With lots of power and attitude, the Fat Bob holds up the Harley philosophy

Motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson, renowned for its muscular and powerful machines, has come up with its latest offering, the Fat Bob. We took it for a spin on the twisting roads between Mumbai and Pune and here’s our impression.

This motorcycle’s mean twin headlights and enormous tyres instantly catch your eye, as do its fiery orange shades and flashes of chrome. It all adds up, and you find one can’t stop ogling at the Fat Bob, a motorcycle that holds your attention and keeps passers-by in awe.

Riding a Harley, and especially one the size of the Fat Bob, in Mumbai’s traffic is no mean task, akin to letting a bull loose in a China shop. Once on the highway though, the powerful, low motorcycle felt much more at home.

The Fat Bob’s torque-laden V-twin, 1585cc, air-cooled, twin cam engine has ample punch, even when rumbling along low down in its rev range in top gear, leaving kilometre after kilometre behind without as much as breaking into a sweat.

The Fat Bob comes with a six-speed transmission, which has a Harley-typical mechanical feel, or shall we say clunk to it. All undulations and road patch work is adequately soaked up by the Fat Bob’s 49mm front telescopic forks and enclosed coil-over rear shock absorbers. The suspension, while plush and supple on long straights, still offers a stiff enough feel under hard braking and feels confident enough around corners. Ride quality, likewise, feels up to the mark sitting astride the Fat Bob’s ample, wide saddle, and you will rarely be left wanting when you’re on this bike.

Riding the Fat Bob is an exhilarating experience to say the least. The overall image, exhaust note and vibes from the pulsing V-twin all became something magical, and are hard to beat.

The key to enjoying a Fat Bob is to cruise smoothly. Still, the Fat Bob isn’t a slouch. A slight blip of its soft, comfortable throttle grip makes a noticeable difference even in top gear.

Tackling twisting roads on the Fat Bob calls for concentration, thanks to its long wheelbase, while moving around in the comfortably splayed-out riding stance. The Dunlop 130/90 in front and 180/70 at the rear offer sufficient grip and a decent enough comfort zone. The Fat Bob has twin disc brakes in front, and a single rear disc. However, feel at the levers isn’t as per expectations. Slowing the Fat Bob down requires relatively considerable distance and time, in part due to its bulky 325kg kerb weight. Fuel efficiency is never something to look out for on an exotic motorcycle such as this, still, for the record, the Fat Bob returned 17.5kpl.

Overall, the Fat Bob is yet another typical Haley offering. With lots of presence, power and attitude, this bike holds true to the Harley philosophy.