The Most Affordable Harley-Davidson Touring Bike On The Market Today



  • Harley-Davidson Touring bikes are popular in the US for their size, comfort, and power, but come with a higher price point.
  • The Road King Special is a simplified touring bike that remains true to its traditional design, offering comfort and performance.
  • Equipped with the Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine, the Road King boasts impressive power and torque for a well-rounded riding experience.

Touring motorcycles from Harley-Davidson have been the most popular models across the US. They’re prevalent at motorcycle rallies, charity rides, and BBQs, so much so that you’ll likely spot on every time you’re on a freeway. For good reason too, as these are revered for their size, comfort, power, and natural ability to travel great distances. But all of it comes at a higher price point than other Harley-Davidson bikes (particularly cruiser offerings). Proving that point right is the most affordable touring bike in H-D’s lineup beginning at $24,999.

The motorcycle in context is the iconic Road King Special. While both the Road Glide and Street Glide have received a very significant facelift in terms of design, power, performance, and tech features, the Road King Special remains true to itself by doing what it does best… keep things simple. It is the kind of touring bike that doesn’t need all the flashiness and fancy features that other touring models are known for, as its design is the very foundation of the touring class. Yet, it promises to meet all your touring needs, via a zero-fat and lean design. Let’s dive deep into the details of Harley’s most affordable tourer.

In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from


History And Mystery Of The Harley-Davidson Softail

The Harley-Davidson Softail has turned 40 years old in 2024

The Most Affordable Harley-Davidson Touring Bike On The Market Today: Road King Special

MSRP: Starts from $24,999

Since 1994, the Road King has established itself as a staple in Harley-Davidson’s lineup. Its large construction, big fuel tank, wide floorboards, comfortable riding position, generous saddlebag storage, and on-road performance have made it a key figure in the company’s touring class. Not to mention that its simplified design technically paved the way for the touring bikes we love and adore today. The 2024 Road King Special carries on the tradition of being a stripped-down, simplified touring bike with a commanding presence that dominates the road, appropriately living up to its name.

Harley has made it better with time and today, you get a handful of modern tidbits as standard. A bright white Daymaker LED headlamp, Prodigy wheels, a low-profile engine guard, and a Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-Twin engine are some of the highlights. For a large-scale touring bike that provides comfort, power, style, and thousands of miles of on-road performance, even a relatively high MSRP of $24,999 suddenly seems well spent. You won’t find any direct rivals to the Road King in 2024, but bikes like the Indian Chieftain and the Honda Rebel 1100T inevitably spring to mind. Both cost well less than the H-D, though.

A Perfect Blend Of Size And Speed

Power: 95 HP; Torque: 122 Pound-Feet

2024 Harley-Davidson Road King Special

For some time, Harley-Davidson’s touring class had a reputation for being not too powerful. Fast-forward to the modern age, and it’s the Road King Special that is having the last laugh. Equipped with the Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-Twin engine, this bike delivers impressive amounts of horsepower, and large doses of torque almost immediately. Much of the credit goes to the impressive engine which was the biggest factory H-D V-Twin engine a couple of years ago, reserved only for the higher-end performance-based motorcycles. It is the standard engine for the majority of Harley-Davidson’s Touring and Softail models in 2024. Plenty of passing power, all without overwhelming the rider when they are in the mood for laid-back cruising speeds, is its highlight.

At first glance, this touring bike might appear too big and bulky to be able to turn on a dime. But that is where the Road King shows just how “special” it can be. Though it shines on the highway, the Road King Special is a very well-rounded bike whether it is in congested city streets, open highways, laid-back suburbs, or curvy back roads. It thrives in any riding environment. Weaving in and out of traffic, completing tight turns, and coming to a complete stop at the rider’s command are all easy jobs for this heavyweight. If you need proof, you should know the Road King is the bike of choice for police departments for their motor divisions. We all know how well police officers use their bikes in motor skills competitions.

Performance Specifications


Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-Twin


114 cu (1,740 cc)


95 HP


122 lb-ft at 2,750 RPM

Lean Angle, Right


Lean Angle, Left


Fuel Capacity

6 gallons

Fuel Economy

43 mpg

A Simplified Bagger That Prides Itself On Comfort

Everything You Need To Go The Distance

2024 Harley-Davidson Road King Special

The Road King Special is often synonymous with the concept of comfort. With so many cross-country road trips at one’s disposal, keeping the rider happy and relaxed for hours of non-stop riding is a top priority. Thanks to its large, cushy saddle on its larger touring frame, its heft is well-spread throughout the bike. We’ve all heard the saying, “bigger is better”. This is particularly true for the Road King as it can travel long distances without any discomfort to the rider. Besides, this motorcycle is also equipped with a set of floorboards to keep both feet rested, and a set of mini-ape handlebars that leave riders’ shoulders in a relaxed position.

One can also attribute the Road King Special to being a comfortable ride for passengers as well. With the stock seat able to accommodate two riders and a set of large passenger foot pegs, this motorcycle’s emphasis on comfort is extended to a second rider. However, we’d recommend owners who frequently ride with passengers to add upgrades (for the sake of their accomplice), such as a backrest, pillion floorboards, and even a cupholder to transform. As someone who has ridden long distances for hours on end, the last thing you want is for your passenger to be uncomfortable. Otherwise, you will be in for a much longer road trip than you thought.

Key Features Of The 2024 Harley-Davidson Road King Special

  • Daymaker LED headlamp
  • Mini-ape handlebars
  • Stretched saddlebags
  • Low-profile engine guards
  • Semi-digital instrument cluster
  • Dual-channel ABS
  • Electronic linked brakes
  • Floorboards


The Most Value-For-Money Harley-Davidson Cruiser On The Market Today

The cruiser in context costs under $15,000, boasts a liquid-cooled engine, and promises sporty riding dynamics

The Affordable Foundation Of Harley-Davidson’s Touring Class

A Lean Bagger Ripe For Customization

2024 Harley-Davidson Road King Special

Because the Road King Special doesn’t go overboard with extra gadgets and special features, owners won’t have to shell over the big bucks before riding off into the horizon. It has everything a touring bike needs, and that is all many riders ask for. While the other members of the Harley-Davidson touring class have MSRPs starting in the high $20k range, this bike stays right in the middle with a starting MSRP of $24,999. When compared to the revamped Road Glide and Street Glide, full dressers, and the CVOs, this inevitably becomes a worthy option for someone just getting into touring bikes.

Another huge benefit to having a touring bike with a simplified design is that it serves as a perfect blank canvas for personal customization. The endless possibilities to enhance this bagger to your own liking is what makes it such a popular model today. Riders can upgrade the Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine to deliver more horsepower and torque at an epic scale. You can add different heights and styles of handlebars, change the accent theme, install a comfier saddle for more frequent touring, add louder pipes, and even add a variety of rider aids available separately. However, if your budget is a bit flexible, we would highly recommend going for Road Glide or Street Glide. The Road King might be the cheapest, but the Glides are easily the most VFM touring bikes by Harley in 2024.


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