Bobber Pics!!

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by FloridaSteve, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. FloridaSteve

    FloridaSteve Long timer

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    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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  2. davorallyfan

    davorallyfan Commonist

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    Pardon my antipodean ignorance but what is a "bobber" :scratch

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

    Do they have a specific purpose?

    Thanks.
    #2
  3. FloridaSteve

    FloridaSteve Long timer

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    Pretty decent definition from Wikipedia:



    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,
    #3
  4. FXRocket

    FXRocket Phoneticide Squad

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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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  5. Black Ice

    Black Ice Sovereign Individual

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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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  6. AlKay191

    AlKay191 Been here awhile

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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.

    [​IMG]
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  7. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

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    This is gonna be a fun thread - thanks!! :clap
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  8. 305racer

    305racer Fossil Rocket Pilot

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    I see your over here stirring up the pot:D

    I wonder if chucking the rear suspension in favor of a bolt on rigid makes it go faster?
    #8
  9. chiefrider

    chiefrider Chrome won't get you home

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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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  10. eyedragaknee

    eyedragaknee McGuyver

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    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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  11. eyedragaknee

    eyedragaknee McGuyver

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    ...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:D
    #11
  12. Stephen

    Stephen Long timer

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    [​IMG]

    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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  13. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618

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    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,

    Best sig line on advrider !
    #13
  14. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

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    oops, guess thats me :D
    I picked this one up recently from a guy needing $. '51 pan. gonna redo it this winter & tour europe on it next summer.

    [​IMG]

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

    Doug

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    #14
  15. Burtonridr

    Burtonridr Wanderlost

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    :thumb
    [​IMG]
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  16. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

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    saw this Dnepr bobber at a bike rally this weekend in Bulgaria. Its ratty, but cool (needs to lose the front fender tho)

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    best thing about it was his license plate tail light setup. seems the lite & mount broke off awhile back, so he mounted the tag to the back of his WW2 helmet, & a battery operated bicycle tail light.

    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. FloridaSteve

    FloridaSteve Long timer

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    I think a little "Rattyness" kind of ads to the charm a bit. But the front fender would definately have to go.. I'd say it's kind of a bobber trademark.
    #17
  18. ADK

    ADK ____

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    Old Triumphs look badass set up "TT" style.(just my 2 cents) :beer
    Any body got pics?
    #18
  19. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

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    the front fender emblem is cool tho, its the badge off of a pre revolution (1917) russian army helmet. odd thing tho, its a rear fender on the front. Ya dont see THAT too often. But I see alot of weird shit over here, not much surprises me anymore.

    I found a 36 harley bobber sitting in a basement in minnesota. thats another project for this winter. its an original bobber, built after WW2 in the late 40's. the front fender was altered & put on the rear (common bobber trick back then, as its much lighter than the rear fender) no fender up front, all the excess stuff removed to make it lighter.
    I'm gonna 'restore' it as a period bobber. I like my stock Indians, but prefer my harleys to be butchered :rofl
    Doug
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  20. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

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    Is it a Knuckle or a flathead? Just wondering. Sounds like a fun project!
    #20