Harley Softail vs. Road King: The Ultimate Battle!

Which bike would you rather have, the Softail or the Road King? Are you really so confused? The battle between the Harley Softail and the Harley Road Glide is never-ending.

However, this post will help you figure out which of these two attractive touring rigs would be better for you if you are considering getting your first Harley. A couple of important factors have been carefully considered when selecting a contrast between the two very exciting Harleys.

Harley Softail Vs. Road King, which one is better? Well, let me ask you this: What kind of riding do you do? Is it long-distance? Local commuting? Therefore, let’s get right to the point and figure out what exactly makes them different and which one is best for you. The answer is in this article. Keep reading.

Harley Softail Vs. Road King: Comparison Shortly

Softail and Road King, who can handle all those duties – short-, medium- and long-distance, with little or no compromise? Excellent question; I’ll explain later, but let’s make a quick comparison first.


Harley SoftailHarley Road King
Length:- 91.3 inches 96.5  inches
Seat height:- 25.8 inches26.3  inches
Trail:- 6.2 inches64  inches
Rake:- 30 26
Ground clearance:- 4.9  inches5.3  inches
Wheelbase:- 64.2 inches64  inches
Oil capability:- 5 qt.5.2 qt.
Fuel capability:- 3.5 gallon6 gallon
Running order weight:- 655 lb.828 lb.
Shipped weight:- 630 lb.794 lb.


Harley SoftailHarley Road King
Front wheel type:- Chrome- steel lacedSlicer II -cast aluminum
Rear wheels type:- Chrome- steel lacedSlicer II -cast aluminum
Front brakes:- 4 pistons fixed front32 mm, 4 pistons fixed
Rear brakes:- 2 pistons floating rear32 mm, 4 pistons fixed
Front tires:- 100/ 90B19/ 57H/ BW130/ 70B18/ 63H/ BW
Rear tires:- 150/ 80B16/ 77H/ BW180/ 55B18/ 80H/ BW
Color:- Vivid BlackVivid Black, Midnight Crimson, Billiard Red & Stone Washed White Pearl

Harley Softail Vs. Road King: Head-to-Head Comparison

Softail: In Harley-Davidson’s lineup for 2021, the Softail Standard is the most affordable model. Harley-Davidson announced in February 2020 that it would reintroduce the Softail Standard 13 years after it had been discontinued. Harley-Davidson’s Softail is an entry-level bike in the Softail line, but it still has some exclusive features and a lot of heart-touching capability.

Road King: The Road King is a classic touring motorcycle designed for Harley-Davidson fans. An excellent option for a long ride, the Road King is also reliable for errands around town. Despite its large windshield and hard bags, it is an excellent cruiser motorcycle. Classic styling and a powerful engine make it one of the best bikes for long distances. A king, indeed.

How Does a Softail Bike Differ From a Road King Bike?

Both motorcycles have some notable differences, and those dissimilarities must be affected when you select one. Anyway, see below.

  • As compared to the Road King, the Softail’s chassis is lower-slung.
  • The Softail is lighter and shorter than the Road King.
  • Comparing the Road King and Softail, the Road King has the best ground clearance and better suspension.
  • Harley Softail motorcycles are more comfortable and user-friendly.
  • Harley-Davidson’s engine is secured with the rubber mount process, whereas the Harley-Davidson Softail is connected with the weight-balance method.
  • The Softail is exceptionally agile and maneuverable, which makes it well suited for daily commuting and everyday riding.
  • Road King has better wind protection on its chassis.

Controlling Speed

Road King engines have rubber mounts, while Heritage Softails have counter-balanced mounting methods. The Road King’s engine works well during high-speed travel, even though it offers little comfort. Softails start vibrating about 85mph, while the Road Kings ride smoothly even at high speeds.

Both bikes use the same engine, but they are mounted differently. Compared to the Heritage Softail, this touring bike has excellent low-speed agility because of its lower-slung chassis. As a result of its chassis placement and low seat height, it is a great option for small riders.

User- friendly

There is a high level of similarity between the Harley Softail and the Harley Road King bikes, as well as superior usability. Almost all riders seek to add one of the company’s bicycles to their collection. The brand has an innate and strong connection with many users.

When you are just starting out on a bike, pay attention to the Softail Vs. Road King debate about learning as much as you can about the bikes. You should choose one that is more user-friendly. In this case, Softail is the winner. That’s because it’s much more ergonomic.


Handlebars are the point of difference. Due to its size and positioning on the motorcycle, the handlebar of the Road King has a beach cruiser bend that is unsuitable. The problem is made worse by the floorboards’ position. When riding a long distance, the rider’s hands come close to their legs, leaving the ride uncomfortable.

The Softail’s handlebars are specially shaped, and its low floorboards provide plenty of legroom. These features make maneuvering easier. While the motorcycle is not in motion, riders can sit on the Softail’s backrest.

Ride Quality

In addition to having a low seat height and mid-set footpegs, the Softail riding position is also horribly alien. Taller riders won’t feel comfortable riding this bike – their legs are packed in tight between the seat and pegs, while their feet are spread wide on either side of the motor. Don’t worry if you are a shorter person.

Night and day rides are the same with the Road King. It has significantly better rear suspension than a soft-tail. The Road King can be stripped down to cross-town cruising in minutes and then can be used for cross country touring. In addition, the grips have been modified to reduce the jackhammer effect. However, the mini-ape bars still transmit vibrations and shudders to your hands.

Price Comparison

Among many other features, the Road King differs from the Softail in terms of comfort and other areas. Here is the most common question: how much does each cost? The price of the Softail Twin Cam 88 1745 CC engine with solid mounting is only $18,388.

In comparison, Road King’s Twin Cam 88 1745 CC engine with rubber-mounted features costs only $19,499 instead. Road King’s price range is a little more than Softails. It doesn’t matter if both other qualities are taken into account.

Harley Softail Vs. Road King: Which one is secure for the ride?

Still in Doubt? Which one would be preferable? With this information and the features described above, you should have a good sense of both automobiles. A Road King Bike would be an ideal two-up bike for touring. Having more storage space makes it the perfect choice if you have a lot of possessions around.

Riders who weigh under 200 pounds may choose the Softail, but heavier and taller riders may want to consider the Road King. Softail is better suited for short trips like visiting friends and running errands.

You may still be unsure, so you need to get more information about both bikes. There are 2 options: first, “read this post again,” or you may go for a second opinion, “test drive.”


Is the Road King a good bike for touring?

The Road King is an excellent bike for touring. In addition to having good frame construction, it has a unique and stimulating road feel. As a result of its upright riding position, the bike is easy to control. A rubber-mounted engine powers in the Road King, which comes with a 6-speed gearbox, and a fuel tank 6-gallon also.

Is a Harley Softail a good beginner bike?

Harley Softails have a very stable balance, so they are easy to ride. Harley Softails have plenty of power to make them your first and last bike as well. The Softail Slim is said to be better for shorter riders because it has a lower center of gravity and a more comfortable seat height than any motorbike. Check one out if you’re a short rider.

Is a Harley Road King fast?

There has been much drooling recently over Harley-Davidson’s Road King Special. This is especially true for those who enjoy touring Harleys. It has a 1584cc, air-cooled, 4v, V-twin engine capable of reaching speeds of over 200-mph.

Why does Harley call it a Softail?

Basically, Softail motorcycles have the rear suspension springs or shock absorbers hidden by the rear wheel, giving the appearance of a hardtail motorcycle. Harley-Davidson trademarked the word Softail in 1984 for its FXST Softail motorcycle.

In Conclusion

At the end of the day, it’s all about aesthetics and preferences. Either choice will never let you down. Comparing Harley Softail Vs. Road King, which is more comfortable and stylish.

I recommend renting both bikes or testing them out. Check out HDMC-sponsored rides that are hosted by local dealers or HDMC-sponsored events. Ride each motorcycle and see what it feels like when driving. After it is all over, you will discover that one ride is better than the other. You’re ready to hit the road and throw a leg over your bike of choice. Take a long ride on your perfect touring bike today!

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