The Harley-Davidson Fat Bob Totally different
Harley-Davidson surprised everyone during the introduction of the completely new Softail line. The range consists of no less than nine new models. Too bad for the fans of the Dyna models, because Harley has unfortunately deleted from the range!
Totally different from previous Harley-Davidson Fat Bob
Of all new Softail models, the Fatbob is, without doubt, the most striking. He does not look anything like his predecessor with the recognizable double headlight. He even does a bit of Japanese by the thick 2-1-2 Performance exhaust.
The Fatbob has spent quite a few hours in the gym. It is slimmer, lighter (360 kg) and looks much tighter. The new engine block is attached directly to the frame - previously the engine hung in rubbers. According to Harley-Davidson, the Fatbob is 34 percent stiffer than the old one.
Harley-Davidson Fatbob driving characteristics
In order to improve the driving characteristics, Harley-Davidson has given the Fatbob extra ground clearance and equipped with tighter suspension. The suspension runs behind as a monoshock under the saddle and can be adjusted manually by means of a handy rotary knob. The old front fork has been replaced by a modern 43 mm upside-down fork.
The brakes are also greatly improved, with a double four-piston brake caliper with ABS at the front. The straight steering wheel is just like the previous model in the hand and gives the driver all control. The gas does not go through cables anymore but is now ride-by-wire. This ensures that the engine reacts very alertly to the gas, even a bit nervous.
The Fatbob stands - how could it be otherwise - on pretty wide rubber. For 150 mm wide and even 180 mm wide Dunlop D429 tires. The profile of the tires is pretty rough, but luckily you notice that little while riding. The sitting posture is nicely upright, with your legs running tightly along the tank and your feet resting on the forward controls. This sitting position - in combination with the naked appearance of the bike - ensure that you catch a lot of wind en route.
Mirrors somewhat awkward
All operating instruments are within easy reach on the steering wheel. The mirrors are somewhat awkwardly placed, you look half against your own arms and see only a small part of the road next to you. There must be some left to customize. The saddle is fine and also provides sufficient back support. With longer journeys you get after two hours of uninterrupted driving, however, a problem, which is a shame because the engine lends itself just fine. There is not much space reserved for the passenger, it has to do with a Madurodam seat, but this makes the thick rear mudguard nicer.
The standard Fatbob is equipped with the new Milwaukee Eight 107 cubic inch (1.745 cc) engine, which you can call a true powerhouse with 145 Nm of torque. Our test engine is even equipped with the version with 114 cu (1.860 cc) and 155 Nm, even more, power. The block has so much torque that even in the sixth gear is still fired when you turn up the throttle, and then you drive 130. The beautifully designed Performance 2-1-2 exhausts produce a nice heavy sound, which apparently just inside the standards fall.
The Fatbob you start via the control on the steering wheel (as long as you have the key-fob at hand). The steering wheel has also been modified, so you can now use the steering wheel to choose your driving modes on your dashboard and even signal with your headlight if it does not go fast enough. Where other models now have a modern digital dashboard in the steering wheel, it is in this model where, in my opinion, it also belongs: centrally on the tank. Because the odometer is placed a bit too flat, reading it will take your attention away from the road.
Harley-Davidson Fatbob Design and finish
The workmanship at Harley-Davidson - as always - is perfect for the smallest details. The lines are also correct with the new Fatbob and the colors match perfectly. The engine just looks very brutal. Beautiful thick, black powder coated star wheels in combination with the matt pearlescent white paint job do something. In the middle of the upside-down fork is a large LED bar that has to make the old double headlights forget.
Tightly stylized graphics
The graphics are subtly stylized and applied tightly to the tank. The beautiful half-open air filter gives the engine block extra cachet. Although the new engine has oil-cooled heads, every effort has been made to keep the number of pipes to a minimum. The radiator is also neatly concealed between the front tubes of the frame.
Harley-Davidson Fatbob prices and colors
The word 'cheap' does not appear in Harley-Davidson's dictionary, but you get value for money. In addition, these fat Americans are still fairly stable and it is still a good investment. The Fatbob 2018 is ready for use at the dealer for prices from 20.950 euro for the 107 cubic-inch version (1.745 cc) and from 23.000 euro for the 114 cubic-inch version (1.860 cc).
The new Fatbob (with 114 cubic inch Milwaukee Eight engine) is available in five colors. Vivid Black, Black Denim, Red Iron Denim, Industrial Gray Denim and the color we drove: Bonneville Salt Denim.