How’d I Forget This: Our First Year With The Road King

Cherahola Stop2Perhaps it says something about just how comfortable we’ve been with “Blue”, our 2013 Road King CVO, in that our one-year anniversary of ownership passed almost without comment!  Or, put another way, like all great relationships… time flies when you’re having fun and Blue has definitely delivered on fun.

Without question, if I had a chance to travel back in time I’d buy the exact same bike again; it’s darn near perfect for us in terms of the fit, the ride quality, sound system, luggage, frontal coverage (windscreen vs batwing or fairing) and of course the styling.

It’s had a few nits — tire wear is troublesome, the stereo and cruise control switches had a few bugs and the primary drive and clutch feel and sound like junk; however, so far they still work.  Here’s hoping that if they are going to fail they’ll do so before next August! The one big thing that is still a bit annoying is the engine heat and I’m still not sure how to fix that.  But, for all of its shortcomings, it’s still been a great bike for us that we’ll hold onto for a long, long time.

Anyway, here’s a recap of our first 12 months / 9,000 miles of life with Blue; most of the entries are hyperlinked to the related blog posting just in case you’re house-bound by weather, stuck in a hotel on travel or can’t sleep at night:

Road Trips

  • Smokey Mountains: Over Labor Day 2013 via Cherohala Skyway & US129, Gatlinburg & Clingman’s Dome and turning the ODO over 1,000: let the real riding begin!
  • Panama City Beach900 miles of smiles for a long weekend at Thunder Beach; great time even with all of the rain.
  • Helen, Georgia:  Three times, just because it’s a great ride!
  • Dahlolnega, Georgia: Three times not including the three times we went on to Helen!
  • Blue Ridge Georgia: Four times for lunch at Harvest on Main! It’s worth the trip.
  • Daytona Beach: About 1,000 miles for Bike Week
  • Panama City Beach: Thunder Beach Spring has become a favorite and rain still didn’t put too much of a damper on our fun.
  • Nashville, TN: Long weekend road trip to Music City; more rain!
  • Smokey Mountains:  Motorcycling & tandem cycling; riding over the skyway and through the dragon for a 4th of July week of tandem cycling in Tennessee.
  • Barber Motorsports Museum: A spontaneous back road trip over to Birmingham.

Modifications

Maintenance

Gripes

  • Engine heat; it’s really quite awful and amazing what we’ll put up with.
  • Primary & Clutch noise; something ain’t right in there on these bikes.
  • Lack of tire options; the Dunlops are far too prone for cupping for CVO use; owners need to have a choice if for no other reason than to give Dunlop motivation to fix the 407 CVO tire size tread design or compounds.
  • Zinc hardware instead of stainless; would it kill you to use better hardware?
  • CVO Saddle quality, it’s pretty poor guys… Base model saddles even seem better.

What’s Ahead?

  • Aftermarket cams, lifters and other “notoriously suspect” engine parts after the warranty expires; not sure I trust the extended warranty to be worth much given all of the horror stories / hit-or-miss experiences.
  • Compensator / primary upgrades after the warranty expires; see above for engine.
  • The search for a better set of tires!  Dunlops are seriously lacking.
  • Front suspension work at some point; Ohlins cartridges are the most likely candidates but Traxxion Dynamics are not out of the running just yet.

 Birthday Photo!

Blue joined our family on August 6th and came home on August 10th. Thank you Bob Sanchez at Harley-Davidson of Atlanta!

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About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
This entry was posted in Motorcycle / Equipment, Motorcycling Events & Trips. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to How’d I Forget This: Our First Year With The Road King

  1. Tony P. says:

    Love what you did with the LED.. Can you please help me with the Load Equalizer. Which part should I get? Thanks.

    • Tony P. says:

      BTW, I also have the same CVO RK, but in RED.

    • TG says:

      http://www.customdynamics.com/loadequalizer.htm#Street_Magic_Signal_Stabilizer_(Load_Equalizer)

      GEN2-SS8: 8 Pin Custom Dynamics® SMART Signal Stabilizer Fits Harley Davidson 2010-2012 Street Glide CVO /2009 Road Glide CVO/2012-2013 Road Glide Custom CVO, 2013 Road King CVO(2014-Present HD Do NOT Require a Load Equalizer)Alarm Compatible, No Heat, No Load, 100% Waterproof, Adjustable, Plug and Play5 Year Manufacture WarrantyDimensions: 4.2″ x 0.6″ x 1.4″Installation Instructions ITEM#: GEN2-SS8

      Just to be clear, the only thing I did with LEDs was the front turn signal upgrade from the wimpy incandescent bulbs to the very visible LED circles (1157 amber). There is some video on my web site that makes it look my rear LED tail lights are in strobe mode but that’s an optical illusion created by the frame rate of the video.

      • Tony P. says:

        Perfect! That’s all i did as well. I ordered the GEN2-SS8. Thank you. Are you planning to upgrade the windshield to a fairing or another windshield? I honestly feel the CVO wind splitter is to short for me and I’m 5’9. Thoughts?

      • Tony P. says:

        Awesome reply, yes I’m toying with getting a detachable fairing for the cold riding days and keep my windsplitter for the hotter days. But I notice with bigger helmets the wind tend to knock me around and now that I have a sweet sexy young lady sitting behind me, I want ensure she is riding in comfort.

        I’m also floating with cams. Right now I have V&H Power duals with screaming eagle street cannons slip-ons with a power commander and I will say, the heat is not there at all. I will upgrade my slip-ons to V&H Oversize 4.5.

        I would like to send you a pic of my bike. Thank you for your input. It means a lot to me getting great advice from you.

      • Tony Pesquera says:

        Where is the connector block. Help!!

      • Tony P. says:

        Thank you so much. It took me ten minutes at most.

  2. Tony P says:

    How you doing? I must say, I go back to article from time to time. I hate that engine noise. Did you do anything new to your CVO? my email is apesquera@me.com

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