OK, I might regret this being my first post... buuuuut I'm going to anyways. saw this and had to reply.
I did not get a login just to reply on this thread, I have been lurking for a while and looking around so I hope I don't offend anyone and will be participating after this. I have a bobber, but also have a Triumph Explorer, had a GS that had over 25,000 miles on it, a CRF-450 with plates, an older R1 and have spent time on and off road. I have somewhere between 80k and 100k miles in the saddle. but I digress.
What is now called a "bobber" started after WWII when the GI's were coming back after riding or seeing Harley's in service. They were (like many of us) thrill seekers and wanted to make the bikes as fast as they could. They would take everything off the bike that wasn't necessary including the front fender and half of the rear, "bobbing" the bikes. If you look at the rear fender on the old war-time Harleys the rear fender had a hinge at the top of it to allow access to the rear tire. These guys would take the rear off at this hinge or cut right in front of it. Thats where the "12-oclock" rear fender look comes from on bobbers. These bikes were already hard tails, the suspension wasn't cutoff. Just like when choppers with long front ends became mainstream again, its a throwback to an old style, back then bobbing a bike made it handle and stop better and faster. I do think its stupid to cut suspension off a bike just for style.
I will agree that a lot of the guys who have bobbers now are posers and they never get ridden other than to a local place to be seen, but the exact same thing could be said for the adventure bikes that many of us ride. We've all seen the brand new BMW GS's that have aggressive knobbies and enough heavy gear (both make the bike perform worse) to go around the world on but will never get more than 200 miles from home. These guys think bobbers are cool and want in on the fun.
Bobbers are just simply fun to ride, even if they are more uncomfortable and harder to ride fast. They feel old and are very easy to work on. A motorcycle is about fun and enjoyment. If it wasn't we'd all just drive cars. Mine has a Harley evo engine, a hard tail and has an old Harley springer front end and drag bars. None of these things "improve" the bike, but it makes me smile and feels different than my other bikes. And I have outrun my share of sport bikes up the mountain on my old, ill-handling, faddish bobber. The longest day I've had on it was 400+ miles.
I think it comes down to.... just like anything else thats fun or cool, everyone else eventually wants in on the fun. Not all these people are going to completely "get it" like the early adopters do. But don't worry, these guys will sell their new toy for the next big thing pretty soon. The way I see it, whether its a bobber, a chopper, an adventurer, tourer, custom, or whatever... as long as it's getting ridden it still has two wheels it's still a motorcycle. One less person driving a cage. I'm still going to wave at them when I pass them because were all members of the same group.