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“I need your clothes, your boots and your motorcycle”. If you don’t know who said this, you really need to go back to 1991 and witness the amazing levels of badassery that Arnold Schwarzenegger puts out in the cult movie, Terminator 2. The motorcycle in reference here was also launched to public in the same year and is as popular as the movie franchise. We are talking about the one and only Harley Davidson Softail Fat Boy. The Fat Boy is a part of Harley Davidson’s Softail family. Although contrary to its name, it appears to have a rigid chassis with no rear suspension, the rear shocks are actually cleverly hidden under the chassis. Over the years the Fat Boy has undergone subtle styling changes but the current motorcycle won’t look out of place even if it’s made to travel back into time. It started off powered by a simple 1340cc V-twin pushrod motor but has nicely evolved into the current 1690cc version with several modern technological implementations. It was launched in India in 2009 along with the rest of the range but was priced at a hefty 21 lakhs ex-showroom. From 2013, Harley started importing it as a CKD model effectively bringing the price down by a good 5 lakhs. Let’s find out how Harley’s most iconic offering ranks up in the real world.
Looks and Design:
The Harley Davidson Fat Boy quite literally defines the visual benchmark for classic looking cruisers. The silhouette of the original 1990’s Fat Boy is very much prominently visible and even if you remove all the logos and badges, the likeliness of anyone mistaking this to be any other motorcycle is extremely less. The styling on the Fat Boy is as retro and simple as it gets. The front is dominated by a large round halogen headlamp that rests on a square shaped bracket positioned over the forks. All these components along with the forks themselves are doused head to toe in chrome as is 70% of the rest of the motorcycle as well. The front forks which do appear to be inverted units are in fact conventional telescopic ones. The fat shrouds surrounding them give an illusion of them being upside-down units and provide a lot of visual muscle. The massive 130mm front tyre also aids in that aspect. The Fat Boy’s handlebar unit is neatly pulled back and holds the mirrors along with the indicators at each end. As you would expect they’re also finished in chrome.
The Fat Boy comes with a decently large 18.9 litre all metal fuel tank. The tank gets two fuel caps out of which only the one on the right is functional. The left one is a dummy unit provided purely for visual symmetry. Mounted on the centre of the tank is the single speedometer dial along with the ignition switch below it, all in chrome. Both sides of the Fat Boy’s tank hold the signature classic Harley Davidson logo emblem with two pinstripes running around the periphery in the shape of the tank. Below the tank lies the massive 1690cc Twin Cam V-Twin power plant. The engine bay is nicely packed with minimal gaps. The air filter prominently bulges out from the right side and flaunts the 103 badge over it denoting its displacement capacity in cubic inches. The Fat Boy’s engine runs on a dry sump lubrication system, meaning the oil is poured into a separate reservoir just behind the engine. The entire engine unit along with the transmission and the oil tank are completely blinged out with chrome.