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  1. #1
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    Default Road king opportunity / opinions?

    So I have this 08 speed triple. It's my only swing arm bike. It's fun but I feel like I'm gonna die every time I ride it. I feel "wrong" on it and just had an opportunity to get it for a good price and needed a daily to get to work without breakdown and my bike falling apart all the time or shit falling off it.

    I have been offered a straight up trade for an 04 road king police edition special. That's as old man as you get. And figure I can rip a lot of it off it and change the seat , pipes ect and make it a little more "me". But have no idea if I should make the damn trade or if it's gonna sit as much as the S3.

    Any road king owners ? Any pics of some minimal modded ones? Thougts?

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    has it been upgraded in the cam chest area? to either gear drive or hydraulic tensioners? 04' still came with the spring loaded tensioners and are a real problem area. they are great bikes otherwise, road kings are difficult to chop but anything can be done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bnalm11b View Post
    has it been upgraded in the cam chest area? to either gear drive or hydraulic tensioners? 04' still came with the spring loaded tensioners and are a real problem area. they are great bikes otherwise, road kings are difficult to chop but anything can be done.
    I have no idea really, but thanks for that tip, i know little about post 84 barleys other than they work and you push a button

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    You're talking about two polar opposites in the moto world. I've ridden both and they both have their purpose. I absolutely love to rip around on the S3 and bikes like it, but you if you're gonna ride 300 miles in a day the RK is your bike.

    I got tired of being sore as hell riding distance on sportbikes and went searching for a Harley. I came within millimeters (actually made an offer and was set to purchase) a 1998 RK until I decided it was just too much couch/Live-To-Ride for me. I said screw it, decided to split the difference and bought an FXR instead. For me the FXR (and FXDX) are the perfect bikes. Your mileage may vary.

    A big red flag is the police thing. Is it a Police Edition (black with blue pin stripes) meant for cops to buy for personal use at a slight discount? Is it a black and white police bike that never saw service and was purchased with zero miles from a dealer by a regular dude? Or is it an ex-cop bike that's got 30k grueling 0 to 35 MPH curb hopping city miles that is completely thrashed? Exactly what it is will make a big difference. If it is an ex-PD bike be prepared to have to tear it down and rebuild a bunch of stuff on it. Suspension and clutch especially.

    I personally would either:

    a) Hang onto the Speedy
    b) Sell the Speedy and use the cash to buy another Harley (or other bike) better suited to your needs.

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    I don't know what to look for on RK's particularly. I do own one however and find it to be a blast to ride. Guy before me did some minor work to the motor: new SE heads, ported/polished. New rotors. Replaced the swingarm seals. Upgraded the ignition. Jetted the carb. You know... minor stuff. It's a '99 and absolutely rips. I love it but am currently craving a rigid so I'm beginning a build. I think it's awesome to have a well running bike. It makes the projects more palatable.
    C

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    Yea it's an 04 black and blue one with like 35 k on it or so. So it was probably some cops personal shitter as you said. Still on the fence about the whole thing. May just keep the speedy for the season. I sat on my uncles road king over the weekend and all though it was littered with radios, CD players, microwave ovens ect. It felt way..wrong

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    '04 RK is not a particularly valuable bike right now. It is eleven years old, not water cooled, not a 6 speed, not a 96" or 103" engine. You should be getting a straight up trade. RK has 88 c.i. engine, 5 speed, wet clutch, one inch axles, good fuel injection (Delphi). Weakness are cam chest, rubber mounts, not much else. Wiring will need cleaning up. If it is in fact fuel injected, any intake mods will require a retune. If it was active duty police bike, they are not ant different inside the engine. Police duty bikes have far more idle hours, hard stops and starts, lots of throttle jockeying. Therefore cam chain tensioners will likely need attention. I can help you with that.

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    Dave, it wasn't an "on duty" bike. And it's particularly cheap do to being the "stripped down" option model. No radio, no bells and whistles, just a speedo and some switches.

    A quick glance on a walk around told me it may look good with a different seat, removal of the windshield, light bar, and highway bars. Throw on some shorter solid mounted bars and it would be an "acceptable" looking cruiser in my taste anyway. Hockey puck bags are freaking me out but not strapping shit to a sissy bar or wearing a back pack seems kind of cool too.

    While I have your attention, I currently have to fix the shit R/R on the S3. Heard of a fix with a couple splices run from 2 wires on that R/R to the battery that boost the charging system on those things 1.5- 1.7 volts while on. That is provided the thing isn't fried yet. But doesn't seem it from some quick multimeter tests. Just seems like it's not spiking to the 13-14 volt area on revs which results in not enough CCA to turn that bitch over every time so I'm carrying an antigravity portable jump to fix that

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    Rubber mount touring frames are pretty much identical to FXR frames with the exception of the neck. The touring bikes have the neck extended out to accommodate the "backwards" trees which aid in low speed maneuverability. The FL's also have a 1" longer swingarm which a lot of hotrod FXR guys switch to in order to keep the front wheel on the ground a little better.

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    I don't know much about the '04 RK, I have a '94. I didn't do any major chopping on it, just minor stuff. You asked for pics so here is a before and after:


    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails before.jpg   RK1.jpg   RK2.jpg  

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    You really can't go wrong with an ex-cop bike. However, the Y2K to '05's aren't the best years for them. I own one and a few of my friends do too. I'll tell you even with the thrashing, the PD's do immaculate maintenance for the year or so they see actual service. They also do a thorough dealer service and reconditioning before being sold off to the public, (short of actually sending the engine to the factory for a reman). That might depend on the law enforcement agency though. My '96 evo saw a year of service with the CHP for the first 40K and now has 90K on the odometer. When I got it from the CHP abck in '98, (it sat for a while), I dropped in a better cam, swapped out the MM EFI for a Mikuni carb, Dyna 2000 ignition, did a little tweaking and it hasn't burped or farted wrong ever since.
    My suggestion for a later model twinkie's is to have the crank checked prior to purchase. If all's good, buy it and spend the $$$ for the gear drive cam setup then ride it till it dies. If you don't want to deal with the EFI, swap in a carb, (Mikuni's HSR42 total kit is a great one for that bike). Don't get all crazy with engine and chassis mods or you'll be spending big $$$ and lots of time trying to make the bike into something it was never meant to be.
    IMO, they're great touring bikes right out of the box, (I figure if a donut eater can sit in that saddle all day long, it's gotta be comfy). You're biggest issue will probably getting used to the weight of the bike, (about double of your S3), but I know several guys that have been riding baggers for years and have the ability to throw them through the twistys better than a lot of sport bike or FXR riders. A quick search on youtube for "motorcycle cop skills" will yield plenty of pigs putting the FLHP's through the rodeo courses that are simply mindbottling.

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    This one's mine.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks for the replies and pics. I figured if I just lost the bags, highway bars, studded seat, and threw on some shorter profile handlebars, kept the bags it would be acceptable for a daily work cruiser. I know nothing of this bikes mechanics, but I do know the p/o was a cop but this was his personal ride and traded the fucker in for some touring tiger type of thing. Which seems like an uncomfortable and drastic switch.

    I'll head up there this week and give it a ride and if I feel like I should have a skulldanna, and want to crawl in the saddle bags at lights when people are looking at me. I'll know I'm not ready for a 2 wheeled Winnebago. But right now it seems desirable

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    I have an 07 police edition. I went to this after my Yamaha 1100 just looking for a little more power and stability on the road. As I live in a rural area there isn't much just city riding I almost ride exclusively mutli day highway trips on weekends.(Though I have made it a point to try to ride more to town just for a milkshake as much as I can) I got lucky and found one with only 200 miles on it for a great price and in a nice color glacier white. I have really enjoyed working on mine to make it my own and riding it. The quick detach sissy bar, luggage rack and windshield mean I can make it look a little sleeker fairly quickly. The only problem I had was when I went to put taller bars on it the abs cable has lots of little fittings on it for my year making a it either very difficult to find an aftermarket one that will handle the pressure or very expensive to build my own cable. The 07 was one of the few years to have this exact type of cable. Though I have a buddy who bought an early 2000's one and really enjoys his. Pretty sure his doesn't have efi and I know it doesn't have abs. As for the hockey pucks owens options makes chrome covers for these which jazz it up a little I think. My suggestion is go look at it and if you enjoy riding it and its a good value buy it. Haters are gonna hate no matter what you ride. I always get funny looks because I put a cup holder on my bike but I really don't care because if I take off on a cold morning I like to enjoy a coffee while I ride so do what you like.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  15. #15
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    I'm a cop here in Phila. (It's a job) anyway I know our wheels are taken care of immaculately. Only the highway unit has them and when you're assigned one it's your personal responsibility to take care of it. Our mechs take super good care of them I'm in the garage bullshitting with them all of the time. Money isn't a huge issue for replacing things and also some rich lawyer guy bought a bunch a few years ago to donate to us. Ours aren't run as hard as some other places they're actually mostly for show, not to say the guys riding them don't push em I don't know how it works in the rest of the country but I'm def certain these are well taken care off. Some are pretty old an still kicking with no problem.

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    Yup definitely gonna go check out the bike Thursday I think and take it for a spin. Got the S3 working by bypassing the regulator plug direct to the battery so it's tip top charging again and should be an even swap

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    I have an '04 RK. Prefer it for long rides if the girlfriend comes along or I am planning long days in the saddle. Love the bike. Converted the cams to gear drive for piece of mind and ease of maintenance. '04 is a five speed which I prefer because it is geared just right for highway riding. Brother has an '07 six speed which is better geared for the interstate. On the highway I have to shift up and down from 5th to 6th way to much because of the of the six speed box on his RK. So think about the road types and speeds you tend to travel to make sure the five speed is right for you. My RK doesn't have the cool factor of my Sportster or Springer but what it was designed to do it does well. Namely eat up miles with comfort and ease.
    Last edited by Tacitus; 06-30-2014 at 10:46 PM.

  18. #18
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    go cholo style

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    I've had two RKs over the years... great bikes.. many trips across country... take the bags and windshield off and they look pretty decent.. put the bags and windshield back on and go as far as you can afford.
    Last edited by Haze; 06-30-2014 at 8:47 PM.

  20. #20

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    I have an '02 FLHPI, never was a police bike was used for escorting funeral prosessions ect. Bought it cheap with 80k on it, had been well maintained, po had replaced the tensioners at 55k but wasnt sure what components had been used. First thing at home pull cam chest cover to look and sure enough spring tensioners and a few pieces of yellow plastic in there. Checked crank run out and was good enough for gear drives in went S&S 510's. Felt loosy goosy on the high way so made a trans brace and solved that, very different bike from my sportster and softail but has a place all its own

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