Putting the Fat Boy thru his paces: 2010 H-D Fat Boy
Nov 24, 2009
Review by George Chabot
Rated a Very Helpful Review
2010 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy
Recommend this product?
The Fat Boy is a member of the Harley Softail family with the sleek slim appearance of the old rigid frame Harleys of yesteryear but the modern ride comfort of the shock absorbers hidden underneath.
The Fat Boy name comes from the brawny features including the chunky tires fore and aft, big fenders, large chrome forks, and 5 gallon gas tank.
There is nothing fat about the engine, however. Harley-Davidson's proven Twin Cam B V-Twin whose displacement is 96 cubic inches (1600 cc).
The engine has ESPFI - Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection - standard for easy start up and better fuel economy. With the standard fuel injection, it is just like a modern automobile; you start it up and go without choking and waiting until it can run without staggering and stumbling. The Big Twin gives loads of performance for your driving pleasure. The exhaust exits through parallel chrome Shotgun pipes on the right side
The Fat Boy has a six-speed wide ratio gearbox that allows you to drive at all speeds and take advantage of the famous Harley power band with its abundant low end torque, rated at 92 ft lbs for the 96 CID motor. Around town with the stoplights you will probably not need to get above fourth gear very often but when the highway opens up gears 5 and 6 will put you over the horizon in short order and save you a bit of gas besides.
The Fat Boy starts by turning on the console mounted ignition switch and hitting the start button on the right handlebar. The fuel injection automatically sets itself for conditions and the bike comes to life and settles into the loping Harley idle that everyone adores. The clutch is easier to work for the newer Softails than it was on earlier models, so if you have suffered with tired hands from holding in clutches, Harley has heard you.
The looks of fatness are greatly augmented by the cast aluminum solid disk wheels, with the single line of half-inch holes going around the circumference. Harley calls these 50 caliber bullet holes in their marketing to keep up with their bad boy image. Apart from the wheels, full skirted fenders, fork covers, and full sized tank, there is not much more that could be characterized as fat on the Fat Boy and it gets down the road right smartly, just like its brethren in the Softail family.
For 2010 the Fat Boy comes with a gigantic 200 mm wide rear tire. That's some hunka hunka rubber, folks! The 2010 also has a helical cut 5th gear, which sets the 6 speed transmission apart from the 2008 -2009 versions. They had a straight cut 5th gear on 2007 - 9 models that some riders felt was prone to whine. My hearing did not take offense at the older transmissions, but Harley always is trying to improve their product and their effort is noted.
The Fat Boy has a wide comfy seat and generous passenger pillion for your co-rider. The rider has floorboards and the passenger gets pegs. The exhaust is chrome and mounted shotgun style on the right side of the motorcycle. Stopping is handled by hydraulic single disk brakes front and rear.
Before mounting up, I suit up with DOT helmet and shatterproof eyewear and hard boots that cover my ankles every time I ride. I usually wear a motorcycle jacket with some protection built in also just because I have been through an accident and had a good case of road rash among other injuries. Every rider can choose their own method of coping with the danger but I put on the safety gear as a matter of habit.
I took this Fat Boy out on a test ride and put it through its paces. It was scarlet red and the paint job looked like a million dollars. The motor fired up with no surprises and idled at a fast speed in the chill November air as I looked over the controls and checked the tires and running gear going through my pre-ride checks. The motor soon idled down and began running with the familiar uneven idle that seems to stall just before it fires again to start the next loping cycle. A click down into first gear and feathering the clutch allowed me to cut small circles around the parking area to get the feel of the big 700 + pound monster with the ultra wide rear tire.
Handling checked out and I prepared to pull out into traffic. The service road was clear and I accelerated up to 55 mph by the time I hit 3rd gear. A little check on the brakes just to make sure she is stopping OK and then onto the Interstate. The turn signals are on either grip and you click the button with the appropriate thumb. They self-cancel after the turn so you don't have to remember to turn them off like some bikes that leave them flashing forever. You've seen drivers going merrily along with the turn signal permanently on; well some bikes do that too.
The bike runs great all the way through the gears and will cruise at highway speed with no problem. Stopping power is good with the dual disk brakes front and rear although dual disks on the front would be a nice addition. The Fat Boy has rider foot boards that give you a bit more comfort than the standard foot pegs on other models.
If you are in the market for a cruiser motorcycle, the Harley Fat Boy may be just what you are looking for!
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Amount Paid (US$): 16,000
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