Cortez kicked off the job by putting a brand-new '04 Road King on his lift. He removed the seat and disconnected the battery since he would be working with the bike's wiring during the frontend install. Here, Cortez took the headlight/nacelle/passing lamp assembly apart to remove it.
Once the headlight and nacelle were out of the way, Cortez loosened the triple-tree pinch bolts and removed the large bolt that holds the fork tube in the upper triple-tree before he pulled each fork leg from the bike.
With the forks legs out of the way, Cortez bolted on these chromed upper-fork covers, aptly nicknamed "beer cans." The chromed upper cover kit is Harley PN 45963-97, and sells for $57.
Cortez took both fork legs to his bench and began the disassembly process by draining the fluid from each one.
After he removed the seals and clips at the top of the legs, and the retaining bolts at the bottom, it was just a matter of a couple of good tugs, and Cortez had removed the stock lower fork leg.
The springs and other internal parts were transferred from the stock forks and placed in the new chrome fork legs before they were installed. The chromed legs are PN 46472-00, and available at any Harley dealer for $299.95.
Before the fork legs were put back on the bike, Cortez filled each one with about 10 ounces of new Harley fork oil.
Both fork legs were bolted back onto the bike, followed by there-installation of the headlight nacelle.
Cortez couldn't put the frontend back together with the dull-finished stock rotors, so Anaheim/Fullerton H-D had them sent out for polishing. You can see what a difference the polished rotors made as Cortez bolted them on.
The front wheel was re-installed, completing the lower portion of the frontend.
The bike's owner wanted handlebars that allowed him to lean back a little bit while seated, so he brought in this set he picked up from Wild One.
With the frontend all chromed and shiny, there was no way Cortez was going to reinstall the black-painted switch housings. A Harley chromed switch housing, PN 70228-96B (MSRP $123.95), was added.
The switch housings were installed with the original black buttons to provide a little more visual contrast. Chrome switch buttons are also available from Harley for those looking to add a little more of the shiny stuff to their rides.
The bike's owner opted for the new-style Harley headlight and passing lamp visors. He also replaced the yellow turn signal lenses with a smoked set, from Harley as well.
Cortez had completely transformed the frontend of the bike into something much better looking in a matter of a few hours. For a relatively small sum of money, the bike has a much more custom look than it did sitting on the showroom floor.
There are not too many bikes on the market that look as nice as a new Harley Road King. With both the quick-detach stock windshield removed and the chromed nacelle encasing the headlamp, it looks like a really cool remnant of the Art Deco period of the '30s.
The only bad thing about the Road King frontend, or any of the rest of the FL touring line, is the bland-looking aluminum-finished fork legs and the stock "beer cans" that hang about them.
We dropped in to visit Matt Cortez at Anaheim/Fullerton Harley-Davidson to watch as he transformed a customer's brand-new Road King into something much better looking with the aid of a few parts easily found in Harley's Parts & Accessories catalog.
This upgrade is one of the most cost-effective ways to liven up the look of your bike, and only takes a few hours to do, with the proper tools and a little patience.