The Fattening of America
The Fat Boy might be considered the prototype for this entire class, and certainly Harley's competitors would love to have such a successful motorcycle, especially one that has been selling as well as the Fat Boy has for 15 years. Powered by Harley's dual-counterbalancer, twin-cam, 1450cc air-cooled twin with a clean Softail frame wrapped around it, the Fat Boy epitomizes that particularly American wide, fat look. Although it retains distinctive features such as disc-style cast wheels and that shotgun-style exhaust configuration, competitors have frequently sought to imitate other parts of its make-up, from the chunky 16-inch wheels wrapped with full fenders to the tank-top instruments, covered fork legs, the fork nacelle backing the headlight, the chrome airbox alongside the engine, the floorboards, the hidden-shock rear suspension and the low, wide saddle. Although it comes up short in a few areas such as a mere single front brake disc, the current-generation engine and chassis make an impressive functional package, too.