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Harley-Davidson Gold King Is a Rolex Watch on Wheels, Made for the Strangest of Reasons

The custom motorcycle world, especially that side of it that handles Harley-Davidsons, is extremely imaginative. We've seen that imagination express itself in countless ways over the years – most of the time in ways that honor completely original ideas, but every now and then with the end product meant to be a tribute to something else.
Harley-Davidson Gold King 6 photos
Photo: Mecum
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In most cases, these tribute builds are the result of an event or have some hidden meaning to them that is part of the bike's story. That's exactly what happens with the highly modified 2006 Harley-Davidson Road King we have here, only the story behind it is far less glamorous (and exciting) than it would have you believe.

The Road King is right there at the top of the food chain when it comes to Harley's lineup of impressive motorcycles. Leading the charge in the bike maker's range of Grand American Touring bikes, it presently sells as the Road King Special.

Even in its stock form the two-wheeler is an impressive machine or, in Harley's own words, "a majestic bagger with impressive power." It's so appreciated that it is also one of the three bike models Harley is offering to police officers across the country, alongside the Road Glide and the Electra Glide.

On the global custom bikes stage the platform is used from time to time for incredible projects, but probably not as often as it would deserve. When one goes down this path, though, it does so to impress. Which brings us to today's two-wheeled insanity.

The 2006 Road King now sitting before us is unrecognizable from its stock form. A former police officer motorcycle, it is a display of gold bling one seldom gets to see – and that's real gold plating, not some make-believe paint job.

The bike in this form is called Gold King (duh!), and it is the work of a California custom garage named Rundlett Performance & Machine, with help from Starside Designs and Bryon Airbrushing. And it is, for lack of a better phrase, a Rolex watch on wheels.

Harley\-Davidson Gold King
Photo: Mecum
I said earlier this bike came to be on account of a very strange reason. That's because it was not inspired by a Rolex watch per se, or by an important event in the life of the Swiss watchmaker, and it is not a tribute. The bike in this form came to be as a result of a… billboard.

The bike's owner, a custom builder by the name of Xavier Fields, decided to go with Rolex as a theme of the build simply because he passed a Rolex billboard while riding down a freeway somewhere and found the brand impressive enough to include it in his life.

Before getting into it, it's important to note that although we've seen highly expensive, luxury Harley-Davidsons in custom form before, the Gold King was the first ever Rolex-themed build, and as far as we know the only one still.

As usual when it comes to such projects, the motorcycle kept some of its most important bits, but got significantly upgraded when it comes to others.

Inside the stock frame of the motorcycle the builders fitted a new engine, sourced from Harley-Davidson and much larger than before: a 117ci unit. Modified with the fitting of S&S-sourced cam, lifters, cylinders, and pushrods, the powerplant is now rated at a massive 152 horsepower and 138 foot-pounds of torque. A five-speed transmission is on deck to handle the power properly.

Painted black all over, the bike is a visual explosion thanks to the extensive gold plating, seen on many of the engine's covers, the fork up front, and in every little detail that was originally chrome. Even the massive, 30-inch front wheel has been covered in the stuff.

Harley\-Davidson Gold King
Photo: Mecum
The wheel at the back, hidden by the bags, is just 18 inches in diameter, and it is supported by a suspension system supplied by Speed by Design.

Elsewhere, the bike's sound system, already something impressive, was taken a notch further with the installation of a Kicker head unit, and the fuel tank was stretched to give it an even more impressive appearance. Everywhere you look you are hit with engravings showing the Rolex crown.

We're told the bike took 18 months to build, but it was hardly used, as the odometer on the thing shows just 149 miles (240 km) of travel.

We brought the Harley-Davidson Gold King up this week because at the beginning of next month it is going under the hammer. Auction house Mecum will try to find a new owner for it during the event it hosts in Glendale, Arizona.

We have no info on how much the bike cost to build, or how much the current owner hopes to fetch for it (the sale seems to be a reserve one). We will of course come back to this story and update it accordingly once we learn how much it went for.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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