Ditching the Disco Stock Road King Fenders
WORDS: Jordan Mastagni
Here you can see the Road King has already undergone some blacking out pretty much all over the place. As mentioned earlier, keeping things clean is Jon’s M.O. (you could probably eat off his kitchen floor) so some minimal-looking fenders were just what the style doctor ordered to get rid of the unnecessary trim on the front fender, and the bulkiness of the stock light bar and rear fender combo out back.
PHOTO: Jordan Mastagni
The always-popular Road King has stood the test of time with its classic lines and style that has made it a top-seller for Harley since its inception. However, some feel that there may be too much bulk on the front fender (chrome bumper and decorative trim). And in the rear, the cumbersome light bar’s turn signals and brake light could be best left in the take-off parts bin in lieu of something a little more sanitary.
Road King owner Jon McDevitt is a younger fella and ditching unnecessary parts for a cleaner, meaner bagger is his modus operandi. Jon decided to take the next step to personalizing his already blacked-out 2009 Road King by swapping the stock front and rear fenders, and ironically, he went with Harley-Davidson parts for the swap. Whodathunk?
The Clean Front Fender ($299.95) was ordered up because of its minimal visual aesthetic. You probably recognize the tin from the Street Glide, and since Jon really liked the look of it on that bike he decided to give it a try on his King. It’s available for ’94-later FLHR models and ’89-later FLT and FLHT models from your local dealer in a primed-and-ready-for-paint finish. Simply put, it’s a smooth fender with no bells, no whistles, no bumper, which is exactly what Jon wanted.
For the rear, Jon liked the look of the CVO-style rear fender ($235) and fascia ($237.87), which requires the Envelope taillight and turn signal assembly for the left and right ($151 each), and a few other components are required to make this conversion. Roughly, it’s about $1,000 at the end of the day to make the swap to the CVO-style rear fender setup, but it’s great because it not only cleans up the rear by eliminating the need for a rear light bar, but the look of the fascia’s vertical lighting is pretty darn cool, plus the filler panel closes the gap between the saddlebags and rear fender to really complete the package. The CVO-style rear fender fits ’09-later Touring models (except FLHRC), and FLHTC and FLHTCU models require the purchase of the saddlebag support kit bracket.
Because the rear lighting was being swapped with the rear fender, Jon decided to update the front headlight and driving lights to the new 7-inch Gloss Black LED Headlamp ($524.95), which is DOT-approved and is exponentially brighter than stock. Two 4-inch LED Auxiliary Lamps ($384.95) were also ordered up and promote the triad of LED lighting to really light your path and make others aware of your presence. The driving lights fit ’04-later.
We headed over to the Harley-Davidson Fleet Center in Carson, California, which is where Jon works, so he’s pretty knowledgeable about installing Harley parts on ... uh ... a Harley, especially since it’s his personal bike! Follow along to see the drastic difference the fender and lighting swap made.
01 Baby got back! Jon needed to clean up the bike’s rearend — more importantly ditch the gargantuan light bar.
02 Jon’s not necessarily a chubby chaser, so the swap from the bulky accessorized stock front fender was definitely the route he needed to take.
03 The Clean Front Fender (bottom) from Harley-Davidson is a great way to clean up the frontend of Jon’s Road King. It’s made of steel and comes primed so your painter’s prep work is pretty much non-existent. Speaking of which, Jon had the tins painted before installation to keep things pretty for the camera. Thanks Jon. The CVO-style rear fender (above) also comes primed and ready for paint and installation, so both fenders required minimal effort and time. Located at the top are the new fascia (filler between the bags and fender), the new vertical lights, and the new license plate mount.
04 The 7-inch Gloss Black LED Headlamp and 4-inch LED Auxiliary Lamps (two are included in the price) models are constructed of high-grade billet aluminum and then powdercoated black and machined for a contrasting finish. The auxiliary lamps will fit any model with 4-inch driving lights.
05 Jon rolled the King on the lift and got to work removing the front wheel in order to remove the stock, bulky front fender from between the front fork. Already things were looking better.
06 Obviously installation of the front fender is pretty much a no-brainer. Jon slid the new Clean Front Fender into place, tightened it down, and re-installed the front wheel. He’ll move back to the front later on to install the new headlamp, auxiliary lights, and a new set of turn signals to boot.
07 Moving back to the rear of the bike, the saddlebags were removed to gain access to the stock rear fender mounting points. Once the hardware was loosened and the rear lighting connectors were unplugged, Jon removed the rear fender with the factory light bar attached.
08 Here, Jon installed the stock fender support bracket to the new CVO-style rear fender before installing it to the King.
09 He then tightened down the new Harley license plate mount...
10 ...and routed the new, already-assembled factory wiring connector. Plug and play time!
11 Which would you choose? As for Jon ... you probably know the answer to that one. The CVO-style fender is much cleaner and the tinted vertical lighting is a nice touch.
12 Once the CVO-style rear fender was properly prepped with the necessary wiring connections and the license plate mount, Jon installed it to the King with ease, tightening down the hardware. Fender swap complete.
13 Jon worked his way to the headlamp assembly and removed the trim ring and unplugged the headlamp removing it from the nacelle. Jon also removed the stock driving lights and the entire bracket as a whole because the new auxiliary lights come with a new bracket that also fit the new bullet-style turn signals Jon ordered up since he wanted to ditch the honeycomb-style front turn signals.
14 Gross! That headlight nacelle just totally puked a bunch of wires! Jon apparently didn’t mind the mess and got to work installing the new bullet-style turn signals and routed the wires back to the connectors. He then plugged the right driving light into its new port, followed by the left driving light.
15 Next, Jon plugged in and installed the new 7-inch LED headlight assembly and tightened down the headlight snap ring.
16 A quick turn of the ignition switch rendered the headlight installation successful. As you can see — and this photo doesn’t do it justice — the LED headlight, LED auxiliary lights, and new bullet turn signals are a nice addition to the blacked-out frontend on Jon’s King.
17 And the overall look of Jon’s bagger is much cleaner and less bulky, which is exactly how Jon likes his women.
18 The clean front fender was a nice choice for Jon’s tastes. He’s definitely digging the less-is-more feel a lot more.
19 Check out the CVO-style rear fender! It’s a night and day difference from the King’s stock bulky rearend. The installation was a snap and could easily be done in your garage with some basic tools. Hit up your local dealer and swap some sheetmetal.
(Contact your local dealer