The Difference Between the Harley-Davidson 2018 Road King & the 2018 Road King Special

April 3rd, 2018 by

As a Harley-Davidson enthusiast, you probably already know what you want in a bike. You want pristine performance from a bike that doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. You want optimal maneuverability, an outstanding engine, and accessories that would make your neighbor kneel down to your mode of transportation.

The Harley-Davidson 2018 Road King and Road King Specials are incredible bikes. Although they’re similar in some ways, the differences speak to specific riders who are looking for unique attributes in their rides.

Here is a quick breakdown:

The Look

The design of these two bikes is intentionally aesthetically different.

  • Road King boasts of bling and all the bells, whistles, and accessories you could want in a bike.  The Road King features whisker bar mounts passing lamps, which you won’t find on the Special. The P-pad is built for the comfort of your passenger, allowing ample space on the seat, accompanied by passenger footboards, and flip-top hard bags. The Road King is a celebration to chrome, carrying it everywhere possible, from the fuel tanks and the main frame of the bike itself.
  • The 2018 Harley-Davidson Road King

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  • Road King Special takes away all the extra gear and trim, unveiling a sleek, slim bike that makes a bold statement with a very simple exterior. It’s designed with an understated fender and front end. The P-pad creates clean edges on the bike’s rear. Passengers’ feet rest upon flip-out footpegs on the Special. Sure, it’ll carry a passenger, but it doesn’t mind sending the message that you’re totally okay hitting the open road alone. The chrome is replaced with black-out elements that have a lot of attitude. The headlight nacelle is found on both models, but the Special eliminates the whiskerbar passing lamps.
  • The 2018 Harley-Davidson Road King Special

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Both bikes feature tried-and-true designs when it comes to the chassis. You’ll find Showa’s Dual Bending Valve forks on both models. The frame is a traditional skeleton created with a double-downtube/ double-cradle, topped with a steering head that respects tight degree angles. Both models also feature 32 mm, 4-piston fixed front and rear brakes. The end result: stability and straight-line tracking at speed.

There are only a few differences between the two:

  • Road King rolls on a 17-inch hoop up front and 16-inch hoop in the back. The front and rear wheels are made of impellar cast aluminum.
  • Road King Special prefers to play with a 19/18 combination. The front and back wheels are made of black turbine cast aluminum.


As you might suspect with the name, Harley-Davidson’s Road King Special includes a few items that aren’t standard on the Road King, so it carries a higher pricetag.

Cruise control is a standard option on both models, but only the Special offers ABS and the Security option standard. Two-tone pain is only available on the Road King. All of these features inevitably affect the pricing of each individual bike.

Visit Las Vegas Harley-Davidson to Check Out These Bikes in Person

Come get a full-throttled experience by visiting our Harley-Davidson dealership and check out the differences between the Road King and Road King Special in person. Decide for yourself which one best suits your personality and bike needs – and ask our sales staff any additional questions you have about these great bikes. We are located right on the Las Vegas Strip near the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, so stop by or give us a call at (888) 218-0744.