King of the road
How do you improve on the already iconic Harley Davidson Road King?
As the name would suggest, the Road King is the ultimate distance cruiser and Harley already turn out a top spec bike, so any modifications must be a step in the luxury direction. We knew we had our work cut out with this build.
After speaking to the customer and working on the design brief, we had a good idea of the direction this build would go, the finer details still to be ironed out, but hell yea, anything is possible.
Can we give it a mean low look without compromising the handling…
Low, long, dark and comfy… that was the basic design brief as this bike is a rider that gets used all year round. The oldskool look of a tail dragger rear fender was preferred but the practicalities of a rear guard that hovers millimetres above the road mean we had to fabricate something that looked low but also didn’t spark over every bump. We decided to take the original fender, rotate it backwards a few degrees then fill in the bit that now goes under the seat. It was a neat trick and it allowed us to keep the sleek lines of the original fender.
A retro Cigar style tail light, took a bit of effort to get working, but after some lining up with our lasers we got it dead centre.
Rotating the rear fender left a flat spot under the seat, and although we played around with various seats including a shovelhead Buddy Seat, we decided to stick with the original, which was comfortable and like new. We fabricated a new mounting system, installing two parallel springs at the rear of the seat, in a modern twist to the classic sprung saddle style of yesteryear.
The front fender was lowered by 15mm and we went for a Frenched style headlight that required a few hand made spacers to get it all seated correctly.
A nice set of classic black apes were put together with blacked out Kettle Bells and fork legs to darken the entire front of the bike along with nicely powder-coated rims and gangster white-wall tyres.
The Dash was a challenge… You may be familiar with the Road king centre console which stretches the entire length of the tank, under which, is housed lots of electrical gubbins. The idiot lights are digital and our Cats-eye dash is not so we had to get creative and sculpt the openings to take the original idiot lights, embedded in the new dash. For something so small the amount of work required to make the dash work was incredible but the final look is well worth the effort.
While dandering around the shop Terry spotted a Harley front fender marker light and asked if we could use something like this for the rear indicators… Hell yea! Great call!
When they were fitted and blended into the rear fender, they looked just right… like they were meant to be there.
We blacked out the engine cases and a few extra bits n pieces and this Road King was delivered back to her owner, ready for a life on the road and now worthy of the name… Road King.
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