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Recon!

Thanks to all who responded to my previous post. If you will take a minute and rate the Road King Classics from 1999 - 2005 using the 'whole bike concept'. What I mean is, money being no issue, evaluate from what you know of the concerns/differences/upgrades between these years and put them in order of best buy for the money/best bang for the buck. Example:

1- 2004
2- 2002
3- 2005
4- 2001
5- 2000
6- 1999

Thanks for your patience, and assistance. The reason I'm doing this is because I've found several pre-owned bikes, all within the same price range, and could go in any direction. I will be a new owner, and don't know much about the differences (now if you want to know about a GM product I'm your man! If you want to know about the Marines, I'm the Guru), and I accept it. Therefore I am looking for you (all) to give me good advice. You don't need to justify your ranking. But, if anyone who can give me good input on why they rated a particular model year over another it'll help out a lot.

I'm in Mobile, Alabama.... If you're close by, and want to by any Chevrolet at invoice plus tax, title, and fees (except Duramax Diesels, and Corvettes) let me know. I'll hook you up. I'm the BuyPower/Internet Manager at a local Dealership.

Thank you for your help, and direction.

Mike
 

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1-2002 (best total package without the downsides)
2-2001 (Not as refined, but has the Timken crank bearings)
3-2004 (only real negative I know of is crank bearing...may even rank #2)
4-2003 (Crank bearings are weak point on 03 & up and MoCo rushed production for anniversary run)
5-2000 (less refined but reliable after cam bearing change)
6-2005 (heads suck)
 

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I would back up SeaHag's.....

....but move 2004 to #2. Rides better - they changed geometry or something - i forget, but still has old heads. I got an '05 and wish I had gotten an '04.
 

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Well, I own an 03 and have no issues with it. Soooooooooo........I put it at the top!!!
Just my -2$en#e-
:sucks:
 

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The only real difference between the 02 and 03 is the crank bearing. So I gotta rate them #1 and #2. 04 is basically the same as the 03 so I'll give it a tie at #2. 06 is too new to tell but has the best heads so #3. 05 has shitty heads but better EFI than 99 - 01 so #4. 01, 00, 99 in that order #'s 5, 6 and 7. Like I said, I like my 03. Maybe I just got a good one.~!Awesome!
#1 - 02
#2 - 03 & 04
#3 - 06
#4 - 05
#5 - 01
#6 - 00
#7 - 99
Just my -2$en#e-

?prty:
 

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DLL66 said:
This a first that I have about this!
I've been reading this forum and about 8 more like this for the last few years. I've read a disproportionately high number of problems with simple assembly things and other defects (things like no oil in the forks etc..) with the 03 models; most probably due to the increased pace of production.

That increased production pace is what led to the substitution of the Timken crank bearings. The Timken is a tapered roller bearing which deals much better wide side and vertical loading...but endplay of the bearings must be checked and reset if not within spec. The cheaper bearing that they went to (not sure on the type) doesn't require a check for endplay...slightly speeding up the assembly process (and no doubt saving money).
 

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Well, we're talking H-D here. I would venture a guess that not only did it speed up production some, but it is probably a cheaper part cost-wise. I would even go so far as to say that they probably have it figured, time-wise, that it will self destruct the day after your warranty runs out. Not that that matters cause if it grenaded under warranty they'd just say it was something you did to cause it, thus voiding the warranty. So next year when I split the cases to do my 113" build, I'll just do a timken conversion. It's really not that big an issue with some people cause they're not going to leave the motor stock forever anyway. And people that leave em stock are'nt gonna beat em that bad????:yikes: Just my-2$en#e-

I'm:xhere:
 

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RoadKingCurley said:
Well, we're talking H-D here. I would venture a guess that not only did it speed up production some, but it is probably a cheaper part cost-wise. I would even go so far as to say that they probably have it figured, time-wise, that it will self destruct the day after your warranty runs out. Not that that matters cause if it grenaded under warranty they'd just say it was something you did to cause it, thus voiding the warranty. So next year when I split the cases to do my 113" build, I'll just do a timken conversion. It's really not that big an issue with some people cause they're not going to leave the motor stock forever anyway. And people that leave em stock are'nt gonna beat em that bad????:yikes: Just my-2$en#e-

I'm:xhere:
I agree that their is a degree of "planned failure or obsolesence" to keep unlucky riders coming back to the MoCo for fixes, upgrades, and new bikes.

That Timken conversion adds a lot of $$$ to the cost of a build though. Not so much an issue if you are splitting the cases like you plan; but if you're just doing a 95" with a mild cam like a TW-37, you can grenade those bearings like ViennaHog did with his. It would be very expensive for a simple big bore job to have to do the timken conversion.

I guess if I had an 03 or above, I'd stay with a very mild 95 build.
 

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Seahag said:
That Timken conversion adds a lot of $$$ to the cost of a build though. Not so much an issue if you are splitting the cases like you plan; but if you're just doing a 95" with a mild cam like a TW-37, you can grenade those bearings like ViennaHog did with his. It would be very expensive for a simple big bore job to have to do the timken conversion.
Seahag;
I believe, at one time in the last couple of months, that I was quoted the following prices to do a timken conversion;

Split and re-assemble cases - $150
Remove old bearings and install, including timken - $105

I might be missing something. I'll have to dig up the quote. I don't think cost is a concern unless you're paying someone for labor. I would have done this but sudden medical problems, which caused some financial concerns, forced me to abandon this part of my build. When I do my 113" build next winter I'll do this, It's not that expensive. Feel free to chime in if I've missed something. Just my -2$en#e-

I'm:xhere:
 

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I will PM ViennaHog and see what it cost him to do his conversion. Since his cases were split to do the 107" Axtell kit, he had the conversion done at the same time by them.
 

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Seahag said:
I will PM ViennaHog and see what it cost him to do his conversion. Since his cases were split to do the 107" Axtell kit, he had the conversion done at the same time by them.
Cool! I'd be interested if I'm close. "The older you get, the fuzzier the memory!!" I'll still look for that quote. I think it was from Hillside Machine. :hmmm:

I'm:xhere:
 

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Seahag said:
I will PM ViennaHog and see what it cost him to do his conversion. Since his cases were split to do the 107" Axtell kit, he had the conversion done at the same time by them.
Much of ViennaHog and Ozzies issues on cost, is shipping. If you go to Zippers, S&S, they all quote this conversion.

I do know that whatever grenade in ViennaHog's bike was a VERY costly problem I would not wish on anyone. Curious what his cost was on the conversion only.
 

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Conversion cost Timken by Zippers

From the invoice:
Labor
Timken conversion $300
CAse boring 4.125 Bore $235
Cam chest machining for cam $40

Parts (Timken conversion)
bearing set Timken $31.15
straight bearing/ spacers $16.15

They gave me a great deal on all internal parts of the bottom end and the reassembly. Nothing but good things to say about them.

Spiing indeed was very expensive, ups from Baltimore to Vienna for the bottom end was about $260, shipping of the bare case to Zippers was about $170.
Total cost for rebuild and upgrade of the engine was about $8000, it better runs now for 50,000 miles without a hitch............

For all the do it yourself peopel, the case boring jobis rather convoluted and included boring of oil holes etc and a special technique for spacing out the crank end play. No book for that part.

Hope that helps
 

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I have 2001 FLHR. So I have the timken bearing? Getting ready for build.
 

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berserker said:
I have 2001 FLHR. So I have the timken bearing? Getting ready for build.
That's one of the pluses to having an earlier model motor!! Is it EFI or Carb? If it's EFI are you going to change the EFI or are you staying with the M&M? Who's doing your heads? A friend of mine has a 95" kit he's selling cause he's going to 113".

Branch Heads
S.E. Cylinders
S.E. Cast Flat Top pistons
Andrews TW 50G gear drive cam
$950 - shipped. I don't know if he'll split it up? Anyway, just a thought. :whistle:


I'm:xhere:
 

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Didn't they go to a wider rear tire in 04 or 05? That would differentiate the 03s and up. When did they change the axle sizes for the wobble problems?
 

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RoadKingCurley said:
That's one of the pluses to having an earlier model motor!! Is it EFI or Carb? If it's EFI are you going to change the EFI or are you staying with the M&M? Who's doing your heads? A friend of mine has a 95" kit he's selling cause he's going to 113".

Branch Heads
S.E. Cylinders
S.E. Cast Flat Top pistons
Andrews TW 50G gear drive cam
$950 - shipped. I don't know if he'll split it up? Anyway, just a thought. :whistle:


I'm:xhere:
Carbed. If I have it the head done would have it all done by HDwrench.
 

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AustinFXDWG said:
Didn't they go to a wider rear tire in 04 or 05? That would differentiate the 03s and up. When did they change the axle sizes for the wobble problems?
In 2002 they beefed up the rear swingarm and increased the axle size in the rear. Combined these were reported to increase lateral stability 20%

In 2004 they switched to a narrower belt and sprocket and made a 140/85/16 tire standard....but you can run that same tire on the pre-04 bikes without any modification; so its not really an issue.
 
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