Harley followers thought the world was coming to an finish in 2017 when Harley-Davidson axed the favored Dyna household and married these fashions with the brand new Softail household.
They beloved the dealing with of the twin-shock fashions and loved the comical shaking character character of the unbalanced engine that vibrated madly on its rubber mounts.
Some might miss that. I actually don’t.
Not because the new-era Fats Bob with its slick 107 and 114 Milwaukee engines, stiffer body, lighter weight, plus single shock and upside fork suspension.
It’s now smoother, extra subtle, extra highly effective and higher dealing with with extra cornering clearance.
Fairly merely the world didn’t come to an finish!
For 2022 the one change to the Fats Bob is a “waterslide” gasoline tank graphic in an oval form with “H-D” on the decrease edge and the absence of the 107 mannequin, leaving simply the Fats Bob S with the whopping 114 torque monster drivetrain.
Nevertheless, improved manufacturing facility settings and fine-tuning appears to have made the bike even higher.
The suspension feels slightly higher suited to our situations and the drivetrain is barely slicker with much less mechanical noise and impartial simpler to seek out.
The brand new-era FXFBS Softail Fats Bob S value $A30,250 when it was launched and dropped to $29,995 final yr. For 2022 it’s as much as $31,750.
It’s my decide of the brand new Softails for its menacing seems to be and efficiency.
Dyna followers might bemoan the lack of the unbalanced engine, however they are going to love the truth that the Fats Bob S is now a a lot improved performer and handler.
In truth, I’ve taken a earlier Fats Bob to Lakeside Raceway in Brisbane’s north and startled many track-day riders as I handed them thundering out of corners on the huge 160Nm of torque that had that 180mm rear Dunlop leaving thick black traces on the observe.
I sheepishly retired the bike by lunchtime as I had merely run out of rubber!
One way or the other the upside-down 43mm forks, slanted single hand-adjustable shock and high-profile rubber works simply tremendous on this bike whereas the same configuration on the new Sportster S doesn’t.
In fact, cornering clearance is a matter on all cruisers, however this can be a little higher with upswept single-sided twin exhaust pipes and lean angles of 31 levels on the fitting and 32 on the left.
You’ll be able to tip in with confidence, too, as a result of the stiffer body means there isn’t a wallowing in corners, even if you hit corrugations.
It additionally modifications course extra nimbly than the tyre specs would recommend due to sharper steering geometry.
And the Fats Bob S rides the crusty again roads of Australia higher with solely a shudder slightly than an earthquake shock.
I discover it a cushty using place with a agency however well-shaped saddle though the attain to the drag bears is likely to be a bit far for shorter riders.
Aside from being slicker, the highly effective 114 engine can also be extra economical and cooler which is helpful in slow-moving commuter visitors on a sizzling summer season’s day.
Apparently, Harley by no means used to supply energy figures, solely torque. However now that they’ve water-cooled engines on their new Revolution fashions, they’re offering energy figures for all their fashions.
It is likely to be a comparatively modest 71kW, but it surely is available in at 4750 revs and tears at your arm sockets below laborious acceleration.
The hard-mounted engine additionally feels smoother due to it being 100% balanced with a secondary balancer.
Essentially the most confronting factor within the Fats Bob’s styling over the previous few years has been the transfer from twin round headlights to a horizontal rectangular form with rounded edges.
I’m now beginning to heat to the distinctive LED headlight tucked inside a neat, gloss-black pillar-box nacelle.
Nevertheless, I’m not such a fan of the bronzed header pipe covers and the silver “rattle-can” painted mufflers.
Like all new Softails, it comes with new keyless ignition, extra snug seats and new wheel designs.
2022 Harley-Davidson FXFBS Fats Bob S 114 tech specs
|Guarantee||2 years/limitless km|
|Engine||Milwaukee-Eight 114 (1868cc)|
|Energy||71kW @ 4750rpm|
|Torque||160Nm @ 3500rpm|
|Transmission||6-speed, belt drive|
|Tyres||150/80-16,71H,BW; 180/70B16,77H,BW Dunlops|
|Suspension||USD 43mm forks; single shock|
|Brakes||300mm twin entrance discs; 292mm rear disc|