Does the Road King FLHRC show its age?

When I saw a picture of the new ride of Rick Parker, chapter photographer at the Atlanta HOG chapter, at first glance I thought it was a 2011 Road King Classic, and congratulated him to this shiny new bike.

How wrong I was, Rick quickly but kindly corrected me saying its a 2004 Road King Classic.

Still a very nice bike, in great condition, I am sure Rick doesn’t mind me showing his bike here, please make sure to check out his informative blog: Rick on the Road

But does the Road King Classic really show its age at first glance? I am not talking of personalised bikes with tons of custom chrome parts, but of a plain stock bike, rolling out of the factory, are there changing unique identifiers distinguishing it form its older brothers and sisters?

As some who follow this blog may know, I am new to the world of Harley-Davidson and just finished my first season. Maybe there is a very simple answer, but I did not yet find it.

What I realised is that the fuel tank emblem changed from the 2010 to the 2011 model.

Here the emblem of the 2010 model (from HD UK website), as its on my Empress:

and here the one of the 2011 model (from HD UK website):


A visible difference, and here is where I made the mistake with Rick’s 2004 Road King, it looked similar, a big V and no circle, but only at first glance:

The only other fuel tank emblem I found was the 100th anniversary edition 2003:

Here one in more details:

My question to you: is there some logic behind the fuel tank emblems, a system or some other visible identifier, to see the age of a Road King Classic? Or are there even differences in domestic and export models?

Send me your pictures of stock emblems if you can help solve this mystery, I am happy to post them here.

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2 Responses to “Does the Road King FLHRC show its age?”

  1. Chuck Fuller Says:

    Hey Axel,
    I was checking out your website and I’ll be bookmarking it to follow in the future.
    This RK emblem thing will be something interresting to watch for. The V background seems to be consistant (except the 100th anniv edition) from year to year. The custom limited edition paint sets usually have the emblen painted on (with the V).
    Ride on,
    Chaos

  2. Hey Axel,
    Reading your article got my interest up on the subject of tank emblems. Being a professional designer it’s one of the first things I notice when I look at a bike. A friend of mine has a Road King that has yet another graphic on the tank. I did a little digging and it appears hers is a Road King Custom model. I’m not sure what year, but perhaps a 2007, so that explains the difference. From what I can tell all the emblems you have here cover the last decade of RK Classics. But you’re right when you point out beyond that there is very little to tell them apart–on the surface at least. I know in 2010 they made some significant changes to enhance handling and performance, but nothing you would notice just looking at the bike. Or at least nothing I would notice anyway!

    Also, from what I can tell the emblems appear to be the same on both sides of the Atlantic.

    Cheers,
    Rick

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