By Olivier Quinten – Motoplanete Exclusivity
Who hasn’t walked around all day with the same chorus in their head? A song heard absent-mindedly on the radio, a text read on an advertising poster, or inspired by a detail ….
During the first kilometers with this Harley, it is not the song sung by Brigitte Bardot that lulls me but rather the credits of the biker soap from the 70s…. ” CHIPS ” !!
Look no further, our friends Ponch and Baker don’t ride a Road King but rather a Japanese in-line four (a shame for an American soap opera!), It’s more the double-branch gear selector that reminds me of the credits ….
Without being a great connoisseur of Milwaukee customs, I had reviewed my notes (apprehensions) written when the new line of V-roads was released with their very “energetic” engine. But for once I chatter my teeth at a red light thanks to the vibrations, attenuated but still very present, of the big V2 of 1450 cm³.
This Road King has all the elements “police”: windshield, big plate, footrest, double branch selector and of course, for storing pen, record book and other handcuffs, the famous falsely flexible suitcases. Why falsely? Under the air of leather saddlebags, we find very practical rigid suitcases of good capacity.
Other advantages not to be forgotten: the various reinforcements preventing the saddle from lying down completely and the “cruise control”, a detail revealing the road ambitions of “The queen of the road”.
And yes, Harley is in the middle of the “Back to the future” period, after the injection, gearbox 6, the alarm box allowing you to start without the key, here it is equipped with cruise control !
Very practical, especially as the 10.9.mkg of torque at the maddening speed of 3,400 rpm allows you to “poke” the 6 from 90 km / h and then stall on the cruise.
Only historical detail, the whitewall tires.
Good, but this riot of equipment on the move ?
After having cracked the starter (to launch 2 cylinders of 725 cc, you need power!), A good boost will be required to raise the stand. In addition, the stand is not particularly stable or easy to deploy because it is well hidden under the motorcycle..
On the other hand, the couple makes it possible to start the 280 kg of the beast smoothly, the stability of which is such that I had fun several times standing in the fires without dismounting! Speaking of fire, the stopped motorbike is cooking your legs to the point that it looks like my jeans are about to catch fire !
Okay, a Harley is made to ride, and it’s also true that the cool but not too custom stance makes you want to cruiser endlessly. Especially since the tank capacity, reasonable consumption and the good size windshield (rear eddies from 130 km / h) allow stages of more than 220 km.
The walks on small roads are punctuated by the “clonks” of the gearbox and the screeching of the crutch on asphalt.
Why the original ?
Well because, personally, I find that with the Road-King we touch the real “Custom”: a devilishly beautiful machine, imposing and yet rollable, a concept often forgotten by choppers.
Here is one thing we can only applaud: this bike encourages cool driving.
Prompt? Uh no, oblige! Because the brakes, unfortunately, remain in the custom line and are rather good retarders. After railing against the untamed power of the Ducati Hypermotard brakes (test run the same week as this Harley), I had a few cold sweats when I picked up the beast and did my first braking !
Obviously the style of Harley customers does not require good braking machines, but good rolling machines allowing the motorized show off…. And there, the contract is well fulfilled! Especially since this Harley allows you to travel alone or especially in pairs while being a civilized company for every day.
Out of decency for my banker, we will not talk about the price of the beast. I can just tell you that ‘it will cost you a little 63 euros per kilo !
Oli the Belgian
What you must remember
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sure 14 notice
Model marketed in
0 to 100: 84 s
medium: 7.90 l
about 160 km / h
The technical aspect
Harley-Davidson 1450 ROAD KING FLHR 2002
- Tank: 18.9 liters
- Wheelbase: 1,612 mm
- Dry weight: 345 kg
- Train before
- Secondary belt drive
- Rear axle
(95.3 x 101.6 mm)
at 5,500 rpm
at 3,400 rpm