Lobbying – Road repression – IRB: results of the biker survey –

Harley-Davidson Road King Classic put to the test

2016 versus 2017 model

In contrast to Quentin Tarantino’s last film, Harley’s new two-cylinder entertainment program does not have eight shady characters killing each other. Rather, for the first time eight valves ensure good entertainment and great cinema on the street.

Vbuy one of the Americans. The people, of all people, whose throw-away mentality is just as legendary as their belief in unrestrained progress, where “bigger” is always “better” and where the old doesn’t count any more as soon as there’s something new, behaves as their only bike when buying a bike for decades Motorcycle manufacturer so conservative that these same motorcycles never seem to change. For example, a Harley from the 1970s can be identified as unequivocally as a Harley as a current model.

Harley-Davidson Road King Classic put to the test

2016 versus 2017 model

Stalemate on the scales

But as is well known, what is important is on the square, ergo the street. Since the 2016 and 2017 years of the
Harley-Davidson Road King Classic except for the said engine and the innards of the mighty telescopic fork and the rear suspension struts are structurally identical, a comparison suggests itself. First of all there is a stalemate on the scales. The old one weighs 375 kilos, the new one adds another four. When maneuvering you quickly cursed both of them over the sweaty "hateful weight".

When driving, both Harley-Davidson Road King Classic conceal their abundance happily. The ergonomics are also identical for both, the rather narrow, high and backward-sloping handlebars, together with the running boards, which are mounted quite high up for easy inclination, and the rocker switch, force you to sit in an upright passive sitting position with your cross straight. But somehow that also fits, because a king, even if it is just the street, keeps his composure and does not slouch around! The windshield, which is annoying with turbulence depending on the driver’s size and is identical in both, can be removed in a few simple steps. Then there is silence and you have a clear view of the large, chromium-plated headlight cup.

Engine itself a direct hit

Since the Big Twins’ engine and gearbox are separate components, the gearbox and its translations could be used unchanged for the 2017 Harley-Davidson Road King Classic. The new clutch, now with an anti-hopping effect, is operated hydraulically instead of mechanically. It should also require less hand strength, but it helps a lot if you believe in it. In addition, the countershaft of the gearbox was redesigned to reduce the frightening impact when engaging first gear. This project can at least partially be considered a success. Finding the idle, however, is a task that cannot always be solved within a red phase.

On the other hand, the engine itself is a direct hit, even if the new Harley-Davidson Road King Classic we tested did not reach its factory specifications by far. So far the reason for this has not been found out. MOTORRAD stays tuned, will measure and report.

BUT, and that is the real, the good news, without the test bench values ​​determined at full load, no one would have noticed. Because with a species-appropriate driving style – that is, engaging just above the idle speed for 2017 of the better "potato sound" because of 1,000 to 850 rpm, then shifting at 2,500 rpm, at the latest 3,000 – the new one simply leaves the old one. In a direct comparison, the Twin Cam looks downright weak. And jarring! In addition to a balancer shaft, the eight-valve engine has also received new engine mounts, only fidgets with restraint when stationary and actually not at all while driving. That might not be enough for one or two followers of Good Vibrations. But the way in which the twin, which now speaks a voluminous bassy and soul-massaging language through a flapless exhaust, pushes the driver forward with almost half a ton of weight, is only inadequately described with sovereign.

Revised chassis of the 2017 Road King

The revised chassis has played a large part in this. The massive telescopic fork with 49 mm standpipe diameter is externally unchanged, but has been given a new interior with a cartridge system. At the rear there are new struts that do not require air support, but – at least the left one – can be adjusted in the spring preload with a handwheel. The difference to the predecessor is striking. Where the completely underdamped 2016er, confronted with bumps and flowing country road speed at the same time, searches its way wildly surging, the 2017er remains much more relaxed. To be clear: the new Harley-Davidson Road King Classic is neither a travel enduro nor a super sports car, but nobody asks for that either. It brakes faster, more stable and with shorter distances than the old one in the control range of the ABS, although no changes in this regard are listed in the press documents. The new Road King continues the path that has been described in Milwaukee with some models for some time: It is more motorcycle than ever, without being less of a Harley.

From Dusk Till Dawn, that’s Death Proof

On the one hand, this comes pretty close to squaring the circle, on the other hand, the bare numbers, which were previously ignored in the Harley scene, are now getting a certain meaning. But don’t worry. Despite an engine that may have been assembled very early on Monday, the new Harley-Davidson Road King Classic of the 2016 series takes half a second off the standard sprint from 0 to 100 km / h (4.9 to 5.4). With a much more practical pull from 60 to 100 km / h, it is 2.5 seconds (6.3 to 8.8), from 100 to 140 km / h it is still 2.2. In addition, it only needs 4.8 instead of 5.2 liters to cope with the MOTORRAD consumption lap.

Which leads to the realization that the engineers in Milwaukee are by no means “Inglourious Basterds” – even if they put enormous effort into developing new components that work better, but should look exactly like the old ones. They know exactly what they are doing. And to end this text with Quentin Tarantino: Not only “Jackie Brown”, also the author of these lines would like to cruise around more often with the new Harley-Davidson Road King Classic and not just “From Dusk Till Dawn”. This is "Death Proof", dead certain.

Related articles

Related articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *