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Infidel
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Firefox said:
Hello all,

I am toying with the idea of switching from my RK to a Fat Boy.

Thanks,
Bill
Bill,

Could you go into more detail? How long have you had the RK? How many miles have you put on it? What is your riding style? (TT riding or touring, or some mix?).

At the end of the day, there ain't no right or wrong on this one. Its your money and you're the one who has to ride it. However, as an RK to FatBoy transition is opposite of the norm, I'd be interested to know more.

wyo
 

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I do not know how the road king rides but my fat boy rides like a dream handles the same. the only thing I sugest is a windshield . before i purchased a shield it was hard holding on to at 70 mph. It is a dream with the detachable windshield.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all your opinions, I have a RK now and have had it for a year or so, before that I rode a Valkyrie and a BMW R1200C. I have a 2003 RK Classic on order and I can still change that to the FB. If we get a warmer day here soon I will try to rent one, that will be the defining test. I do want compliant suspension since I no longer have the padding in my posterior I had in my youth or the resilient spinal column! I loved the look and power of the Valk, but it rode like crap; the R1200C had great suspension but just felt too light. Harley's were just right.
Bill
 

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Hi Bill..
I had a bmw 650 gs - great bike - too light, not great on the highway etc. I then moved up to a sportster for my first Harley experience - great bike until I got it onto the highway at speed - almost rattled my teeth out, and had to work all the time at speed. Next came the heritage softtail classic - now THAT'S a bike - did everything I wanted plus some - great around town and danced on the highway. Currently I have a Road King Classic on order, and the softie is going to the missus. I toyed around with getting another softie, but after riding my buddy's king quickly changed my mind - deciding factors - rubber mounted engine is smoother (not a huge difference, but you notice it over time), cruise control is a big plus for travelling, better brakes, better rear suspension - just a better all round bike for cruising + it's still a piece of cake around town, and you can take off the shield if you don't want it. Bonus round -- just one hot looking bike.
Hope this helps some - but at the end of the day, don't forget - it's all personal - do what feels good.
BigG
 

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Texxen said:
I haven't rode a RK but it has to ride better.......
Softails were designed for looks only
I don't know about that. I ride my Fatboy all over and am very comfortable, that is after switching out the stock seat.
 

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I am toying with the idea of switching from my RK to a Fat Boy.
I've ridden both. The Fat Boy is a softail and for style. The Roadie's name says it all. If short cruise are your forte` then the FB might do it for you.

If you take a stock RK vs a stock FB the RK will out run the FB. The FB loses a little with the counterbalancers. Out on the road...the twisties come to mind...the RK can put the FB out of sight due to it's steering geometry. Ride with some FBs or Heritages and I think you'll see what I mean.

The suspension on the RK is way out in fronf of the FB. As you know it's air adjustable. The RK is not as prone to dragging as the FB.

Furthermore I believe that with the right touch you can style up the RK quite nicely!

Just my .02 worth!
 

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Craven Morehead said:


If you take a stock RK vs a stock FB the RK will out run the FB. The FB loses a little with the counterbalancers. Out on the road...the twisties come to mind...the RK can put the FB out of sight due to it's steering geometry. Ride with some FBs or Heritages and I think you'll see what I mean.

The suspension on the RK is way out in fronf of the FB. As you know it's air adjustable. The RK is not as prone to dragging as the FB.

Furthermore I believe that with the right touch you can style up the RK quite nicely!

Just my .02 worth!
I agree the counterbalancers rob a little power but with differences in weight (60 pounds) and other factors....I am not so sure "outrun" is really accurate.

What exactly is different about the road king steering and why is it better? I know the rake is about 6 deg. more upright but the trail is about the same.......different yes...better??

Air adjustable is only really a factor if you frequently carry different loads. It is not in and of itself better. the Road king rides better in general because of the shock/suspension geometry. the FB does compromise this some for style but with an average size rider and no passenger...it is really very good. The FB sits lower so it can drag the floorboards easier. I have not yet managed to do it....I know better than to ride any harley as if it was a sportbike.

I really think it comes down to how often a person will take a passenger and how often they will ride 300+ mile days. I would not advise someone to get a RK thinking at will be a better bike in the twisties. If that is important....get a Honda ST1300.
 

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Same Delima

I faced the same choice when I ordered my Fatboy in Sept. I ended up getting the Fatboy, and I love it. Part of the reason for my choice is most of my riding will be less than 300 miles in a day. Most of my riding is senice day trips in the Mountains of East TN. So I did not want bags all the time.

I got the Fatboy and put the gold key kit on it. That gave me a Detachable windshield and bags. The bags are smaller than the RK, but plenty big for day trips. They are leather covered hard plastic bags that lock.

I like the ride of the Faboy, but I'm only 180 pounds.

In the end it is all about personal taste, and riding style. Thats why harly has so many models to choose from.
 

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What exactly is different about the road king steering and why is it better? I know the rake is about 6 deg. more upright but the trail is about the same.......different yes...better??
The reduced rake of the RK will allow the rider to negotiate through the turns with more ease. The RK with 26.0º / 6.2 in. rake and trail vs. the FB with 32.0º / 5.8 in. It's a no-brainer to see why the roadie will run away from the FB on a road with a lot of turns. Also, it is my opinion, there is less loss of power and torque from the touring and dyna chassis vs the softail. I think a lot of this is due to the transmission.

Stock FB vs stock RK, riders of comparable skill the RK will out run the FB. I've seen it happen many times. Much better brakes on the roadie too!

If your FB is stock and you haven't scraped something in a turn...then I suggest you like to ride in a straight line.Take the MSF ERC course. You'll drag in the cone course. I like to lean my bike over in a turn...no I do not think of it is a replica racer. And I have been known to drag a boot heel or the forward controls.

Anti-Scrape Medicine
 

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I traded my Heritage for a Road King because of a bad back. I liked the RK but missed the Heritage so much I traded back into it thinking my back was better. It still bothered my back so I put on the Legend air suspension thinking it would make the difference. I eventually sold it and bought a Road Glide. Softails have the style, touring bikes ride better. I also concur that the steering is better on the touring bikes. I love the Road Glide -- great handling and a radio too.
 

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Maybe I'm in the minority opinion here, but I just traded my 02 RK for an 03 Fat Boy.

I took my RK in on Halloween for the 2500 mile service, and having nothing to do but wait, I decided to rent a Fat Boy for a few hours. Everything I was told about the Softails having a harsher ride, I found to be untrue. I rode many of the same roads I travel on, made sure to hit the same bumps and dips, and found the FB to be just as good as the RK. I wondered if my RKs air shocks were set-up wrong, but the tech said they were fine.

The FB feels more like I think a bike should feel, like I'm sitting in the bike instead of balancing on top of it. The RK always felt top heavy to me. The FB feels so much more balanced. I've only had smaller bikes in the past, mid sized *** stuff and a couple of Sportsters, and my FB has that same sporty feel. The only thing I miss at this point are the bags, and I don't think I'll put bags on the FB because I don't like the look.
 

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never drove a road king but as far as looks in my opinion the fat boy wins hands down, the heritage even better yet. between the heritage and the fatboy, i think you get alot more for your money with the heritage (saddlebags, windshield, sissybar, foglights, markerlights)
 
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