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I am in the hunt for a new bike and wonder if anybody can shed some light on the basic differences in comfort/handling etc. of the road king and the softtail classic...or even the fatboy. i know the basic engine mount and suspension differences but what about the road king makes it more "touring" and the softails "cruisers"?
 

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I have RKC who owns me! I haven't not ridden a softail, but when I went to Sturgis a couple of years ago with a bunch of guys who did have softails, they all wanted to move up in rides. All I can tell you, that a RKC rides smooth and handles that long ride like no other.
 

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I have a 2000 FLHR and a 2000 FLSTF. From my experience, both bikes are very good and capable of taking you long distances, but the Roadking is just a bit smoother and seems to have a bit more top end than the Fatboy. If I was going to do mostly distance riding, I would be on the Roadking.
 

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I suppose one consideration is how tall ya are. I am 6'4 and have put a little more than 38k on my Y2K FLHRCI. I don't think I would have logged that much on a Softail because there is a comfort factor.

On the other hand, I have a friend that is around 5'8 and he is not at all comfortable on a RK unless it is lowered. If ya lower it you lose to much clearance IMHO and night time twisties turn into a light show. LOL!

Independent Harley Rider
JimmyK
 

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I've got one of each

and can therefore have $0.04 to add to this. The softail has a narrower range of suspension compliance meaning that once you load it, it rides harsh or bottoms out - if you have it lowered like I do. Why do I have it lowered if it rides harsh with 2 up? Cause my OL rarely rides with me and it looks so much better with the rear tire tucked up inside the fender. I may add the legends air suspension if I can find a deal.

The Roadie has a much more progressive suspension and longer travel resulting in a smoother ride (over rough pavement - they all ride the same on new asphalt since the suspension is not a factor). If any of you have any dirt bike experience, you can relate to the long travel, soft suspension of supercross versus the shorter travel faster rebound shock settings of motocross.

About the comments on smoothness, the gearing for the factory softails is higher (I always get the this backwards) since it is a lighter bike which results in a quicker takeoff on one and a lower rev range at the same hwy speed for the Roadie.

About the height of the rider and the pegs, seat, bars - this can always be changed to suit you although most people who spend $16k believe that it should fit right from the start. I know it doesn't make sense to spend this much on a bike and then change a bunch of (expensive) stuff to get the bike to fit/ride/look/sound just right but that's the way it is with H-D. The marketing word is "personalizing". Remember the adage - Form over Function.
 

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I have a good friend who has both and he will tell you pretty quick they are fairly even for about 3 hours and then you want to be on the King.
 

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All I have is a FLHRCI, but let me say, I can roll 3-4 hundred miles in a day without batting an eye. Most I've done was a couple of 700-750 days but I was done for the day...
 

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Holy thread resurrection Batman.

Yup; the RK or any of the similar touring bikes are better for the long haul IMHO but there's no denying the coolness factor of a Softail. :whistle:
 

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Nice looking ride BoomerBob. 05 RoadKing for me. Real easy on the shot to hell back,especially with the backrest. Never owned a softtail but have ridden them, not for a long haul. I'll stick with the King. CR
 

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Just in case someone is looking here now for info, as the original guy probably isn't any longer. I found my softail to be very easy to ride compared to my road king. The road king has to be controlled, while the softail was more of an extention of my body. If I was just doing short rides or around town rides, I would stay with the softail. But it has a high pitch vibration at highway speeds, and all the prior comments about the roadking being a long distance cruiser are right.
 

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HMMM... wonder what he bought?

Does it annoy any of you that rarely do we get the punchline for most post. Guys want advice about purchases, mechanical problems, etc., but after 50 posts the thing dies of old age without the originator telling us what happened!
 

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HMMM... wonder what he bought?

Does it annoy any of you that rarely do we get the punchline for most post. Guys want advice about purchases, mechanical problems, etc., but after 50 posts the thing dies of old age without the originator telling us what happened!
[/B

Since he hasn't posted since '07, maybe the originator died of old age!:hystria:[/COLOR]
 
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