OK, this time it’s not a stock photo or pilfered picture from a H-D dealer or CVO owner, these are photos of our 2013 Harley-Davidson FLHRSE5 Road King CVO in Crushed Sapphire Blue with Cold Fusion graphics. We acquired it today and will bring it home this weekend and then, well, you know… start to break her in.
I’ve been itching to get a Road King since our old friend Kevin from Earl Small’s Harley-Davidson did a little promo video back in October 2011 on a 2012 Road King Classic (FLHRC) with a custom paint set that simply caught my attention. I even did a blog entry about my “temporary” infatuation with the Road King on my other blog, Riding Two Up, and included Kevin’s video, which I’ve embedded below.
I was able to resist the allure of the Road King back then, but it’s been nagging at me ever since. Moreover, now that Debbie’s joined me on the Wide Glide for the bi-annual road trip down to Florida for Bike Week events, having a bigger Harley that’s built for longer days in the saddle really became attractive.
While scanning the craigslist.org listings for 2009 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Standards (FLHR, hard luggage and a more contemporary look vs. the Classics with their wire wheels, white wall tires and leather saddle bags) I ran across one listed back on July 6th that was perfect.
However, after five weeks of being put-off by the seller when attempting to come and see / buy the bike, he decided he was just too busy to show it and, well, really wasn’t sure if he wanted to sell the bike. Yeah, like that wasn’t obvious from the git-go. Nothing’s more frustrating than attempting to deal with someone who’s decided to sell something they really have no intention of selling.
That “miss” opened the door for me to revisit another bike I’ve been lusting over since it first came out last fall: the 2013 Harley-Davidson Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) Road King FLHRSE5.
Yup, you’ve seen several photos of the the “Burgundy Blaze” FLHRSE5 on my blog, as that’s the color that initially caught my eye. Moreover, the entire configuration really suited my tastes almost to a tee: it’s more or less a StreetKing: 1/4 Road King & 1/4 Street Glide, 1/4 ElectraGlide Ultra and 1/4 CVO all fused-together by Harley-Davidson’s Custom Vehicle Operations into a totally different machine that I really like.
It’s got the touring frame & bags of the Road King, but a more aggressive Street Glide look to the bags and headlights with the lowers from the Ultra and a kick-ass CVO 110″ motor with custom paint, a Street Glide front fender, custom wheels/tires, and enough chrome to pimp anyone’s ride with a funky windscreen that may actually work better than the Road King’s windscreen or the Street Glide / Ultra Batwing fairing. What’s not to like, other than the hefty price tag! Frankly, having bought our 2011 FXDWG Wide Glide and then proceeding to add tons of upgrades and accessories to “finish” the bike, in retrospect I can see the wisdom of going with a CVO if you’re a serial-upgrader like me.
So, last Friday I sent a note to my H-D sales consultant asking for an OTD price on a 2013 FLHRSE5, knowing that between their two stores there were at least three Burgundy Blaze and a Crushed Sapphire Blue example sitting in their inventory. Unfortunately, either he didn’t realize I was serious or simply checked-out for the weekend without seeing my request for a quote, but the message string went cold. By mid-day on Saturday, and after giving fair warning on FB, I shot a note off to an Earl Small ‘alumni’ who closed the deal with me on the Wide Glide and who is now the Sales Manager over at Harley-Davidson Atlanta (HDA). I asking him basically the same question: do you have an FLHRSE5 in stock and, if so, how much? Bob was Johnny-on-the-spot and came back with what I thought was a pretty great deal. However, the one bike he had in stock — and which had been sitting on the floor since February — was the Crushed Sapphire Blue model. Hmmm, that threw a winkle into the mix, to be sure.
To make a long-story short, I said I’d close back with him when HDA opened back up on Tuesday, which gave me time to go and check-out the two different color FLHRSE5’s at Cartersville Harley-Davidson, where they were sitting side-by-side. We were finally wooed-over by the blue one, so it was now just a matter of deciding if we really wanted to go down this road with a new, very high-end Road King.
I finally heard back from our friend at Earl Small on Tuesday morning who, sadly, had gone-off-line since Friday. I went open kimono and gave him the skinny on my discussions with our mutual friend over at HDA and where we were, i.e., half-pregnant on a killer deal. I noted I wasn’t attempting to solicit a counter offer, but wanted to let him know where we were on doing a deal. I was somewhat surprised he didn’t jump into the crack that I opened up in the door on a counter-offer, but then again… I’ll admit I can be very hard to read.
I spoke to Bob over at HDA a bit later on Tuesday and said I’d be buy on Weds or Thursday to sit down and go over the deal. I was still mulling over a less exotic, Road King Standard FLHR option in my mind as it would be about 30% less expensive than the FLHRSE5. Well, on Wednesday around noon the casual pace of this deal suddenly quickened, as Bob shot off a note saying he now had two other buyers show up ready to write checks for the Road King. What Bob needed to know was, am I really ready to buy as he was holding the bike for me. I called Bob after getting his note and we talked about the standard Road King a bit and then I made my decision: go ahead and write up the FLHRSE5. I gave him a deposit via plastic over the phone to seal the commitment.
I left work a bit early so I could make it over before HDA closed at 6:00pm so we could do the paperwork and close the deal with a check. There was another customer queued up in the business office ahead of me so I had about 3 different sales consultants giving me insights into our new Harley, spent some time showing Bob photos of our Wide Glide (he hadn’t seen it in a while) and killed some additional time picking out my free t-shirt before meeting with Dave to do wrap up the deal.
I feel bad that my spontaneity caught my friends over at Earl Small’s a bit off-guard, as I would have liked one of them to have gotten a piece of the deal. However, if they’d have even been able to match the offer from Bob I’m not sure how much would have been left in the deal for anyone to pocket. It was kind of like my Wide Glide — also purchased well below MSRP – where Bob and the other sales manager noted, “Nobody was high-fiving on that deal“. Seriously, this was a heck of a deal and that was the deciding factor: you can’t even find used 2013 FLHRSE5s for anything even close to the deal we made.
Anyway, although we don’t really “need to” sell the Wide Glide, I’m not sure how much use it would get if we kept it. After all, I still have my 2003 BMW R1100s that I use as my daily commuter; something it’s perfect-for, whereas the Wide Glide is anything but a good choice for cold or rainy day.
For example, if I’m headed out with Debbie there’s no question we’ll be on the FLHRSE5 for local trips and journeys: it’s made for two-up riding. That leaves the occasional Friday ride over to the Red Eyed Mule to meet Debbie for lunch, then a stop at the firing range before heading home, and perhaps the occasional solo-ride with David when Debbie’s not available. So, while keeping it is an option, it’s not something that makes sense.
Of course, selling the Wide Glide will be kinda of like selling a bad stock while it’s down. You don’t realize the loss until you sell-off the asset and, to hit a price that someone will find attractive for a 2011 Harley-Davidson Wide Glide — even with all of the upgrades — is going to be a sobering journey.
Here’s a link to the Blog-based Ad & 28 photos: LINKY