You won’t believe what happens next!
Bolting a turbocharger up to a Harley-Davidson Road King might sound mundane or absolutely insane, depending on what you know about motorcycles. For those who are only familiar with cars, a simple turbo upgrade is something which provides a little bit more get-up-and-go but doesn’t absolutely transform a vehicle. However, on a motorcycle it can add quite the altering dimension of performance. That’s why it’s entertaining to see Bikes and Beards do just such a thing.
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Sean, the lead on the channel, claimed that building “one of the most powerful Road Kings to ever exist” was “pretty easy.” Notice how Craig, the mechanic, didn’t make such a claim, maybe because the man knew the build wasn’t over. Sean is the brash one, the dreamer who makes the mess Craig has to then straighten out, yet these two seem to make it work. But can they make this boosted Harley work?
As Sean spells out at the beginning of the video, the build includes a Harley-Davidson 131 crate motor, ThunderMax tuner, Ward camshaft, high-volume oil pump, and of course the turbo itself. All that combined made for a whopping 223-horsepower and 217 lb.-ft. of torque. Yeah, we know the Honda guys will brag their ride makes about that much, but keep in mind it ways multiple times more, so who’s laughing now?
However, big power figures alone don’t make for an enjoyable or engaging ride. Just like with a car, if you’re creating gobs of horsepower and torque but can’t control it then all that is really for nothing. Considering the horsepower alone increased by 180% over stock, one would quickly realize some adjustments to other components, if not outright swapping them out for upgrades, would be necessary.
Sure enough, the Harley was making some “interesting noises” they had to diagnose. It turned out the problem was the chain hitting the frame. That was made possible by the axle getting a little squirrely with all that extra power. Long story short, they didn’t have a solution for that yet, but they decided to add racing fuel to squeeze as much power out of the setup as possible. Hey, they have their priorities straight.
One of our favorite YouTube channels is Bikes and Beards. We’ve featured some of their videos in the past, but if you’re not following them and you have even a casual interest in motorcycles, we recommend you start.
Check out the entertaining video and enjoy.