2018 Harley-Davidson Softail Fat Bob

2018 Harley-Davidson Softail Fat Bob
2018 Harley-Davidson Fat BobCRS

We’re built to haul ass. So is the Fat Bob, sort of.

Adoring braking points and corner apexes as we do, the new Softail Fat Bob got our attention, and quickly. Since the naked superbike-style XR1200X sunsetted in 2012, there’s been nothing very tempting for track mavens in the Milwaukee lineup—until now. Although hardly a fire-breathing Arch KRGT-1, with its choice of 107ci or 114ci Milwaukee-Eight engines, the Fat Bob nonetheless looks promising for carving corners. Let’s examine.

The most noticeable evidence is the racing-style exhaust system with dual mufflers hanging off the back, just like a real racebike. As well, the bronze-finished headers own the appearance of a titanium system that’s been heat cycled. An inverted fork and bespoke triple clamps add crucial stiffness to the front end, while also reducing unsprung weight. And braking is handled by dual drilled discs with four-piston calipers up front. Oddly though, the Fat Bob carries 16-inch tires instead of 17-inch rubber—the world standard for sportbikes—and forward-mounted footpegs and controls. For cornering zealots, the end result is painful to say: close but no cigar.

Likes: The Fat Bob is like a 1960s muscle car—savage looks, fat wheels, and available with a huge engine.

Dislikes: Wheels, tires, seat, and foot controls... This bike needs a fix-it kit!

Verdict: As Maxwell Smart said, "Missed it by that much."

2018 Harley-Davidson Softail Fat Bob Specs and Pricing

MSRP $16,999

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