If you think the orange motorcycle in the picture looks beautiful, wait till you see it in motion. Towards the last 50 km of my 400 km ride on the Harley-Davidson Fat Bob, a good friend asked if he could ride it for a bit. The trade brought a Kawasaki Ninja 650R between my legs - a bike I'd ordinarily fight to get the keys to - and for the next 10 km or so, I sulked inside my lid. I didn't care whether I could wheelie away into the sunset - one look at the Fat Bob, gleaming in all its orange-ness, in motion and I wanted to cut all ties with my friend and get back in the saddle.
To me, a textbook Harley is one with all the bells and whistles (hard luggage, windscreen, bucketloads of chrome...), and while a bone-stock Fat Bob isn't quite it, it's like a blank canvas. You can picture the bells and the whistles making their way onto the bike, along with the joy of ownership, and that's what makes it so special. Here's a 1585cc V-twin engined motorcycle that looks like a hybrid between the Street Bob and the Fat Boy (which it is, actually) for a not-so-princely sum of Rs 12.80 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)! If you want an alternative to the Fat Bob, the answer will still have the words 'Harley-Davidson' in it. Why am I sold, head over heels, on this bike? Let me explain.
Like the other two motorcycles in the Dyna range, the Street Bob and the Super Glide Custom, the Fat Bob is big and intimidating to look at, but is actually a baby to ride. You might conjure up visuals of a rider losing his arm in the process of lifting this 325 kg beast from the side-stand but none of this ever happens. You slot the key-fob in and turn it clockwise, slip the fob back into your jacket, turn a chunky knob on the tank clockwise, thumb the starter and a muted roar is all that's evidence of the 12.8 kgm monster that's just been brought to life. Of course the handlebar is vibey, but this smoothens out as the revs climb though never really going away - numb handlebars are for metric choppers, not American iron. You don't so much snick it into first as you thwack it - a Harley trademark, again - and thereafter, it's an orgy of locomotive-related metaphors. All the good ones, that is.