Thursday, 7 September 2017

Harley-Davidson Softail Fat Bob 2018 – First Impression

Harley-Davidson Softail Fat Bob 2018 – First Impression

I just rode the first miles on a brand new Harley-Davidson 2018 Softail Fat Bob.

Here in Faak, during European Bike Week in Austria. Twisty roads through the mountains, that’s the right place to test ride a bike, and the Fat Bob feels very good while doing so and is looking good at the same time. Purists may not like the hexagon head light, exhaust system and the rear fender, which seems to have XR racing gens. Well, I loved the extreme styling of this bike the moment I laid my eyes on it!

What I don’t like, is the way they mounted the license plate, it looks like shit. For the rest? I just love this bike. It looks agressive, mean, racey, and cool, just f*ckin’ cool. Chopped fenders, lean gas tank, the Fat Bob looks likes she’s ready to rock ’n roll on the streets!

Riding through the mountains is nothing more than great fun, the new, stiffer chassis, feels responsive and agile, the brakes are super and the only thing you have to get used to, is the way the rather haevy and fat front wheel handles while slow cornering. The 114 Milwaukee-Eight has more torque, feels so responsive and powerful; you just want to roll the throttle every second! The racing style cartridge fork with linear damping gives  confidence and good feedback, the brakes are really good and the ABS kicks in the way it should. This whole performance package works well together with the looks of the 2018 Harley-Davidson Softail Fat Bob. The new single rear shock is very easy to adjust and works just fine.

The seat feels comfortable and gives the lower back enough support during hard and fast launches. The wide, flat handlebars give you control over the bike and make steering easy. Cornering is nothing but fun and the Bob has enough ground clearance for some serious riding. Shifting quickly through the gears, the torque keeps coming and I doubt it if the rear tyre has a long life if this was my bike. It’s a bike that, how can you say, may not be the one for the purist Harley-Davidson lovers, but might be a good choice for high performance cruisers.

It is something new, something radical that H-D just launched, and I love this beast, this Dark Custom creation with loads of power, cool graphics and it’s agressive looks. Many years people complained H-D never had a ‘realy new’model, but with the launch of the new Softail line-up they sure did.

In just a few weeks time, H-D will provide me a Fat Bob for a long term test, when I can get deeper into all the ins- and outs and the details of this bike. But for now, my first impression? Definitively a very cool, very well handling poweful and attractive bike.

Thanks to H-D for letting me ride this bike as one of the first journalists and thanks to Peter vd Barselaar for the riding pictures.

Easy to adjust the rear suspension
Tekst & photography Onno “Berserk” Wieringa

#fatbob #softailfatbob #harleydavidson #harley2018 #onnowieringa #madnessphotography

1 comment:

  1. The licence plate looks crap. It needs to be mounted under the rear fender out of the way.