Best And Worst Year Harley Fatboy With Common Problems

Harley-Davidson has long been known as a leading manufacturer of motorcycles, with an extensive lineup of models that cater to various riding styles and preferences.

Among these models, the Harley Fatboy has garnered a significant following among riders for its classic design, powerful engine, and smooth handling. However, like any other machine, the Fatboy is not without its faults. Over the years, certain model years of the Fatboy have plague with common problems, causing headaches and frustration for owners.

Here we take a closer look at the best and worst model years of the Harley Fatboy, and the common problems that have report by riders. Whether you are a die-hard Fatboy fan or considering purchasing one, this article will provide valuable insights into the pros and cons of each model year, helping you make an informed decision. So, let’s dive into the best and worst year Harley Fatboy with common problems.

Year Harley Fatboy With Common Problems

An Overview Of The Fatboy Series

An Overview Of The Fatboy Series

The earliest models had 1340cc Evolution engines (1990-99). Later, Harley added Twin Cam engines (1450-1690 cc) in 2000-17 models. Milwaukee Eight engines (1746-1868 cc) were handy in 2018-20 earlier models. So, consider it an evolving but powerful beast that gradually upgraded to win over the roads.

Over the years, the Fatboy has become a popular choice among Harley enthusiasts. It recogniz as an iconic motorcycle in the cruiser category. Still, there are unfortunate things you may not expect.

Best And Worst Year Harley Fatboy With Common Problems – Explained

Best And Worst Year Harley Fatboy With Common Problems- Explained

Regarding the Harley Fatboy, certain years stand out as the best and worst in terms of performance and common problems. One of the best years for the Fatboy often consider to be 2018, as it introduced the Milwaukee-Eight engine issues failure engine failure, which provided improved power and smoother performance.

On the other hand, some riders have reported common problems with the 2007 Fatboy, including issues with the transmission and electrical system. It’s important to note that these are just a few examples, and individual experiences may vary. Here are explained best and worst year Harley Fatboy with common problems.

Best Model Years

Best Model Years

Hence, the good story starts with the 1990 model of HD Fat Boy. Its temping features brought a vibe of something great among the riders on its arrival. As time went on, riders worldwide started loving this two-wheeler. Day by day, the manufacturer focused on developing new models to cope with the needs of the customers while maintaining the standards.

The best years for Harley Davidson Fatboy are 2002-05. The Twin Cam engines produced more power loss to get riders a new authentic riding experience. These bikes became so popular that customers didn’t let them stay at the store for more than 1-2 weeks.

Another best model year is the 2019 Fatboy. It gives the rider high mileage without any compromise. Then, the latest 2022 model has become a people’s choice for its low, muscular, powerful appearance. Riders have already talked about its robust chrome disc wheels, wide rear fender tire, and square, attractive headlight.

Worst Model Years

The 2007 model got fat tires which also helped to gain some popularity of Fatboy. Still, people consider it as the worst year, especially for its 96CI motor and offset front end. Also, its transmission caused a disruptive whining sensation when you put it in 5th gear for its straight-cut gears. Even you might face clutch rattling, which is not acceptable.

The suspension system of the 2018 model year of HD Fat Boy needed to be better. A few riders faced a jerking sensation regardless of how smoothly they rode it on the road at any speed. Hence, the bigger tires were the reason for this issue.

Even the 2018 model had a recall from Harley for its defective clutch actuator. It was initiated due to the fluid leakage from the secondary clutch actuator cylinder. As a result, the cylinder loses the power to generate sufficient lift to disengage the clutch.

Fatboy Problems Of Several Model Years

Fatboy Problems Of Several Model Years

There are both good and bad years to consider. While the Fatboy is generally popular for its iconic style and powerful model performance, certain model years have been associated with common problems. Some of the best years for the Fatboy include 2006, 2010, and 2018, which are popular for their reliability issues and improved features.

On the other hand, there have been some issues reported with certain model years. For instance, the 2007 Fatboy has been popular to have problems with its fuel injection system, while the 2013 model year has had issues with its electrical system.

Now, we explain the problems of the Fatboy model years of 2007, 2006, 2003, and 1999. These give you overall knowledge about this bike. The 1999-2006 models of Harley Fatboy have been both praised and criticized by riders.

2007 Harley Davidson Fatboy Problems

2007 Harley Davidson Fatboy Problems

The 2007 Harley Davidson Fatboy had a few common problems that owners should be aware of. One issue reported by some owners is a problem with the fuel injection system, which can cause the bike to run rough or stall. Another common problem is with the transmission, specifically with shifting gears smoothly and finding neutral.

Some owners also reported issues with the electrical system, such as problems with the wiring harness or fuses. It’s important for potential buyers of a 2007 Fatboy to be aware of these common problems and to have them thoroughly inspected before making a purchase.

2006 Harley Davidson Fatboy Problems

2006 Harley Davidson Fatboy Problems

The 2006 Harley Davidson Fatboy is a popular motorcycle choice among enthusiasts, but like any vehicle, it does have its fair share of common problems. One issue that owners have reported is electrical problems, such as issues with the wiring harness or malfunctioning gauges.

Another problem that has been known to occur is oil leaks, particularly from the rocker box gaskets. Additionally, some owners have experienced transmission issues, such as difficulty shifting gears or slipping.

It’s important for potential buyers to be aware of these common problems and to thoroughly inspect any used 2006 Fatboys before making a purchase. Regular maintenance and proper care can help mitigate these issues and ensure a smooth ride for years to come.

2003 Harley Davidson Fatboy Problems

2003 Harley Davidson Fatboy Problems

This issue happens for several reasons, like clogged carb, an intake leak, or a clogged pilot jet. Keeping these things clean might solve the problem. You can use a commercial WD-40 cleaner to remove residual development from the carburettor, intake tubes, and pilot jet. Also, regular cleaning of these parts will increase the mileage of your Harley 2003 Fatboy.

Another problem was reported: the bike wouldn’t start. Someone on Hdtimeline pointed out this problem in this way, “My 03 Fatboy won’t start all the time. When it does, it runs strong and will start every time for that day come back the next won’t start …”

However, the solution to this issue was the replacement of the spark plugs. You need to purchase a new spark plug and replace the older one. It won’t cost you more than $20 and is easy too. You will hardly need more than 30 minutes to complete the spark plug replacement task.

1999 Harley Davidson Fatboy Problems

1999 Harley Davidson Fatboy Problems

The 1999 Harley Davidson Fatboy, while a beloved model among Harley enthusiasts, has had its fair share of common problems. One of the most notable issues with this year’s Fatboy is the notorious stator and voltage regulator failures. Many owners have reported experiencing charging system failures, resulting in their touring bikes being unable to start or losing power while riding.

Another common problem is the leaking rocker box gaskets, which can lead to oil leaks and potential engine damage if not addressed promptly. While these problems may be off-putting, it is worth noting that proper maintenance and regular inspections can help mitigate these issues and keep your 1999 Fatboy running smoothly.


From the best to the worst years, we’ve covered it all regarding the Harley Fatboy. We’ve discussed the common problems that owners may face with each model and provided insights into how these issues can be resolved. Owning a Harley Fatboy is an experience like no other, and being aware of both the strengths and weaknesses of each year can help you make an informed decision when purchasing or maintaining your bike.

Whether you’re a long-time owner or considering joining the Harley community, our comprehensive guide has equipped you with the knowledge you need. We’ve discussed the best and worst year Harley Fatboy with common problems.


What Are The Best Years For Harley Davidson?

The best years for Harley Davidson can be subjective, as it ultimately depends on personal preference and the specific model or style of Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Is Harley Fat Boy Difficult To Ride?

No, the Harley Fat Boy is not difficult to ride. It is designed to be user-friendly and has a comfortable riding position. Its low center of gravity and balanced handling make it easy to manoeuvre, even for beginners.

What Is The Most Successful Harley-Davidson Model?

Harley-Davidson has a long history of producing iconic motorcycles, but one model stands out as the most successful: the Harley-Davidson Sportster.

Which Harley-Davidson is Most Reliable?

There is no definitive answer to which Harley-Davidson model is the most reliable as it can vary depending on various factors such as maintenance, riding style, and individual experiences.

When Were The Fat Boys Popular?

The Fat Boys were a popular hip-hop group in the 1980s. Known for their larger-than-life personalities and catchy beats, they gained widespread popularity with their breakout album “Fat Boys” in 1984.

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