Since its introduction in 1994, Harley-Davidson's Road King has been a popular touring motorcycle model. With its comfortable ride quality and reliable performance, the bike is well-suited for long-distance rides. For those considering purchasing a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, there are several models to choose from based on rider preference and taste.
The Harley Davidson Road King and Street Glide are the most popular choices. While both bikes share some similarities, they also have distinct differences, which may help buyers decide between them when making their purchase decision.
The extra features offered by each bike can make all the difference in deciding which one fits best with an individual’s riding style and needs. Before settling on either bike model, it is important to understand what benefits each provides so that riders can be sure they're getting exactly what they need from their new motorcycle.
Quick Comparison for Those with No Time
- Length: Both models are 96.5 inches long.
- Seat Height: Road King - 28.2 inches, Street Glide - 27.4 inches.
- Weight: Road King weighs 814 lbs, while Street Glide is slightly lighter at 810 lbs.
- Engine: Each bike is powered by the Milwaukee-Eight® 107 engine.
- Gearbox: Both have a 6-speed transmission.
- Top Speed: The Street Glide tops at 174 mph, surpassing Road King's 140 km.
- Kerb Weight: They're nearly identical, each around 378 kg.
- Torque: Maximum torque for both is 149 Nm.
- Compression Ratio: Each maintains a 10.0:1 ratio.
- Exhaust: Road King has a single exhaust, whereas Street Glide features a dual exhaust (2-1-2).
Harley Davidson Road King and Street Glide: Detailed Comparison
The Harley Davidson touring line encompasses two popular options, the Road King and Street Glide. While both models share some of the same features, they also have distinguishing characteristics that make them unique. These subtle differences can help potential riders decide which model is right for them and their needs.
Both the Harley Davidson Road King and Street Glide are remarkably similar. Their wheelbases, ground clearance, luggage capacity, fuel capacity, and weight remain consistent between the two models. The only noticeable difference is that the seat height of the Street Glide is slightly lower than its counterpart, with a measurement of 27.4 inches as opposed to 28.2 inches for the Road Glide. Aside from this minor detail, both bikes handle comparably and share many other characteristics, making them virtually indistinguishable.
Options And Features
The Street Glide gives riders an updated color infotainment system with a 4.3-inch screen, a 5.25-inch front speaker, voice recognition, Bluetooth hands-free features, and more. In comparison, the Road Glide does not have similar infotainment capabilities nor the large front fairing of the Street Glide; however, they both come standard with cruise control and are available with anti-lock brakes and security systems as optional features.
The Road King model measures 2450 millimeters in length, slightly shorter than the Street Glide, which is 2425 millimeters. The saddle of the Road King is 705 millimeters tall compared to 690 for the Street Glide. Additionally, the ground clearance for a Road King comes in at 135 inches, which is 10 more inches than its counterpart. Despite these differences, both models have approximately equal dry and curb mass weights of 362 kilograms and 379 kilograms, respectively.
Advanced RDRS System
The RDRS technology is designed to improve the bike's acceleration, braking, and overall performance. The suspension on this model is soft, making it easy to carry into corners without hassle. Additionally, gear shifts are smoother since neutral is easier to locate than in standard models. Although the Special features a sloped backseat and shortened suspension travel, it is not designed for two people due to its design specifications.
Both motorcycles have similar fuel capacities, 22.7 liters each. This allows for extended riding between refueling stops.
The 2019 Harley-Davidson Road King model is equipped with a Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine that has a displacement of 1746 cubic centimeters. The engine's stroke measures 110 millimeters and has a compression ratio of 10:1. At 3250 rpm, the engine produces 111 foot-pounds of torque. The Street Glide model features an upgraded Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine, which dispenses 1868 cubic centimeters and has a stroke of 114 millimeters as well as a compression ratio of 10.5:1; at peak torque output, this variant achieves 3250 revolutions per minute (rpm).
Harley Davidson Road King and Street Glide models have LED taillights, high-beam headlights, and turn signals. While the Road King has the fuller lower beam feature, this is not found in the Street Glide model. Another advantage that Street Glide offers over Road King is a fuel economy indicator. Regarding technical specifications, this includes feature chain drive technology, air-cooled engines, and 4-stroke DOHC technology.
Seat & Weight
The Electra Glide has a seat height of 26.1 inches compared to the Road Glide's 29.5 inches and weighs 25 pounds less than its counterpart at 796 pounds. As a result, there is an improved power-to-weight ratio, which enhances acceleration performance. Although cost can be considered when making a purchase decision, other important factors exist in this comparison.
Tires & Brakes
The Harley Davidson Road King and Street Glide share similar brake and wheel systems, featuring disc brakes on front and rear wheels, aluminum wheels, and tubeless tires. Despite these similarities, there are distinctions in each motorcycle's wheel and tire dimensions; The Road King features 180/30-B17 for its front tire size while its rear is 180/65-B16. On the other hand, a Street Glide has a 130/60-B19 for its front tire size and a 180/55-B18 for its rear.
The Road King models have chrome, 2-1-1 twin exhausts, and tapered mufflers for a smooth riding experience. The Street Glide model has a double cradle chassis for an equally responsive ride. Both models have the same dimensions so that riders of either can enjoy the same level of agility and performance. Despite being primarily tuned for long-distance rather than stop-and-go traffic, the Road Glide and Street Glide offer unparalleled comfort to riders and passengers alike.
The Road Glide's bolted frame offers riders a reduced strain on their arms, compared to the Street Glide. Additionally, the Road Glide provides more space between handlebars and seats for taller riders. Most notable, however, is its exceptional ability to deflect wind at highway speeds; it has been estimated that up to 60 pounds of force are applied on both the fairing and handlebar due to this feature. The advantage of this air-resistance channeling directly into the frame is that it helps reduce rider fatigue significantly in comparison with other models.
The 2016 Harley Davidson Road King and Street Glide offer a variety of price points for potential buyers. Both models start at an MSRP of $18,749 for the Road King and $20,899 for the Street Glide in Vivid Black. The Road King also offers two-tone finishes or custom colors, while the Street Glide can be purchased with "Hard Candy Custom" color combinations. Regardless of the model chosen, both bikes come in a wide range of colors to suit any preference.
Which One Should Be Preferred?
The Road King and Street Glide are two popular models of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The former offers a more athletic and sporty exterior styling and a responsive riding experience. At the same time, the latter is slightly lighter in weight and size but also comes at a lower price point.
Customers should consider their preferences for long rides when choosing between these two bikes. While lighter bikes have higher power-to-weight ratios that can boost acceleration, some may prefer the larger size of the Road Glide for its comfortability when traveling longer distances. Ultimately, both are advertised as cruisers; however, $300 can be saved if the customer opts for the Road Glide instead of the Street Glide.
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Many riders have a preference for either the Harley Davidson Road King or Street Glide model. Both bikes offer great power and handling, with the Road King having a slightly greater lean angle than the Street Glide. Comfort, price point, and style must be considered when choosing between these two Harley-Davidson models. Ultimately, whichever bike is determined will provide a fantastic riding experience and allow you to embark on an enjoyable journey.
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