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Old 11-16-2014, 06:49 PM   #1
boatpuller OP
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Road King vs. Bat Wing Faring Models

Starting to get the bug for a new Harley touring bike, and am finally old enough to consider an Electra Glide type batwing faring style bike instead of a Road King. Very interested in hearing from riders with extensive experience with both types of touring Harleys. Looking for the type of insight that comes from logging long days with both types, as well as shorter commuting or errand-running.

I'm asking here because there are some serious motorcycle aficionados here on ADVrider that likely have this experience. (And yes, I have an ADV sticker on my Harley.)
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:05 PM   #2
XtreemLEE
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I have no experience other than a short ride on his bat wing style touring rig. nice protection good bike, I have a "Road King" thing though and I can't shake an older beach cruiser barred naked bike with some saddle bags...

Like this...

http://smu.gs/1qa83L0
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:29 PM   #3
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I've had both, but I haven't ridden the Rushmore batwings with the vent, so I can't comment on those. I always had some level of buffeting on my Ultra. I had three different windshields and none eliminated the buffeting. I came to the conclusion that the primary source of the buffeting was coming around the bottom of the fairing and not over the top.

I thought the buffeting at head level was less on the Road King. However, you don't have the lower wind protection on the RK. I hear others say the fork wind deflectors on the RK work wonders, but haven't tried them.

I personally prefer the RK because it's a more elemental bike where you can really see the engine, there's limited plastic and you can strip it down on a hot day. I'm not into sound systems, CBs, intercoms, etc. on my bikes so the RK is perfect in that regard.

So, neither is perfect for wind management, but the '14+ bikes may be better.
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:35 PM   #4
boatpuller OP
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ExtreemLee: Suggest you invest in a rider's backrest if you are going without the windshield on the Road King. Very nice looking bike though. But I'm more interested in the usefulness, as beauty changes from looks to comfort somewhere around mile 500-700 in a day, and gets confirmed when daily mileage exceeds 1000.
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:37 PM   #5
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DLFLHT: The fork wind deflectors are a God-send. They should work on the batwings too I'd think. Thanks for your comments, btw.
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:40 PM   #6
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I have friends with Road Kings and Electra Glides. They have both found the fork mounted deflectors are very helpful in dealing with buffeting.
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:58 PM   #7
Shastarider
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I have extensive experience on 2008, 2010 and 2012 Electra Glide. There is a 2009 RK in the garage now. The RK came available at a screaming price and I wanted to try something different.

The electRa glide will give you better weather protection especially for your hands. That said, did a 4k ride over the summer with my RK and I had no issues with the weather. I may get some hand guards for the winter.

The RK will steer lighter since it has no fairing. Better around town. You will get a better view of the road directly in front of you with the RK since it does not have the bat wing. No biggie but after coming off three Electra glides it was noticeable.

I have about 100 miles on a 14 street glide and the new fairing is an improvement over the earlier generations. At speed the big is firmly planted. The air duct does its job. The Rushmore bikes are improved over the last generation.

No experience on a Road Glide but from talking to serious riders I respect its the best of both worlds.

There are aftermarket bat wings made for the RK. I have liked being able to easily pull off my windshield during the heat of summer.

No matter which you choose, if you go used get 2009 and up with a 103 motor.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-17-2014, 10:29 AM   #8
SledDogMagoo
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I had a couple bats in the 70's and thru the mid 1980's . In 1984 I got my first shark , the Tour Glide with frame mounted fairing , three Tour Glides and am on my second Road Glide .. You couldn't give me a bat ..

You asked , and that's over 1.5 mill on those five bikes
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Old 11-17-2014, 10:47 AM   #9
shupe
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It's always bout Pros and cons.

The batwing is better than a tombstone style windshield for wind management.

But you can't take it off - it's always there.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:24 PM   #10
teeelljay
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At least test ride a Road Glide for a complete sampling of the touring line. I bought my first shark nose in 2002 and my second one last year.

I have 27,000 on the 2013 now and it just keeps getting better.

tj
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:01 PM   #11
SledDogMagoo
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and if ya get a Roadie you can attend Shark Week V in Kerrville Tejas June 2015
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:11 PM   #12
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Gotta say I was drawn to the shark nose before they changed it. Now I just look at the front of it and slowly shake my head. While it's not important to have a pretty bike, it is important to not have one you dislike the looks of. Not trying to make fun of anyone's 2015 Road Glide, but it looks like Bender, the cartoon robot on TV. Not sure I can get over that.
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:16 PM   #13
boatpuller OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SledDogMagoo View Post
I had a couple bats in the 70's and thru the mid 1980's . In 1984 I got my first shark , the Tour Glide with frame mounted fairing , three Tour Glides and am on my second Road Glide .. You couldn't give me a bat ..

You asked , and that's over 1.5 mill on those five bikes
Dad's got a '72 FLH with a Liberator faring (think that's what they call it) that was the predecessor to the Tour Glide. Big honkin' frame mounted faring with two head lights and two driving lights easily fitting in it. It's a sharp look, and pokes a huge hole in the wind. He is very fond of it.
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:16 PM   #14
SledDogMagoo
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I dont like the 15 either ... yet ..and mine is paid for , so I like the new even less

Plenty of great deals on low mile 11s 12s and 13's

just depends if you wand the Ultra or the X

I have the 11 Ultra in black

black is faster
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:18 PM   #15
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I'd love to find a Liberator , was made by Vetter , was gonna be HD's flagship but a fire at the plant in 77 or so ended that ..

Liberators are like virgin gold when you find them
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