What Is A Bobber Motorcycle And What Makes It Unique?

What is a bobber motorcycle?’ is a question that most bike enthusiasts wonder, especially when you’re getting into classic motorcycles. These are custom motorcycles that date back to the 1920s in the United States.

Driving Bobber Motorcycle ~ Ran When Parked

The unique bikes stood out for their aesthetics and comfort, as all the unnecessary parts were removed to make the design streamlined. In this guide, we take a closer look at the bobber and its interesting facts.

What Is a Bobber Motorcycle?

A bobber motorcycle is a type of motorcycle that has been extensively customized by removing almost all the external features and parts. It’s not a single type of motorcycle, but all the parts that are not needed will be removed to give it a minimalist appearance.

Removing all the non-essential parts of the bike is meant to increase its speed and fuel efficiency since there would be nothing wearing it down while it’s on the road. The bob job also reduces the overall weight of the bike, making it easy to maneuver and drive for fun.

A bobber usually removes the front fender and replaces the rear fender with a shortened fender. Also, it installs thin handlebars with very little reinforced grip, a lighter seat with less support, and removes all the mirrors and headlights.

It removes the chrome finishes and ensures that the steering head and rear axle are diagonal to each other.

Removing parts and accessories to create a bobber won’t affect the performance, but it will make it less comfortable. Bobbers are usually painted with a muted paint job afterward, and they can only be ridden by one person at a time.

It would also feel closer to the ground, and you won’t be able to drive at night due to the lack of lights.

What Makes the Bobber Unique?

The bobber is unique because it removes all the essential parts of a bike to enhance its performance. It looks almost naked and slender and usually features a muted color. It is built by modifying a stock bike to meet certain needs.

Unique Bobber Motorcycle ~ Ran When Parked

Bobbers were initially made by motorcycle owners who wanted to modify their own bikes, but now you can buy them yourself. The bobbers are ideal for solo riding because there is only one uncomfortable seat.

You will also have to check your state to see if bobber motorcycles are legal, as they don’t have mirrors and lights that meet safety laws.

Another feature that makes the bobber stand out is the speed. Motorcycles are already known for their speed, but removing different parts and reducing the weight makes it go even faster. But you can only drive them for a short period of time because they are uncomfortable.

When Did the Bobbers First Come?

Bobbers first came in the 1920s when Harley Davidson released the ‘J’ Series V-Twin. This caused motorcycle owners to use smaller wheels to lower the frame of their bikes. It eventually led to owners modifying the stock bikes to look more stylish and perform better.

The California Cut Down trend in the 1930s experienced many bike owners lowering their bikes by cutting the frame, using smaller wheels, and shortening the rear section. They wanted to make their bikes perform better than the available stock bikes of that time.

The trend also took some hints from racers, who started removing extra weight from their motorcycles for better performance. They removed the front fender and placed a bobtail rear fender.

This act was called the ‘bob-job,’ leading to the name ‘bobber.’ But for a long time, bobbers were mostly done in the custom scene and by racers.

By the 1950s and after, manufacturers started selling accessories to bob-job bikes, and many bikes had smaller frames that no longer needed modifying. The Harley, Indian and Triumph bobbers were popular among those who needed to bob-job their bikes because there wasn’t a lot of work to be done.

What Are the Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Bobber?

The factors that you should consider when purchasing a bobber include the size of the fuel tank, the ground clearance of the bike, and the sound and color of the bike. You should also check the weight and ensure that you are getting a good deal with the price.

Purchasing a Bobber ~ Ran When Parked

Since bobbers stripped, you need to ensure that the fuel tank is not too small for your needs. Ensure that it is big enough to hold the fuel you need for your trip. Also, bobbers are usually cut down, which takes them lower to the ground. You need to ensure the ground clearance is enough for you to drive comfortably.

While the weight of the bike is lighter, you need to keep in mind that you have no other accessories and parts. So, ensure you can handle and maneuver the weight of the bike properly. If you’re not customizing the bike yourself, you also need to check brakes and ensure they are strong enough, and use tires for all terrains.

Bobbers are usually very expensive because they are custom-built. The cost will depend on how many extra features and design options you ask for, but make sure you’re getting a good price. Check the laws of your state concerning bobbers, but keep in mind that you might have to avoid major roads and driving at night.

What Are the Pros of Bobbers?

The pros of bobbers include the uniqueness and scarcity that would make other bike owners jealous of you, the light weight makes it fun to drive, and you can customize it any way you want. Since bobbers are custom-made, there won’t be many other bikes like yours.

Bobber bikes are also very fun to ride, as they are lightweight and easy to maneuver. You can easily take control of your bike on the road. Plus, they don’t require a lot of maintenance since there are barely any parts on them. You won’t have to pay for repairs often. Bobbers also look great, which is more than enough reason to purchase one.

If you’re new to riding bikes, then a bobber would make a great choice. They are ideal for beginner rides since they don’t come with too many fittings and equipment that might distract you. They don’t need a lot of experience to ride and are pretty easy to handle.

There’s a lot of fun to be had with bobbers, like racing with your friends and driving on rough terrains.

What Are the Cons of Bobbers?

The cons of bobbers are the scarcity and the laws of the state that you are living in. It’s not very easy to find a bobber for sale in your area, so you might have to purchase a stock bike and customize it.

Cons of Bobbers ~ Ran When Parked

If you’re not good with tools, you can ask a professional to do it for you, but you need to consider the costly prices. You can look around for a cheap used bobber and enhance it, or visit a custom bike shop to know more.

You need to check if you will get in trouble for using a bobber in your state. Most people who own bobbers drive them on private property and lands because they won’t run into traffic. You also cannot use it for driving at night. So, it’s not an effective means of commuting.

How Much Is a Bobber?

A bobber costs between $12,000 and $20,000, depending on the make, model, and features. But if you build one, it costs between $1000 and $4000. When you purchase a bobber, you’re getting the essentials like a solo saddle, a bobtail rear fender, and a simple finish.

The cost of the bobber depends on the size, features, and style of the bike. But generally, they are more expensive than standard bikes. Some bobbers include the Davidson Street Bob, Indian Scout Bobber and Triumph Bonneville Bobber.

Before buying a bobber, check all the sizes available and the features included. Also, choose a bobber style that fits yours. But you need to be prepared to spend a lot of money if you’re purchasing one. If you’re good with tools, building your bobber would cost far less.

For those on a budget, you can build a bike for about $2,000. All you need to do is purchase a stock bike or use the one you already have and buy parts like the seat, handlebars, license plate, rear fender, new pipes, and wrap. You also need the tools for stripping the bike and installing the new parts, as well as the mechanical knowledge.

What Is the Difference Between a Bobber and a Chopper?

The difference between a bobber and a chopper is the front fork, as the bobber comes with a shorter front fork that makes the bike look shorter, while the chopper looks more traditional with a longer front fork. Choppers were released in the 1960s and overshadowed bobbers for a while.

Bobber and a Chopper ~ Ran When Parked

Also, bobbers have lower handlebars, while choppers are designed with higher handlebars. Since choppers have a longer front fork, they are heavier to maneuver, so it’s not as easy to drive and handle as a bobber.

What Is the Difference Between a Bobber and a Cruiser?

The difference between a bobber and a cruiser is their weight and their purpose. Cruisers are heavier bikes that are powered by big engines for long-distance riding. Bobbers are light bikes stripped of a lot of parts, and so they come with smaller engines for short rides.

But cruisers and bobbers might have similar features like the seats and handlebars. They also both offer a laid-back riding position.


Now that we’ve answered the question, ‘What is a bobber motorcycle?’ you might be tempted to get this cool bike and stand out from others. Here’s a rundown of our article:

  • A bobber is a custom bike that has all its non-essential parts removed to make it lighter and more stylish.
  • To make a bobber, you need to remove the front fender, mirrors, headlights, and chrome finishes.
  • You also need to replace the rear fender with a bobtail fender and replace the seats and handlebars.
  • A bobber would have better speed and fuel efficiency since it is lighter, and it would also be easier to maneuver.

If you’re thinking about getting a bobber, consider your budget and state laws before doing so. You can also have some fun creating your custom bobber from your garage.


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