When the Harley-Davidson Road King was introduced in 1994, it became The Motor Company’s best-selling model in the United States.
The un-faired bagger took its styling cues from the 1949 Hydra Glide, which used hydraulic damped telescopic forks over spring suspension setups that were dominate at the time. The Road King remained king of Harley FL tourers until the release of the 2006 Street Glide, which was built by Willie G. Davidson.
However, Harley-Davidson is looking to change this with the bolder Road King Special. Meet the2017 Harley-Davidson Road King Special, which I tested during Daytona Bike Week.
Ahead of our full review, here are the essential Fast Facts from our first ride test.
- The Road King Special arrives with the new Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine that produces a claimed 93 horsepower and 114 ft/lbs of torque at 3250 rpm. This engine—the first blacked-out Milwaukee-Eight 107 to appear on a bike—makes the previous Twin Cam 103 feel sluggish. The eight-valve 107ci engine also runs much smoother than the Twin Cam, and fills out the engine area more, providing a more muscular look.
- Due to the 107 engine being both balanced (single internal engine counter-balancer) and rubber-mounted, vibrations are dramatically reduced, especially at idle. Harley claims a 75-percent reduction in vibrations at idle, and I agree with that claim of smoother idling.