by Kirk Johnson
as tested $15,125
About the Fat Bob™
Mounted 96 cu. or 1584cc HD Motor
ft. lbs. @ 3,125 rpm*
sequential Port Fuel Injection
New Carbon Fiber Belt
|4-piston front and 2-piston torque-free
Front & Rear; Silver, Slotted Disc
Rear 180/70B16 77H
||29° / 4.5 in.
|*They never quote HP. I
find the *91 ft. lbs a stretch. That reading is more
than likely at the crankshaft. If you put these bikes
on a Dyno – you will not see any numbers like these
at the rear wheel. The numbers are from the Harley-Davidson
Wow, this is a really great new
Dyna®. Just walking up to
and looking at the all new Fat Bob™, I knew this was going
to be a fun ride. At first inspection, I noticed the big fat
front 16” 130mm front tire along with the Twin headlights
and as you glance towards the rear there are the drag bar handle
bars, Tommy Gun exhaust, a new seat shape and the rear bobbed
fender that highlights this new creature. They have made some
really great, and for Harley, bold changes for this entry in
the Dyna® line of motorcycles.
Other nice appointments that set this Dyna® apart from the
rest of the line are the dual calipers with braided cables on
the front and the black powder coated engine. This may be one
of the first Harleys that doesn’t need a lot work with
aftermarket accessories to set it apart from the rest of the
crowd. Of course, I would always suggest a stage one upgrade
for performance, although the stock double barrel Tommy gun exhaust
looks great just the way they are.
I did notice that the exposed rear shocks looked a little different
than what I am used to looking at. They are full metal jacket
rear shocks w/hand adjustable preload. Sounds like a great idea,
but I was unable to change the settings on the shock with my
hand. I guess there must be a wrench that fits the shock, not
I was impressed with the great new looks, but how does it perform
on the road?
First thing that I notice when I boarded the new Fat Bob was
that as I turned the front wheel, it seemed a little heaver to
turn then most bikes. But that was no surprise because of the
big 130mm asphalt grabber on the front to lead the way. With
the push of a button, the engine came to life with that signature
shaking that is so familiar with the Harley rubber mounted engines.
But as soon as I engaged the clutch, it was as smooth as any
On a personal note, the front controls were a little stretch.
If I had my preference, I would have opted for the mid controls
that they offer for this model. I really like how they designed
the seat. With the low 27” seating, you feel like you are
more part of the ride, then just sitting on it. When stopped,
I can even put my feet flat on the ground with my knees bent.
And when running down the highway without a windshield, there
seemed to be very little wind distraction.
With the deep pockets of torque, it was fun powering around corners.
It was about as stable as any ride that I have been on, with
the exception of maybe the V-rod in the Harley lineup. To me
this is a real solid sport kind of ride. No, it was not meant
to carve out canyons, but with the casual ride through the canyons,
you feel very comfortable. Braking was as expected, smooth, solid
and dependable without any surprises.
I love the 6th gear. I have to admit, for some reason, this Fat
Bob™ seemed a little spunkier then some of the other Harley’s.
On Ramps were fun, not inspiring, but it had plenty of pep to
get you to the merge area at just about any speed you want. After
you find a comfortable speed, it is nice to grab number six and
settle in for a very smooth low RPM cruise. I would have no problem
spending a day on this fine machine. From riding down back highways
to interstate cruising or just running around town.
This is one of the gems in the Harley line for 2008. This is
a great looking machine right from the start. Personalizing this
machine should be easy and relatively inexpensive. You, as with
most Harley’s may want to upgrade the performance. Handling,
looks and price, place this ride among one of the best motorcycles
Harley has to offer in my opinion. To make better friends with
your passenger, you may want to upgrade the seat for a more comfy
fit. This is a must ride to check out.