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2023 Harley-Davidson 120th Anniversary Fat Boy

This year marks the 120th Anniversary of American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson. To commemorate the occasion, the motor company has released six special limited edition anniversary models, including the iconic Fat Boy we’re testing here.

In Harley-Davidson land, numbered bikes represent an extra special motorcycle. Generally reserved for anniversary models that are released in limited quantities every five years, special edition paint sets or releases such as the highly desirable Icons range.

This year’s release of the 120th Anniversary Fat Boy was limited to just 3,000 units globally. Each motorcycle is individually numbered and layered in special Heirloom Red Fade paintwork, which in person is absolutely magnificent. It has a deep rich texture which needs to be witnessed to be fully appreciated.

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2023 Harley-Davidson 120th Anniversary Fat Boy
2023 Harley-Davidson 120th Anniversary Fat Boy

Add a splattering of unique anniversary details to the air cleaner, primary cover, tank console and of course, the custom seat, details that can not be purchased by the general public as a spare part, and you begin to understand the unique and limited detail that this bike delivers the owner.

Now this isn’t this reviewers first dance with an anniversary Fat Boy, having previously owned a 105th Anniversary model. Every bike rider has a story of the one bike they should never have sold and this bike represents that story for yours truly.

This particular bike represented an obsession for its owner and was subject to a raft of customisations including a Stage IV Tyre Shredder Kit, Vance and Hines pipes, heavy breather air cleaner, mini ape hangers and an abundance of anything chrome that could be possibly purchased and installed on the bike.

2023 Harley-Davidson 120th Anniversary Fat Boy
2023 Harley-Davidson 120th Anniversary Fat Boy

The bike was special as it was not only a limited edition numbered bike but it was even more unique due to the plethora of customisation work carried out and is a strong motivator for myself as well as a lot of Harley faithful in why these numbered bikes are so special and desirable.

It was also a huge part of the reason we were so excited when we got the call from Harley-Davidson Australia to see if we were interested in reviewing this particular model in anniversary trim.

Riding this bike brought back memories of my former Fat Boy too, although if you take away the serialised number, the special edition paint work and anniversary details, what you are left with is one of Harley-Davidson’s most recognisable and bad-ass cruisers, in stock form.

2023 Harley-Davidson 120th Anniversary Fat Boy
2023 Harley-Davidson 120th Anniversary Fat Boy

Powered by the 114 cubic inch Milwaukee Eight power plant, the Fat Boy produces 70kW and 155Nm of torque. There is plenty of grunt on offer from this street brawler and it has no issue getting it’s power down, especially in a straight line.

Of course if you wish to explore the extensive parts and accessory range of genuine options and aftermarket third party items, there is a plethora of increased horsepower to be had from this motor, but we will leave you to Google that for yourselves.

With a beefy 160mm front wheel matched to a mighty impressive 240mm rear, the Fat Boy strikes an intimidating stance. Although there is trade off for the attitude of the bike and the handling figures. The lean angles of 25.6 degrees to the left and the right don’t paint the prettiest of pictures for the big cruiser.

2023 Harley-Davidson 120th Anniversary Fat Boy
2023 Harley-Davidson 120th Anniversary Fat Boy

Don’t be fooled though, the Fat Boy is the ultimate in cool and is still a heap of fun to ride, you just need to be aware not to expect any sports bike handling prowess. Think of it like expecting a 1969 Mustang to handle like a Ferrari Enzo if you get the picture I am painting.

Harley-Davidson Fat Boys don’t pretend to be anything but a Harley-Davidson Fat Boy and that is for good reason. They not only provide a solid base for customisation but they are one of the most recognisable bikes on the road in any country. They are the bike that every other cruiser wants to be.

The fact that shiny proper chrome is back for this year’s Fat Boy is another win for Harley-Davidson. We know that black has been the trend and it offers benefits such as being easier to clean, but Fat Boy’s should have chrome motors and detailing, just as aeroplanes should have wings.

2023 Harley-Davidson 120th Anniversary Fat Boy
2023 Harley-Davidson 120th Anniversary Fat Boy

Suspension on the larger than life Fat Boy is handled up front by a dual-bending valve 49mm telescopic setup with aluminium fork triple clamps, while the rear features standard adjustable softail issue suspension.

Pulling up the significant 317kg of American cruiser is no small task and the braking package works well in cruiser speak. The 18.9 litre fuel tank not only looks the part but provides more than enough fuel carrying capacity to see the rider smashing in around 300km out of a tank.

There is good reason the Fat Boy has been one of Harley-Davidson’s most popular models since its inception back in the early 90’s apart from its no nonsense attitude and striking unique stance. With a low seat height of 675mm it is very manageable for a big bike.

2023 Harley-Davidson 120th Anniversary Fat Boy
2023 Harley-Davidson 120th Anniversary Fat Boy

It also instills a feeling of being the coolest dude on the planet, when you have the wind flowing over your knuckles and your peering into the corner over the handlebars, whether cruising the suburbs or touring.

Surprise, surprise all of the Australian allocation of 120th anniversary Fat Boy’s have now been snapped up except for this one, which I believe does not have a lucky owner as yet, however the standard 2023 Fat Boy is still available at dealers. It can be had in Bright Billiard Blue, Gray Haze/Silver Fortune and of course, Vivid Black.

Pricing for the standard Fat Boy model starts from $37,995 ride away, while the 120th Anniversary edition attracts an additional $2,000 premium. The 2023 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy is backed by a 2-year unlimited kilometre warranty.

2023 Harley-Davidson 120th Anniversary Fat Boy
2023 Harley-Davidson 120th Anniversary Fat Boy

The question remains would I own another Anniversary edition Fat Boy. The answer in short is yes. The Fat Boy may not be the sportiest or best handling bike in the Softail family, but for me it is undeniably the coolest and baddest Harley there is.

Our test bike was provided by Harley-Davidson Australia. To find out more about the 2023 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy, contact your local Harley-Davidson dealer.

2023 Harley-Davidson 120th Anniversary Fat Boy
2023 Harley-Davidson 120th Anniversary Fat Boy

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Ride Experience
9.5
Style and Comfort
9
Braking and Handling
7.75
Overall Bike Performance
8
Value for Money
8
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkinhttp://twowheeladdicts.com.au
Andrew Jenkin is the founding editor of Two Wheel Addicts, ride editor at Exhaust Notes Australia, a contributor to BikeReview and Drivetribe as well as being a panel judge of Harley Davidson's Breakout Boss competition. Andrew has a love for anything on two wheels whether that be sports, naked or adventure bikes, with a guilty pleasure for cruisers.

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This year marks the 120th Anniversary of American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson. To commemorate the occasion, the motor company has released six special limited edition anniversary models, including the iconic Fat Boy we're testing here. In Harley-Davidson land, numbered bikes represent an extra special motorcycle. Generally...2023 Harley-Davidson 120th Anniversary Fat Boy