Harley-Davidson’s Road King Special Ditches the Chrome And Looks Mean as Hell

Who says Harleys need to be all shiny?

Harley Road King2
Harley-Davidson Motor Co.

Harley-Davidson Motor Co.

Harley-Davidson is eschewing its traditional chrome for black trim on the 2017 Road King Special, a lowered and blacked-out version of the company’s hard-baggage highway cruiser.

Like all of Harley’s touring bikes for 2017, the Road King Special employs the company’s new Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine, which is 10 percent stronger than the previous Twin Cam High Output 103 engine.

Harley-Davidson Motor Co.

“The Road King has always reflected the purity of the Harley-Davidson FL riding experience,” noted Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson vice president of styling and design. “By exchanging chrome surfaces for black and lowering the bike’s profile, we’ve moved the traditional Road King into a new space that’s very current in the custom bagger scene.”

The Road King Special’s signature item might be the massive gloss-black headlamp nacelle, while the engine guard, handlebar and hand controls, mirrors, turn signals, engine covers, air cleaner cover, mufflers and exhaust shields also feature black surfaces. 

A couple bright chrome accents stand out on the lower rocker boxes, pushrod tubes and tappet blocks to highlight some of the engine’s details.

Pricing starts at $22,434 for the Vivid Black paint version, with Charcoal Denim, Olive Gold and Hot Rod Red Flake available as options.