A Harley Road King Special is about as far from an adventure bike as you can get.
When most people think of adventure bikes, we think of bikes like the Kawasaki KLR 650, the Suzuki DL650 V-Strom, and the BMW F 650 GS. We definitely don't think of bikes like the Harley-Davidson Road King Special. One guy doesn't see it that way and took his Harley on an epic Australian road trip from Melbourne to the northernmost point of the country.
In Australia, it's a pretty safe assumption that everything is out to kill you. That didn't hold back Daniel Hayes, a real estate entrepreneur who decided to undertake this epic journey. It started rather like any road trip, unfortunately leaving Melbourne in a cold rain. The roads on the east coast of Australia are well paved, and the Road King Special was well suited for eating up the miles... I mean, kilometers. As he rode north he traded the cold and rain for heat and sun as he got closer to the equator (remember, the southern hemisphere is backward from here that way).
On the way to Cape York, Hayes stopped in at a dumpy looking gas station and told the owners about his eventual destination of Coen, near the northern tip of Australia, before moving on to his final destination in Darwin. They thought he was crazy, especially for taking this trip on a bone stock Harley-Davidson. Soon after, the road turned from pavement to dirt and the Harley demonstrated its shortcomings in these conditions. This was no fault of the bike, simply a matter of it not being designed for crummy dirt roads. Despite this, the bike handled the conditions the best it could, with the rider letting the bike down more than the other way around.
This video is just the beginning of the journey. In subsequent videos, Hayes encounters tougher conditions and struggles with dirt, rocks, sand, extreme heat, and a lack of water. Think of Steve Irwin on a Harley. A true adventure bike would be right at home in these conditions, but a Harley Road King Special is, shall we say, a unique choice.