Monumental! The Road King remains a monument of the range Harley-Davidson and for 2016, the Touring family sees double: the Road King Classic in spoked wheels and semi rigid leather saddlebags receives the reinforcement of the more modern version, we just trying:
Wednesday, October 14, weather reports are categorical: the temperature is below 12 ° of the seasonal average! So, testing a tourer timely! Especially when combined with the testing of heating equipment:
We take possession of the Harley-Davidson Road King 2016 Draped in a metallic blue dress with sequins are also flattering as paint nets are dull, the machine highlights its massive plastic.
This “new” Road King differs from the Classic version at several points: alloy wheels sticks 17 inch front, whitewall tires without large and rigid suitcases. Connoisseurs will remember that this variation was once part of the French catalog, a few years ago. Others will see a Switchback rich…
It’s time to get out the FLHR workshop, pushing. The opportunity to remember that this kind of motorcycle does not handle like a middleweight. What the Moto-Station Balance confirms: 205.6 kg just for the back! Ultimately, the Road King admits 377.8 kg fully fueled for weighing.
So we do not look forward to start the engine to help us a bit. Even strictly legal, the Twin Cam 103 High Output 1690 cm3 lets out a beautiful melody, or rather a melody which already gives an idea of what it can offer in stage 1, almost unavoidable to enjoy the approval of this generous twin.
Ergonomics is truly remarkable, especially for templates means between 1.65 and 1.75 m. With 715 mm seat height, it is more the width of the seat and the imposing transmission case which hinder the smallest to lay flat feet. But the 22.7 liter tank is designed and allows tightening the thighs without the right ball in the air filter, also very imposing on this high output motor 103.
Everything falls under the hands; under the feet also with a double branch selector and the first laps erase the confirmed weight. Like many heavy motorcycles, long and posting a low center of gravity, the Road King is manageable from 20 km / h.
After five minutes, we risk no problem practicing half turns with the handlebars near the stop. Gaffe still to excessive optimism: in this compartment of the game, the craft was quick to embark on a misplaced brake application.
Nevertheless, it might be handy at low speed, the Road King does not become a king of interfile either. With 90 cm wide with suitcases, and more to the handlebar, it is not very well sneaks into traffic. With a little practice, when the handlebar goes, everything goes, and it deals with it. Anyway, this bike is not meant to compete with a Sportster in town: his playground is the road.
However, the engine already reveals good flexibility in town. To comply with urban limitations, the three – or even four – first reports are sufficient and it is said that in some provincial towns uncrowned, it can play the utilities to the custom upscale sauce. Confine the king of the road, however, this role would be a mess.
At ease in the winding
Just browse over 20 kilometers on rolling tracks to immediately understand the philosophy of this bike. General comfort between soft saddle, considerate suspensions early in the race, good vibrations and very good protection of the bust, is inevitably part of its strengths. And the handling is far more rigorous than suggested by the rustic look.
The Rushmore project, awarded to overall technical level of the Touring family, has borne fruit. Starting with a carefully reworked part-cycle. The front frame has been stiffened, the fork has increased diameter (49 mm) and suspension settings have been revised. The directional stability has really progressed over tourers of the last few years, and the direction of Road King 2016 shows infallible up to about 150 km/h.
Large curves are swallowed no shivering, with a natural shift winding through a ground clearance respectable. Nothing to do with the latest Kawasaki tourers that rub for a yes or a no. On back roads, the Road King retains good accuracy and leads with ease and enthusiasm if you like.
Attention relatively speaking anyway, useless to try to sustain the pace of a German GT or swallow departmental bumpy as with a large trail: we speak still of a bagger of almost 380 kg. However, the Road King proves much more effective than it suggests its outdated look. It is probably very close to a Moto Guzzi California Touring, yet much more modern design.
As the kilometers, you learn to use the big Twin Cam reviewed at the pistons, intake and cam shafts as it should. As with all good Big Twin, it is advisable to change gear very early in the rev range. Everything happens between 2500 r / min and 3500 r / min. And some fundamentalist further reduce the pleasure beach.
So it connects to faster reporting heel to benefit from the full potential of this engine. This should be even better with less muffled exhausts. In effect, it must still reach 80 km / h to pass the sixth, which takes rather long. What lowering regime long journey: to 80 km / h the multifunction window shows 1850 r / min, 3140 r / min to 130 km / h in coaster serenity.
To overcome or out valiantly turns on small roads, better to use the fourth and fifth reports, which draw shorter. The sixth is really overdrive. Surprisingly, this trunk full of motor between 2500 and 3500 rev/ min, does not like being taken on the extension. The Road King seems unstoppable at 120 km/h, breathe full lungs to 140 km / h (the maximum speed permitted by the speed controller), but barely hanging 180 km / h (4280 rev / min). This engine is designed for cruiser and in this register, it is a complete success.
The latest improvements also related to Rushmore project safety benefits. The ABS electronic coupling Reflex proves effective. Brembo four-piston calipers are powerful and braking provides good feeling with a little intrusive finally electronic distribution. As proof, the always paramount use the rear brake which sits the King Road curve and allows it to brake shorter when you want to stop.
Lighthouse LED Daymaker proves powerful enough in crossing position, together with an expanded beam by passing lamps, but nothing disappointing right headlight. Honestly, high-tech bikes illuminate “ten times better”.
Test Appraisal: A beautiful renewal
Modernized, more efficient and with a cycle-part review, the Harley-Davidson Road King has its place in the 2016 catalog, in which it completes the Road King Classic without duplicating.
Sold at the same price from € 23,570 it differs in on the presentation details. Some prefer particular wrinkles lockable suitcases or tubeless rims. The FLHR only remains a great tool to scroll through the kilometers on motorways as a winding road, with great pleasure and even efficiency.
Given its specifications, as blame him? An upscale fare, a regulator of speed “legalistic”, a front that locks a bit when braking in curves, the stalks not very neat little … finally.