Harley-Davidson Road King Classic 103B

by Stephen de Vries 3,472 views0

When I was a younger, I could not understand who would buy a big, classic looking bike that offers no adrenalin, just nothing that makes you enjoy riding, or I had my riding requirements completely wrong.

I have seemed to get a little wiser because now I really can’t think of anything better than a Road King Classic in my garage, maybe not as my only bike, but there would definitely have to be room for one. Let me tell you why.


Just look at the Road King. Swooping lines, white walls, wide handlebars, and huge floorboards. There is a huge windscreen too, which is removable with little to no effort either, which will just enforce that real classic look even further.

The large front headlights which is supplemented with two spotlights, can obviously also be switched on or off and not just used as “hi beams”. I figured that I would leave them on, you know, just to make my statement even bigger than what the Road King already made it.


The ride is plush and with a revised suspension front and rear (the rear is now air adjustable) makes the handling predictable but I thought the rear was still a tad too hard for me. It’s clear that it wants to be loaded and obviously prefers the open road.  The in-city handling is actually not too bad considering the hefty weight of 372kg (wet).  The engine is super smooth and with the revised “Mt Rushmore” on the 103, made for a little more midrange and top-end power over its predecessors.  -This engine has also now just been replaced about a week ago with the new Milwaukee 8, which is a 107 engine, instead of the 103B.  It will still be a while before we get to sample them.


The engine is actually very lively and overtaking at speeds north of the speed limit is no trouble at all. There is a loud intake snarl and the exhausts, which are quiet, is a 2 into 1 into 2. The exhaust tone really does not do her justice, but you know the size of the HD catalogue, so you can change that at order process.


The Road King is made for one thing and that’s to make the distance the journey, but also the distance as short as possible.  The 22l fuel tank is good for around 280km range, but probably a little more if you are out on the open road.  The claimed figures are just over 5l/100km which would probably be possible in near ideal conditions.

The switchgear is simple and easy to use. The cruise control is also one of the easier units I’ve found around with a simple 2 button press activation. Press to activate, press down to set speed and off you go.

The linked Reflex ABS works extremely well, mainly due to the weight of the bike. I found myself hardly ever using the rear brake as the bike decided when it needed to all by itself.  The King would stop on a dime if needed.  The luggage bags, which are real cases with quick-release straps were my only gripe. I wasn’t  too keen with the plastic buckles, seen mostly on rucksacks and school bags. I do understand their function, It was just not my preference.  You could also opt for regular hard cases on the regular Road King, but it remails that they are fairly healthy in size.


The Road King just takes open road travelling to a whole new level. It’s really one of those bikes that will soak up the miles without any real effort, combined with good visibility makes you soak up the scenery.  If open road touring is your thing, the Road King Classic needs a place in your garage.


The Road king Classic retails at R308 000 (Vivid Black)  and is available now.