cruiser motorcycles

Harley Davidson Softail Fatboy 114 Review

Harley Davidson Softail Fatboy 114 Review

The Fat Boy Softail is the most popular and recognizable bike in the  Harley-Davidson  line-up. The frenzy for timeless Harley motorcycles never fades. The new 2022 Harley Davidson Fat Boy Softail is back and ready to roll with a dominant and commanding presence, its fat tires, and squared-up headlamp.

The Fat Boy Softail is a dream ride for all those hot rod bikers thanks to its signature steam roller stance, contemporary and bright chrome finish, wide front tire, and sleek look.

This review aims to provide an overview of the new features this bike is equipped with.

1. 2022 Updated Changes – What’s New at a Glance?

2022 Updated Changes – What’s New at a Glance
Photo Credit: @od-hd

The 2022 Fat Boy has not only seen changes in its color and sticker scheme – livery – but also in its disc wheels. The bike now flaunts an 11-spoke turbine design . This new revision has made the already unrivaled Lakester cast-aluminum wheels even better.

1.1 Chrome Finish

The change from satin to chrome has truly revamped the look of the bike. That one revision has made all the difference in 2022, as it screams “luxury and style.”

1.2 Wheels (Rim)

The most significant change observed in the bike this year is in the wheels or the rim to be exact.
The previous Fat Boy models sported solid mag wheels. However, for 2022, Harley Davidson has redesigned its iconic Lakester wheels. The staple solid wheels now have cut-outs and open slots in the rim.

These new changes are expected to allow the crosswinds to pass through . This makes it an even safer ride, especially on highways during long-distance trips. It is proposed that the spaces in the rim will also help in weight reduction .

1.3 Livery or Logo

The Fat Boy logo has changed. The touch of golden/yellow color brings back the original Fat Boy nostalgia of the 1990s.

The Fat Boy badge looks modernized with its single-wing military-inspired design.

1.4 Color of Transmission Dipstick

The transmission dipstick underwent a change as well. The color of the dipstick changed from aluminum to black. The dipstick is hardly visible now.

1.5 Fuel Cap

The fake fuel cap has been removed from the new Fat Boy.

2. Specifications

Year 2022
Manufacturing Company Harley Davidson
Vehicle Type Cruiser
Model No. FLFBS – FATBOY 114
Series Softail
Engine Milwaukee Eight 114 cubic inch
(V - twin motor)
Odometer 1 km
Price Starting from $ 20,349
Monthly (as low as $286)
Colour Options Vivid Black, Midnight Crimson,
Reef Blue and Vivid Black Two-tone.
Fuel Capacity 5 gallons.

2.1 “Softail” – What Does That Mean?

The term “Softail” is a registered trademark of Harley-Davidson. It was originally formulated for the FXST Softail back in 1984. The Harley-Davidson Softail motorcycle has rear suspensions or shock absorbers that are out of sight. Due to this feature, a Softail bike looks like a hardtail motorcycle – a ride with a rigid frame and no suspensions – but with a higher comfort level.

2.2 Fat Boy and Softail – What Is the Difference?

The 2022 Fat Boy is a Softail. Actually, the Fat Boy is a model of a bike belonging to the Softail family launched by Harley-Davidson. Just like all other softail bikes, Fat Boy retains the hard-tail look, but also has a mono-shock rear suspension which is hardly visible.

2.3 Design

The 2022 Fat Boy is a timeless classic. The bike is equipped with a dual exhaust system and the rear shocks are hidden. For the best shock performance, the cruiser comes with a toolless, external, hydraulic, preload adjustment . The Lakester wheels and a well-crafted engine make the bike look muscular and sleek at the same time. Moreover, the three distinct prime colors and availability of a two-tone option add to the charm of the Fat Boy 114.

2.4 Handling

The Fat Boy is one of the heaviest bikes ever, weighing approximately 671 lbs. However, its dimensions make it easier to handle even on sharp turns. The 65.6-inch wide wheelbase and 30-inch rake help keep the motorcycle stable at a high speed and amplify the overall handling experience of the bike.

2.5 Wheel Size

This bike has the widest front tire ever launched combined with a wide rear tire.

  • Front tire – The front tire is 160 mm
  • Rear tire – The rear tire is 240 mm.

2.6 Fat Boy 114 LED Forward Lighting

The signature LED forward lighting gives maximum visibility in the dark.

2.7 2022 Fat Boy Sound – Is It the Best Rumble?

For many riders, the rumble of the engine can be a nuisance. But the rumble of the Milwaukee Eight 114 motor is deep, rhythmic, and pleasant to the ears at a low rpm.

2.8 Suspension

  • Front Suspension – the high-performance cartridge fork technology – common in sports bikes – is used for the Fat Boy. The front suspension is non-adjustable.
  • Rear Suspension – for the rear of the Fat Boy, an adjustable mono-shock suspension is provided for effective cornering.

2.9 Braking

The bike is heavy with a weight of 699 lbs.  However, the weight of this cruiser is perfectly balanced with the brakes.

The braking system of this Fat Boy 114 has 4-piston fixed calipers at the front and 2-piston floating calipers at the rear wheel.

2.10 Advanced Build

Unlike its previous models, the 2022 version of the H-D Fat Boy Softail motorcycle has an inspiring body build.

The wiring is routed neatly to keep rust from causing damage to the frame of the bike.

2.11 Engine & Torque

The motorcycle possesses an advanced, high-performance, smooth-running engine and crisp throttle response with no lag.

The motorcycle comes with a four-valve engine and 119 lb/ft of torque . The most powerful option out there, the Milwaukee Eight 114 V-twin engine revs at 3,000 rpm , this machine being a fast and efficient ride thanks to the impressive torque. The low, barely audible rumble makes the riding experience more enjoyable.

The engine power is transmitted to the rear wheels through an efficient belt-drive system.

2.12 Six-Speed Transmission – What Are the benefits?

Maintain ideal rpm – With a six-speed gearbox, changing to a lower gear is hardly required. This is because the gearbox features a closer transmission gear ratio, allowing the rider to maintain the engine’s ideal rpm range.

Best Fuel Economy – Another advantage of a six-speed transmission is that it gives the best fuel economy; it allows the engine to cruise at a higher speed at a lower rpm and thus saves fuel .

Gear Ratio 1st 9.311
Gear Ratio 2nd 6.454
Gear Ratio 3rd 4.793
Gear Ratio 4th 3.882
Gear Ratio 5th 3.307
Gear Ratio 6th 2.79

2.13 Colour Options

The 2022 Harley Davidson Fat Boy Softail is available in the following color options:

  • Vivid Black
  • Midnight Crimson
  • Reef Blue
  • Vivid Black – Two-Tone

The price may vary according to the color.

2.14 Fuel Capacity

  The cruiser has a standard fuel capacity of five gallons.

2.15 Security & ABS system

A standard anti-lock brake (ABS) system is available. The ABS system prevents the “locking” of the brakes and averts the risk of skidding or losing control of the vehicle.

The Fat Boy also has a Harley Davidson-approved standard, proximity-based security system . The system can be armed and disarmed with a hands-free security key fob. In case the vehicle is armed, the system disables the ignition and starter.

3. Price

The iconic 2022 Fat Boy is available at a base price of $ 20,349 . Color selection may affect the price.

4. What Has Not Changed?

The bike still possesses the chrome nacelle with the LED forward light in it. The standard security system installed is similar to previous models designed and approved by Harley-Davidson.

5. Is Fat Boy 114 a Good “Touring” Bike?

Though it depends on the rider, Harley Davidson has categorized the Fat Boy as a Softail rather than put it in the Touring class. The engine of a Softail usually lacks a rubber mount. This means more vibrations can be felt, like those from the motor. Some riders consider it to be the authentic Harley experience, while for others this leads to discomfort.

In new Harley Softail models like the 2022 Fat Boy, an internal counter balancer is used to reduce the effect of vibrations, but the shaky feeling is still there.

Moreover, the handlebars of the bike are too far and can give you severe back pain. Therefore, it can make for an uncomfortable ride on long distances, especially if you are short in stature. Whether you’ll be able to handle the seat discomfort while touring is based on the individual.

Some riders like to modify the seat and handlebars. The option to add a detachable windshield, airbags, and backrest for added comfort is always available. The extra cash spent on the customizable features allows you to convert this Fat Boy Softail into a touring bike, but it can be a burden on the pocket at times.

Bottom line: It can be concluded that Fat Boy is a splendid cruiser and though not exactly a “tourer,” you can certainly use it for touring. Now, whether it proves to be the “perfect touring bike” depends on your personal preference.

6. Is the 2022 Harley Davidson Fat Boy Softail Worth Buying?

The 2022 Fat Boy 114 exhibits some exceptional features such as Lakestar aluminum wheels, six-speed transmission, a powerful and efficient engine, a sophisticated suspension technology, and a stylish design.

If you can afford to add comfort-enhancing accessories, then it can become your favorite ride. If we focus on its remarkable features, then it can be easily accepted that the Fat Boy is a complete package; a dream ride.

Not to forget, all these specifications are available at a market price of $20,349 .

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