to as smooth. Other then the engines the two bikes are almost identical.

    Here is my dilemma, The 2014 appears to be the better buy with all the extras on it already, the low miles, the color that I really love and a much lower price.

    The 2017 has the Milwaukee Eight, a superior engine IMO but I'd have to pay a higher price for the same add ons the 2014 already has and I don't love the colors that are available. Even after haggling prices I'm guessing I am going to pay at least $4k more for the 2017.

    I'm all about getting what I want but I'm also about saving money...that always feels good too. My biggest concern with these two bikes is heat. I plan to ride this bike loaded down, with passenger and on long weekend trips up to the mountains (Blueridge Parkway/Skyline Drive). 2-3 hrs between stops. I read that the 103 gets HOT for both the driver and passenger. I've had an exhaust leak before and my seat would just burn me up before I realized what it was and fixed it, "butt" my point is that it was no fun getting that hot.

    I also read that the Milwaukee Eight's design considered heat and things that could be a nusance have been reconfigured for both the driver and rider to reduce the heat they would feel.

    I'm asking anyone with experience on the 2014+ Road Kings with the 103 if heat is an issue for the driver and also the passenger?

    thanks! Dave

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  3. #2
    My Bike(s)
    2013 Suzuki M50
    Interesting. I'm sort of going through a similar dilemma right now. I'm riding a 2013 Suzuki M50 which was my first new bike. I briefly rode a used 1982 Gold Wing as a first bike and now I'm looking to upgrade to something more powerful. I've been looking at the Road Kings in the used market.
    It's always nice to have a new bike and it's also always nice to save money, especially when you're buying a bike that is hardly used. 2300 miles is hardly used by any standard.
    Sometimes its best not to buy the first iteration of a new engine but that's just experience from the automotive arena. By the time you buy the 2017 and put all the goodies on that you want, you will probably spend $4k plus another $3k in goodies.
    If you don't want a silver bike, don't buy a silver bike. The 2014 is a great looking bike and the 2017 doesn't look much different to me other than colors. I think the difference between 2014 and 2017 is detectable only by Harley experts.

  4. #3
    In Training
    My Bike(s)
    2016 Suzuki C90T BOSS
    Shediac, NB, Canada
    I'll save you with my Harley speech, especially when your talking about saving money and will only say this. Buy what you want the first time, because it will be more expensive in the long run trying to make a bike you really don't like into something that you do! If your heart really isn't into the silver Road King, that will be in your head every time you look at that bike and you will start to tell yourself ... I wish I would have ....... That's when the wallet starts to open up and it doesn't stop until you end up with what you really wanted ion the first place.

    ps. If your looking for a hot made in the USA cruiser and save some money, go look at the leftover Victories! Just a suggestion
    Last edited by uprightshark; 05-12-2017 at 12:52 PM.


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