Harley Davidson slips new eight-valve motor into 2017 Road King

CAPTION: The 2017 Harley-Davidson Road King Special, looking all dark and moody in a warehouse.

HARLEY Davidson has released the 2017 incarnation of the Road King, fitted with the new Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine.

The new Road King ‘Special’ has obviously spent some time in the stylists shop with “a bold new attitude and a darker edge”, but the biggest news is the new motor.

For folks not well versed in Harley-speak, the Milwaukee-Eight is Harley’s ninth engine. The ‘Eight’ celebrates eight valves; four in each head, as you might expect, and the 107 is the engine capacity in cubic inches. That’s 1750cc.

CAPTION: The new styling is pretty cool, but the new engine is the exciting bit. Eight valves, and faster. It still shakes, as it’s supposed to.

It’s still a 45-degree V-twin, of course, and Harley says it produces 10 percent more torque than previously.

“The four-valve cylinder heads offer 50 percent more intake and exhaust flow capacity. The engine is counter-balanced to cancel 75 percent of primary vibration at idle, retaining the feel of a Harley V-Twin while being very smooth at highway speeds.

“A new heat management strategy for all Milwaukee-Eight engines improves rider and passenger comfort.”

Harley says the Road King Special delivers more torque and acceleration “while retaining the iconic look, sound and feel of its predecessors”.

“Matching the style and engine upgrade is the unique Road King Special 19-inch front wheel and suspension,” the company’s press release says.

“New fork internals offer improved damping control while the rear shocks are totally redesigned, with hydraulic spring preload (rather than air) adjustment.

“Signature features of the Road King Special include a dark shadowed front, topped by a impressive gloss-black headlamp nacelle, a sinister custom bagger, mini-ape handlebars, stretched saddlebags, lowered profile and dominant blacked-out livery.

“Lower-slung, the Road King Special channels a fresh, contemporary energy from the streets and distils it into a something that looks, and feels, completely different.”

The bike sells for about $35,000, ride-away.

You can find full specifications here.

2017 Harley-Davidson® Road King Special.