2009 Harley Davidson Road King Classic

I must admit I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with the Harley Davidson Road King when I made the decision to rent one for the day from Sweetwater Harley Davidson in National City, CA.  I had a day to myself prior to a few days of meetings and wanted to take a cruise up the coast from San Diego to Huntington Beach.  I wanted a bagger so I could bring back gifts for the family and I had never spent any time on a Harley Davidson touring model so of the available bikes I chose the Road King Classic. 

I’ve never given the Road King any attention and I was pleasantly surprised when the service tech called me over to the gleaming black motorcycle to go over a few things before being turned me loose on the Southern California roads.  The Road King Classic, as its name implies, has the “classic” Harley Davidson look but with modern motorcycle design and technology hidden within.  There is just enough chrome in all the right places and the white wall tires complete that “classic” look.

The hart of the Classic is the 96 cubic inch Harley Davidson Twin Cam engine that is rubber mounted to a new frame design that’s suppose to improve the ride and handling of the motorcycle.  This same engine, frame and suspension combination is found in all the Harley Davidson touring line.  At idle the Road King Classic shakes and shimmies like the Harley’s of old but as the RPM’s come up the shakes smooth out and the motorcycle moves down the road smooth and quiet.  For those who want to hear the V-Twin roar, all it takes is a downshift and a twist of the throttle to bring it out.

When it comes to cruising, the Road King Classic is right at home.  The upright riding position and the well thought out seat provides all day comfort and the 6 gallon gas tank gives the Road King the range to keep going while others are looking for a place to fill up.  Harley Davidson implemented an improved Isolated Drive System that provides smooth acceleration and the adjustable rear shocks allow the rider to set up the motorcycle for their particular riding situation.

On the highway, the weight of the Road King provides a stable ride while the removable windshield provides good protection from the wind.  Surprisingly the weight doesn’t affect the handling at slow speeds like other touring motorcycles in the same weight class.  The 6-speed transmission is smooth and rarely did I find the need to shift into 6th gear.  Even with speeds exceeding the 70 mph limit.  The Classic comes standard with cruse control for those long, straight, stretches of highway and this particular model was equipped with optional ABS, which is one of the very best ABS systems available.

The Harley Davidson Road King Classic isn’t the most technologically advanced motorcycle on the road and there are a number of other motorcycles on the market that have more storage for those long rides.  The magic of the Road King Classic is that it’s a comfortable touring motorcycle that’s right at home cruising the boulevard in style.  It’s like getting two motorcycles for the price of one.

Long Live the King!

2009 Road King Specifications


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