Harley-Davidson Fat Bob : Road Test
Let me just begin with a confession. Harley-Davidson motorcycles are not exactly my weakness. Least I possess common traits of ardent Harley fanatics, like overgrown beard, long hair or not a chance in hell do I possess tattoo donning big arms. Honestly the only thing that is common between Harley lovers and me is the thirst for open road and good beer. I am the typical speed fanatic, corner-carving junkie who seldom takes to cruising a’la Easy Rider style. So when the job of bringing the newly launched Harley-Davidson Fat Bob from Mumbai to Pune was assigned to me, I was a bit sceptical but took a shot at it just to see what the buzz is surrounding these big burly motorcycles which date back over a century! (This year the American manufacturer celebrates 110th anniversary! Wow!)
As I started towards Pune riding through the traffic clogged streets of Mumbai city during the peak hours of the day it was startling to know that this beast weighing over 320kg was weaving through tightly packed cars and buses with surprising agility and least effort from my end. The cushy large saddle pampering my behind hinted clearly at the bike’s ability to gulp down miles without aching the rider over the long hauls. Although, built for the lanky Yankees, the ergonomics took time getting used to for my 5’5” frame, especially when riding at crawling speeds in traffic. And I really think the guys at Harley-Davidson India should reconsider the ergonomic geometry for Indian physiques in order to make sure that the not-so-tall Indian bikers too get to enjoy these lavish luxury cruisers in their best form.
Once I was out of Mumbai and positioned to hit the open NH4 highway leading to Pune that is when I really got to unravel the mystery surround the Harley-Davidson motorcycles. And helping me do that in the best way possible was the pre-winter season in this part of the country offering excellent landscapes all around and a perfect weather for a motorcycle ride complete with soft sunlight, cool breeze and smooth tarmac. Through the city I found the ride ability on the Harley-Davidson Fat Bob to be a bit troubling having to go through the gearbox to keep the torque rolling in, but on the highway it was a perfect setting as I found out later.