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Harley Davidson Road King Special: Modern perspective on old classic

2017-02-22 10:14

MODERN CLASSIC: The Road King is Harley-Davidson's take on a modern classic. Image: Supplied

Cape Town - The 2017 Road King Special puts a modern perspective on the classic Road King as it exudes a bold new attitude and much darker edge with a few other noticeable changes. 

Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson Vice-President of Styling and Design said: “The FL series has always reflected the purity of the Harley-Davidson 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. Built to ride, and ride hard the Road King Special also broods with menace. Just as we designed it to.”


The Road King Special will be offered in four colour options, vivid black, charcoal denim, hot rod red flake hard candy custom and olive gold, with pricing starting at R320 800 at selected dealerships. 

The signature styling element of the Road King Special is the dark front end topped by a massive gloss-black headlamp nacelle without a standard windshield. It’s highlighted by the new 22.86cm tall, 3.175-wide ape handlebar that puts the rider in an aggressive posture on the bike that’s also comfortable on long runs.

READ: New ‘Big Twin’ engine for Harley-Davidson in SA

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, while chrome is retained only on some key engine components – the lower rocker boxes, pushrod tubes and tappet blocks to emphasize the iconic V-Twin form of the Milwaukee-Eight engine. 

The Harley-Davidson Smart Security System is standard equipment on the Road King Special.

Image: Supplied

Improved Milwaukee-Eight Engine

The bike features the Milwaukee-Eight engine in all-black. The engine produces more torque, faster acceleration, improved fit, reduced vibration, richer exhaust note and improved heat management and charging.

The engine produces 10% more torque than the engine in its predecessor. In addition to the increased displacement, the engine features a higher compression ratio and four-valve cylinder heads with 50% more intake and exhaust flow capacity.

READ: Harley-Davidson caught in $15m emission scandal

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. 


The Road King Special’s comfort and control are enhanced by the all-new front and rear suspension components featured on all 2017 Harley-Davidson Touring model motorcycles.

New emulsion-technology rear shock absorbers offer 15 to 30% more preload adjustment than previous standard Touring shocks.

READ: Bike review - Harley-Davidson Softail Slim S

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.

Image: Supplied


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