Again thick: test drive Harley-Davidson Fat Bob

In the circles of “experienced” Harley-Davidson motorcycle is necessary to criticize and even scold. And I will do it. But … not just: for criticism and discontent – not the first emotion of the trip on the new Fat Bob 2016.

N Why is Fat Bob? Models in Harley-Davidson catalogs – more than three dozen, so I am a few nights “flipping through” corporate website and paper booklets HD, selecting the bike for everyone. He leaned extremes – huge road cruisers like Street Glide, urban malokubaturnye “Motyka” and all sorts of shocking choppers and retro custom bikes. I wanted to get something that will make it possible to travel without tension and the city to work and on the road in the “Dalnoboy”, and that appearance was certainly expressive – branded “harleevskoy”. In general, in the folder “Selection” were two “fat man»: Fat Boy and Fat Bob. But first I went, and it too heavy for the city. So this time the choice fell on “thick Bob” motorcycle relatively compact, powerful and slightly stylized bobber – custom for a dynamic city driving.


Harley-Davidson Fat Bob
cnaryazhennaya weight:
321 kg

I do not know how anyone, and I have a ride on the new bike starts with his thoughtful visual inspection. But in the case of the Fat Bob – this frank admiration. Impressiveness with a minimum of heaviness, this surprisingly direct, almost Drahovo wheel clipped wings, a fat front tire and it barely fit in the brake discs. Series of individual praises worthy of the exhaust system and seat. Regarding the design of the exhaust pipe in the booklets write something about the analogy with a gun Thompson, but because I feel closer to the PCA and the “Kalashnikov”, I can only praise it sound. Though he gently gurgling of the uneven and, choking roll cylinders that had been on older engines Harley, but still very good: rich, deep, up to two thousand revolutions consisting of individual emissions and then poured into a continuous roar. Wide seat and beckons: Come on, sit down, try it! In fact, it is even more interesting, but more on that later. In general, for all called even ready to forgive Fat Bob, these two strange lights instead of one.


Harley-Davidson – a brand that has boldly experimented with the planting of the driver – one of the fundamental factors that determine the visual perception of the bike, and ease of use to them. On other models you can tell everyone, but failed in my case. My height is average (178 cm), I sit quite low (seat height – 690 mm), legs all the feet perfectly supported on the ground, hands – with a slight bend in the elbows and not “shoulder width” – is much wider. Fork tilt angle is small (29 degrees), and despite the wide wheel, makes it easy to transfer it from one extreme to the other.

Mindful of the potential ergonomic surprises in advance trying to remember the position of the footrests, so you do not look for them on the go. Yeah, here it is – the first surprise … To have to get used to the bandwagon – they are brought forward.


One of the most interesting rituals Harley for me begins to exit the parking lot: start the engine! As a boy in the elevator of a nine, I spent the whole day looking for an opportunity ponazhimat treasured button «Start». I tried to drown out the engine as soon as possible, then try to start it again.

Thus, the transponder key in his pocket, the bike can “see” it and allows you to switch on the ignition powerful brilliant “knob that” resembles a pen or gas stove ignition lock on the old American cars.

Price from:
1,407,000 rubles

This thing is worthy of chrome on the tank, almost between my knees, that is out of my sight. Therefore, combined with its warning lights porassmatrivat I just parked – on the move will have much to look away from the road. But all this stuff, because right thumb I dropped down one key (emergency locking / unlocking the ignition) and just feel for a second – start!

With a pained sounds electric starter starts slowly turn the crankshaft. The volume of the engine at the engine Fat Bob – 103 cubic inches, or 1 690 cm ?, but because the starter is not easy, and I think each time that he was not strong enough and he did stop. But each time he defeats the forces of friction and compression V-shaped power unit – at a time when the starter seems to be already dead, Hurley suddenly start up! Yesss! At the same time the engine itself on the pillows manages powerful, large-amplitude shudder and shake once or twice the entire bike with me. Class! Adrenaline is here, right now, before the start of the movement!

But the attraction called “happiness Harley” goes on: the work of “harleevskogo” engine at idle – one of the outstanding events of the twentieth century engineering.

And it is no joke. To be honest, there is nothing extraordinary here – this entourage automatically follows from the principle of operation of the twin-cylinder engine V-shaped layout. Due to the asymmetric radial displacement cylinders (45 degrees) relative to the crankshaft and a total knee kinematics piston group turns horribly unbalanced. Hence spasmodic exhaust sound, vibration, and savory, and the power surge to the crankshaft (which we fortunately do not feel).

Just designers of other brands back in the 1920s realized that if you want to double the volume is better to put two cylinders in parallel in a row, and the Americans with this insight is somehow a bit late. And lasted until -.. That is, until the 1990s, when this archaic arrangement was possible to announce a cult classic and generally cool thing.

According to the ideologues of Harley-Davidson, this is how to work a real bike for tough men – with the vibrations, rough rumble, spontaneous and gurgling scream. I must admit that the idea was a success: many people like it.

And me too. Fun effect is enhanced by the fact that all of this vibroacoustic cacophony does not interfere with the engine running.

The practice of happiness

It’s time to go. The motor warms up quickly and starts whiff pleasant heat in my legs. Throttle lever with smooth running, long grip – all that many Harleys almost equally. The left pedal is pressed deeply down to the noticeable clicks – first gear, go! Hardly tronuvshis, motorcycle instantly catches balance and even slowly roll it quite easy. Surprisingly for such size and weight of 321 kg!

The engine is clearly high-torque, but to get under way at the lowest speed is unlikely to get even the experienced owner. Knowing this, succumbed to “gazku” to 1 500 rev / min, let go of the clutch – and a massive bike so vividly is galloping ahead, I immediately praised his seat for the development of the back support. From now on, speaking in the test drive on the side of the support car seats, I will know the true price of the term.

First gear is long enough – the other is not “asking” up to the exit of the parking lot. The operating room – a wide avenue – easy and long-toed foot hooking, pereschelkivayus up a couple of times, but also not particularly often: a comfortable engine range – not less than 2000 and not more than 3 500 rev / min. So the third gear can be considered working for the city streets. The fourth is also nice, but it does not have such an effective – and spectacular! – Jerk. Blur, but steady and soft, it can always be needed.

On clear roads, should quickly move to the highest, sixth gear (do not forget it will light on the speedometer field), to keep the engine in the comfort zone for all 3 000-3 500 rev / min. Of course, the motor can rotate at least up to 5000 rev / min (tachometer indicator ibid), but it is at least very noisy.

Dialing cruising speed, I start to analyze my feelings and the first thing I notice that I was sitting like this … like I do not care at all! Well, decent posture for a man who left an airing on the streets behind the wheel “moto” price of almost half a million rubles.

The food, almost lounging at home in a chair: the most lower back, lean back in his seat ledge, legs easily extended forward, arms straight poluvytyanutye wheel held without tension. Yes, back straight, and no stress in one part of the body. It shifted forward I step, by the way, used to fast, but later during long rides non-stop right foot began to flow over the brake pedal. Really for Fat Bob, I still did not come out the increase? Or on a banner you need to work …


Harley-Davidson Fat Bob
ground clearance:
125 mm

Filled with fun, I rolled, flying, sauntered along the wide avenues, bridges and interchanges, and leaving the city, cautiously expect the first bumps. How Fat Bob will take them? I am experiencing in vain: he suffered them properly – and I also. Suspension of any Harley-Davidson is not different softness and long stroke, even Softail model line (from the English soft + tail – soft tail) will be harder many other brands of bikes.

Fat Bob refers to a more democratic line of Dyna, and running it more severe. Just look at the back of a fork with a short and strongly inclined shock to realize that the softness is not necessary to wait here. But if you move away from the comparisons, I would say that the suspension is not as rigid as elastic.

Small urban irregularities – such as poorly designed Pit hatches and tram rails – marked by shaking invigorating light, but on a recumbent police the driver waits for a real shake-up.

By the way, against the “speed” at Fat Bob’s quiz there is a recipe: add the course to 40 kilometers per hour – then, oddly enough, the unevenness becomes less noticeable. A definite plus is that no bumps and holes could not knock down the bike off course, I asked him, and even attempts were not such. But this is not some tourer designed for thousand-daily run!

Just a couple of comments about comfort “asked” to add a seat. I ride a Fat Bob I’m a real heat, and only in motion could feel more or less comfortable. This is the softest part of my body, for obvious reasons not blown air, thermal discomfort quite experienced – obviously, the fact of upholstery perforation. Well, about the successful form of saddle I mentioned.

Harley-Davidson Fat Bob
Brief specifications
1.7 l, Twin Cam 103 ™, an air-cooled
78 hp
Fuel tank capacity:
18.9 l
Fuel consumption in the combined cycle:
5.6 liters per 100 km

The only thing I can reproach seat – is that it is almost impossible to get up to go to the large irregularities. Not only because his legs extended forward – mainly because he did not want to! And what about the rear seat convenience, if you can call that a trailing pad that was attached to the rear wing, I have serious doubts: too small. Yes, and steps back, I see, are fixed on the swinging suspension arm – that’s really where the knees will walk on every pothole! Sorry, but the appropriate young ladies to check my assumptions, was not on hand.

Well, I finally, as promised, to scold the motorcycle. More precisely, his brakes – foot too sluggish, hand on his background – very sharp. “Swing legs distrofik!” – Told me an experienced biker, next to whom I drank coffee in a nice biker institution. The Council, perhaps separately, but I already concerned about others. As always after walking on the Harley-Davidson, I think, where to get money for such a toy?

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