It’s so easy to knock Harley-Davidson and accuse it of building motorcycles with archaic engineering and technology. But what it does really well is make traditional cruiser motorcycles like the Fat Bob. We can argue all you like about this, but H-D is one motorcycle manufacturer that at the moment is bucking the declining worldwide motorcycle sales trend and still selling bikes. It has to be doing something right.
Sure, the Fat Bob is not everyone’s cup of tea and that’s absolutely fine. The Dyna range, as we said at the outset, is often overlooked but the bikes are great performers for people that get the cruiser thing and like the fact you can make a motorcycle such as the Fat Bob yours with the huge array of accessories and parts that are available. The 2014 Fat Bob will have no trouble finding a home with those that like this type of motorcycle. It rides well, is comfortable and is undemanding.
This is subjective, but we’re not fans of the re-design on the Fat Bob’s rear end. It looks like an afterthought and has been done for the sake of model year change.
The ‘bug eye’ twin front headlights may be part of the Fat Bob signature look too, but they need to be replaced with a simple round, classic headlamp like the bobbers of the 1950s that it’s trying to emulate.
You don’t get a lot of equipment for your money and this bike, overall, is anything but cheap for what it is coming in over 17K optioned out.
A whopping $15,699 will get you onto a 2014 Fat Bob in vivid black. If you want another color that creeps up to $16,099. Then you need to have the ABS brakes option at $795 and probably the security package at $395. Finally, the Harley-Davidson dealer will slap a $390 delivery charge on top. You’re now hitting the rev limiter at $17,679 before tax, which to our mind is a heck of a lot of money an engine, two wheels and a seat.
If you’re not ready to part with that much cash there’s a ton of other options out there. The Japanese have some great bikes, particularly Suzuki’s Boulevard C90 B.O.S.S. that starts at $12,999. Alternatively you can look around for a used Fat Bob and let someone else take the new purchase hit, or you can go and negotiate with your local H-D dealer for a zero-mile 2013 Fat Bob and try get a more realistic deal.
The Harley-Davidson Fat Bob goes well, handles well and stops far better than a bike of this size and weight really should. It’s a Harley-Davidson, which means that, for some, it’s well worth the extra money for the prestige of just owning it. But, that eye-watering retail price alone knock its overall RideApart rating down a point.
All that aside, the Fat Bob is a good motorcycle. Not a great motorcycle. But it does precisely what it’s supposed to — being an effortless, engaging cruiser with a distinctive style. It’s just a shame it comes with a fat price tag too.
RideApart Rating: 7/10
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