Everyone rushes to and from, and fast food, high-interest loans and last-minute deals have beco9me the order of the day. What happened to living in the moment? Why can't the journey be more important than the destination? These questions ran through my mind as the sun glistened off the chrome handlebars of the Harley-Davidson Fat Bob I was riding.
The Harley-Davidson Fat Bod marks the 110th anniversary of the iconic brand and, in celebration, Harley-Davidson introduced this model I was riding to Ao Manao and if you not ride to fast you can really enough the picturesque coastline. It was a journey to elicit philosophical musings.
The Harley-Davidson Fat Bob is part of the Dyna range and is loaded with attitude thanks to twin headlamps, a 130-section front tire wrapping a 16-inch rim, beefy suspension sections, candy-orange paint and a 1,690cc, twin-cam, V-twin engine rumbling the well known sound through the exhaust pipes. When you turn the chrome ignition switch and hit the start button, you don't only fire up the beast but start a show. The engine vibration at idle is enough to shake the entire motorcycle. Onlookers gather and a blip of the throttle leads to smiles and pointing. The Harley-Davidson Fat bob is a large, heavy machine, but the weight diminishes once the wheels start to rotate. The view over the drag-style handlebars is unobstructed, aided by the speedometer's placement on the fuel tank. Modern electronics have entered the scene, as a trip computer (including range indicator), digital rev counter and gear indicator are displayed on the LCD screen found in the analogue speedometer binnacle. Although the motorcycle is thoroughly modern machine, Harley-Davidson has managed to hide all the wiring to retain an old-school appearance. Braking is provided by twin discs up front and a single disc at the rear, with ABS standard.
So, how does it ride? Well, you need to remain aware that most Harley-Davidson motorcycle aren't sportsbikes and aren't designed with speed in mind. Therefore, when you push on, the Harley-Davidson Fat Bob does its name justice. Corners need to be taken with care (although the Fat Bob is quite stable mid-corner), lean angles should be respected because the chrome looks better on the exhausts than on the tarmac, and a lot of pressure is needed on the brake lever to make the motorcycle slow down. However, ride within the motorcycle's capabilities and it's just fine.
The large-capacity engine has stump-pulling torque and the rev limit of 5,500rpm is of little concern. Does the fact that Harley-Davidson doesn't bother to stay with the technological rat race make the Harley-Davidson Far Bob an unsatisfying motorcycle to ride? Not for a second, as the motorcycle is infused with character so often lacking in more modern machines.
Many Harley-Davidson owners don't see their motorcycles as mere machines but a passport to a relaxed lifestyle. IF you feel like a hamster on a sheel that spins ever faster, go take a Harley-Davidson Fat Bob for a ride and I can seriously recommend the area around Ao Manao in Prachuap Khiri Khan.