Harley-Davidson Softail Fat Boy

Designed by Willie G. Davidson and Louie Netz, the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy first appeared as a prototype at Daytona Bike Week in 1988, and was officially released in 1990. But the chunky machine became truly infamous after Arnold Schwarzenegger rode one in the movie Terminator 2 in 1991. Featured prominently on the film’s promo poster, the Harley Fat Boy found a solid place in American pop culture.

With its distinct, meaty headlight housing, fat fuel tank, and massive, solid wheels, there’s no mistaking the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy for a run-of-the-mill cruiser, but this iconic machine also received a series of aesthetic tweaks along with the retooled frame and suspension of the rest of the new-for-2018 Softails. This fat custom is lighter than the previous-generation model but carries a bottom-heavy look thanks to the solid cast aluminum 18-inch Lakester wheels wearing a chunky 160mm tire up front (the widest Harley offers), with 240mm rubber in the rear. The fork continues the illusion with classic wide skirts to cover the inner fork tubes, and at the triple tree you’ll notice a redesigned headlight nacelle.

The Harley Fat Boy’s seat and bars are low and wide, while out back the bobbed rear fender carries an LED light bar underneath, keeping things clean and maintaining the clever illusion of the bike being a hardtail. But, as we know, this is a softail frame with a coilover monoshock under the seat, that The Motor Company completely reworked in 2018, making it not just stiffer, but also lighter. The front end was also updated with a Showa Dual Bending Valve fork, while the hidden monoshock comes with a hand-adjustable preload feature.

Pros: Harley’s classic beefcake cruiser is now lighter and rides better, and has the torque-for-days Milwaukee-Eight engine in two displacement options.

Cons: Single disc front brake.

Harley Softail Fat Boy Specs & Pricing

Everyone recognizes a Harley Softail Fat Boy, which in addition to the new frame, is available in a Milwaukee-Eight 107 or 114 Big Twin engine to keep the ride spirited but smooth while providing that right amount of muscularity. The Softail Fat Boy comes standard with ABS and Harley-Davidson security included.

Engine: Milwaukee-Eight V-twin
Displacement: 107ci/114ci
Transmission: 6-speed Cruise Drive
Compression ratio: 10.0:1/10.5:1
Valve train: Single-overhead cam; 4 valves/cylinder
Cooling: Air-/oil-cooling
Overall length: 93.3 in.
Seat height: 26.6 in.
Ground clearance: 4.5 in.
Wheelbase: 65.6 in
Front suspension: Nonadjustable Showa Dual Bending Valve fork
Rear suspension: Spring-preload-adjustable monoshock
Wheel size, front: 18 in.
Wheel size, rear: 18 in.
Front brakes: Disc w/ fixed 4-piston caliper
Rear brake: Disc w/ floating 2-piston caliper
Fuel capacity: 5.0 gal.
Running weight: 699 lb.
GVWR: 1,175 lb.

The price of the Harley Fat Boy 107 is $19,049 for the Vivid Black version, with color options costing $19,449, and two-tone prices at $19,799. With the 114ci engine, the Fat Boy costs $20,449; for a color option the price is $20,849. Two-tone colors cost $21,199, while a custom color costs $21,399, and a two-tone custom color for the 114ci Fat Boy will cost $21,599.

Custom Harley-Davidson Fat Boys

Softail Fat Boy Parts & Accessories

Although it rolls with a stout, sinewy presence, the Fat Boy has the lightened Softail chassis. There’s no question all that real estate makes the Harley Fat Boy a perfect blank slate for customization possibilities. There are hundreds of Harley Softail Fat Boy parts and accessories to be sourced straight from Harley-Davidson itself, or you can hit up a huge number of aftermarket companies. The most common components to get upgrades and mods include changing up the Fat Boy’s staggered exhaust pipes, and/or modifying the Milwaukee-Eight intake, along with the usual ergonomic changes to the saddle, handlebar, and floorboards. Custom paint is also a popular Softail Fat Boy modification.