Harley-Davidson launched the Softail range last year with the new Milwaukee-Eight engine which proved to be rather impressive. The model that caught all the eyes was the stunning new 2018 Fat Bob. To be perfectly honest, I’ve never liked the old one. It looked too unwieldy to me. This one, however, looks like the perfect ride of the ‘The Walking Dead’ complementing to its dark-themed look.
2018 Fat Bob is powered by a 2-cylinder air cooled 1745 cc Milwaukee 8 series engine which churns out peak power of 65 BHP @5500 rpm and peak torque is rated at 144 Nm @3000 rpm. This unit is all about torque and churns out a lot of it courtesy the lightweight pistons which keep the refinement levels quite high without stressing out the engine. The power delivery is very constant and the bike starts making the objects on road disappear in past as you twist the throttle. Fuel delivery is taken care by Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) system. The engine is paired with a 6-speed manual transmission and the wet multi-plate clutch system completes the power cycle.
Imagine riding this big bad boy on high speeds and suddenly tackling any obstacle which requires a hard braking, well it won’t be a hassle, thanks to the braking system on this one which makes the braking experience smooth. Front brakes are 300mm disc brakes paired with 4-piston calipers. The rear section is taken care by a 2-piston caliper paired with torque-free floating 292mm disc brakes. The Michelin Scorcher tyres provide ample grip and aid handling sufficiently. Featuring a 130/60 front tyre on a 16-inch wheel and rear tyre is 150/60 sized unit placed on a 16-inch wheel as well, the Fat Bob lives up to its name. ABS as standard on 2018 Fat bob.
The analog speed display and digital info cluster are placed on fuel tank provide all the necessary information to the rider such as fuel level, trip, odometer, distance to empty, gear indicator, fuel reserve levels, low oil levels, low battery signal, and lot more. In the previous generation of Fat Bob, the headlamps were halogen, but the MY18 update on new fat bob has brought more efficient and powerful LED headlights which illuminate the road in the night very well.
The smoothness of the new dual counterbalanced engine also allows Harley to mount it as a stressed member of the rigid new frame. Add in the new Showa cartridge suspension front and mono shock rear and you have a very potent package. The new engine brings more torque, the new frame brings a 15kg weight loss as well as more handling capability and the results are very flattering for the Fat Bob. The Showa fork – a cartridge fork, the only non-SDBV unit in the Softail – in the front is a 43mm unit set to a sporty 28° rake making the Fat Bob the sportiest in the Softail family, which promises a responsive machine. The rear mono shock is stiffer and the Harley-Davidson Fat Bob also gets remote preload adjuster knob.
2018 Fat boy comes with a 13-liter fuel tank which is smaller than the previous gen but the overall consumption of 14.5kmpl combined with highway and city drive gives the total driving range of around 200 km on a full tank. Reserve fuel level is rated at 3 liters. As per our testing, the bike gave an overall mileage of 12kmpl which included a city and highway driving of 40-60 ratio respectively. Fuel economy is not a concern here as you will be riding the meanest and sportiest model from the Softail lineup.
Considering the huge weight of the bike (306 Kgs in this case) is a great handler and rider can cruise on highways all day without any glitch, the engine has got enough torque to pull the miles effortlessly without any trouble. City driving is also considerable but the heat from the engine restricts the city riding during the hot days. Those angle adjustable 30 degree placed handlebars are easy to maneuver in traffic.
The Fat Bob will surprise you. Some elements like the clutch, for example, are as heavy as you expect from a motorcycle like this. But the Fat Bob is insanely light on its feet for what it looks like. I was surprised by the ride quality of the Fat Bob. It isn’t soft or plush but the jump in refinement is obvious and the Bob will feel a lot more stable and controlled. Riding is smooth and effortless thanks to the new Milwaukee-Eight unit and definitely makes the Fat Bob the sportiest model of the Softail lineup.
Petrolhead since childhood, Law student, Always ready to travel, Non-political Chap, ZEN Type II, Honda Dio, Gadget freak, MS Autocross participant 2015-2017.