Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Special and Heritage Softail Classic, test ride, review
Harley-Davidson India recently expanded its completely knocked down (CKD) line-up in India, adding the Fat Boy, Heritage Softail Classic and Fat Boy Special, a step in the right direction considering the custom duty hike after the budget. We've just hopped off the saddles of the Fat Boy Special and Heritage Softail Classic, to escape the crowded cities, heading straight to the hills, where smoother, twisting tarmac and picturesque scenery saw both these Harleys feeling right at home.
Manoeuvring these heavy bikes through traffic on the way out was a tedious task, but we soon hit open highways where we could cover ground quicker, and open up both bikes to feel their prodigious power.
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Riding the Fat Boy Special and Heritage Softail Classic are as good as purchasing instant tickets to stardom, as the macho motorcycles grab the attention of one and all wherever you ride, having us surrounded by teams of people each time we made pit stops. Both mammoth motorcycles look unique; the Fat Boy Special is a sporty cruiser, sure to please younger members of the audience. A matte-black body and alloy wheels lend it younger appeal.
The Heritage Softail Classic on the other hand gets an evergreen classic touch, with large swathes of chrome, white-wall tyres, leather saddle bags and gleaming spoke wheels.
Both motorcycles house four-stroke, 1690cc, air-cooled engine, both in individual states of tune. These engines packs ample punch and come fitted with six-speed gearboxes. Our ride saw us cruising along the highways in top gear, riding both Harley's well within their comfort zones. These are bikes that iron out every road undulation, thanks to beefy sized telescopic fork front suspension and horizontally mounted hydraulic shocks tucked away at the rear. We encountered rough patches and strong cross winds from time to time during this ride, but this didn't make much difference thanks to the Harleys planted handling. Riding this duo on a highway is a journey no biker would want to miss. And you can't help but get off these Harley cruisers dreaming of when you will get more quality time astride their saddles.
The Fat Boy Special ( ₹15.6 lakh) and Heritage Softail Classic ( ₹ 16.25 lakh) are now far more affordably priced in India, making these a pair of motorcycles that are certain to delight diehard Harley fans.
A much more detailed review coming-up in the Autocar India, May 2012 issue.