Fatboy handling

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by slimjim47, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. slimjim47

    slimjim47 Member

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    To all you Fatboy owners: what do you think of the Fatboy's handling in turns...both slow and fast. I've been hearing a lot that they go down the road straight enough, but are terrible in turns.

    I'm not interested in hearing about how they handle compared to a Dyna. I'm really only interested in hearing about the Fatboy, specifically. I've read enough about the (edited) Softtail suspensions and would like to hear some firsthand impressions of how these Fatboy's rate in the turns.

    Jim

    Please read this...
    [notes]
    A Friendly Reminder - Harley Davidson Community
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  2. Sheepdogmarine

    Sheepdogmarine Active Member

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    Well it is no Ninja if that is what you are asking.

    I have a 2000 Fatboy and it is what it is. It handles reasonably well for a heavy bike. I think it is safe if ridden responsibly. I have gone into a turn a little fast and have been able to deal with it, but it is not a very nimble bike. The biggest problem I have had is scraping my left footboard in a sharp low speed turn. My bike is lowered so I guess that is on me, but I still don't like it when it happens.

    On long sweeping turns, it is great at a safe speed. Turning slow it is fine other than the occasional scrape. The low center of gravity helps a lot.

    I don't know if I helped answer what you were asking, but those are my thoughts.

    Ride Safe!
     
  3. slimjim47

    slimjim47 Member

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    I didn't expect it would be a burner in the turns but wondering why I hear the same story about them. The front end is set up similar to the Deluxe and Heritage but folks seem to enjoy those two rides. I'm just wondering if maybe the wheel is that much heavier than a laced job that it may influence how it turns.
     
  4. bikermonkey

    bikermonkey Active Member

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    I'm on my 3rd fatty, pics are posted on this site of my current 02 fatboy. I think it handles great. Face it, some people ride for years but never learn how to handle a good sized bike,, I reccomend they watch some Police Bike handling techniques and practice them. I can turn my bike around in small radious scrapping the boards in either direction at 5 mph. It is low,, so common sence will dictate your curve speed while riding, once you learn the bike you can keep board scrapes to a very minimum. Weight shifts from the handle bars, not the seat. If you pay attention you will find that pushing the left handle bar grip forward shifts the bikes weight to the right, setting up a smooth right hand turn with no saddle or body weight leaning. Once the weight offsets you simply head into the weight with your turn,, always turn your head in the direction you want to go,,, and look at it, you bike goes where you look. It is a great bike, this would not be my third if I had to compromise.
     
  5. Davidw2415

    Davidw2415 Senior Member

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    I have a 2006 FB and on turns have scraped the bottom rail of the frame. I have had to sand, prime and paint it a couple of times. One time I was taking a left hand curve on a two lane highway at about 25 mph and had some serious front end wobble.
     
  6. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

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    David, did you lower your 2006 FB? May want to review some of the things you did to lower it. Check tire pressure and tread wear, frame to rear wheel, fork to front wheel and front wheel to rear wheel alignment. Might want to check steering head bearings are lubed and "fall away", check for loose hardware. I am sure that you should not accept any low speed wobble as normal.
     
  7. durhamBob

    durhamBob Member

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    My other ride is a Ducati 900SS. I'd say my '92 Fatboy handled surprisingly well. It is far from pin-sharp in a fast corner (a bit of suspension bounce) but it essentially goes where you want to put it. Some opposite lock (counter-steering) definitely helps (this surprised me). It is quite nimble in starting a turn but it wont chop from left to right or vice-versa too happily (all that weight and bouncy suspension). Footboard scraping is a big problem - the bike is up on a lift for various things and I'm going to slacken the footboard mounting bolts to get some footboard-folding while its up there.

    cheers,

    Bob

    ps - all this is on dry roads - all the weight and relatively poor tyres make the wet a bit horrible...
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
  8. Sheepdogmarine

    Sheepdogmarine Active Member

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    I guess I could say mine handles much better than I thought it would. I was never anti Harley, but I always had Jap Bikes and some British ones. I think it handles really well, it is just a heavy bike. I can't see where it a Heritage or Deluxe would be any better.

    I can say the Fatboy handles much better than a 71 Norton Commando, but that was twenty-two years ago and my memory is not so good.:)

    Test ride one at a dealer I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised. I know I was.

    Good Luck!
     
  9. Davidw2415

    Davidw2415 Senior Member

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    No, it is not lowered. Since I've only experienced the wobble one time I'm inclined to think that road conditions may have been a factor.
     
  10. dadoubleren

    dadoubleren Member

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    I have an 09 FLSTF and it handles great! It is heavy but I have been very pleased with the handling! I have only a few only points of reference to handling! Switchbacks and tight turns U turns Ive had no issues. No wobble anywhere. THis is with the 200 rear tire so im pleased with the handling!