How FAT is a Fat Boy? Really...

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by JakeGrafton, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. JakeGrafton

    JakeGrafton Member

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    Hi everyone.

    Need some advice.

    Background is I just bought a '11 Fat Boy. New, pretty standard, air and exhaust somewhat upgraded, bike lowered 'bout 1 inch. And I haven't had a chance to ride it yet. My last bike was a Ducati 996R (0 - 60 in 3 seconds), so I'm a bit spoiled in that department. And no - I'm not buying the FB for it's acceleration and top end speed. But - I like it when a bike feels responsive when being throttled.

    Now to my question: Considering the FB specs (700+ lbs, 94 lb.ft., 80 something hp), what is the "normal" mod's most of you consider necessary to make the bike feel acceptably responsive?

    I'm interested in what steps to take and in what order?

    I realize that it all depends on what I'm looking for. And it's no dragster performance I'm after, but enough response to make the bike feel "live" (whatever that would be...) and of course - leave everyone else behind at the red lights... ;)

    I did the search, but if there's a thread covering this already, could you please point me in that direction.

    TIA

    PS. And haven't owned a Harley since my Sportster back in the 90's, so please try to explain everything very clearly to me... ;)
     
  2. JakeGrafton

    JakeGrafton Member

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    And here's the bike BTW...

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    Honestly, the best "mod" you can start out with that costs you nothing is to get in the habit of downshifting and getting the RPM's up when you need some extra oomph. For some reason, many new Harley riders are afraid to go much above 3000 RPM. Then they complain that when they roll on the throttle at 2000 RPM ( or even lower sometimes) their bike has no get up and go.

    I'll agree that these bikes sound better when rumbling along between 2000 and 2500 but they perform better when you wind it up above 3000.

    As far as spending money on mods, start with a Stage I - pipes, air filter, and fuel management. If that's not enough you've got to start thinking about cams.
     
  4. JakeGrafton

    JakeGrafton Member

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    Clear and consise!!! Thank's for good advice, doc!

    Stage I is done already.
     
  5. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    Best thing to do is ride the bike for a wee while then you may have some idea of what you want from performance modifications
    I have in the past had much more responsive bikes but I am happy with my softail the way it is now with open air cleaner and exhaust and a better carb there is always the danger that with too many mods the bike will become less than reliable and perhaps the engine could out perform the frame
    So get to know your bike first and it will tell you what it needs

    Brian
     
  6. JakeGrafton

    JakeGrafton Member

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    Thank's Brian. Will do just that!!!
     
  7. hillbilly81

    hillbilly81 Active Member

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    Since stage one is complete get a tuner and add some cams then have it dyno tuned I think you will be very happy
     
  8. JakeGrafton

    JakeGrafton Member

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    Tempting. But lots of $$$....???
     
  9. mc2

    mc2 Active Member Contributor

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    I have two Fat Boys. Love them both.
    The 08 is lowered 1" and a word of warning; when leaning low into curves to the left, the primary will scrape.
     
  10. JakeGrafton

    JakeGrafton Member

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    Thank's for the warning mc2. Is that baaaad? How do you handle it? Goin' mostly straight forward and turning only right...???