New Harley-Davidson Road King Special debuts

Keeping in line with this week’s earlier promise of 50 new models in the next five years, Harley-Davidson has debuted a new Road King Special.

The Road King Special is powered by Harley-Davidson’s liquid-cooled Milwaukee Eight engine, which debuted last summer. Stylistically, it departs from typical Harley-Davidson Big Twin style, with blacked-out engine (minimal chrome accents) and military green paint (other colours also available).

The Road King Special has the same updated suspension that’s found on Harley-Davidson’s other touring bikes for 2017, with dual-bending valves in the front shocks to emulate cartridge forks, and hand-adjustable hydraulic preload in the rear shocks. The rear wheel is an 18-inch unit (the standard Road King has a 16-incher). Weight is down 10 lb from the standard Road King model; the Road King Special has no windshield fitted as standard, but Harley-Davidson’s accessory Road King shields will fit.

We haven’t seen Canadian pricing or availability for the Road King Special yet, but that’s likely to come soon.


  1. I’m really attracted to the look of that Road King Special model. I’ve heard good things from people who’ve test ridden some of the other 2017 touring models.

    I might well be tempted to turn in my current ’06 Road King in a year or two for that Road King Special once the Motor Company works ought the inevitable bugs that crop up whenever any new engine is introduced, depending on the available colours and, of course, on the price in Canada. I am quite fond of my current Black Cherry ’06 Road King and really liked my first one, a Violet Pearl ’97 Road King.

    bbb (aka Harry)

  2. Well I hope they have success in actually creating 50 NEW models. Apparently though they haven’t realized that there is more than cruisers being built. They build big and heavy highway machines, good for straight line riding. Some of us like to actually feel and ride a two wheel machine to it’s potential. Hope they have some lite street track type models in the works, or at least something that doesn’t weigh 800 or more Lbs! So far my bet is on Indian.

    • I’ve been riding a Road King model (my first was a ’97 model that I had for 9 years and 265,000 kms and my current one is an ’06 with a little over 172,000 kms) since the Friday before Labour Day, 1996. Yes, it’s relatively big and great on long distance “straight line riding” but it is also fabulous in tight curves and twists.

      A friend who was an amateur racer rode a Fat Boy on the street and those who thought they were riding their “lite street track type” bikes to their potential could not keep up to her when she was riding her Fat Boy.

      I’m not sure I’ve ridden my Road King to its potential, but I have tried. Let’s just say that my floorboards are shaved right down, and I’ve never had any trouble staying close to people on their lighter “street track type” bikes you had in mind that you believe are far better than a Road King for feeling and riding a motorcycle “to its [not it’s, by the way] potential.”

Join the conversation!