Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Newbies Ride the Nomad vs. Road King
We (Me and Wife) rode a 1700 Nomad single and 2-up last weekend in Detroit at the Kawa Demo Days. We needed to compare it vs. a Road King with passenger back rest that we had rented maybe a few months ago for a day.
We are relatively new to Motorcycle riding and have reduced our selection down to these two bikes. We have to have comfortable 2-up capability for weekend trips out and back over 2 or 3 days. Single riding will occur with regularity. Riding 2-up half across the country is not yet planned but could happen down the road if we really get to like riding distances.
We had thought that we would like the Nomad but were not prepared for how much better it was for us (IOHO, as Newbies testing over an hour's time) than the Road King. The reasons:
1. Wind turbulence was much less with Nomad. You sit closer behind a wider screen. This is a huge advantage in our book. Our Nomad's screen was fine even at its lowest setting and it could be adjusted upwards by 2 inches if desired.
2. Little shake with engine at idle is more comfortable for both riders, and I expect the comfort difference to increase over longer rides. Again, it is a huge advantage in our book to have a balanced engine rubber mounted to the frame. [As Newbies to riding, our concept of a good engine is one that runs smooth. This basic belief is unlikely to change as it was honed over lifetimes of driving everything else but motorcycles.]
3. Better rear view through mirrors. One can see clearly at idle when stopped, with more peripheral view through appropriately shaped mirrors. The mirror shape is clearly more functional on the Nomad. Harley has shaped its mirrors for style and lost some function.
4. Passenger seat was wider and more comfortable on the Nomad, with hand rails for gripping.
5. Hard bags each hold a full face helmet on the Nomad. The size of the hard bags means that one may not need a tour pack.
6. Self-cancelling turn signals are actuated with only the left thumb on the Nomad, whereas on the RK one has to use either thumb. This is an advantage in our book.
7. Gear indicator for 1 thru 6 and N on the Nomad. Not so for the RK.
8. Passenger back rest, passenger foot plates, passenger hand rails, and cruise control are standard on the Nomad.
9. Exhaust note was less pronounced on the Nomad. [As Newbies, we don't yet appreciate a loud "Look at Me" exhaust.]
There seem to be multitudes of those who prefer the RK but we just don't see it. The Nomad appears to be a better bike all around for a considerably lesser cost. Can somebody tell us if we are wrong?
Last edited by MotorMojo; 08-01-2012 at 10:36 PM.