As I ponder getting a bigger bike, the 2003 100th Anniversary Sportster is calling out to me. In particular, I have come across a 2003 Road King Classic with the same paint scheme as what I want and now find myself at an intersection where I must consider the benefits and 2003 Road King problems of buying this model over one that’s newer.
This article will explore what advantages there are for choosing an older model compared to its modern counterpart as well as inform you on any red flags you should look out for when it comes to purchasing vintage Road Kings.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the 2003 Road King Problems
If you’re thinking of upgrading from a 2003 Sportster to an ’03 Road King, know that this will be quite the transition. Major enhancements in newer models include increased motor power, 6-speed transmission capabilities, fresh frame design and throttle-by-wire as well as ABS braking technology. It’s comparable to swapping out your Honda Civic for a Lincoln Town Car on longer trips – it is certainly going to make quite the difference.
Despite being an older model, the 2003 Road King Classic boasts plenty of appeal. With its TC 88 engine, there’s no doubt that this bike will make for a pleasant ride experience. To ensure you get the most out of your purchase though, it is important to know what features to look for and keep in mind when buying any pre-owned motorcycle.
Common 2003 Road King Problems: Cam Chain Tensioners
One of the biggest areas to pay attention to is your cam chain tensioners. If they are still in their original state, you must assess them immediately as many riders have reported that theirs were worn out at 30-32 thousand miles. It is wise for some people to replace these components with an SE upgrade kit, cams and hydraulic or gear drive tensioners which can help reduce this common issue.
Before investing in a vintage Road King, be sure to confirm that the cam chain tensioners have been inspected or replaced – this will help you avoid major problems later on.
2003 Road King Problems – Fuel Injection Issues
Many owners of the 2003 Road King have encountered issues with its fuel injection system when it is running hot. Specifically, they experience stalling at stops and while idling, so delicate adjustments to the throttle are needed to keep the engine going.
If you’re facing issues with your motorcycle, there are multiple potential remedies to consider. To begin, verify whether any codes have stored on the bike – if modifications were conducted or a PCIII was fitted, this could be the cause of your woes. Additionally, injecting fuel injector cleaner into your tank may remedy problems that arise from inferior gasoline quality.
If you’ve already installed a Stage 1 kit and Vance/Hines pipes, but still experience troubles with your bike, consider inspecting the idle air control (IAC). You can do this by removing the air filter to view the idle port at the throttle body inlet. No movement of IAC pintel may be an indication of either a faulty IAC or wiring issue.
Weighing Your Options
The 2003 Road King Classic offers an amazing ride, regardless of its lack of modern features. You’ll undoubtedly be delighted with the comfort and pleasure it provides while you’re on the road. However, ensure that you are aware of any potential 2003 Road King problems before making your purchase so that you can make a well-informed decision.
Before investing in an older Road King, it is prudent to inquire about 2003 Road King problems such as the cam chain tensioners and any fuel injection-related complications. When these things are correctly managed or appropriately taken care of, there’s no doubt that you can enjoy your 2003 Road King Classic for a long time and across extensive distances without worry. Happy riding.