Archive for Road King 110th anniversary

How to destroy an anniversary

Posted in 110th Anniversary, Harley-Davidson, Road King with tags , on May 15, 2013 by bleiglass

I accept that I am biased, and very proud of riding a limited edition 110th Anniversary Road King. There are just 1,750 of them worldwide, and my low serial number of 113 shows that I went on a blind date, buying early without having seen the special colours vintage bronze and vintage black in real.

I wrote in previous posts about this, and I never regretted the step.

I also started a special FLHRANV locator on this blog, and a public page on Facebook, trying to collect all the different locations a 2013 FLHRANV landed. By now, and with the help of other owners, I could collate 23 bikes in 7 countries and 3 continents.

As the riding season is in full swing, and I visit frequently rallies in Europe, I could find 2 bikes in St. Tropez HOG Euro Festival 2013. Merci!

On a recent ride, to a dealership south of where I live, no names here, I found another, and while I took pictures of the serial number, a rider approached me, stating proudly that he also has a 2013 FLHRANV, but is presently improving it by changing the colour… WHAT?


I accept that taste is very personal, but changing the colour on a Anniversary limited edition is a crime, it should be made illegal, its what the limitation is all about! Buy a standard Road King and spray it pink, no problem with that, but killing a limited edition anniversary model?


I did not believe him, but after he showed me his creation in the workshop, I was speechless. As I did want to stay polite, I just shut up. There it was, clearly a 110th anniversary Road King, with the beautiful special tank badge and front fender logo. But everything that was once vintage bronze has been repainted in a dull silver metallic. Saddlebags, tank, fenders, no bronze left.


I therefor now officially conclude that there are not 1,750 versions of 2013 FLHRANV, but only 1,749.



The UK 2013 Road King 110th Anniversary is a Double Special Edition

Posted in Harley-Davidson, Uncategorized with tags , , on September 13, 2012 by bleiglass

Here in the UK, the 2013 Road King 110th Anniversary Edition is more special then in the US. My international reader may wonder what can be more special then special, and more limited then limited, so let me explain.

From a US point of view, the 2013 Road King 110th Anniversary is limited, has a special paint scheme, some badges and dual colour seat, but otherwise it is a Road King of which tens of thousands are sold every year. Lets say the 110th Anniversary Model is a bit special in the US.

Here in the UK however, Harley-Davidson does not sell the “Road King” at all, it only offers the “Road King Classic”. I am not sure exactly why, but also in the car business you often see that cars sold overseas and far away from its production base have much less variations then in their home market. On the Road King, some elements, like Security System, ABS and Cruise Control are optional in the US, while in the UK they all come as standard. The reason is simple: logistics, its all about shipping, local warehousing and client friendly delivery time.

Milwaukee may be happy to ship 10.000 Vivid Black Road King Classics to Europe, as it knows it will sell them, but 4 optional variations mathematically yield 24 different models, and the demand within these 24 variations is much harder to predict. To only produce after the client has ordered is not a good option, as the shipping from the US to the UK and Europe takes too much time if performed economically. Therefore the first thing your kind Harley salesmen in Europe does is to look what stock is there in the larger european warehouses in Oxford (UK), Morfelden-Walldorf (D) or Arese (I) or in the decentralised but networked local dealers, then he checks what is already build and on a ship on its way.

So, for the UK, a “basic” Road King is very special, double limited, as the FLHR was last sold in 2009. And the differences between a Road King and a Road King Classic are optically substantial. They share the same frame, the same 103 Ci engine, handlebars and screen, but they are very different in two main parts: the saddlebags and the wheels.

Check out the difference between a Road King and a Road King Classic. The Classic on the right has black leather saddlebags, classic look, but not so easy to use use, and no real locks, just clips. The Road King (left in 110th Anniversary Vintage Bronze) with its hard saddlebags in the same color scheme as the bike, also have a very classic look, as they are shared with most other Touring models. Easy access and lockable with the same key as the bike, I am very much looking forward to this new luxury.

The other big difference are the wheels. Just looking at the front wheel, the Road King Classic has 16 inch front rim, laced, with white band 130/90 tyres, while the Road King has a 17 inch 28 spoke cast rim, which I hope are easier to clean. What the handling difference between 16 and 17 inch rims will be has to be seen but may well be very small, as the whole geometry should not be affected. The 16 inch wheel takes 130/90 tyres and the 17 inch wheels 130/80 tyres. This means the (rubber) tyre are not as high (80% of 130 cm), but the overall wheel radius is pretty much the same due to the bigger 17 inch rim. I think the spoke cast looks cleaner, the brake rotor smaller, although its the same size.

Some Chapter memebrs do not believe me, but my friendly Harley dealer can confrim that I did 20,000 miles on my first set of factory-fitted tyres, front and back had to be replaced at the same time and were still legal. I am told this is a lot, some more progressive riders do not achieve half of that distance. I believe its not about speed but style, and Sergio Perez in his F1 Sauber demontsrates how tyres can be treated gently while still being fast. How I do it? No idea.

But for 35,000 miles in 3 years white wall tyres are absolutely useless, as after 3,000 miles you clean them for the first time, after 9,000 miles and 3 cleans you give up, and after 20,000 miles you like the dark grey walled tyres and decide that your next set will be a plain black. They may look less classic, but definitively cleaner.

So in the UK and Europe, there are more then 1 reason to go for the 2013 Road King 110th Anniversary Edition.

Colours of the 2013 Road King 110th Anniversary Edition

Posted in Harley-Davidson with tags , , on September 10, 2012 by bleiglass

Colours? Actually, there is just on scheme: ANNIVERSARY VINTAGE BRONZE with ANNIVERSARY VINTAGE BLACK.

My 2010 Road King Classic has now 33.000 miles, a trusted companion who never let me down, who travelled with me all corners of Europa, from the northerly tip of Scotland, to the far southwest of Portugal and the east in Croatia, come rain or shine. But it may be time to look at the new boy on the block, the 2013 Road King 110th Anniversary Edition.

The key elements of Anniversary Editions are their unique colour scheme and some special badges. I am usually sceptical on anniversary models, as the colour scheme is not always to my taste, and if you change it, gone is the mint “Limited Edition” resale value. For me a Harley can be any colour, as long as it is black, but with age comes tolerance, and the 2013 colours seem really nice and still dark… as far as I can see. But how far can I see?

For the Anniversary Editions there is one colour scheme called: Vintage BRONZE / Vintage BLACK.

The “limited” nature in Anniversary Models is also one of their problems: you have to go on a blind date, you need to trust some hearsay reports and pictures on the web, as the first time you will see the the colours in the flesh is when you take delivery. Too late to turn away in disgust. For the 2013 Road King, just 1,750 units will be build for worldwide distribution, and you need to commit even before it is build, less then 50 may hit UK roads.

In a later post I will discuss other features of this Road King, like the 103 engine, the hard coloured saddlebags and cast contrast chrome wheels. The latter features are usually only sold in the US, in the UK only the Road King Classic with its black leather saddlebags and chrome laced wheels is sold. But for no, lets take a view on the colour.

Black is Black, and Vivid black (my 2010 Road King) or Vintage Black for the 2013 FLHR-ANV should not be too much of a difference. But what on earth is Vintage Bronze?

Accurate Colour reproduction is practically impossible, one can (expensively) calibrate his PC screen so one colour always looks the same, but who has? And then, each pair of eye relates colours differently to individual brains, remember, colour blindness is not rare, and those affected do not see in black and white, but red – brown and green spectrum is often the problematic ones. Bronze lies just in the middle, and if somebody likes the nice green of your new Anniversary bike, he is most likely colour blind.

I took a screenshot of 4 photos, and it is easy to see how Vintage Bonze shows itself in a different light: from bright sunshine to foggy days, it looks very different, only black stays black. I give each picture a name:





Looking at some detailed photos of the tank and front fender, again the colour shows differently, maybe closest to its real appearance:

On feature shows to me in these photos, Vintage Bronze is a metallic colour that will change in different lightnings and angle of view, moving from a reddish in sunshine, through chocolate on a cloudy day, down to a pale dark brown at dawn.

I like it, the deal is agreed, deposit is payed, allocation of one of the 1,750 units confirmed, now I am waiting for my second Road King, the 2013 Road King 110th Anniversary Edition.