The new Harley-Davidson Fat Bob was also launched along with eight other models in the Softail lineup for 2018, but this is the bike that I have been most eager to ride. The major improvements to the new Softail lineup are the new chassis, new suspension, and new design, and of course, the introduction of the Milwaukee-Eight engines in all the models.
The Fat Bob is a tarmac-eating machine. The overall new design is certainly outlandish but I really like it. It is certainly the most futuristic looking Harley-Davidson motorcycle that is available today. Its blacked-out take no prisoners look certainly stands out. It gets a 2-1-2 upswept performance exhaust with custom finish, and it’s got cast wheels and the largest aggressively treaded tyres – 150mm front and 180mm rear. It also gets a new 13.2-litre fuel tank, dual-disc front brakes, and a rectangular horizontal shaped signature LED headlight that really sets the bike apart from everything else.
The Fat Bob is also lighter by 15 kilograms compared to the previous model. The seating position is very nice as well. It is a slightly aggressive riding position but it’s still very comfortable. The low handlebar doesn’t make you put weight on your arms, and the foot-pegs are set out in front of you just right so that you have enough leg room.
The new chassis that has been developed for the Softail range is also extremely impressive. It is lighter and stiffer, and it makes the bike more stable and offers a better overall riding experience. The Milwaukee-Eight engine is rigid mounted onto the frame and there are no vibrations felt at all. The rear also gets a mono-shock at the rear that can be adjusted. However, in the Fat Bob you can easily adjust the rear suspension externally with just the twist of a knob. The standard setup felt very good, but we were riding on some very nice roads in Spain, so we cannot say how it will feel on Indian roads, but the fact that it is easily adjustable is a big plus for Indian customers. The front suspension also gets inverted 43mm forks, which did a really good job.
The Fat Bob handles really well, thanks to the new suspension, and it also gets a much better lean angle like the rest of the Softail models. For a big bike, I was surprised at how agile the Fat Bob was, and how fun it was at cornering. It’s a little heavier than the Street Bob, which certainly was the easiest to handle, but the Fat Bob was also very impressive.
The new Milwaukee-Eight 107 engine is a 1745cc V-Twin unit that is liquid cooled and has a torque rating of 145Nm. The engine is very well refined and super smooth. The torque delivery is constant throughout the revs, and even when you’re in a tall gear at lower revs the torque is always available. Thanks to its great mid-range you won’t need to constantly play with the 6-speed transmission - but even if you do, changing gears is hassle-free.
The Fat Bob also gets ABS as standard. It also gets an improved electrical system charging, new instrumentation, keyless ignition, security system, and steering head mounted USB charge port.
Overall, the new Fat Bob is a huge improvement over the previous model. I really love the way the bike looks, and the slightly aggressive seating position along with the awesome handling capabilities of the bike has made me fall totally in love with it. If I had the cash right now I would buy this motorcycle. I really think that Harley-Davidson has hit the nail on the head with the Fat Bob. It’s a beautiful product that will surely bring the fight to its competitors and it’s certainly a game changer in terms of design.