It’s been a while since we last hung out with Harley-Davidson’s Fat Bob 114. One thing’s for sure though, when we do get together, a good time is had. The bike’s unconventional attitude and unique aggressive styling gives it a real “take no prisoners” persona.
Dressed up in Redline Red (one of three 2023 colour choices), it has a real muscular stance, with black highlights providing a sinister look. The flat dragster style bars and single LED headlight will polarise though.
Looks aside, the Fat Bob is a down and out thug that has an eye for performance and only just one desire – tackling the road. Powered by a 114 cubic inch Milwaukee Eight motor, it delivers 69kW of power and 155Nm of torque.
Boasting 1868cc of blacked out engine muscle, the Fat bob has its own unique 2-into-2 shorty mufflers that create a gnarly sound, even in stock form. Of course, there’s a range of aftermarket accessories available, should you want to get loud.
Hell, if the Fat Bob was living in our garage in all of its 306kg of glory, we’d probably invest in a drool-worthy 135 Screamin’ Eagle Stage IV crate motor, or its slightly less crazy 131 sibling, to make it properly wicked.
The Fat Bob is a bike that simply grows on you, the more time you spend with it. You see, its appearance as a tough, uncompromising urban cruiser masks a few exciting traits, especially in the handling department.
Sporting an inverted race-style front fork design, utilising single cartridge technology that Harley-Davidson claim improves steering input, braking and handling performance, the Fat Bob is a blast in the corners.
It’s the standout in the softail range, with a global cult following all of its own. It’s easy to understand why that’s the case, and the much improved rear adjustable mono-shock only serves to enhance that.
The Fat Bob features 31 and 32 degree lean angles to the left and right, as well as 120mm ground clearance, and while on paper that doesn’t blow your mind, it feels much better when you’re actually pushing it through the twisty stuff.
With 4-piston fixed front and 2-piston floating rear brakes that offers great feel and bite for the rider, it’s also easy to pull up. The forward controls are within easy reach, and the stretch to the drag bars is just right, making cruising and cornering equally easy.
As the marketing folk would say, the ergonomic triangle is very good on the Fat Bob. All the necessary buttons and switches are easy to use, feel good to the touch, and are nice and big, so don’t distract from rider focus.
There is a large analogue speedo, with LED warning lights and a display screen, both of which do the job nicely. On the road, the Harley-Davidson Fat Bob makes use of its 13.6-litres of fuel, delivering the rider an average of 280km per fill.
All-in-all, it’s a bike that carves its own identity, with unique styling, and a performance focus. Aside from our tester colour scheme, you can also opt for Grey Haze or Vivid Black, with pricing from $32,995 ride away.
The 2023 Harley-Davidson Fat Bob is backed by a 2-year unlimited kilometre warranty. For more information, you can talk to your local Harley-Davidson dealer, or visit their Australian website.
Our test bike was provided by Harley-Davidson Australia for review purposes.