The OG Fat Boy was introduced in 1989 as a 1990 model, designed by legendary Harley-Davidson stylists Willie G. Davidson and Louie Netz. It combined a fresh, contemporary look with classic Harley-Davidson styling cues. To achieve a “milled from billet” look the bike was finished in monochromatic Fine Silver Metallic with a matching powder coated frame, and rolled on aluminum disc wheels – the rear exposed by the Softail chassis – that would become the defining characteristic of the model. The look was beefy for the time, from the fat front tire covered with a trimmed fender to the wide handlebar and a seven-inch headlamp in a massive chrome housing perched on a polished FL-style nacelle. Davidson designed the winged tank logo, which has been an enduring feature of the motorcycle.
Only Harley-Davidson would have the confidence to give this name to a motorcycle. Here’s how it happened, according to an account by Willie G. Davidson from his book “100 Years of Harley-Davidson”:
You’re probably wondering how we came up with a name like “Fat Boy,” and I’ve heard a lot of tales about this, nearly all of which are untrue. Here’s the real story: it’s tough to come up with names that will be popular on the street. We always have to ask ourselves, “What’s the street going to name this?” and work from there. We were looking for something unusual and maybe even a little irreverent, because there’s something sort of cool about poking fun at your products from time to time. To me, and to a lot of other insiders who’d seen it, the bike had a massive “fat” look. So the folks in marketing came up with the name “Fat Boy” – and the street picked it up.
The bike received regular styling updates until 2018, when an all-new Fat Boy model was rolled out on the reinvented Softail chassis, powered by the Milwaukee-Eight engine. The current model turns up the volume on all of the distinctive Fat Boy cues, from the aluminum disc wheels to the massive headlamp and nacelle. The model remains one of the most physically imposing motorcycles in the Harley-Davidson portfolio.
The Fat Boy 30th Anniversary motorcycle celebrates the three-decade impact of the original model with a bold reinterpretation executed in dark finishes paired with a single color option, Vivid Black. The cast-aluminum Lakester wheels are finished in Satin Black with machined highlights. The blacked-out Milwaukee-Eight 114 powertrain is finished with engine covers in gloss black and subtle bronze-tone lower rocker covers and timer cover script. The exhaust finished in a Black Onyx, a durable physical vapor deposition paint finish that reveals the underlying chrome in bright light.
Dealer-installed Screamin’ Eagle Performance Parts Stage Upgrades from Harley-Davidson Genuine Motor Parts & Accessories are available to boost engine performance further. Base price for the Fat Boy 30th Anniversary model is $21,949.