Worst Years For The Road King – Years To Avoid? January 16, 2024April 1, 2023 by Barry K. Richmond The Road King has been a staple in motorcycles for decades, known for its powerful engine and sleek design. However, like any long-standing product, it has had its fair share of ups and downs. From its inception in 1994 to the present day, the Road King has gone through multiple changes and updates, with each year bringing something new to the table. However, not all of these changes have been well-received by riders and critics alike. In fact, some years have been notoriously known as the worst for the Road King. Here, we will discuss the Worst Years For The Road King and highlight the worst years for this beloved bike. From technical issues to design flaws, we will explore why these years are considered the lowest points for the Road King. Road King Years To Avoid Years And The Reason Explained As customers, we always expect that every upgrade of the motorcycles, Worst Years For The Road King, will be better than the previous model year. Although it is a normal procedure, some updated motorcycle models fail to meet the user’s expectations. Harley Road King model year changes with great upgrades. However, we have already mentioned that riders have high expectations from the Road King versions. Unfortunately, a few Harley Road King versions have failed to impress its users. In fact, these Road King versions truly disappointed many riders to ride and use. Thus, experts and users suggest new motorcycle smooth rides avoid these Harley Road Kings models. The list includes: 2001 Road King 2003 Harley Road King 2004 Harley Road King 2006 Harley Road King 2013 Road King 2014 Harley Road King You must realize that although these models failed to create any good impression among riders, they aren’t bad products. There have been debates over their quality. However, most believe these models didn’t have the “extra thing” people expect from a Road King model. So let’s see why you should avoid these Road King versions. Problems With 2001 Road King Models Some common problems reported with the 2001 Road King models include major issues with the electrical system, engine failure performance, and transmission. These problems can result in frequent stalling, difficulty starting the bike, or erratic shifting. Additionally, some riders have reported problems with the suspension, such as excessive bouncing or poor handling. It is important to note that not all Road King models from 2001 may experience these problems, but some owners have reported them. If you are considering purchasing a 2001 Road King, it is recommended to inspect the bike and potential buyers thoroughly consult with a mechanic or experienced rider for a more accurate assessment of its condition. Problems Highlights 2001 Road King models had issues with the electrical system, such as faulty fuel pump injector wiring and recurring fuse blows. Many owners reported problems with the transmission, including slipping gears and difficulty shifting. The engine issues performance was subpar on some 2001 Road King models, with reports of low power and frequent stalling. Some owners experienced issues with the braking system, including brake fluid leaks and inconsistent braking performance. Many people often criticized the stiffness of the suspension on the 2001 Road King models, which caused discomfort and poor handling. Paint and chrome quality were common complaints, with reports of fading paint and easily damaged chrome finishes. Problems With 2003 Road King Models The 2003 Road King was a long-awaited upgrade from the manufacturer. However, it didn’t meet the expectations. There are serious complaints about its fuel pump system. Although the motorcycle version underwent a complete transformation from its predecessors, its defective Fuel injector issues system made the rider’s life worse, if not worse. The faulty fuel system meant that many riders had seen unexpected shutdowns of their motorcycles and leaks in the fuel trunk system. Moreover, the engine and motor were not up to the mark either. Most users found the engine rather disappointing. On top of it, the motor Harley used for this specific model didn’t meet their highest product quality. It was incompatible to power this stealthy motorcycle, so riders didn’t enjoy it. Problems Highlights The 2003 Road King models had issues with engine performance and reliability. Many owners reported problems with the electrical system, including wiring and charging system failures. The 2003 Road King models had a known issue with the stock suspension being stiff and uncomfortable, which resulted in a harsh ride. Some owners experienced issues with the clutch and transmission, including slipping and difficulty shifting. There were complaints about paint and chrome quality, with reports of fading and peeling. Several riders reported problems with the braking system, including weak stopping power and premature wear. The 2003 Road King models had frequent issues with oil pump leaks, which required costly repairs. Owners also mentioned problems with the fuel system, such as poor fuel mileage and fuel pump failures. Overall, the 2003 Road King models were considered one of the worst due to these ongoing issues and lack of reliability. Problems With 2004 Road King Models One common problem reported by Road King owners in 2004 was with the electrical system. Some experienced issues with the bike’s wiring, including faulty connections and shorts, which could lead to various electrical malfunctions. Another known issue with the 2004 Road King models was the transmission. Some owners reported problems with gear shifting, including difficulty shifting gears or slipping unexpectedly. Issues with the clutch or transmission components could cause this. Furthermore, some owners reported issues with the bike’s suspension system. Suspension components, such as shocks and springs, were prone to wear and tear, leading to a less comfortable ride and reduced handling capabilities. Problems Highlights 2004 Road King models had various issues reported by owners One of the common problems was with the electrical system, causing frequent failures and malfunctions Some owners also complained about the engine performance, experiencing issues with overheating and loss of power Another notable problem was with the suspension, with reports of excessive vibration and poor handling The paint quality and durability were also criticized, with many owners reporting chipping and fading Some owners faced issues with the transmission, including slipping gears and difficulty shifting Overall, the 2004 Road King models had several reliability and performance problems highlighted by owners. Problems With 2006 Road King Models The 2006 Road King models are known to have some problems. Some common issues owners report include electrical problems, such as the failure of the turn signals and brake lights. There have also been complaints about oil leaks from the engine and transmission and problems with the clutch system. Additionally, some riders have experienced issues with the fuel injection system, causing poor performance and stalling. It is important to note that not all Road King models from 2006 may be affected by these problems, but it is advisable to research and potentially seek professional advice before purchasing a used model from this year. Problems Highlights 2006 Road King models had several reported issues and problems Some of the common problems included transmission issues, such as slipping gears or difficulty shifting Electrical problems were also frequently reported, including issues with the wiring harness and electrical system failures Engine problems were another highlight, with some owners experiencing oil leaks and overheating Suspension issues, such as premature wear on shocks and forks, were also reported by some Road King owners Brake problems, including ABS system failures and inadequate stopping power, were a concern for some riders Overall, the 2006 Road King models had a reputation for being less reliable compared to other years Problems With 2013 Road King Models The 2013 Road King models had some reported problems that owners have experienced. Some common issues Road King owners reported include electrical problems, such as faulty wiring and intermittent issues with the instrument cluster. Additionally, there have been complaints about engine performance issues, including stalling and loss of power. Some owners have also mentioned problems with the suspension and braking system. It is important to note that these issues may not represent all 2013 Road King models, as experiences can vary. If you are considering purchasing a 2013 Road King, it is recommended to thoroughly inspect the bike and consider getting a professional inspection before making a decision. Problems Highlights The 2013 Road King models had several reported issues. One common problem was with the engine, specifically with the Twin cam bearings chain tensioners tensioner. Some owners experienced oil leaks, which could lead to further Engine noise damage if not addressed. Electrical issues were also reported, such as problems with the wiring harness and dashboard lights. Another concern was the poor performance of the stock suspension, which could make the ride uncomfortable. Some riders complained about the stock exhaust system’s lack of power and responsiveness. Additionally, there were reports of issues with the clutch, including slippage and difficulty shifting gears. Overall, the 2013 Road King models had a variety of problems that were a cause of frustration for many owners. Problems With 2014 Road King Models The 2014 version of the Road King was quite a good one with a well-designed look. However, it faced problems with faulty engine parts that ruined its reputation seriously. There were at least 19 reported cases of accidents with the 2014 model. So, Harley had to recall some of these motorbikes for a complete replacement. Also, there were problems with the hydraulic mechanism. The hydraulic system didn’t deliver the expected performance. As a result, the bike became a danger for road passengers. Also, breaking down without any alert is possible, making it equally dangerous for the riders. Problems Highlights Frequent electrical issues reported in 2014 Road King models Problems with the engine overheating and potential failure Complaints about the suspension system being too stiff and uncomfortable Issues with the braking system, including brake failure and poor performance Reports of oil leaks and engine oil consumption problems Complaints about the reliability and durability of components such as the clutch and transmission Concerns about the overall build quality, fit, and finish of the 2014 Road King models. Factors To Consider When Determining The Worst Years For The Road King When determining the worst years for the Road King, several factors must be considered. During this time, riders reported various issues with the Road King, ranging from engine malfunctions to electrical problems. These factors can vary depending on individual preferences and experiences, but here are some common considerations: Technical Issues: Look into any known mechanical or technical problems prevalent during specific years. This may include issues with the engine stalling, transmission, electrical system, or other components. Investigate whether certain model years had more recalls or complaints related to these issues. Reliability: Assess the overall reliability of the Road King during different years. Research customer reviews, ratings, and feedback to see if there were consistent reports of breakdowns, frequent repairs, or other reliability concerns. Safety Features: Determine if there were any significant changes or improvements in safety features throughout different model years. This may include advancements in braking systems, stability control, or the addition of new safety technologies. Consider whether certain years offer better safety features than others. Resale Value: Evaluate the resale value of the Road King for different years. Look into depreciation rates and market demand to gauge which years may have lower resale values or face challenges when selling or trading in the motorcycle. Design Changes: Consider any design changes or updates made to the Road King during specific years. Determine if these changes were well-received by riders or if they caused any issues or concerns. 1. Reliability And Mechanical Issues Reliability refers to the likelihood that the motorcycle will function consistently without experiencing frequent breakdowns or malfunctions. Mechanical issues, on the other hand, pertain to specific problems or flaws in the design or components of the motorcycle that can affect its performance and reliability. To gather information on the reliability and mechanical issues of the Road King, you can consult various sources such as motorcycle reviews, owner forums, and manufacturer recalls or service bulletins. These sources often provide insights from owners who have experienced any reliability or mechanical issues with their Road King motorcycles firsthand. 2. Performance And Handling When evaluating the performance of the Road King, it is crucial to assess factors such as engine power, acceleration, and top speed. The worst years for the Road King may be underpowered engine casings, sluggish acceleration, or limited top speed, resulting in a less thrilling and less satisfying riding experience. Handling is another critical factor to consider. It refers to how well the motorcycle responds to rider inputs, maintains stability, and navigates corners and curves. Poor handling can lead to difficulty manoeuvring the motorcycle, reduced control, and potential safety concerns. The worst years for the Road King may exhibit poor suspension, unstable chassis, or inadequate braking systems, which can negatively impact the motorcycle’s handling capabilities. 3. Design And Aesthetics Design and aesthetics are important when evaluating motorcycles like the Road King. The worst years for the Road King in terms of design and aesthetics may vary depending on individual preferences. However, some factors contributing to a less desirable design or aesthetic include outdated or unappealing body styling, lack of attention to detail in finishes and trims, and poor colour choices. It is also important to consider factors such as the quality of materials used, overall build quality, and how well the design integrates with the bike’s functionality and purpose. Ultimately, the worst years for the Road King in terms of design and aesthetics would be those that fail to meet the expectations and preferences of riders. The Best Years For Used Road Kings Now that we know the Road King years to avoid for road safety and reliability, you might want to know the best years for used Road Kings. We have researched the recent models and found that the 2017 Road King is an awesome and reliable model for short and long tours. The 2017 version combines a classic design and vintage appearance that you will fall in love with surely. Also, you may attach leather equipment if you wish to upgrade the look of this motorcycle. Its 96/96B cam motor is highly compatible with running the unique motorcycle for the longest tours you can expect with a Harley motorcycle. Also, the manufacturer has changed the wobbly Loose bolts fuel tank and clutch system, making this bike one of the most sought-after among Harley lovers. Moreover, the motorcycle creates rigidity inside its powerful defective engine to handle the noise emission. Lastly, the improved bore tool has also increased the engine’s efficiency. It further allows the motorcycle to run faster for an extended period. Final Words Despite the Worst Years For The Road King and setbacks throughout its history, it has remained a beloved and iconic motorcycle for many riders. The Road King has faced its share of challenges throughout history, with certain years particularly troublesome. Its continued popularity and loyal fan base testify to its enduring appeal and quality. While there may have been some rough patches along the way, the Road King has proven to be a resilient and reliable ride, and we can only hope that its future will bring more memorable and successful years on the open road. Frequently Asked Questions What Is The Hardest Harley To Ride? The hardest Harley to ride is subjective and can vary depending on the rider’s experience and preferences. However, many riders consider heavyweight touring models like the Road Glide or Electra Glide more challenging due to their larger size and weight. What Is The Problem With The 2003 Road King? Identifying the exact problem with the 2003 Road King without specific details is difficult. However, potential issues could include mechanical malfunctions, electrical problems, or general wear and tear due to age and usage. Is A 1997 Road King Fuel Injected? No, the 1997 Road King is not fuel-injected. The absence of fuel injection in the 1997 Road King is a testament to its traditional design and mechanical simplicity, which resonates with riders who appreciate older motorcycles’ nostalgia and raw power. What Year Did Road King Go To Fuel Injection? Road King went to fuel injection in the year 1995. This marked a major shift in the way fuel injection was delivered to the incompatible engine, replacing the traditional carburettor system that had been in use for decades. Does A 2005 Road King Have Fuel Injection? No, the 2005 Road King does not have fuel injection. The absence of fuel filter injection in the 2005 Road King does not hinder its performance or reliability.