2003 Harley-Davidson FLHRCI Road King Classic Anniversary from United Kingdom
An iconic legendary bike and it's in my garage
No problems so far.
When I was five years old, my dad took me down to Fred Warrs Harley Davidson in Chelsea and sat me on a white police Harley Electra Glide. I wanted one ever since. It took me 49 years to achieve the dream!
My previous bike was a Suzuki GSX1400. I cannot compare the Road King to the GSX, they are completely different machines and require a totally different riding style and attitude to riding. The Suzuki... you just had the urge to blast it, that thing was so fast. But the Road King... I just chill out, ride slow in shorts and a T-shirt and listen to that deep Harley rumble.
When I first got it, I was getting a back ache every time I rode it. I couldn't understand why because the riding position is like sitting in an armchair. Then I worked it out, I was trying to ride it like the Suzuki, trying to pull it about, but it's too heavy for that. I realised I had to sit on it, steer it and go with it.
I love my Road King. The deep rumble, the looks it gets as I cruise along.
A cool feature is the way the screen is removed and replaced in seconds. And believe me, the brakes are fine. True, you can't blast up to a junction and be the last of the late brakers, the bike is too heavy to stop like a sports bike. But they are fine for sensible cruising.
I like the barn door engineering, nuts, bolts, screws. No stupid plastic clips that snap and cost stupid money to replace (if you can get one). However, Harley do like Torx, Star and 12 point bolt heads and they obviously are in American sizes. So I've had to update my tool box.
I've only owned the Road King for four months. It was a great feeling giving the dealer my deposit and realising I'd achieved a life's dream. I refuse to ride this bike in the rain. So if the weather's rubbish I just sit in the garage and look at it.
On tick-over the engine wobbles and vibrates, but once moving it smooths out and the ride is beautiful. Be gentle with the gear change and it'll click through the box silky smooth. The bike is beautifully balanced and the low centre of gravity means I can ride with both feet on the boards in slow moving traffic. There are a few rattles though that you just have to accept and learn to live with, and I regularly check all nuts and bolts are tight. The screw that secures the seat to the rear mudguard (sorry, fender) tends to work itself loose.
I do miss the GSX1400. That was an awesome bike, I loved it. But I had to part-exchange it for the Road King.
Achieving a dream always requires a sacrifice.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th August, 2016