Motorcycle: Overhead Valve Twins - Softails-FLSTF Fat Boy, 2000
Date: Sunday, October 31 @ 14:57:36 UTC
Topic: Motorcycle, Motorcycles, Motor Cycle
FLSTF Fat Boy, 2000
The irreverently-named Fat Boy has held pride of place in Milwaukee's custom line-up since its debut in 1990. The FLSTF could claim to be the coolest of all the Retro-Techs, with its 16in (406mm) solid-disc wheels, elegant lines and bold but understated paint. For the year 2000, Fatso and its fellow Softails got the biggest shake-up since the line began back in 1984, with only a handful of parts retained from the old model. The new millennium marks the end of the noble 80-inch Evo engine and the adoption of the Twin Cam 88 across the entire heavyweight range.
This is no ordinary Twin Cam, though. Designated the 88B, the engine was developed in parallel with the "stock" 88 and uses essentially the same top ends, including the same 88.42cu in (1,449cc) displacement from identical bore and stroke dimensions. The bottom-end, however, features hardware never seen on any previous Harley: twin counter-rotating balance shafts. The eccentrically weighted shafts, tightly-packed inside the crankcases, rotate in the opposite direction to the crankshaft to eliminate primary engine vibration.
This is necessary because the Softail rear suspension pretty much demands that the engine be mounted rigidly in the frame. As a consequence, the rubber mounting used to such good effect on other heavyweight models is not a practical option.
Since their inception, Softails have been marred by punishing vibration, especially at high revs, reducing their long-haul capability. Rideability has been dramatically improved with the 88B, offering true long-distance comfort. In keeping with this, fuel capacity was increased to 5 gallons (19 litres) and the tank is now one-piece, obviating the irritation of earlier twin fillers.
Although somewhat less powerful than Twin Cam Dynas and Glides, the 88B also offers more power and torque with substantially improved tractability. Maximum power is some 63bhp at
5,300rpm, with torque peaking at 78 lb/ft (106Nm) at 3,500rpm. Uprated gearbox internals offer slicker, lighter gearshifts, easier neutral-finding and less transmission noise. At the rear, a new drive belt is stronger and longer-lasting than before yet, at 1 1/8 in (28mm), almost 1/4 in (6mm) narrower in section. This permits a wider rear tyre, although - with less than 30 degrees of lean angle on offer-this is scarcely likely to promote scratching.
In addition, year 2000 Softails ride on an all-new frame, stiffer than before but fabricated from half as many parts -just 17 - as previous models. This is complemented by a redesigned swing arm which also contributes to a more stable ride. When it comes to hauling this 6661b (300kg) brute down from speed, even the brakes - long a
Milwaukee blind-spot - have been substantially improved. Four piston callipers now grace both ends of the Fat
Boy, and the disc rotors are more resistant to heat distortion. The effect is improving braking power and a 20 per cent reduction in brake-lever effort. This is a considerable catalogue of real improvements on any model, let alone one cherished more for its looks and style than its functional elan. The 2000 Fat Boy has received a few cosmetic touches - notably, restyled exhausts and rear mudguard - without losing any of its essential character, but Milwaukee has surely got it right by making it work far better, too.
Engine: air-cooled ohv V-twin
Capacity: 88.42cu in (1,449cc)
Weight: 6661bs (302kg)
Wheelbase: 64.Sin (1,637inm)
Top speed: 106mph (170kph)
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