The Harley-Davidson Fat Boy is an iconic motorcycle inspired by the hardtail choppers of the past. The 2014 Fat Boy Lo represents a very low, cool (and dark) evolution of the model. I had a chance to spend a few days with a beautiful 2014 FLSTFB in Blackened Cayenne Sunglo provided by the rental department at Harley-Davidson of Glendale.
My first ride on the bike was as a part of the Harley-Davidson Love Ride charity event. I rode from Glendale to the event site at Castaic Lake and back, about an hour north of Los Angeles and 130 miles roundtrip via freeway. The bike was smooth and comfortable, with ample power to get up to speed and also to pass and maneuver at speed. It’s fairly easy to get to 55 mph in fourth leaving a lot of room for higher speeds. Even at 75, it was very smooth, regardless of the pavement surface. I was in a police-escorted ride with a lot of other bikes and sometimes had to catch up to the pack. I never had a problem dropping it into fifth and really moving.
The highway cruise was comfortable, the seating position is good and the foot controls are forward enough to allow for a relaxed driving posture. The large floorboards add to the comfort level. There is a fingertip throttle control screw to set your speed and the handlebars are a good combination between cool and comfortable.
I rode the bike around town as well, to a few meetings, meals and other errands and found it very controllable. The low seat height makes it easy at stoplights and also in parking situations. Even for shorter riders, like myself, it’s a great fit. I was surprised how low the bike is. With a 24.25 inch laden seat height, this is a super-low bike, dropped 1.15 inches from the regular Fat Boy model.
The six-speed tranny gives you a lot of gears and the bike has a very low cruising rpm, for better fuel economy (42 mpg combined city and highway) and less vibration and noise. The torque is also accessible at those low rpms, which is when it’s most helpful. The fat tires absorb a lot of the road surface and vibration, yet allow for some good lean and performance in canyons. That hydraulic clutch is so easy on the hand, there’s no discomfort even after an afternoon of stop and go riding in LA traffic.
The look is classic Fat Boy, with a more blacked-out look. The Fat Boy Lo features a black denim finish on things like the swingarm, derby and horn covers, coil cover and oil tank. The black finish is also on the frame, air cleaner cover and front shock covers for a very cool look. The satin chrome shottie exhausts are covered with flat-black exhaust shields. Even the mirrors and the headlamp are all given the darkness treatment. The huge 17″ rims with 140mm wide rubber on the front and huge 200mm tires on the back are also blacked-out, made of bullet-hole cast black aluminum with black centers and black outer rims.
My bike was done in Blackened Cayenne Sunglo, which looks almost black at night, but glows a deep, sparkly purple in the sunlight. The Fat Boy Lo is also available in Vivid Black, Black Denim, Sand Cammo Denim and Daytona Blue Pearl. These are different colors than the standard Fat Boy to further differentiate the models.
Power is generated by Harley’s air-cooled, Twin Cam 103B engine with ESPFI (electronic sequential port fuel engine). It’s a great responsive engine and Harley has really improved the torque and power bands to make the bike easy to ride. The hydraulic clutch translates the power smoothly from the engine and heel-toe shifter makes it easy to change gears. There’s a lot of low-end torque for easy cruising and stops and starts, yet the power is available throughout the power band when you really want to jump on it. To stop, anti-lock brakes now come standard.
The optional $395 security system is a necessary option. Without the system, the bike’s key only locks the ignition control. If you leave the bike unlocked and walk away, anyone can get on, switch it on, start the bike and ride away as you don’t need the key, like with a car. The 2014 Harley-Davidson FLSTFB Fat Boy Lo is priced at $18,429 with the custom paint option.