2018 Harley-Davidson Fat Bob Review |
A New Softail
Harley-Davidson has begun to change all that we know about the Softail line with the 2018 model year. A consolidation of sorts, the new Softail lineup has effectively absorbed (almost all) the Dyna models, folding them into the all-new Softail platform.
This provides greater performance and comfort, without forgetting all that we’ve come to know about the Milwaukee-Eight-based brand. At the forefront of the new Softail line is the 2018 Harley-Davidson Fat Bob—a former Dyna and a bold new take on the traditional V-twin bruiser.
Let’s get to the essential facts to get you up to speed.
1. The air-/oil-cooled Milwaukee-Eight 107 powerplant sits at the heart of the new Fat Bob. Featuring a claimed 107 ft/lbs of torque at 3,500 rpm, the Milwaukee-Eight 107 offers tractable power delivery in a predictable manner, allowing riders to make use of its hearty power throughout the entire rev-range.
With an exacting throttle response and near flawless fueling, the 1746cc powerplant is at home in the city or being wrung out in the canyons, making it an incredibly versatile piece of kit. All of this delivered in a smooth, yet vibrant V-twin package thanks to dual counterbalancing. If you’re looking something with more legs, the Fat Bob 114 is powered by a Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine.
2. Bold 2-into-1-into-2 pipes draw a lot of attention to the 2018 Harley-Davidson Fat Bob. In person, the heat shielding aboard the 2018 Fat Bob takes on a more golden hue and I enjoy the look of the likely controversial stock exhaust design. That said, I can’t wait to see what the aftermarket has in store, especially when it comes to uncorking the 107ci engine.
3. Styling is of a darker shade on the Fat Bob. Harley-Davidson designers didn’t abandon their roots—that much is clear. All the American V-twin cues shine true, but with hints of modernization throughout. One thing is abundantly clear—the new Fat Bob looks mean. A prominent feature is the new hexagonal LED headlight. I’ll admit, I was taken back by its looks initially. As I spent time with the Fat Bob, it grew on me—pictures don’t do it justice.
4. A neutral riding position awaits on the Fat Bob, which is great for a wide variety of shapes and sizes. At less than 28 inches above the asphalt, the sculpted seat is one of the most comfortable of the entire 2018 Softail line. It lets the rider shift body positioning and use the tank as an anchor when cornering. Wide handlebars allow for a great deal of leverage for easy countersteering.