2022 Harley-Davidson Road King Special
Long-distance or touring bikes are often called “baggers” because they typically come with large saddlebags and other accouterments that make traveling longer distances more comfortable and enjoyable. However, Harley-Davidson is known for breaking the rules. While most Grand American Touring bikes in the Harley-Davidson lineup stick to tradition, one family of bikes dares to be different. The 2022 Harley-Davidson Road King Special is part of that family and redefines the traditional bagger with its stripped-down design. It’s a bagger with a Harley-Davidson twist.
Although it’s classified as a touring bike in the Grand American Touring lineup, the 2022 Road King Special is more of a cruiser meant for shorter distances and highway drives. Unlike the Road King, the Road King Special immediately differentiates itself by ditching the windshield. This absence creates a different experience in the saddle when riding in town because it eliminates every barrier, giving the rider a front-row view into the world and enhancing the bike’s maneuverability and agility.
The Road King Special defies convention in every regard, from its lack of windshield to its overall aesthetic. Harley-Davidson bikes are often recognizable by their chrome details, but the Road King Special, yet again, dares to be different and opts for a stealthier aesthetic. Rather than chrome, the Road King Special features blacked-out components that give the bike a stunning appearance, whether you opt for Vivid Black, Midnight Crimson, Mineral Green Denim, or the racing-inspired Apex factory custom paint.
But what else can you expect from the Road King Special in 2022? With a starting price of $23,429, the Road King Special is an incredible find that disregards the rules in the best ways possible.[a] It’s not your traditional bagger, and that’s what makes it so exceptional.
Torque (lb-ft): 118
Cargo Space (cu.ft.): 2.5
Seat Height (in): 26.4
114 Cubic Inches
The Road King Special lives up to its name and swaps the Milwaukee-Eight 107 V-Twin engine in the base Road King for the beefier Milwaukee-Eight 114. With 114 cubic inches of displacement, this exchange gives the Road King Special the honor of offering the largest engine in a standard Harley-Davidson touring motorcycle. But how does that translate on the road?
The Milwaukee-Eight 114 delivers 118 lb-ft of torque and a broad range of power courtesy of the bike’s updated transmission. With smoother gear shifts and a more responsive throttle, the Road King Special is agile and easy to maneuver in town despite its 807 lb running weight. While a heavy bike can be intimidating to handle, a responsive throttle and a standard antilock braking system can engineer confidence in any condition.
Brakes and Suspension
Harley-Davidson engineers confidence by equipping the Road King Special with its linked braking system. The Reflex Linked Brembo brakes is a variable system that works with the bike’s standard anti-lock brakes. When you engage the front or rear brake, the electronic system applies pressure to both the front and rear brakes for smoother handling and optimal control. As a result, the risk of locking the wheels is minimized in emergencies or other urgent conditions.
Beyond its responsive throttle and stopping power, the suspension is also integral to the bike’s performance. The Road King Special has high-performance front and rear suspension, with the rear shocks easily adjustable by hand. With 4.6 inches of travel at the front, the Road King Special expertly absorbs the bumps. Despite having just over two inches of travel in the rear, the 18-inch rear tire helps absorb the bumps in the road for a smooth ride.
The 2022 Road King Special is a custom bagger by design, but it’s best enjoyed as a cruiser. Why is this the case? The Road King Special immediately differentiates itself from the Road King by eliminating the windshield. The Road King Special achieves a two-fold result by ditching this added layer of protection. While it reduces the rider’s comfort at highway speeds because there’s no protection from the wind, it optimizes the rider’s experience in town by enhancing the bike’s agility and maneuverability.
The lack of fairing is advantageous and gives the Road King Special a unique appeal by encouraging a more aggressive riding style. Along with the upright riding position furthering that style, the 26.4-inch seat height makes the Road King Special accommodating to most riders and less intimidating in town, where stops are more frequent. When venturing beyond the city limits, you can enjoy the ride by using cruise control and taking advantage of the floorboards that position your feet in a traditional touring position for optimal comfort.
Beyond the seat position and floorboards, the bike’s distinct style also comes from its mini-ape handlebars. The nine-inch-tall handlebars are 1.25 inches wide and encourage the rider to sit taller, promoting a more aggressive riding posture ideal for cruising around town. Similarly, the broader positioning of the handlebars is also beneficial in the city because it provides better leverage and more control over the 807 lb bagger.
Accessories and Technology
A Bare-Bones Hot Rod
The 2022 Road King Special is a bagger’s dream because it’s a bare-bones hot rod that showcases the iconic Harley-Davidson style. As a bagger, it’s only fitting that the Road King Special is equipped with sleek saddlebags that are surprisingly spacious and offer 2.5 cu.ft. of storage. They’re also lockable and easy to access, courtesy of one-touch latches that ensure you never have to fumble around trying to get to your gear and other necessities.
Beyond its saddlebags, the Road King Special takes a minimalist approach to its accessories and technology features so that the focus remains on its design and the road. For example, instead of a busy dashboard with digital displays that can be distracting, the Road King Special relies on a large analog gauge that features an inset odometer, trip calculator, gear indicator, and range to empty feature. In addition, the infotainment system depends entirely on your phone, offering voice recognition to make calls, plan routes, and send text messages only if your phone provides these features. With no expansive infotainment display or entertainment system, your focus is solely on enjoying the ride.
Tech-Savvy Rider Enhancements
Fortunately, Harley-Davidson makes enjoying the ride easier by equipping the 2022 Road King Special with its standard anti-lock braking system and electronic-linked braking technology. You also have the option to add a Rider Safety Enhancements suite, an invaluable upgrade because it engineers confidence in the saddle. This tech-savvy suite includes features like Hill Hold Control, a tire pressure monitoring system, and cornering-specific technologies.
Cornering Enhanced Anti-Lock Brakes, Cornering Enhanced Electronic Linked Braking, Cornering Enhanced Traction Control System, and a Cornering Drag-Torque Slip Control System combine to provide greater confidence when maneuvering the bike. These electronic aids calculate for lean angle so that you don’t accidentally exceed the grip of your tires. In addition, with Harley-Davidson allowing you to turn off the traction control, this technology doesn’t hinder the bike’s performance on loose terrain, giving you adequate control over how the bagger handles.
Welcome to Republic Harley-Davidson
The 2022 Harley-Davidson Road King Special defies the very foundation of the Road King, carving its niche as a distinct model with a penchant for rebellion. It’s a Harley-Davidson by every standard, rebelliousness and all. That rebelliousness makes the Road King Special, well, special. It leaves the large windshield for the Road King, pushing the rider into a more aggressive and assertive position that allows for a more enjoyable ride. While just as capable of long-distance rides as any Harley-Davidson Grand American Touring Bike, the Road King Special excels at shorter excursions and in-town driving.
As long-time riders, we can guarantee that the Road King Special is a breed of its own. We share that mentality and that same penchant for rebellion because, at Republic Harley-Davidson, we dare to be different. We challenge ourselves to provide unparalleled customer service and an unmatched customer experience to everyone who walks through our doors. That’s why we’re your go-to Harley-Davidson dealer in the Houston area.
What else makes us different? Our excitement for riding and passion for the Harley-Davidson lineup is palpable and contagious. We make it easy to get excited about your next ride because we’re genuinely thrilled you trust us with your motorcycle needs. We know you have dozens of dealerships to choose from, so every customer who chooses us deserves to be celebrated. That means giving you the VIP experience and showing you how we fulfill our promise to handle all your riding needs, from sales and service to gear, modifications, riding classes, and everything in between.
Like the Road King Special, Republic Harley-Davidson isn’t your run-of-the-mill dealership. Instead, we operate with transparency, respect, and integrity. We know buying a Harley-Davidson is an investment, so we take time to learn more about you and your riding needs so that we can help you find the perfect bike. From there, our process is straightforward and transparent as we navigate the buying process and set you up for success from the saddle of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle you love. It’s that simple.