Brother Tom, my Harley Davidson Road King FLHR

My Review: 6


I am writing this review about my newest bike; I call him Brother Tom. It is a 1997 Harley Davidson Road King. Back in July I traded Earl’s old bike for it, along with a small but substantial pile of cash.


When I first saw it, I was knocked out by how beautiful it was. That vision of beauty clouded most of my judgment and prompted me to buy the motorcycle.

I do like the bike a lot. It rides well, though a little bit stiffer than I might have liked. The rear shocks were lowered from 12 to 11 inches, and that makes it ride a little rough. A guy I know told me that when Harleys (especially touring bikes) come off the showroom floor, they are comfortable and ready to ride. Anything you do to the bike to change it from stock condition is only going to make it less comfy. I have seen nothing on this bike to contradict that opinion.

Also, though the paint job is beautiful and it is lovely to look at, the very fact that it has a custom paint job and looks immaculate gives me fits of nervous tension. Whenever I park it I have this urge to sit somewhere so that I can see it at all times. I get looks and thumbs’ up all the time at traffic lights because it is so eye-catching. But I am also freaked out about a scratch or ding or whatever. I think I need a rider, something that looks fine, but isn’t customized or tricked out. Too complicated for me.

The bike has has a ridiculous number of cool upgrades and customizations:

  • Beautiful custom candy red paint job
  • Chrome fishtail pipes with mufflers
  • True Dual Exhaust
  • Chrome grilled Amber Running Lights (front and back)
  • Custom fuel switch
  • LED Gas Gauge
  • Custom Chrome teardrop side mirrors
  • Laid-down custom license plate frame
  • Custom one-piece two up saddle
  • Custom Choke
  • Custom laid back handlebars
  • After market Chrome Hand Grips
  • Rider foot boards (vibration dampening)
  • Passenger foot boards
  • Air ride suspension front and back
  • Custom Chrome Air-Cleaner Cover
  • Custom Chrome (flaming skull) Timer Cover
  • Lowered rear shocks (12″ instead of the stock 13″)
  • Chrome Engine Guards
  • Chrome Bag Guards

If you are someone who wants an eye-popper, you would totally dig this bike. Personally, I prefer a quiet life. At some point, I am going to trade out for a straightforward, comfy, worry-free riding bike. In the meantime though, at least I have something pretty to look at.


For looks and style this bike would get a 10. But the anxiety is too much for me, and that makes it a 6.


2 comments so far

  1. Monko on

    Who’s the hot chick in the last picture??

  2. David on

    Just this girl I picked up at bar. 😉

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