The bobber motorcycle is a classic design that has been around for years. The bobber’s vintage look draws in a crowd to check it out, and the style makes it a hot commodity. You won’t find many bobber motorcycles on the road these days, but luckily for us, there are still custom shops out there that will be happy to work their magic on your bike. If you’re thinking about buying a bobber motorcycle, you may be wondering what exactly goes into making one. Also, the history of bobber motorcycles has the story behind it.
Motorcycles and bobbers are two of the most iconic things to come out of a motorcycle culture that has seen everything from choppers to cafe racers. Yet, when you put them together, you get something unique. It’s something that looks raw but is more refined than your average Chopper. In this guide, we’ll look at the history of bobber motorcycles and what bobbers are-
History of Bobber Motorcycle
A ‘bobber’ is a type of conventional motorcycle. It was known as a drum-stripped motorcycle from around the 1930s through the ’90s! Bobbers had their front fenders removed, rear fenders shortened, and interior trim detached to cut weight.
The bob-job is a cutting of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. It’s established on the Harley-Davison J series v-twin, and it’s designed to improve performance and appearance. The bob-job emerged in the mid 20th century as a modernization of the J-series motorbike. Cutting down on the weight of a motorcycle can make it significantly lighter.
This process cuts down the fuel consumption of the bike and makes it easier to maneuver and ride. The cuts also mean that the bike is more responsive to rider inputs and doesn’t require as much power to turn or accelerate. Another downsizing effect of shortening the motorcycle’s wheelbase is that it creates a far higher top speed.
In early 1933s
The American Motorcyclist Association make known to Class C racing in 1933, stating that only classified race bikes might be used in an authorized race, with points increased on the way to the National Championship. The stripped-down competitors were motivated by the ‘bob job; these functional bikers had no front guard, a shortened rear, and no additional weight. They were also less powerful than their more heavily modified counterparts and had lower horsepower figures.
The first bob-job motorcycle started appearing in the mid-1930s. Though they were almost always painted black and had no changes from the stock bikes, some early riders went to great lengths to make their bikes stand out. Bob-job bikes featured custom paint jobs, chrome windshields, and chromed fenders. Also, bob-job bikes often had fancy paint jobs that made them look more racing-like.
After world war II
Modern motorcycles of today are created by modifying bob-jobs. They are subject to increasingly ornate modifications, such as flaring paint jobs, pinstriping, and upholstered seats. As early as 1946, Kenneth Howard began modifying Indian Scout bob-job with wild paint jobs and chrome plating.
In the 1950s and 60s
The bob-job became the standard for “bob-jobs” and became popular in the 1960s. These modified bikes included both show bikes and ordinary road bikes. In its original form, bob-jobs were primarily intended for motorcycle shows and hot rod shows. Over the years, bob-jobs have evolved into various forms depending on what they were intended to look like and how they were modified.
Until the late 1990s
Bob-Jobs drew their styling cues from the bike designs of the 50s and 60s. Though practical, these bikes were arguably lowbrow and a little rough around the edges. During the 1990s, motorcycle manufacturers began to incorporate bob-job features into their models. That led to the revival of a retro style of motorcycle design that has influenced many modern motorcycles, including Harley-Davidson and Honda.
After the 1990s
In the ’90s, the bobber bike became popular again because of the original motorcycle builders. They made them look like they used to or reinvented them in their different style. The bobber continues to be popular today, but the style has also evolved into various types such as Chopper and retro-bobber. That shows that it isn’t died out as some might think it is.
Choppers vs. Bobbers
What is the difference between a Chopper and a Bobber?
The Chopper is a highly stylized and extreme form of the bob-job which emerged in the 1960s. Technically, the Chopper is an earlier development of the bob-job that came about after the very decorative, chrome-plated bobs became popular in the late 40s.
Choppers are built from custom parts that have been modified specifically for a rider’s requirements. Bobbers are motorcycles that have undergone a ‘bob job’ or have had extraneous motorcycle parts removed for simplicity and weight reduction. Bobbers are normally assembled around unchanged frames. Choppers use vastly reformed or custom-built parts and are typically cut and joined into an outline.
The stock motorcycles that bobbers are made from may have been designed for certain purposes, but they are more often than not accidents waiting to happen. The bobber is a perfect expression of the spirit of motorcycle customization, as it’s based on getting rid of everything that doesn’t add to the performance and enhances what remains.
Choppers are cool, and we all know it. But when you’re driving a chopper, it’s important to be aware of the car’s limitations because you probably aren’t even going that fast. They’re more about style than performance, as they are often designed for nighttime excursions or other dangerous maneuvers.
For example, some small parts can be exchanged, replacing the front and rear fender on a Harley-Davidson. In general, modifying stock parts (such as removing them) or modifying them was done.
Choppers are first and foremost built for speed. Bobbers are primarily built for stability. Springer forks can be used on choppers with the comprehensive sissy bars, but they are mostly attached with a developed rake in the Chopper’s triple-tree to transfer the front steering wheel forward.
Choppers in the 80s were chrome glaze and chrome parts. Bobbers in the 90s and 2000s were built like choppers but without the chrome portions. In recent years, riders have created their Chopper and Bobbers using random-access level paint and corroded parts.
Who invented the Bobber?
There is a lot of debate over who essentially invented the bobber. Some say that it was Harley Davidson, while others say that it was Indian. No one knows who invented the bobber, but we know who came up with the first bobber motorcycle, and he was an Indian engineer named Charlie Davids.
Are bobbers good for long rides?
Regrettably, the answer is no. For long rides, you need a bike that is comfortable and has low-profile handlebars. These are essential for long rides, especially if you’re on a touring bike. Handlebars that are too high can put a strain on your neck and back, which can lead to long-term health issues. A good option for a touring bike is a set of low-profile handlebars.
Is the Bobber seat comfortable?
Although bobber seats are incredibly popular, there are a lot of misconceptions about them. So, here’s the truth: bobber seats look good and are easy to install, but they’re not the most comfortable seats out there. Before you get one for your bike, think about how you ride and whether a bobber seat will work for you.
The lycette style saddle has long been a popular choice for riders who want the hard-shell look and feel of an older saddle combined with the support of a modern shape. These saddles can take some getting used to, as you’ll probably have to retrain yourself to sit a little differently, especially if you wear high-heeled riding boots.
What is the difference between a Bobber and a Cafe Racer?
Bobbers and Cafe Racers are very similar in appearance. The major difference is that bobbers are stripped down to the bare essentials, whereas Cafe Racers are built with the end goal of going fast.
Bobbers are bikes that are modified to look like something they’re not. On the other hand, Cafe bikes are not modified but typically have very little chrome, a tall seat, and relatively conventional aesthetics that many people like.
Does Bobber have rear suspension?
Bobbers are often thought of as having no rear suspension. However, there’s a specific type of bobber that does have rear suspension.
Bobbers are designed to look like stock Harley Sportsters. No rear springs, ape-hangers, or other Harley upgrades; just the same classic looks you get on a Sportster.
When it comes to custom motorcycles, it’s the bobber that reigns supreme. They are known for their exposed frame, short front fender, minimalist controls, seat, and bobber motorcycles are looked upon as the epitome of style and class. But since they’ve been so popularized, it’s easy to think that there’s nothing new to know about bobber motorcycles.
A bobber motorcycle is a custom motorcycle with an appearance that is deliberately different from factory models. The typical bobber motorcycle has had all of its extraneous chrome and other accessories removed, and sometimes even the fenders have been amputated. A bobber motorcycle is generally characterized by a front-end where the engine is exposed.
I hope you enjoy the article! Have a nice riding!