Big Bad Harley-Davidson Road King

You’ve got to use it and abuse it so I definitely ride it.”

BEFORE THIS Harley, I’ve had a 1994 custom Softail, 1981 Shovelhead, 2011 Street Glide, 1968 Norton, and about 15 BSAs. I’m currently building a 1983 Shovelhead bobber which has gone off to get welded today. I’ve also got a Dodge Phoenix that’s been in the shed for six and a half years which I’ve had since 1996; I just couldn’t let it go.

I’ve always had a liking for the American bagger style bikes, and because there are very few of them in WA, or Australia really, I thought I’d try and build myself one. I went with a brand new bike so I could build and play with something that no one else had put their hands on and so I had a nice fresh start. I was going to buy a Softail Deluxe but ended up with the Road King; a better option because the bags are already fitted.

It was originally a midnight blue, stock standard, Road King that I bought brand new from Perth Harley-Davidson in Kennington. It had full faring, standard handlebars and was pretty much boring as hell.

Simon from Perth Motorcycle Panel & Paint did the paint work. I’d say he had a go at it about four or five times judging on how many phone calls he made.

It has Legend Air Ride suspension with a built-in compressor which is a really good system — it’s down in-between the bag and the rear fender so you can’t see it.

Front suspension is Hog Halters, full chrome front forks, Progressive internals, full lowering kit.

It is a 103 with a Stage 2 kit, Screamin’ Eagle ignition, Screamin’ Eagle intake. They’re Vance & Hines True Duals running into four-inch Rinehart mufflers that sound real nice. Other than that, it’s fairly stock on the motor side of it.

I went with Bagger Nation stretched bags, rear fender and side covers because they’ve got a nicer shape to them. The bags are four-inch stretch back and about two or three inch stretch down. The rear guard has a full infill panel each side so you can’t see any of the back of the bike at all.

I like the individuality of the bike, and everywhere I go, it gets comments. It won Best Paint at the Ride for Daz run; and it probably won Best Paint at the Veteran’s Rolling Bike & Car show but I buggered off early.

You’ve got to use it and abuse it so I definitely ride it. It handles pretty good, too; better than stock Harley suspension. The six-spot is as good, if not better, than the twin front rotors.

Thanks to Simon from Perth Motorcycle Panel and Paint, and my wife Lisa for putting up with it and not being too tight with the cheque book.

Words by Mark Cunnington; photos by Brad Miskiewicz

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