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Old 09-30-2007, 06:40 PM   #1
FloridaSteve OP
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Bobber Pics!!

There was a little debate over the historical differences between Cafe bikes and "Bobbers" over in the cafe racer picture thread. Someone suggested a Bobber only thread so here it is.... I'll get it started with my friend Brians beautiful Indian.. Oh and for the record, I looked and didn't find a Bobber only thread. let me know if I missed it. There's a vintage and classic one but nothing bobber specific.


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Old 09-30-2007, 07:50 PM   #2
davorallyfan
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Pardon my antipodean ignorance but what is a "bobber"

Is it an old bike with baloon tyres and with no rear suspension.

Do they have a specific purpose?

Thanks.
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Old 09-30-2007, 08:10 PM   #3
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Pretty decent definition from Wikipedia:



Quote:
History

In post-World War II United States, servicemen returning home from the war started removing all parts deemed too big, heavy, ugly or not absolutely essential to the basic function of the motorcycle, such as fenders, turn indicators, and even front brakes.
The rest came down to taste. The big tires were what bikes came with in those days so the bobber "look" carries over to the more modern interpretations,
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Old 09-30-2007, 08:11 PM   #4
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After WWII US servicemen came home and purchased surplus bikes form the Army. When it came to racing and performance the easy thing to do was to bob the fenders (remove the lower half of the rear hinged fender) and remove any superfluous junk that really did nothing. Throw away the fenders, horn, and whatever else you could find. Hence the name "Bobber" ... It was even the precursor to the word "Jalopy" I believe.

Not to be confused with the "Chopper" that came along later, that usually involved more cutting on suspension and frames etc..

This is as close as I get to a bober...

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Old 09-30-2007, 08:32 PM   #5
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True. A "Bobber" is a bike that has been stripped of anything that doesn't contribute to the operation of the motorcycle. If it's not absolutely necessary to make it run, it's outta here.

"Choppers" evolved out of the "Bobber." When folks were building Bobbers, they added slightly extended front ends for the sole purpose of having more ground clearance; a firmer, more responsive fork; and better handling all around. Then Bobber Bob decided to extend his springer twice as long--from 3" to 6". Then Dangerous Doug countered with a 9" over...and then it just got ridiculous.

The best way to describe it is that Bobbers are more performance-oriented, whereas Choppers are more style-oriented. The line blurs as they approach a common branch on the MC Family Tree.
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Old 10-01-2007, 07:14 AM   #6
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BRAVO !
Its about time that BOBBERS got some recognition. They are IMO, very important link in motorcycle evolution chain. I've had a few choppers and bobbers back in the early 80s and still have great memories of them and that era. I remember buying a complete, but barely running '65 CL77 Dream chopper for $300. Rigid frame with 12in over forks! I don't think I've ever paid more than $200-300 for a Limey basket case...

Not mine, but very close to '67 Bonnie bobber that I built from a basket.

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Old 10-01-2007, 08:02 AM   #7
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This is gonna be a fun thread - thanks!!
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Old 10-01-2007, 09:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlKay191
BRAVO !
Its about time that BOBBERS got some recognition. They are IMO, very important link in motorcycle evolution chain. I've had a few choppers and bobbers back in the early 80s and still have great memories of them and that era. I remember buying a complete, but barely running '65 CL77 Dream chopper for $300. Rigid frame with 12in over forks! I don't think I've ever paid more than $200-300 for a Limey basket case...

Not mine, but very close to '67 Bonnie bobber that I built from a basket.

I see your over here stirring up the pot

I wonder if chucking the rear suspension in favor of a bolt on rigid makes it go faster?
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Old 10-01-2007, 10:18 AM   #9
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It seems at the Antique Motorcycle Club of America's get togethers folks are running more and more bobbers. To put together a full-stock old bike can be expensive and difficult, but a nice bobber, particularly one that sports period modifications, can be as delicious as an old stocker.

My wife's uncle had a nice Indian four bobber in the 1950's--I've seen only pictures--the old story is he got married and the motorcycle went away. I wish he still had it and would see that it would have a good home next to my stock chief.

Tom
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Old 10-01-2007, 10:27 AM   #10
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bobber vs chopper

Yep, you are all correct.
The difference can be seen here in the last 2 I built. Same frame and engine basically. The chopper has an extended front end and different "tweaks" and more bling for the Peter Fonda look. The bobber is just for getting down the road, no extra toys.

JR
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Old 10-01-2007, 10:34 AM   #11
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faster?

...and YES, the bobber is faster(quicker) than a stock bike. It is lighter for sure and transfers the power better. Everything is fine till you hit abump or need to turn sharp because ground clearance is sometimes reduced with a rigid rear end. If you want to go fast, stop, and turn......go to the CAFE racer thread
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Old 10-01-2007, 10:36 AM   #12
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Indian Scout, lots of Triumph bits, 900cc, 330 lbs. Some guy named "Bunny" made it, showed it at Sandia a few years back.

I really like that bike.
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Old 10-01-2007, 10:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen


Indian Scout, lots of Triumph bits, 900cc, 330 lbs. Some guy named "Bunny" made it, showed it at Sandia a few years back.

I really like that bike.
That bike is a work of art !
Some old leather bags and a rear fender pack, has the makings of a great coast to coast trip.

Stephen,

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Old 10-01-2007, 11:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Ice
Then Dangerous Doug countered with a 9" over...and then it just got ridiculous.
oops, guess thats me
I picked this one up recently from a guy needing $. '51 pan. gonna redo it this winter & tour europe on it next summer.



But, this IS a bobber thread, so here is my '64 XLH

Doug

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Old 10-01-2007, 11:56 AM   #15
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