FIRST RIDE HARLEY-DAVIDSON FLFB FAT BOY FAT ATTACK
Harley’s Fat Boy is back to its baddest best
If the Fat Bob is the standout machine of Harley’s new Softail family, it’s surely the Fat Boy that’s the most stunning. Cruisers simply don’t get more jaw-dropping.
Although the silhouette of the classic, solid-wheel cruiser is largely unchanged, the 2018 Fat Boy is actually all-new. As with the rest of Harley’s new Softails it gets: new monoshock frame (this time with 30° head angle and wider swingarm to accommodate the massive rear tyre); new 107 or 114ci Milwaukee Eight engine; plus fresh clocks, bodywork, LED headlamp and more.
But it’s those monster truck solid wheels that are the biggest news and the reason the 27-year-old Fat Boy has at last rediscovered its mojo.
Dubbed ‘Lakester’, those wheels are not just bigger, they’re massive – larger in diameter as well as being comic-book broad. Both grow an inch in diameter while the front broadens from 140 to 150 while the rear goes from an already vast 200 to a simply gargantuan 240. So big, in fact, that you can’t help but smile.
The ride is entertaining, too. In a straight line, though hefty, the steering is tolerable. But through the twisties it needs a significant, unsettling effort to tiller around.
On balance, this isn’t a complaint: you attune over time after which the new Fat Boy is a massive grin and a unique pose. Back in 1990 the original was an instant hit for having a similar effect while Arnie helped cement its celebrity aboard one in T2, famously saying ‘I’ll be back’. After years of its presence being diluted it’s good to see the Fat Boy back to its best once again.