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Road King, Road Glide or Ultra - What Should I Get

    • 844 posts
    January 4, 2013 2:17 AM PST
    Everyone who knows me knows I love my 1999 Dyna.  I has been a part of me for almost 15 years now, but she is getting a little old for a daily commuter and long hauler.  So I am going to get a new bike and keep her for the local rides and bar hopping.

    I ride almost every single day to work and then a few times a month from Houston to Dallas and of course rallies and stuff.  So I put about 25,000 a year on my bike and want something just a little bigger and a little more comfy.  Plus I just got a promotion to supervisor so I now have to carry a laptop and some other stuff to work every day so Im thinking the hard bags and maybe a tour pak would be nice.

    My first thought was the Road King and add a detachable tour pak and a handlebar speaker system (oh yeah I want tunes too).  Then I though just to get the Road Glide and add the detachable tour pak, but I am not sure if I want a fairing.  A couple friends who ride Ultras said if I was going that far why not an Ultra, so considering that also, but that is a long way from the Dyna that I love.

    So what to do, what to do.  Any input from anyone riding any of those.
    • Moderator
    • 16566 posts
    January 4, 2013 3:00 AM PST
    Riding a wideglide before I got Rex (a RK) the first thing I said after about 10 miles was WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG? Rex has the detachable tour pack and I think that is the best system for me. When I want the custom one up look I can take the windshield, rear seat and tourpack off in less than 5 minutes. I like the open front-end look therefore not a fan of fairings. I will say that the radio quality and other creature comforts are better with the ultra and street glide though. If I had to replace Rex it would be with another RK. My good friend has a new street glide and he wants new handlebars for comfort. A MAJOR process. Therefore an expensive process. So if you don't fit the stock bars give that some thought.
    • 2685 posts
    January 4, 2013 3:05 AM PST
    I don't own but have ridden both the Road Glide and the Road King each for a few hundred miles at a shot and have found that they are both a little too small in the distance from seat to controls. Both were totally stock. My knees and hips were not happy.

    Not sure how big you are or what your riding style is I'm sure that would make a big difference. I'm 6'1" and about 260#. Riding two up the entire time.

    I've got nothing against Harley's but I'm very comfortable on my Kawi Vulcan 2000.

    Good luck in your search
    • 846 posts
    January 4, 2013 4:33 AM PST
    Let me start with I maybe a little biases as I have a Road King and I have my reasons for riding it over a Street Glide or Ultra.

    From the sounds of it you have it all boiled down to do you want to have the fairing on it or not and the tour pack? One of my reason for a RK was the removable windshield. I still like the wind in the hair (what little is left) and on the face. When not riding for long distances or inclement weather it is off and in the garage along with the back rest and luggage rack. There is a little handling difference between the RK and SC and Ulra as the fairing weight is not there. So do you still like to dice it up a bit and better low speed handling its something to consider. It not much but it's there but not enough to go one way or another having ridden all three.
    As for my other reason I do wander on long rides for extended times and the saddle bags and a luggage rack carry all i need (then again i travel lite and solo). I did consider a tour pack and it's still a option but at this time I personally don't need it. If you're riding two up those are other options to consider and point to the Ultra.

    Unless your in a hurry wait till yours or closest dealer has a test ride day with all the bikes available and ride them all. I'm sure at that time one will speak to you.

    Like Mike I would get another RK at the drop of a hat. But it up to you, everyone's comment are all well intended but its you that will ride it. like i said ride all three one will call to you i'm sure.
    • 1855 posts
    January 4, 2013 5:04 AM PST
    RexTheRoadDog wrote...
    Riding a wideglide before I got Rex (a RK) the first thing I said after about 10 miles was WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG? Rex has the detachable tour pack and I think that is the best system for me. When I want the custom one up look I can take the windshield, rear seat and tourpack off in less than 5 minutes. I like the open front-end look therefore not a fan of fairings. I will say that the radio quality and other creature comforts are better with the ultra and street glide though. If I had to replace Rex it would be with another RK. My good friend has a new street glide and he wants new handlebars for comfort. A MAJOR process. Therefore an expensive process. So if you don't fit the stock bars give that some thought.

     
    Ditto on the above.  Though I ended up selling my 2010 RK, it was just my desire for a different motorcycle and there wasn't a thing wrong with it.  I put over 45K miles on it in a year and a half and never had the least bit of problem with it.  I thought the Switchback, being lighter and all would be a better fit given my bad knees and the lighter weight of the SB.    I still own my '98 WideGlide and I love it.  I did buy a new Heritage mostly because I've never had one but I kind of regret getting rid of the RK for the SB.  I think the RK would be an excellent choice.

    Peace

    • 5417 posts
    January 4, 2013 5:36 AM PST
    Yep, another vote for the Road King here too. I am on my second since 2002 (have an '07 now) and got over 250,000 between the two of them - with at least 1/2 that riding two up fully loaded for touring. I was kind of skeptical about going to a hard bagged bike because I thought it would be bulky and awkward, but it took me one test ride to realize it was the most comfortable bike I had ever ridden and it rode as easy as anything I had ridden before. I don't have the tour pak but thinking about adding one one day. For now I put the valuables in the hard bags and the rest of the crap in my T-Bags. I have a small tube shape one for short rides and the king size bag for touring.

    I also have a handle bar mounted speaker system with the radio/mp3 player in the saddle bag for when I do want music.

    I have nothing against the Street Glide or Ultra. I rented an Ultra in New Jersey and rode it up to the Harley Rendezvous. Laura and I both loved it and said maybe one day we will have one... but I will keep the RK also. I really like the removable windshield and the open headlight/front end look.

    Though I've never ridden one for any distance, the Street Glide must be a real nice bike also. In 2012 it out sold every other HD model by a long way.

    Basically they are all great bikes, all ride about the same, all have the same power plant and all can carry the same stuff (especially if you add the Tour Pak to the RK or SG). So it's more which one can you see yourself on!

    Good luck and let us know what you decide.
    • Moderator
    • 14364 posts
    January 4, 2013 5:56 AM PST
    My last bike was an 2003 Ultra with Ultra sidecar, I hated to have had to sell it.
    It was the first new Harley I've ever owned, and the best riding one as well.
  • January 4, 2013 6:10 AM PST
    yer wanting the tour pac... I'd go with the street glide, road glide, or ultra.... the road king with added tour pac without the fairing just looks odd to me... all three are great bikes, but there are differences to consider.. the street glides mirrors are attacked to the fairing, so changing them is out if ya want to customize, it also has a lower seat height, making it more comfortable to the smaller rider... the ultra is taller.. but you can change the rear shocks for the street glide shocks and lower it about 1 1/2 inches (what I did) but riding 2 up it has a tendency to bottom out on some of the larger bumps with the lower shocks... the road glide's fairing is attached to the frame, not the forks.. never rode one myself but friends tell me in windy conditions it's a big plus cause ya dont get the push/pull from the wind thru your bars.... as for changing the bars as mentioned above... the fairing has to be removed to change them.. if your having it done, yes, there is added expense, added labor, but if you do your own work (like me), its not hard to do at all... just added about an hour to the time it took.. put 13 inch on the ultra and no wires had to be extended.. just the brake line and clutch cable...following the instructions that come with the bars, a novice could do it without any problems...

    added note: riding year round.. that fairing adds about 10 deg. of warmth during the winter months, in the summer open the vents for a breeze on yer chest for the cooling and 2 clamps each removes the lowers to cool the legs.. never thought I'd like a bagger before, but was forced to buy one cause the wife didn't fit on the seat of my softtail, (she's pretty big) which forced me to sit half over the tank when riding with her.. after getting one, I love it... with the fairing blocking the wind over a windshield, my seat time almost doubled, and even after 900 miles in a day I'm not wore out and could ride farther if I wanted or needed too...and of course.. the tunes.. the miles go by so much faster, and don't have to talk to the wife cause she's listening to them as well :)
  • January 4, 2013 6:48 AM PST

    I started riding Road Glides in 1980 when they were FLTs first year of manufacturing. ,I still have it or what’s left.
    Depends on your ride, for me the FLT is a more comfortable bike, I like the fixed faring , handles better in the wind. Im 6’1” 270lbs and after getting a Corben seat would not trade it. Basically there the same bike with different tin and faring. Have a friend installed lowers and a faring on his road king made an ultra out of it.
    They all can have detachable tour packs. Same setup. All in what you want and how you ride. I’m thinking about the switchback for my next one
  • January 4, 2013 8:00 AM PST
    It all depends on your riding are you planning to have passenger or riding solo speed is a factor as well. For solo rider Road King is the best for speed Road Glide better handling then Electra (wind factor )same riding comfort.
  • January 6, 2013 3:54 PM PST
    Road king for me. I rode a friend's ultra, I didn't like looking over the faring. I couldn't see my front tire or the road in front of me. I probably would get use to it if I owned an Ultra. I have the detachable tour pak and have noticed the passenger has less room then when I have the passenger back rest installed. Usually only use the tour pak when going long distance and need lots of stuff. Just my two cents, buy what you want.
  • January 7, 2013 5:00 AM PST
    I like a Road Glide, myself....
  • January 8, 2013 12:25 AM PST
    Frankenstein is a '02 Electra & we've been known to go a block or two more than we planned & we have a great love hate relationship with each other . But with that said the RG's don't get pushed around by the spill from a truck as your passing it & the forward storage space is real nice
    • 844 posts
    January 14, 2013 10:40 AM PST
    Thanks for all the input. Probably leaning toward the Street Glide or RK. Just don't think I want the Ultra - yet. I will probably go with the detachable tour pak for work and take it off when just riding around.
    • 1 posts
    January 14, 2013 12:13 PM PST
    GoFur, I have a street glide and I love it. I could never go with out a fairing and tunes ever again, call me spoiled. Wooly has an Ultra and a Road glide. The road Glide does not do the wooble thing and even though it has more weight on the front end, it handles easier. The road Glide handles better, I think it has some thing to do with the tour pack puts the center of gravity higher, does not do those tango dips as well.And I look for those roads that give me tango dips. The ultra he takes on long cross country tours still as it has that extra tour pack and luggage rack for more shit to get packed on... His not mine...: D
    • 5417 posts
    January 14, 2013 5:05 PM PST
    Cool GoFur. Both great choices. Now you are going to have to come out and visit. Been way too long.
  • January 14, 2013 5:59 PM PST
    If I had to make a choice again i would have went with the Road King, the Streetglide was about 7 grand more than the RK and I do miss my apehangers. The RK is alot lighter on the hands at the end of the day. The stereo is great however. I'm Thinking of trading my 08 Glide for a new Road king With 18 in apes.
  • January 14, 2013 11:37 PM PST
    Because I ride two up all the time with the misses as we travel across our country I have always owned a geezer glyde. The 1st was an "03" Ultra Classic and after 53,000 and all the creature comforts of home, the wife and I wanted to stay with this format. So in 2011 we got another, this time a Road Glyde Ultra. This styling never did take off for Harley but once you ride one, you'll be hooked. Less than 1 yr old and we already have over 27,000 mile on her. Personally, I think this bike is the best touring bike Harley puts out. And looks are only skin deep. So, if your serious about touring and doing 1000 mile days, the Road Glyde Ultra would be a great ride to have....
  • January 15, 2013 1:01 AM PST
    If you only own one bike ,I think the Road King covers most bases with the deatachable windshied you can turn it into a tourer or remove it and have cleaner look on a bar hopper. As far as tunes there are companies that make stereos that are good enough to get you thru.While not quite as good as stock stereos, If you put two handlebar speakers and two bag speakers on with cycle sound's 200 watt amp you are good to go on thehighway except maybe if you run a really loud exhaust.My choice is a Road King anyday.Cleaner lookin,lighter and still a great touring machine.
  • January 15, 2013 4:29 AM PST
    You mentioned street glide. I have this bike and love it. If you ride 2 up a lot get an electra and get the equipment to detach the tour pack. It's cheaper to down grade the electra than upgrade the street glide. I'm in the process of doing the later. Hopefully this helps!
    • 844 posts
    March 14, 2013 5:05 PM PDT
    Okay, finally made a decision and have a Street Glide coming in 3 weeks!!!! I wanted the Black Denim and they were out of them at all the local dealers so I have to wait for their next shipment. The little kid in me almost came out and I was real close to settling for the Midnight Pearl one they had there just so I could take it home with me.
    • Moderator
    • 16566 posts
    March 15, 2013 1:52 AM PDT
    Congrats!!!
    • 1855 posts
    March 15, 2013 2:02 AM PDT


    Congrats
    • 1 posts
    March 15, 2013 4:32 AM PDT
    GoFur wrote...
    Okay, finally made a decision and have a Street Glide coming in 3 weeks!!!! I wanted the Black Denim and they were out of them at all the local dealers so I have to wait for their next shipment. The little kid in me almost came out and I was real close to settling for the Midnight Pearl one they had there just so I could take it home with me.




    I love mine even more then the Wolly man but don't tell

    • 823 posts
    March 17, 2013 3:47 PM PDT
    Gonna be a long three weeks!