Everything To Know About The 1990 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy From Terminator 2

In "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," the iconic Harley-Davidson motorcycle plays a crucial role in one of the film's most memorable scenes. As the embodiment of rugged individualism and raw power, the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy model, ridden by Arnold Schwarzenegger's character, the T-800, becomes a symbol of the film's high-octane action and technological prowess. This scene perfectly captures the essence of the Terminator character: a relentless, unstoppable force.

About 1990 Fat Boy

The motorcycle in Terminator 2 is a Harley-Davidson Fat Boy, a model that was introduced in 1990. It was chosen by the T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) as his vehicle in the movie and was used in several iconic scenes, such as the chase in the Los Angeles River and the jump over the bridge. The black Fat Boy with red pinstriping and chrome trim had a 1340cc V-twin engine, a Softail frame, and a shotgun holster.

The Fat Boy became a symbol of the movie and its success and boosted the popularity of the Harley-Davidson brand. Four Fat Boys were reportedly used in the filming of Terminator 2, but only one of them was ridden by Schwarzenegger himself. That bike was sold at an auction in 2018 for $480,000. The fate of the other three bikes is unknown, but some believe that one of them was kept by Schwarzenegger's stunt double, Peter Kent. Related Articles: 2024 Harley Davidson Street Glide: A Glimpse Into The Future

Fat Boy's Exciting Moments

Bad to the Bone

In the cinematic masterpiece "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," Arnold Schwarzenegger's portrayal of the T-800 acquires a Harley Davidson Fat Boy in a scene that has since become emblematic of cinematic coolness. As the gritty chords of George Thorogood & The Destroyers' "Bad to the Bone" fill the air, the Terminator, in an effortlessly dominant display, claims the motorcycle from its previous owner in a tense bar encounter. The bike, a striking amalgam of sleek black paint and bold red pinstripes, is as much a character as the Terminator himself. Its chrome accents and distinctive shotgun holster capture the essence of the film's fusion of rugged tradition and futuristic warfare.

Los Angeles River Chase

During the Los Angeles river chase in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," the T-800's rescue of John Connor is a defining moment of action and precision. The chase, already tense, escalates rapidly as John, on his lightweight dirt bike, struggles to outpace the T-1000, who is barreling down on him in a massive, commandeered tow truck. The T-1000, with its relentless drive and liquid metal form, is an imminent threat from which escape seems nearly impossible.

As the T-1000 closes in, the T-800, on a Harley Davidson Fat Boy, enters the scene with authority. The motorcycle is a stark contrast to the dirt bike, heavy and powerful, with its chrome glinting in the sunlight. The T-800 deftly maneuvers the bike alongside John, matching speed with the boy's frantic pace. In a swift motion, the T-800 extends an arm to John, who grabs hold and is pulled onto the back of the motorcycle.

The transition is seamless, and without missing a beat, they accelerate away. The T-800's control of the motorcycle is impeccable, even with the added weight of John on the back. They weave through the river's concrete landscape, the bike's engine roaring as they dodge debris and navigate the terrain. Meanwhile, the T-1000 in the tow truck is unyielding, crashing through everything in its path in an attempt to catch up.

The chase reaches a crescendo as the T-800 spots a narrow path leading up to a bridge. With perfect timing, the T-800 throttles the Harley, ramping off an incline and landing just as the tow truck, unable to match their maneuver, crashes into a concrete divider and explodes in a ball of fire. The T-800 and John narrowly escape a direct confrontation with the T-1000, thanks to the T-800's strategic thinking and the Harley's raw power.

Why Harley-Davidson Fat Boy?

The Fat Boy represented the T-800's evolution from a cold-blooded killer to a heroic protector. In the first Terminator movie, the T-800 rode a Honda CB750 Nighthawk, a Japanese bike that was common and cheap at the time. In Terminator 2, the T-800 upgraded to a Harley-Davidson Fat Boy, an American bike that was rare and expensive. The Fat Boy symbolized the T-800's uniqueness and value as a reprogrammed cyborg who could defy his original programming and learn to care for humans

The Fat Boy also reflected the T-800's relationship with John Connor, the future leader of the human resistance. John Connor was a rebellious teenager who idolized the T-800 as a father figure and a cool mentor. The Fat Boy was a perfect vehicle for the T-800 to bond with John and teach him some skills, such as how to ride a motorcycle, how to use a shotgun, and how to say "Hasta la vista, baby". The Fat Boy was also a way for the T-800 to impress John and earn his trust and respect, as John admired the T-800's strength and style.

The Fat Boy also contrasted with the T-1000's motorcycle, a Kawasaki GPZ 1000 RX, which was a faster and more agile bike than the Fat Boy. The Kawasaki represented the T-1000's superior technology and speed as a liquid metal cyborg who could shape-shift and mimic anyone. The Fat Boy, on the other hand, represented the T-800's durability and resilience as a solid metal cyborg who could withstand damage and fight back. The Fat Boy also had a more distinctive and memorable appearance than the Kawasaki, which was a generic and bland bike.


The 1990 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy's appearance in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" not only epitomized the film's high-energy and futuristic aesthetics but also cemented its status as a cultural icon. The bike's roaring engine and sleek design complemented the T-800's character, symbolizing a blend of raw power and advanced technology. This cinematic portrayal elevated the Fat Boy's appeal, influencing motorcycle enthusiasts and film fans alike.

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