Harley-Davidson Road Kings first appeared in 1994. The “dressers” with wide whitewall tires over steel laced wheels hearken back to the 1940s and ’50s cruisers of the touring family. They are characterized by large solid saddlebags covered with leather and definitive steering heads that support a rubber-mounted drivetrain, which shields you from engine vibrations. Dunlop designed tires specifically for this model.
Dunlop’s multilayer, multitread front tire runs cooler because it has a tough solid compound in the center, which also increases strength and stability. The sides are layered with a “lateral-grip” compound to increase traction while turning, leaning and braking, while increasing durability. Lateral grooves in the tread move water to the edge of the tire for better traction. It’s coded as “130/90B16 67H” on the wheel, and its part number is 3031-81. The tire is 25.27 inches high and 5.23 inches wide with tread 5/32 inch deep. It can carry 677 pounds effortlessly on the interstate while inflated to 41 pounds per square inch.
The first rain after a dry spell brings grease and oil to the surface of roads, making traction even worse than while driving in heavy rain. Lateral grooves in the rear tread improve traction and reduce hydroplaning on wet grease and oil by channeling it to the outside edges. It’s composed of a tough compound surrounded by multiple layers of reinforced tread for maximum durability. It is coded “180/65B16 81H,” with part number 3031-57. It’s 26.22 inches high and 7.09 inches wide with tread that is 10/32 inch deep. The tire carries up to 1,019 pounds when the tire is inflated to 42 pounds per square inch.
Dunlop added two fiberglass belts to a three-ply Road King touring tire to increase stability and strength. They are available for both front and back wheels, and are designed to carry heavy loads on long trips at interstate speed. In addition to channeling water to prevent hydroplaning, the lateral grooves in the tread generate heat for better traction in snow, dead leaves and puddles. They grip steel bridges even when wet.