A factory-made Bobber is a bit of an oxymoron in the motorcycle world.
Bobbers came about when owners wanted to strip their motorcycles of everything they deemed superfluous. Out went any bodywork, the passenger seat and usually the rear suspension too. All in the pursuit of purity. Bobbers came about in the ’50s but never really made it past the ’70s, because, surprise-surprise, most people embrace progress.
However, this simple-style has seen a revival of late. Manufacturers, keen to jump on the customisation bandwagon, have produced factory-ready Bobbers.
These bikes aren’t as stripped back as the ’50s originals, instead they cunningly hide all the mod-cons we’re used to – like rear suspension – to give the bike a pared-back look, without the back-breaking ride.
Here are 5 great Bobbers you can buy today.
CCM Spitfire is the range-topper in its class; a handmade bike with bespoke bodywork and lighter weight than most bobbers out there. Lower weight and a higher-than-average seat height increase agility and handling on the road. Details include a floating single-seat, dual exhaust and HEL performance brake system. Intimidating looks enhanced by its stripped body and outstanding performance are all the requisites to make you feel like the king of the road.
Triumph is known for its traditional-looking yet surprisingly performing bikes, and the Bonneville Bobber is no exception. This superb bike blends the sweet handling of a roadster with the classic looks of a 1940s custom bobber. Adjustable floating seat pan, cut-down front mudguard, hard-tail mimicking rear end, and flat bars complement the retro bodywork of this timeless classic.
Inspired by the post-World War 2 bobber bikes, Harley Davidson’s Street Bob is all about minimalist styling. A bare-bone bike that’s perfect for high-class road riding. This modern classic features a heavier design capable of delivering the road stiffness expected from such a bike. A unique, responsive ride with chopped fenders and black spoke wheels, stripped down to bare essence.
Dubbed as a Harley clone for too long, the Yamaha XV950R is one of the most versatile bobbers. It’s built to be easily customisable. Superb handling compared to its competition and reasonable spread of power delivered by the V-twin engine define the spirit of this bike. Whether you’re into customised bikes or want a bobber that transudes personality, the XV950R is a wonderful choice.
Harley Davidson Iron 1200 is all about pure riding emotion. A modern interpretation of what roadster fans have loved for decades; all-black finishes and 1970’s inspired custom graphics, café style seat and mini-ape handlebar add personality to its classic lines. It might be more expensive than other bobbers, and also more expensive to insure, but it’s truly worth the price.