Harley Road King Years To Avoid

Harley-Davidson is renowned for manufacturing cruiser bikes that are ideal for long-distance journeys. The brand has earned a reputation for providing excellent services compared to other bike companies. However, recent years have seen reports of specific models having issues with their setups and mechanisms, which have caused them to receive negative reviews. One such model is the 2006 Road King, which has had difficulties with fuel tanks clinging cylinders and bolt failure. As such, customers should be aware of these flaws when considering this particular Harley-Davidson model.

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Harley Road King Years To Avoid (List Of Years)

The Harley-Davidson Road King Special is a great touring bike, but specific years have had issues that should be avoided. These years include 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2014, exhibiting fuel system faults, engine failure, and other transmission problems.

2000 Harley Road King Problems:

2000 Harley Road King Problems
2000 Harley Road King Problems

This year, engine noise has been an inescapable problem. Users have commented on a ticking or rattling sound heard from the model when the throttle is between 1500 and 2000 RPM; however, it disappears as soon as more power is applied. Additionally, many purchasers have reported issues with their throttle position sensor that continues to malfunction despite several visits to the dealer and associated fees. Finally, there are cases of engine failure due to low battery levels preventing the ECM from triggering the ignition circuit even if the starter cranks over.

2003 Harley Road King Problems:

2003 Harley Road King Problems
2003 Harley Road King Problems

The 2003 Road King had clocked up 30,000 miles, and the owner claimed it was fuel injected. There were idling issues after warm-up and oil leaks from the rear left side when on the jiffy stand. Further investigation revealed that the gasket in the oil pan might be at fault for the leakage.

2004 Harley Road King Problems:

2004 Harley Road King Problems
2004 Harley Road King Problems

The 2004 Road King model has earned a reputation for having poor engine and transmission performance and issues with its cam motor chain mechanism. Additionally, the basic construction of the motorcycle was found to include various plastic parts that could easily break away, posing a risk to riders and the vehicle itself. The motor and brakes are also reportedly malfunctioning, resulting in an unsatisfactory ride experience, given their high cost.

2006 Harley Road King Problems:

2006 Harley Road King Problems
2006 Harley Road King Problems

This model has been widely regarded as one of the poorest available, with many complaints filed and a recommendation for recall. Maintenance and repairs have proven difficult due to wobbly bolts, while battery life is often shorter than expected. Additionally, electricity issues are plaguing this year's models.

2014 Harley Road King Problems:

2014 Harley Road King Problems
2014 Harley Road King Problems

The 2014 Road King was not without its issues, as defective engine parts caused numerous accidents and posed a significant risk of injury. In addition, the hydraulic mechanism malfunctioned, which further affected the performance of this model. These problems have tarnished its image and left many questioning its reliability.

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Most Common Problems Of Harley Road King

Faulty Fuel System:

The 2002 Road King has been experiencing problems with its gasoline pump. The pump whines when the key is turned and starts up when the start button is pressed. However, after a few blocks of riding, the motor dies, but all lights remain on. Additionally, owners have had an issue with EFI pressure in 95 crate engines and hoses breaking inside the gas tank after around 100 miles. Moreover, pinhole leaks occasionally develop at the little curve of the pipe from the pump to the filter.

Engine Failure:

For Harley-Twin Davidson's Cam engine, engine failure is a significant concern. This can be attributed to the poor design of the cam chain system, which leads to metal-to-metal contact and thus causes metal shavings and potentially fatal engine failure. Suppose this issue is not detected in time. In that case, it can destroy the Twin Cam’s engine, including pistons, cams, and engine casings--especially for those manufactured between 2004 to 2009. As such, it is highly recommended that proper maintenance be performed regularly on these engines to ensure safety while riding a bike.

Ignition Switch Problem:

When activating the stop-run switch, specific Road King ignition switch years may not provide power in the IGN or ACC positions. This is especially true for model 2006 models and can potentially put one's life at risk if such an issue arises with this particular ignition switch.

Transmission Problem:

The 2009 road king owners have encountered transmission issues, with the shift mechanism failing to switch from first gear. This has been attributed to the shifter input shaft separating from the transmission's internals, leaving it stuck in first gear when the engine was cold/off.

Which Harley Road King Years Are Safe To Buy Used?

This bike's 2016 and 2017 models offer a unique and captivating look. The former showcases a bright design with dual halogen headlights and a retractable windscreen. At the same time, the latter presents an elegant vintage style that can be further enhanced with leather accessories. Both years provide excellent performance value in terms of safety standards as well.


When considering the purchase of a Harley Road King, it is essential to note that models from 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2014 should be avoided; for those looking for a used vehicle with optimal road safety and dependability, 2016 or 2017 models are recommended. The design of this bike makes it timeless, and its performance provides riders with an exceptional experience on the open road.

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