I really need that Green Path to retirement that Fidelity Investment is using as the theme of their current marketing campaign, as I keep finding new ways to put retirement a bit further out of reach.
A while back, and just after he returned from an epic tour of the West Coast, Bonneville Salt Flats, and the Great Plains, Kevin Barnes over at Earl Small posted up a short video about a factory-fresh 2012 Harley Road King Classic (FLHRC). The video was both entertaining and somewhat captivating. Kevin was the entertaining part, as I had no idea his many talents included the ability to belt out poetry without a script: he may have a future as the Mo-Co’s official rapper. The captivating part was that darn Road King.
If you watch the video you’ll see the FLHRC is sporting a set of limited edition, custom-painted tins that look exceptional on the Road King Classic: just something about the way the colors and flames work with all the chrome and size of the Road King. That’s part of what got my attention, that and the fact someone was smart enough to leave the QR windscreen off the bike, showing off its great lines, the locomotive headlight and just making the bike far-more eye-appealing to my senses.
I’ve tried to convince myself the bike is just too big for my riding tastes and not sporty enough compared to our Dyna Wide Glide (FXDWG). I’m really fond of the knees-in-the-breeze / wind in your face riding experience you get with a motorcycle that doesn’t have a fixed fairing or windscreen… which is one of the reasons our Wide Glide stood out. The second was the chopper-like long forks with short rake and long steering trail, giving the bike a great look and an amazing ride quality. All of that was tied together by the control-forward design that makes riding feel like sitting in a recliner. Well, that and Debbie really liked everything about the Wide Glide. Of course, the Road King never even hit my radar as I’d never seen one without the windscreens on, i.e., too stodgy looking for this point in our lives.
The Road King Classic — on the other hand — is about an extra 150 lbs wet, uses longer fork rake / shorter steering trail, and mid-control position for a much more upright seating position. Part of me just doesn’t want to go “there” yet, there being a ‘touring‘ bike with ‘touring’ geometry. But there’s another part of me that says the Road King would probably be a pretty cushy-feeling ride, never mind the knock-out classic look.
Anyway, every time I pay the guys at Earl Small’s a visit I ask Kevin if he’s sold his Road King (not his personal Road King, but the one he introduced in the video) and unfortunately the answer always comes back, “Not yet… it’s sitting right there waiting for you to buy it! Let’s go take it for a ride…” Thus far, I’ve resisted the test ride as I suspect it could lead to a slippery slope and we certainly don’t want or need three high-end motorcycles sitting in our garage.
Of course, one suggestion was to sell the BMW and become a two-Harley family, using the FXDWG as my daily commuter vs. the BMW R1100S. Well shoot, the BMW is even worse than the Harley FXDWG in terms of the barrier to selling: I’ve got nearly twice as much sunk into the bike in aftermarket upgrades and accessories than what Kelly Blue Book shows as the average retail value. The Harley’s nearly as bad, where we’ve “upped the value” as it sits compared to when it was stock by about 33%… and resale in the used Harley market is struggling at the moment, so selling it would be economically stupid.
Sadly, Debbie hasn’t been a lot of help here in that she’s not exactly putting her foot down and keeping me on the “Green Path”. In fact, she’s advocating the other way… Dang, is she great or what?
As I said, hopefully someone will come in and snap it up before too long. Every time I visit I find myself swinging a leg over it and today it felt exceptionally nice in that they switched out the solo saddle for the stock Road King Classic two-up saddle and it’s also sitting flat on the floor instead of in a front wheel chock, which brings the seat height down into my range (dagnabit!).
Must resist the force!!!
Update: After riding 100 miles on our FXDWG Sunday and looking over other Road King’s at Killer Creek & Earl Small’s I finally realized the custom-painted tins were the source of my attraction to the one Road King at Earl Small’s. Seeing the FLHRC in other colors and a few on the road quickly made me appreciate what it was about our Wide Glide that we like so much. So, I’ve put that nonsense out of my head.