Which Harley Road King Years to Avoid and Why? (Explained)

Harley-Davidson, which is ideal for long-distance journeys, is the brand that typifies cruiser bikes. Unlike other regular bike firms all around the world, the brand has received several compliments on behalf of its service excellence.

In recent years, you may have heard of a number of issues with a bad reputation. Existing mechanisms and setup flaws are the most common causes.

The 2006 Road King is one of the worst models in terms of clinging cylinders in the fuel trunk and bolt failure.

Continue reading to see why you should avoid a certain model.

Harley Road King Years to Avoid (List of Years)

The Road King Special is a short-distance motorcycle. However, Harley-Davidson has managed to keep it balanced enough to make it a fantastic touring motorbike. But all the years do not perform the same.

The following years should be avoided due to faulty fuel systems, engine failure, ignition switch issues, hydraulic mechanism malfunctions, and transmission issues.

Worst Years of Harley Road King:

  • 2000 Harley Road King
  • 2003 Harley Road King
  • 2004 Harley Road King
  • 2006 Harley Road King
  • 2014 Harley Road King

2000 Harley Road King Problems:

Engine noise is an unavoidable issue this year. On mild throttle between 1500 and 2000 RPM, you could hear a ticking or rattling noise from this model. The noise disappears as soon as the throttle is increased.

Another common concern is throttle position sensor problem. A number of consumers have stated that they have taken the 2000 Road King to the dealer several times. They always repair the throttle position sensor, and then it’s gone again. The dealer continues to charge but does not appear to be able to resolve the issue.

Sometimes you may suffer from engine failure. Even if the starter cranks the engine over when the battery is low, the ECM will not trigger the ignition circuit.

2003 Harley Road King Problems:

With 30,000 miles on it, one of the owners of a 2003 Road King claimed it was fuel injected. The bike wanted to attempt to die at stops idle after it had warmed up and was ready to ride.

This year, oil leaks have been a major worry. When the oil pan is sitting on the jiffy stand, oil leaks from the rear left.  The pan’s whole bottom, as well as the sides and cross member beneath it, may drip wet. The gasket in the oil pan might be leaking.

2004 Harley Road King Problems:

The Road King is a 2004 model with a dreadful track record for engine and transmission issues. There was also the discovery of the cam motor’s chain mechanism, as well as the engine.

Due to a malfunctioning transmission system and an unsuitable engine, the 2004 version became infamous.

On top of that, various plastic parts were discovered in the motorcycle’s basic construction. These polymers may readily break away, posing a risk to riders and the motorbike itself.

The motor, as well as the brake, are malfunctioning. Even if it is acceptable, the cost they incur is not justified in terms of the quality of their work.

2006 Harley Road King Problems:

It is one of the poorest models, regarded as worthless among the models that existed, with over a hundred complaints filed against it and a recommendation that it be recalled.

Separating the various pieces for maintenance and repairs proved to be a challenging task. Wobbly bolts were a cause of concern as well.

A lot of people have complained about their batteries dying. Different electricity concerns are abounding this year.

2014 Harley Road King Problems:

The 2014 Road King had issues with defective engine parts, which severely harmed its image.

It has problems with its engine parts, which have resulted in around nineteen accidents while operating the model. It poses a significant risk of injury.

The hydraulic mechanism malfunctioning is a matter of concern too. The hydraulic system did not work as well as it should have.

Most Common Problems of Harley Road King

Faulty fuel system:

The gasoline pump of a 2002 Road King is malfunctioning. You could hear the pump whine if you turn the key. It comes to life when you press the start button. The motor dies after a few blocks of riding, but all lights remain on.

The EFI pressure in the 2002 Road King is a concern. EFI fuel injection 95 crate engines on a 2002 Road King. Owners encountered issues with hoses breaking inside the gas tank.

After around 100 miles, the pipe from the pump to the filter will occasionally develop pinhole leaks just at the little curve.

Engine failure:

Engine failure is caused by the cam bearings. This is extremely risky while riding a bike and can result in a fatal accident mostly is the years 2004 to 2009.

The major issue with Harley-Twin Davidson’s Cam engine is most likely the cam chain system’s design. The design of the actual product is terrible. Metal to metal contact will occur, resulting in metal shavings and potentially deadly engine failure.

If this problem is not addressed and detected, the Twin Cam’s complete engine, including pistons, cams, and engine casings, may be destroyed. It’s a really significant engine issue.

Ignition Switch problem:

When the moment comes to activate the stop run switch, some years of the Road King ignition switch do not give any power in the IGN or ACC positions.

If there is a problem with the ignition switch, it might put your life in risk. In model 2006 this situation occurs the most.

Transmission problem:

Most of the owners of 2009 road king have suffered with transmission issues. The transmission was switched from first gear, according to the owners, but the shift mechanism failed.

It happened because the shifter input shaft appeared to have separated from the transmission’s internals. The bike is now stuck in first gear because the engine was cold/off at the time.

Which Harley Road King Years are Safe to Buy Used?

2016 and 2017 are the safest model to buy. The year 2016 bike’s colorful design is sure amaze, and its dual halogen headlights and retractable windscreen are both unusual and robust.

The 2017 edition has a timeless and vintage look that you will undoubtedly fascinate you.  If you want to improve the aesthetic of this motorcycle, you can also add leather accessories.


2003, 2004, 2006, and 2014 are the years to avoid on the Road King. If you’re looking to buy a used Harley, stay away from these models.

The design of the Harley Road King has made it a timeless vehicle, there will be no comparison to another brand. As a biker, the journey will take you to a new level of riding, providing you with a wonderful experience. For road safety and dependability, you may go for models from 2016, or 2017.

Related Posts:

Similar Posts