Harley-Davidson Fat Boy – All you need to know
The Harley Davidson Fat Boy became hugely popular ever since we saw it being ridden by Arnold Schwarzenegger in one of his movies; it was even ridden by the late Steve McQueen – and ever since, the image of the motorcycle has been etched in the minds of Harley enthusiasts. However, over the years, the motorcycle has evolved to a large extent.
A fat bike
The Harley-Davidson Fat Boy cannot be mistaken for being anything but a product from Harley-Davidson Bikes. The overall silhouette of the motorcycle remains the same, but if you look closer, you’ll see the modern details becoming more evident. The signature elements of the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy are visible – like the massive Lakester wheels, the bold, low-slung stance and the muscular central mass. On the 2018 model, a lot of chrome and the satin-finish metal had been replaced; it features an LED headlamp that looks modern and lights up the road brilliantly. The quality and finish are top-notch; it’s a huge step-up from the old bike and matches its main rival, Indian Motorcycles. Even the welding has been done very efficiently. However, we found that, in certain areas, finish can improve. Among all the bikes in the Softail family, the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy looks a billion bucks. It has a lot of road presence, and the moment you swing a leg over, you can feel the sheer girth of the bike. The seat is generously cushioned, large and comfortable. The wide handlebar isn’t much of a stretch. The instrument cluster includes a simplistic digital-analogue layout that is found in between a tank-mounted shroud with two fuel caps on either side; the one on the left isn’t real. Seating isn’t aggressive at all, but you sit like a boss on this bike.
The bike weighs 320kgs, but it can’t be felt much because of the rider-friendly seat height and the low centre of gravity. There is no need for a key for the functions, barring the steering lock of course. The motion-sensing security system is very annoying considering just how many times the alarm will set off, that too, in a country like ours. Powering the Fat Boy is a 1745cc, V-Twin Milwaukee Eight engine that you will love if you’re a cruiser enthusiast at heart. The engine starts with a rumble, while the gearshifts feel quite mechanical. Even the typical V-Twin vibrations can be felt, but these aren’t annoying. The clutch is well weighted and makes riding it in traffic quite easy. Harley-Davidson Bikes have really put in a lot of effort to make this bike what it is, and it shows.
The big bike manages to catapult itself from 0-100kph in 4.7 seconds, and that’s mind-boggling for something this huge. The motor has a good amount of grunt and is always at ease when cruising at highway speeds. It can take on highways seamlessly. With urban conditions, the Milwaukee Eight motor has decent low-speed rideability. When it comes to handling, the Fat Boy has nothing to impress its rider, but it’s decent, thanks to the new chassis, which is stiffer and allows for better lean angles and a better steering. If you get too enthusiastic around the corners, you’ll end up grazing the footboards, but the tyres do help when it comes to the handling. The brakes bring the bike to a stop exceptionally well and are very predictable. Mention must also be made of the suspension; the bike features a Showa Dual Bending Valve fork up-front and an underseat monoshock. The hardtail look has been retained, which is something that’s going to matter to someone buying this bike. Also, read the latest bike comparisons, only at autoX.