Dirt Bike: Harley Davidson

Dirt Bike: Harley Davidson

The name Harley-Davidson has become synonymous with the iconic image of Arnold Schwarzenegger riding a big burly Fatboy with a shotgun in one hand in the movie Terminator 2. For us, that was the epitome worth attaining cult status. Sure, we all drooled over flashy sports bikes, but when it came to the all American chrome-domes nothing could define the word awesome in the biking world like a Harley-Davidson. As luck would have it, yours truly was going to be showered by some of the “awesomeness” once I received confirmation that it was time to suit up and tame their new Fat Bob. So, ladies and gentleman, it’s time to saddle up, sit back and enjoy the ride.

First impression

True to its DNA, the Fat Bob is an imposing machine and its dual round chrome headlights ooze attitude. The twin headlights were a rage 10-15 years ago but even now they seem contemporary. The reason why it is called “fat” is because of its hefty front forks. Breaking tradition, Harley has changed the laidback swooping handlebars to the flat drag-style handlebars that are easy to reach, especially for us Indian riders. The feet-forward couch like seating posture ensures that you have complete control of this beast without worrying if you will fall short in reach.

Ride ‘em cowboy

We could almost imagine drums rolling as we fired up the engine. Sadly, it wasn’t the thundering start we were expecting but rather a more muffled sound trying to break free. Twist the throttle and the Fat Bob sprints forward like a 2-stroke bike. So much for a laidback lazy ride! Even though the response is powerful, the beast is extremely controlled and does not throw you back. One has to keep in mind that Fat Bob’s heart is 1.6-litre (1585cc), which in layman’s terms adds up to one powerful drive. H-Davidson does not reveal horsepower figures, so it is measured by torque and this one does 126Nm at 3500rpm. In simple words, it’s like a bat out of hell. Fat Bob also breaks cruiser myths by providing a bucket load of torque at low speeds ensuring that it is a piece a cake to ride this 325kg bike within city limits. The six-speed gearbox guarantees that the Fat Bob never huffs-and-puffs for more power while cruising on the highway.

Comfort and handling

Many people had warned me about the cruiser’s heavy handled tendencies with poor-to-average weight distribution. The Fat Bob laughs at those infidels as this Harley’s weight is well distributed. This translates to a confident, balanced feel, especially while sweeping the corners. Its manoeuvrability DNA was the surprise package with ride quality on comfort levels. Minor bumps, ditches are easily swallowed by its suspensions, but when it comes to big potholes it’s wise to simply avoid them.

Summing it up

The Fat Bob is truly a showstopper. Believe it or not, a traffic cop stopped a driver for overtaking other vehicles rashly just so he could get a better glimpse of this Harley. It is a great city cum highway cruiser. Everything comes down to brass tacks though and the Fat Bob cost ` 12.81 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi) but is worth every lakh for deep pocket bike lovers.

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