Dreaded Road King Problems: Exhaustive Roundup (Years 2000-2017)

Last Updated on September 24, 2023 by Chase Manhattan

Harley Davidson’s Road King is a symbol of classic motorcycle design and comfortable touring experience. Its unique blend of vintage aesthetics and modern functionality has made it a favorite among biking enthusiasts. However, like any other machine, certain Road King models have been affected by a range of issues over the years. Understanding these problems can help you make an informed decision when purchasing a Road King, especially if you’re considering a used model.

So keep reading and let’s get into it!

Chase Manhattan

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Common Problems in 2000-2010 Road King Models

In the first decade of the 21st century, several Road King models were released that, unfortunately, didn’t live up to the high standards typically associated with the Harley Davidson brand. Issues ranged from faulty fuel systems and defective transmission systems to engine problems and hydraulic issues. Let’s delve deeper into these issues, year by year, to gain a detailed understanding of the problems that plagued these models.

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Detailed Look at 2000 Road King Problems

The turn of the millennium saw the release of the 2000 Road King model. While this model was a nod to the classic design that Road King enthusiasts loved, it was also the start of a series of issues that would persist in subsequent models. The most common problem reported by owners of the 2000 Road King was related to the fuel system. In many instances, the fuel system was prone to leaks and unexpected shutdowns, causing significant inconvenience to riders.

Unpacking the 2001 Road King Problems

The 2001 Road King seemed to mirror the issues of its predecessor. A common complaint was the loud noise produced while riding, which many riders found to be a nuisance. There were also reports of difficulties in detaching the wobble link from the right place to the trunk, which affected the overall ride quality.

Analysis of 2002 Road King Problems

The 2002 Road King model was plagued by a significant issue – a faulty fuel system. Riders reported that the bike’s fuel pump was unreliable, often leading to the motor shutting down after only a few blocks of riding. This problem was mainly attributed to issues with the EFI pressure in the 2002 Road King model.

Understanding the 2003 Road King Problems

The 2003 Road King model was a highly anticipated upgrade from the manufacturer. However, upon its release, users found that the model fell short of expectations. The most prominent problem was a defective fuel system. Furthermore, the engine and motor were not up to the mark, with many users expressing disappointment with their performance.

Examination of 2004 Road King Problems

The year 2004 was a challenging one for Harley Davidson. The 2004 Road King, marketed as the Dyna Superglide, faced serious defects. The transmission system was faulty, and the engine was incompatible, causing a series of issues for the riders. Furthermore, the use of plastic parts in the bike’s main structure posed safety risks as these parts could easily break.

Investigation into 2005 Road King Problems

The 2005 Road King model was a bright spot amidst a series of problematic releases. This model was characterized by a minimalist approach to the classic Road King design, complete with streamlined fenders and chrome features. However, like its predecessors, the 2005 Road King model was not without issues. The primary concern was related to the cam bearings, which were prone to damage and required regular replacement.

Examination of 2006 Road King Problems

The 2006 Road King model, also known as the Electra Glide, faced a barrage of issues that led to a massive recall of the model. From wobbly bolts to parts that were challenging to separate for maintenance and repairs, the 2006 model was considered one of the worst Road King models to hit the market.

Discussion of 2008 Harley Davidson Road King Problems

The problems with the Road King models continued in 2008. However, the issues were less severe compared to previous models. The most common complaint was related to the bike’s ignition switch, which often failed to supply power in the IGN or ACC positions.

Overview of 2009 Road King Problems

The year 2009 saw a continuation of the transmission problems that had plagued earlier models. Owners commonly reported that the transmission would switch from the first gear, but the shift mechanism would not work as expected.

Addressing 2010 Harley Road King Problems

In 2010, Harley Davidson made significant strides in addressing the issues that had plagued previous Road King models. However, some issues persisted, such as engine failure and problems with the cam chain system.

Unravelling 2012 Road King Problems

The 2012 Road King model was a marked improvement over its predecessors. However, like earlier models, it was not without its share of problems. The most common issue related to the motorcycle’s hydraulic system, which failed to deliver the expected performance.

Insights into 2014 Road King Problems

Despite its aesthetic appeal, the 2014 Road King model had its share of issues. Faulty engine parts led to several reported cases of accidents, prompting Harley Davidson to recall some of these motorcycles. Furthermore, the bike had issues with its hydraulic mechanism, making it potentially dangerous for riders and passengers alike.

Delving into 2017 Road King Problems

The 2017 Road King model was a significant improvement over previous models. However, as with any machine, it had its share of issues. Some riders reported that the motorcycle’s fuel gauge was inaccurate, often indicating an empty tank even when there was fuel available.

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Prevention and Solutions for Road King Problems

Knowing the common problems of Road King models is half the battle. It’s also crucial to understand how to prevent these issues or, if they occur, how to address them. Regular maintenance and inspections can help prevent many of the problems associated with these models. In cases where problems do arise, a skilled mechanic familiar with Harley Davidson motorcycles can often provide solutions.


While the Harley Davidson Road King is a fantastic motorcycle model, it’s essential to be aware of the potential problems associated with specific years. By understanding these issues, you can make an informed decision when purchasing a Road King, ensuring that you choose a model that will provide you with a reliable and enjoyable riding experience.

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