News from Oakland Harley-Davidson

BREAKING: The all new 2017 H-D Road King Special

Posted by Jess Bettencourt on Feb 27, 2017 2:12:33 PM
Picture of Jess Bettencourt


Pure design. Unadulterated power.

You can see it coming from a mile away. Big and dramatic like a locomotive rolling through a train yard at midnight. Blacked-out from its headlight nacelle front forks and new wheels to its powerful Milwaukee-Eight® engine, headers and exhaust. With new mini-ape handlebars that pull you up and forward for an upright stance that commands attention. Stripped-down styling and stretched saddlebags for a slammed profile that’s right here, right now. When you take to the road on the new Road King® Special, you don’t just rule the road. You own it.


Engine Heritage

Their iconic look, distinctive sound and massive torque make them instantly recognizable. But the all-new Milwaukee-Eight®107 engine takes the Harley-Davidson® V-Twin to a place it’s never been. So you get more power, quicker acceleration and the coolest-running motors we’ve ever built. With crisper throttle response and truer, cleaner sound. Four valves per cylinder, single chain-driven cam, dual spark plugs, counter-balanced and rubber mounted. Developed and proven over countless miles and millions of hours. All engineered to give you more performance and more of the feeling you want from an engine. Today, it’s a whole new ride.





There’s no bigger factor in the quality of your ride than the confidence you have in your machine. Giving you more of it is our never-ending quest. For proof just look at the improvements made over the past few years. The quick throttle response and passing power of the all-new Milwaukee-Eight® engine, the responsive handling of the all-new dual bending valve front suspension and easily-adjustable emulsion rear shocks, the massive stopping power of Reflex® dual disc linked Brembo®brakes with ABS, Dual Halogen headlamps and fog lamps, brighter turn signals and brake lights, the beefy steering head and front forks. It all makes for a machine that lets you pass faster, stop quicker, take curves tighter, and see and be seen better. Long story short, it all adds up to make you a better rider.





From the time that early riders bolted plastic windshields to their machines and began crisscrossing the country, the Harley-Davidson® touring motorcycle has gone places no one could have imagined. With the Road King® Special Model, we bust into new territory again — removing the windshield for an in-your-face experience that lets you feel the freedom of the open road as never before. At Harley-Davidson, we never stop working, or riding, to discover what comes next. We get in the saddle for countless miles, experiencing every condition Mother Nature can throw at us. We talk to riders all over the world. Then we put all the learning to use. When you feel the ride on a new Harley®touring motorcycle, you’ll understand why there is no substitute for the way we design and build motorcycles. From the response of the Milwaukee-Eight® engine to the smooth airflow, passenger space, seat textures, ergonomic hand controls, and everything else a rider or passenger can feel out there, it’s all dialed in. Hit the road and do a little country crisscrossing of your own. You’ll come back with a smile.





When we designed the new Road King® Special model, with modern, aggressive custom styling straight from the factory, we were aiming high. These are not just motorcycles, they’re part of the American landscape. There’s a standard to uphold. Through all the miles of testing, and the countless hours we endured to improve the way the Road King® Special model works and feels, we never took our eyes off the other thing that separates a Harley-Davidson from any other motorcycle on the road: The Look. The Road King® Special model is where stripped-down, nostalgic, custom styling meets performance. With a blacked-out Milwaukee-Eight® engine, gloss black Turbine wheels and stretched saddlebags that bring it here and now in a hurry for a look that’s as up-to-date as the weather report. As timeless as the road is endless.




If more is what you want, more is what you'll get.

Since the beginning, Harley-Davidson® motorcycle riders have felt the pull to amp up their powertrain performance. Greater acceleration, increased passing power, or just more of that rip roaring, raw Harley-Davidson exhaust sound.

Building a performance engine can be intimidating, but you don't have to start from scratch. A factory-engineered Screamin' Eagle® Stage upgrade is the place to start with complete, street compliant performance configurations for the increased torque and horsepower you are looking for.

According to Brad Richards, VP of Styling and Design at Harley-Davidson Motor Company, the Road King Special has a long history. The first Road King was brought to market in 1994 however the original DNA of the Road King can be found on the 1949 Hydra-Glide. This bike featured the iconic big front end with a big headlamp, locomotive-looking nacelle, front forks, fork tubes, front fender and tank. Those same features can be found on the 2017 models. The 2017 Road King Special has been distilled down to it's purist essence with limited bading and the right amount of black. 19" Turbine 21 spoke front wheels, very similar to what is found on the Harley-Davidson Breakout model, makes the wheels look bigger than they actually are. The 9 1/2" handlebars are typically seen on hot rod baggers. The stretched saddlebags and rear fender give it a slammed look but that doesn't compromise the all new upgraded suspension. The all new Milwaukee Eight engine is the heart and soul of this motorcycle and for the first time, it appears in black.

Want to hear what other people are saying?

“We wanted to offer our customers a really great head start if they wanted to take one of our baggers into the darker space because right now the option would be to take your chrome Road King and then go through the catalog and replace the many hundreds of pieces you’d have to replace to go dark,” Richards says. “We’re kind of giving you a head start with this motorcycle, and we see that as a really cool canvas for customization. We can’t wait to see what our customers do with it.”

-Motorcycle Cruiser

Most of the Road King’s chrome was stripped away, replaced by a shiny black finish. “Chrome was retained only on some key engine components,” said Harley-Davidson Designer-Stylist Dais Nagao. “The lower rocker boxes, pushrod tubes and tappet blocks are finished with chrome to emphasize the V-Twin shape of the Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine. We added a new engine-turned air cleaner insert, a finish that’s also featured on the tank console.”

-Rider Magazine

“The Road King has always reflected the purity of the Harley-Davidson FL riding experience," noted Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson vice president of styling and design. "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.”

-Maxim Magazine

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Topics: Oakland H-D News, Motorcycles, Current Rider

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