✓ TIP FOR SAVINGS: Learn if your motorcycle insurance is too expensive!
Compare quotes to save money
Enter your zip to get started.
Modifying your motorcycle can be a fun way to make it your own. You have many options for modifying your motorcycle. One of them is to make it a bobber. This article will explain what a Bobber is and what models are best for it, as well as some factory-built bobbers.
Best Motorcycles To Bobber
Let’s get right to it. A donor is needed to help you start a Bobber project. There are many options, and some bikes may not be available or cost prohibitively expensive. Here are some models that make great bobbers:
Harley Davidson Sportsters
The Harley Davidson motorcycle is a timeless classic. The Sportster model was launched in 1957. It has a lot of submodels. You can choose from three engine sizes: 750cc to 1000cc. A soft tail suspension gives you a more smooth ride. A Sportster can be purchased starting at $3,000.
Harley Davidson Dyna family
The Dyna was created as an offshoot of the Sportster model. It combines the Sportster front end and the engine, frame, and engine of larger bikes. Over the years, there have been many submodels for the Harley Davidson Dyna. The Dyna starts at $4,000-$5,000, but is slightly more expensive.
The XS650 motorcycle is an older model, with 1983 being the last year of production. You can strip these motorcycles down to get a stripped-down look. While the 650 isn’t the most powerful engine, the lack of electronics makes it easy to modify. The XS650s are less expensive–around $1,000 up to $5,000–and that might make finding one challenging.
Yamaha V Star
The V Star was Yamaha’s way of entering the cruiser bike market. There are options for every budget with the 250, 650 and 950 models, as well as the 1100, 1100 and 1300 options. The double backbone frame allows for the use of different types of gas tanks. The V Star is a great bobber that offers a smooth ride and comfortable handling. Prices will vary depending on the condition of the bike and the size of the vehicle, but the V Star 250 starts at $2,000
Honda CB Series
The Honda CB Series is a classic-looking cruiser. There are three common engine sizes: 250, 750 and 900. They are all easily available for purchase used. Price varies, but $2,000 will get a great bike. The Honda engines are reliable and the frame allows for plenty of room. The CB’s are also popular as cafe racers.
Most likely, you’ll want to start your journey with a low-cost motorcycle. It is worth looking through classifieds. Buy something very cheap if this is your first build. Or, you can buy something more expensive that still has a high resale market value. This will help you keep your overall cost down.
Bobbers built in-house
The bobber design became so popular that manufacturers began making factory bobbers. Motorcycle owners became more comfortable customizing their bikes after WWI. This trend was particularly strong in the 1950s, 1960s, when Harley Davidson created the Harley Davidson Super Glide, a custom bike. Other manufacturers have made bobbers since then as the demand for custom-looking bikes has grown.
A factory bobber allows you to have a bobber and not need to disassemble an existing bike. Chopping and wrenching aren’t for everyone and creating a custom bike that is functional as well as stylish can be time-consuming and requires some expertise. Below are the top factory-built bobbers for those who don’t want to do that.
Bonneville Bobber Black and Triumph Bonneville Bobber
Triumph motorcycles are a classic example of early motorcycle production. Introduced in 2017, the Bonneville Bobber captures the 30’s racing style in a modern way. Triumph also introduced the Black edition. This is a blacked out version of the original, with larger tires. The 1200cc engine is capable of delivering 77hp, making it a sporty bike. These bikes are quite expensive, with the first model costing around $8,000
Indian Scout Bobber
Indian Motorcycles was another iconic motorcycle manufacturer. The Scout was first introduced in 2015. It was the most popular motorcycle of 2015. The Scout features a 1133cc Vtwin engine and an aluminum cast frame, with almost everything painted black. Scout Bobber is a modified Scout with a lower seat, lower handlebars and a side-mounted plate holder. A Scout Bobber used will cost between $7,000 to $8,000
Street Bob Harley Davidson
The Softail HD Street Bob, a descendant from the Dyna family which was the first to produce bobbers. The 114-cubic-inch (1870cc), Harley Davidson engine provides a classic Harley Davidson ride. The bobber also features mini ape hanger bars, a dropped seating position and bobbed fenders. The majority of the bike comes in black, but there are some tank/fender colors available. Although the Street Bob is a classic American machine, it can be found in a wide range of used markets.
Harley Davidson Iron 1200
Another Harley factory Bobber is the Iron 1200. This model is a newer version that offers bobber styling with modern features. The classic Harley power comes from the fuel-injected pushrod V -twin Evolution motor. The Iron 1200’s seat height is slightly higher than most other bobbers. However, the retro paint and mini apes give it a classic look. An Iron 1200 used for $8000 is a good deal. The 2021 model starts at $9999.
Yamaha Bolt R-Spec
The Yamaha Bolt, a line of cruisers that was launched in 2013, is a continuation of the Starcruiser line. These models are popular for customizing aftermarket parts. The 950cc-class motor is fuel-injected and provides nice low end power. It features a low-set seat, and minimal features on a full-suspension chassis. Older models come in black and grey, while the latest models come with a variety of colors. Used models start at around $4,000 for the most expensive model.
Although there are many other models, these are the most popular. These bobbers are being made by more manufacturers so there will always be a market for them. They will be great for bobber projects as the prices drop and older models age.
What is a Bobber?
Let’s get some clarification here; a bobber is a style of custom street motorcycle. These modifications were done to decrease the weight of the motorcycle and increase the speed and power. It refers to a reduced rear fender. “bob-tail”. A bobber’s other distinguishing features include a stripped-down body and no front fender on an existing frame.
Bobbers have minimal suspension. While the forks can have shocks and springer suspensions, the rear suspension often gets removed. The seat will have spring suspension for some comfort, but it won’t be something comfortable for a long ride. In an ode to early racing motorcycles the seat is set low.
It was early motorcycle racing that inspired the bobber design. Motorcycle racers in the 1920s and 30s took down or removed unnecessary components from their bikes to increase power. Racers weren’t overly concerned with how the bike looked as long as it would perform. It wouldn’t be until after World War II ended that people began to associate motorcycles with style. Paint jobs were a huge deal, and many different motorcycle designs began to appear. Although most motorcycles are now ridden for pleasure rather than sport, some motorcycles still have the appeal of a racing bike.
Bobbers are typically based upon a cruiser motorcycle. These motorcycles allow you to ride more uprightly and have a wide range of engines. The frame and forks of this style are very attractive, giving you a solid foundation from which to build. You have many options when designing your design, depending on the model.
How to Make a Bobber Out of Your Cruiser
While there is a general rule of thumb for how a bobber should look, there isn’t an exact formula. Common modifications include removing excess parts and changing the seat.
You can reduce or remove the fenders to give the bike an aggressive racing look, similar to the 1930s bobbers. You can also remove extra parts like windshields, saddlebags crash bars, body panels and the windshield.
Bobbers typically have one seat, which is usually set at a low level. It’s quite simple to swap out your seats. Likewise, adding some paint can be a quick customization and it’s a way to be creative.
These are the basics. Now, follow your vision and design. There is no set design. You can design your bike however you like, regardless of what bobber purists may say.
An entire video series has been created about how to repair a motorcycle. Within this series includes tips and tricks you won’t find anywhere else online as well as tutorials on hard to tackle components such as electrical, body work, and carb rebuilds. Click here for more information if you’re interested in restoring or building your dream motorcycle!
Here are some things to know before you start
Here are some tips to help you create your bobber. Your bike design is about your personal style and ideas, not a defined definition. There are many ways to start from scratch. It will take some time to build your bobber. This section will explain how to do it.
It’s important to have a budget before starting. Budgeting is a responsibility. Use it to guide your design. There are many ways you can modify your home and there are many affordable options.
The design stage may take a while and it’s important to stay open to new products and ideas. It is important to strike a balance between too much and too little. A bobber is typically a stripped-down bike; it’s up to you how to define that for your motorcycle.
A few companies offer bobber kit options if you’re stuck for ideas. The key components of a bobber come in a bolt-on kit, which will instantly change the look of your bike. Most bobber kits include fenders, lights, handlebars and seats.
There are many companies that specialize on custom bobber pieces. This allows you to create a custom bobber kit. You can also find inspiration by looking through the parts.
The payoff will be worthwhile, so remember that. Although it may be tempting to rush to get the bike riding, But there is no substitute to doing it right the first and only time. It is very rewarding to complete a custom-built bike. And, riding down the street turning heads is a great way to feel that same feeling.
DIY Bobber Tip
Now you are ready to start building your bobber. But now what? It can be difficult to know where to begin. It can also be difficult to decide what to change. This article will provide some DIY tips and ideas, as well as inspiration and information sources.
You can design how your bike should look by using these guidelines A visual aid can be useful. Here’s a trick to drawing up a design for your bike. Get a photo of the basic model of your bike from the internet. Find the simplest version of your bike. From there, you can use Photoshop to erase parts of the stock bike that you don’t like or add in aspects that you do like. If you aren’t handy with Photoshop, there is an “old school” This is how you do it. Take a picture of your bike and draw it on a piece of paper. You can then modify or add to the bike as you wish. You can try different versions to find the best one.
Apart from designing and building bikes, It is useful to have someone to bounce ideas off. Having someone who is also into motorcycling can be especially helpful because they will have a feel for what you’re doing and have some general motorcycle know-how. If you don’t have anyone like that in your life, that’s fine. As long as you have a friend, spouse, significant other, sibling, parent, neighbor, etc., who is willing to take a look at what you’re doing and offer a different perspective helps you to see things you might have missed.
The internet is a great way to find ideas, inspiration, and how-to’s when building your bike. If you join a forum dedicated to bobbers or your bike model, you can get involved in the discussions around what you are trying achieve. Reddit and other social media sites offer forums for motorcycles, bobbers, and other topics. You can also ask questions or read other discussions. Lastly, Pinterest isn’t just about mason jar decor and gluten-free bread recipes. You can also find bobber ideas on Pinterest and save them to keep in mind. You can find a list here of useful tools for bobber transformations.
These are some ways to give your bike a Bobber look.
- Fatter tires. Fatter tires are a simple way to achieve that bobber look. You can only go so far before you have to change the frame or forks. Before moving on, you should check the space available to your bike.
- Gas tank. The bike’s appearance can be dramatically changed by changing the gas tank. There are many choices, but no one tank will fit all bikes. It is easier to swap out a single-backbone bike frame for a tank than a double-backbone one. You can paint the tank or apply a sticker or custom decal to give it a unique look. Click here to find out more about how to paint a motorcycle gas tank or what paint is best.
- Exhaust wrap. Wrapping exhaust can give a bike a unique look. It can be difficult to do this yourself, as you will probably need to remove the exhaust headers. Installing an exhaust wrap can help with exhaust heat management. It takes patience and a good deal of time. You can read our other article to find out more about the benefits and drawbacks of exhaust wrap.
- You can also switch relocation. It is possible to get rid of the handlebars by cleaning them up. The bike will look cleaner if the killswitch and light switch are moved under the seat. Although this may seem complicated and require some brainpower to accomplish, there are many ways to make it look good.
- Fake oil can to house electronics. Many people have moved the electronic and ignition of their bike into fake oil cans. The can is typically mounted underneath the seat and all wiring runs through the tube. The end result looks amazing, even though it can be quite complicated. You also have another opportunity to improve your painting skills.