Harley-Davidsons are not really about outright power. You’d never end up using all of it anyway. Harleys, to surmise, are about knowing you have the power. And sometimes, you need to know you have twice the power. When a motorcycle makes 50 per cent more power than stock, it’s only fair that it gets enhanced show to match the increased go. That’s why this Fat Boy Special is all matt-blacked, projector-lamped, smoked-lensed coolness. If you love cruisers, the burly Fatboy would spark off a romantic saga with its visual aura. It has the ability to charge you up on a lazy, languid morning with its delightful interplay of chrome and contrasting shade.
What really strikes you about the Fat Boy is that it’s a simple motorcycle, but everything is super-sized in typical American fashion. Fat Boy, indeed. The overall effect is subtle but striking, and it looks like the Fat Boy a 23rd century Terminator would ride. With styling meant to exude domination, the Fatboy is sheer grandeur on wheels. The design tale starts with bullet hole cast 17 inch solid wheels to satin chrome front forks with chromed barrels sporting Harley-specific Dunlop radial tyres. The 18.9L fuel tank bears a chrome Harley emblem and a leather strap. The Fat Boy’s a smooth and refined motorcycle. And then there’s that sound that follows you around.
The Fat Boy weighs in at a massive 330kg. And like all Harleys, you never really feel the weight, since like all Harleys, it carries its weight as close to the ground as possible. Especially when you start moving, you forget that you’re commandeering a mothership of a motorcycle. The Fat Boy dances pretty well, well enough to outrun a golden Hayabusa with loud exhausts in fast-moving traffic. All that’s missing is a scrawny kid to pick off a dirt bike. And a liquid-robot who’d very much like to pulp you with an 18-wheeler. Braking, with the single disc up front, isn’t as reassuring as we’d like it to be, especially given the engine’s extra power.
The brakes feel as if they will lose against the sheer momentum the Fat Boy is capable of generating, but they always manage to wrestle the heft into submission in the end. ABS ensures you can drop the anchors without a care, too. But let’s get to the part that gets you into trouble in the first place, the engine. This Fat Boy’s 1690cc V-twin heart beats stronger than usual, thanks to a Stage 4 upgrade that includes better pistons, hotter cams, an ECU remap, Screamin’ Eagle exhausts and filter, among other things. The first indication that this Fat Boy wants to get up and go is the hair-trigger throttle. It has an action lighter than you’d expect and delivers big fat helpings of revs on demand. On the contrary, the clutch is heavier than normal because it needs to be able to handle the extra power.
Overall, the sensation of riding so much torque is extremely addictive and having returned the Fat Boy. Acceleration is brutal, to say the least for a Harley. Being assembled in India helps make it a bit more affordable too. The price of this Harley beast is ₹15.6 lakh.