Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Bike Review: 2007 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy

The first thing I noticed when I sat down on this bike is the handlebars. They sit much wider than any of the other bikes I've ridden so far, and I personally found this very enjoyable. I felt like it was a more natural riding position for me. It felt a bit more like a steering wheel. I think someone with shorter arms might have some trouble with this setup, however, so if you fall into that category, you may want to look into something a bit more brushed back so they are easier to reach.

The second thing I noticed was the seat. Honestly, it was pretty hard, and after riding for a few minutes I felt my back start to fatigue. I think that would be the first modification I'd make if I owned one of these. I also noticed the detachable sissy bar was a bit wobbly - I let my boyfriend take the bike out for a spin with me on the back and while the bike was a bit roomier than I'm used to (he normally takes me out on the back of his Sportster), I didn't like the sensation of sliding around very much. On the plus side, I was elevated pretty far above his head, so I got a good view and could look around at all of the lovely scenery while we were riding!

One of the things I really liked was the height of the windshield. So far, on every bike I've ridden that has a windshield, the edge has always been inconveniently right in the middle of my line of sight. I either had to sit up very straight to see over it, or slouch a bit to look right through it. I find the line distracting. The Fat Boy had a slightly higher windshield compared to where I was on the seat, so I was able to look through it without difficulty. The only issue would be if it got too dirty to see out of, but fortunately I didn't have that problem!

The bike does not handle as well as its Heritage brethren, though the stock pipes had a bit of a nicer sound to them. It is still quite a comfortable ride, it just doesn't seem quite as balanced as others in its genre. It also had a jumpy start, though that might just be the particular bike I was riding.

All-in-all, I'm very impressed with Harley's line of Softails. I think I've become a bit spoiled, as I enjoy having the saddle bags so I can cart all of my stuff around, which is deterring me from branching out a bit to the Dynas. I'm planning on trying out at least a Deluxe before the end of the riding season!

Does anyone else favor a particular make and model of bike they'd be interested in sharing? I'd love to hear about some of the Japanese bikes out there! They've become much more popular recently. Let us hear about your experiences!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Stacey, I went from a Rebel(which I outgrew quickly) to a 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 650R. I had gone in to look at a Suzuki GS500 a step up one size bike, but it just looked a bit cheap. I wanted a standard bike where I could sit upright not a cruiser or sports model. Mind you I'm over 50.
The salesman showed me this 2007 650R. I looked at him like he was crazy. #1 it sais Ninja , #2 it was bright red and it screamed give me a ticket, #3 it looked too big. I asked him if he did not see my grey hair. He told me to just sit on it and close my eyes. So...I gave it a try. To my suprise you sit upright, its narrow and its very nimble and easy to control. 3 weeks and 400 miles later I just Love it! The freeway is now a joy, the twisties in the mountains no problem. I would highly recommend this bike. It's comfortable on long rides as well as a quick trip around town. I do wish it wasn't red. It just begs you to have an attitude and go fast. Although the comments at the stop lights are entertaining. A shorter seat is available if needed and I purchased a touring windscreen. It's a powerful bike but easy to use too. I'm looking forward to improving my skills for many years on this bike.
Karen in San Diego