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I've been considering purchasing a used Harley Softail Classic or Road King. While there are several key differences that are influencing my decision, one curiosity to me is why Softails only have a single front-brake rotor, while Road Kings have dual rotors? I get that the Road King is a heavier bike, but not by that much. Anyone know why?
 

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Dual disks really arent needed. I can make the front tire howl, on the verge of locking up with just a single disk.

Also there is nothing stopping you from converting to dual disks if you really want 2.

Better and easier is to put a Arlen Ness Big Brake kit on the Softail.


786907
 

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Welcome to the site.
I was almost tempted to convert to dual disks, then I looked into the Big Brake kit. Does a fantastic job for almost chump change.
 

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The difference being that the Road King is considered a touring model and the Softail is considered a sport bike. The touring model can carry more weight so better brakes. That's what they told us anyways !
 

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Skinny front tires don't have the traction or load carrying capacity of the Road Kings. As Kainan said just upgrade single disc brake.
 
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The softail has a lower center of gravity and the front tire is further out in front of the CG.
Since the Road King sits higher more weight shifts to the front under braking. Therefor the front brake has more braking power on the Road King.
The Softtail has more rear braking power compared to the Road King.
 

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The dual disc craze mostly came out of the sportbike/performance corner, but it is a funny thing to think that our cages have only one disc per wheel ...
 
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