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Road King 11/08/05

6/1/2011


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Sturgis Bikernet 
headquarters
The Australian Connection standing in the Bikernet Headquarters shop.

Around mid June Kerry and myself were organizing our trip to Sturgis, when Bandit contacted me an asked how would I like to ride the Road King to Sturgis. Immediate thoughts were Wholly Shit, I've read all about the King on Bikernet and watched the different stages Bandit has put it thru, so I was very familiar with it, and for Bandit to be asking me was really a big deal, meaning, I felt honored enough when Bandit invited Kerry and myself to join them on the ride, let alone ride his bike. So you probably guessed the answer was a big >>>>>> Yes Sir !! thank you very much.

Sturgis king

For the readers who aren't familiar with the Road King, I'll enlighten you. It started life as a stock 2003, 100th Anniversary model. Bandit said he designed the bike be a big bad assed, blacked out touring bike with heaps of attitude. Bandit and his crew wanted to use as many H-D parts as they could to prove you could build a mean assed bike out of Harley Davidson's catalogue. They started by blacking out the dash, a set of one inch lowered air shocks and a detachable back rest along with some neat touring components. With the help from a dealer for some more involved tech mods to gain horsepower and some low-down torque, they came up with a formula by adding performance cams, Screaming Eagle Heads, air cleaner kit and two into one pipes powder coated black, giving them 68 horses compared to 60 and torque was 76 pounds with a 6 pound increase. Next they installed a factory oil cooler which Bandit tested on a run to Barstow saying how it kept the oil at a very reasonable temperature which is critical for long term, Twin Cam reliability.

Sturgis highbars riding

Fast forward to Sturgis, August 2005 and Kerry, my wonderful bride, and myself arriving at the Bikernet Headquarters being greeted by Bandit and the lovely Nyla. We were enjoying a beer while having a grand tour of their unbelievable home when Bandit said, “Get ya helmet Goddamit, we're going for a ride.”

Sturgis first ride

It's hard to explain the excitement that was welling up inside of me, especially when I first laid eyes on Bandit’s bare boned, mean as shit Shovel, I swear it had a look like, let’s go, I'm ready. And right beside it sat the Road King .

Sturgis Shovel

It definitely looked like it was ready to do some very serious miles, man. It looked beautiful, all blacked out like a road warrior ready for action, 16-inch apes reaching for the sky, a very comfortable looking seat and a detachable back rest for Kerry. I gotta tell you these two bikes were like chalk and cheese, the Road King had all the creature comforts and Bandit’s Sturgis Shovel had absolutely nothing, except a little back fender and a sprung seat, Shit !!! and he's riding it to Sturgis, tough sonofabitch, I thought to myself.

Sturgis kerry annd Bandit
Bandit trying to fondle my wife in Arizona.

Just as the sun was setting over Long Beach we fired those puppies up and peeled out of the Bikernet Headquarters like two crazed maniacs going for their first ride after a long cold winter, ( sound familiar Bandit ). Seriously thou, we cruised around Long Beach taking in the sights and both of us getting used to our rides. We both had grins from ear to ear, especially when we twisted the wick on these babies, I was blown away, the King with it's sheer size and weight, had some serious acceleration, man. I was impressed plus having a lot of fun and Bandit’s shovel went like a rocket, with it's power-to-weight making it an awesome ride.

Sturgis king riding

This was going to be my 4th trip to Sturgis (beginning in Australia) and I knew 100 percent this trip was going to be very special, I was feeling right at home on the Road King, everything was perfect except for the bloody windscreen, I think it was set up for Bandits 6' 4'' frame and I could not get used to it, but Harley had it covered. Two seconds and it was off, no problem.

Sturgis map check
Famous Bandit “Map Check” stop.

I would love to tell you about our trip to Sturgis, but it's been covered by Bandit and Johnny Humble, the young gun from Texas, both really great stories and you can still check them out by going to The Events Coverage in Bikernets Department Site.

Sturgis group
That's Charlie out front riding a 124-inch Evo with a sidecar. In back from left to right is Glen, the author, Chris Tronolone, Johnny No-Notes and Bandit.

It's hard to put into words, the true feeling of this road trip with such great company, I will say that we were very privileged to get to ride with them, even thou we live on the other side of the world, I know that Kerry and myself have forged life-time friendships and hopefully will get to do it again some day.

Sturgis glen and joerline
Glenn and the famous Queen Joerline.

I have been privileged to ride a lot of bikes in my time and I must say the Road King was bloody brillante, we covered 4000 miles all up, came across all types of weather (as we all do) including high altitudes where the King never missed a beat with it's superb fuel injection and very smooth motor. Seating was great, and I just loved the apes. Not only do they look really cool with an attitude, they were really comfortable.

Sturgis highbars riding
There’s nothing like apes, even for Glenn who is 5’10”. I gotta tell ya, nothing like doing big miles across your beautiful country and checking out the scenery thru a pair of 16-inch apes Awesome. Not forgetting the handling was unbelievable, even two up and loaded made no difference.

Sturgis Bandit

I will post some photos of our trip that you haven't seen and would like to do a follow up of our trip from where Kerry and myself parted company from the rest of the crew, returning to L.A. via Denver, Santa Fe, Sedona and Vegas.

Sturgis hills with king

I would like finish up by thanking Bandit and Nyla for their friendship, hospitality and giving us such a great time, not forgetting the use of their Road King.

Sturgis Nyla and Karley
Nyla and her lovely daughter Karley. They managed the back-up truck.

Okay guys thats a wrap, hope you like it.

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