July 7, 2022

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 liked 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 could 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 refined, 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.

Nonetheless, improved manufacturing facility settings and fine-tuning appears to have made the bike even higher.

The suspension feels a little bit higher suited to our circumstances and the drivetrain is barely slicker with much less mechanical noise and impartial simpler to search 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 appears and efficiency.

Dyna followers could bemoan the lack of the unbalanced engine, however they may love the truth that the Fats Bob S is now a a lot improved performer and handler.

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In reality, 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 strains on the monitor.

Harley-Davidson Fat Bob and Low Rider S at Champions Race Day Lakeside Park track day
Fats Bob at Lakeside

I sheepishly retired the bike by lunchtime as I had merely run out of rubber!

Someway the upside-down 43mm forks, slanted single hand-adjustable shock and high-profile rubber works simply nice on this bike whereas an identical 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.

Upswept pipes

You’ll be able to tip in with confidence, too, as a result of the stiffer body means there is no such thing as a wallowing in corners, even once you hit corrugations.

It additionally adjustments path extra nimbly than the tyre specs would recommend because of sharper steering geometry.

And the Fats Bob S rides the crusty again roads of Australia higher with solely a shudder quite than an earthquake shock.

I discover it a snug using place with a agency however well-shaped saddle though the attain to the drag bears is perhaps a bit far for shorter riders.

Aside from being slicker, the highly effective 114 engine can be extra economical and cooler which is helpful in slow-moving commuter site visitors on a scorching summer time’s day.

Apparently, Harley by no means used to offer 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.

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It is perhaps a comparatively modest 71kW, but it surely is available in at 4750 revs and tears at your arm sockets underneath arduous acceleration.

The hard-mounted engine additionally feels smoother because of it being 100% balanced with a secondary balancer.

Probably 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.

Nonetheless, 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 comfy seats and new wheel designs.

2022 Harley-Davidson FXFBS Fats Bob S 114 tech specs

Worth $A31,750
Guarantee 2 years/limitless km
Service 1600/8000km
Engine Milwaukee-Eight 114 (1868cc)
Energy 71kW @ 4750rpm
Torque 160Nm @ 3500rpm
Transmission 6-speed, belt drive
Size 2340mm
Peak 1110mm
Seat 710mm
Wheelbase 1615mm
Tyres 150/80-16,71H,BW; 180/70B16,77H,BW Dunlops
Gas 13.21L
Moist weight 306kg
Suspension USD 43mm forks; single shock
Brakes 300mm twin entrance discs; 292mm rear disc