Of the entire new 2018 Softail range, the new Fat Bob looks the best in my opinion. In spite of Harley-Davidson’s decision not to use any chrome on the bike, the new Fat Bob looks incredibly sinister – with its all-black theme and a distinguished bad boy attitude.
The Fat Bob is one buff street brawler, with its twin upswept exhaust, all-black cast aluminium wheels, bulging tyres and an ‘in your face’ horizontal LED headlamp. It has both the look and the attitude of a bike born to rule the street.
With the new Milwaukee-Eight engine at its disposal, the Fat Bob justifies its hard-exterior attitude on the road. The engine literally breaths fire, allowing the Fat Bob to pick up speed very well. The bike has an aggressive response and can throw you off balance. It provides an eager push at low speeds and seems to be in a hurry to sprint to the three-digit mark. It’s like a speed demon on the road that wants to push you around. And the engine smoothness has certainly been improved as compared to the earlier model.
Even though the Fat Bob looks like a street- or a performance-oriented bike, it still has a traditional cruiser-like riding stance with the foot pegs placed in front. It also has a higher seat as compared to the Fat Boy. And this affects the overall handling. It definitely is a big motorcycle that prefers straight roads, although it can be enjoyable on some twisty roads too. But, let’s face it, this is never going to be a practical machine. With that, and its high price in mind, this is very much a bike you buy with your heart and not your head. After all, the price tag is incredibly high for a bike that isn’t the most versatile. But if you’re a Harley fan – as I am – the new Fat Bob is very compelling indeed.