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2010 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy LO First Ride


by Marc Cantin ,

A new model for 2010, the Fat Boy LO aims to be just that, the lowest bike made by the Motor Company, and it works, with the seat placed only 616 mm off the deck.

Clean and simple lines, and a definitely slammed look - all trademarks of this Fat Boy!

This Fat Boy is in fact a stripped down machine, without the heavy fairing and baggage that hinder agility and performance of other model. With 90-odd kg to push around than on a fully dressed Touring model, the latest Twin Cam 96B motor feels a tad more responsive than on heavier bikes, to the point of providing adequate performance to those used to H-D levels of acceleration and speed. With 94lb-f. of torque @ 3000 rpm, and the traditional flat torque curve from 2,000 to 4,000 rpm, the six-speed gearbox makes it easy for the rider to find the fat part of torque curve and pull out of most situations with a satisfying rush of speed and adrenalin.

The men in black in Milwaukee have done an excellent job of eliminating any vibrations above idle, with rubber mounts as well as a balance shaft, to leave only a pleasant and very low intensity buzz through the handle bars, certainly the smoothest Harley I have ever experienced at this level.

Ergos are classic Harley slammed cruiser, with the aforementioned low seat, a reasonable feet-forward position for looks as well as some degree of comfort, without the extreme leg stretch forward that forces the body into a tight “C” position. The handlebar position remains a compromise, as shorter riders will find the saddle and footboards to be comfortable, but the grips to be too far forward for shorter arms. On the other hand, taller riders will have to fold up their longer legs more, but find the reach to the bar fine. Personally, at 1,80m, I found my legs to be OK but the bar to be 2 or 3cm too far forward, something that can be fixed easily with the accessory catalogue.

Instruments are limited to a speedometer and a few warning lights - the correct bare minimum for this minimalist machine.

I would love to see a tach here somewhere. Sure love this dial that reminds me of the Veglia we used to see on expensive Italian cars like Lancia or Ferrari. Well, OK maybe the Lucas jobs on old Jaguars. Willie G. can sure sport beauty.
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