What is a Bobber style motorcycle?

The Bobber style is, together with the Cafe Racer and Scrambler, one of the most demanded when making a custom motorcycle. Born in the first half of the twentieth century, Bobber motorcycles accompanied the beginnings of custom culture in North America.

Sportster SDT Bobber
Sportster SDT by Lord Drake Kustoms

Origins of Bobber motorcycles

Although it is usually located in the 40s, its origins really go back to the 20s. Looking for an improvement of the performance and style of the Harley-Davidson “J” of that time, the “bob-job” style appeared in United States.

This style was characterized by the suppression of any expendable element to relieve the weight of the motorcycle. From there it was modified to lower the height of the seat and shortened the distance between the wheels, creating that typical diagonal line.

Harley Davidson "Trending Topic"
Trending Topic, a Bobber Bike by Lord Drake Kustoms

These types of transformations were applied especially for motorcycle racing in the 30s. Since then, this style evolved and was simply called “Bobber”.

In the 40s, especially after the Second World War, the culture of motorcycle transformation began to settle. Thus, the characteristics of this Bobber style were applied to American motorcycle models such as Harley-Davidson, Indian or Triumph.

Let’s see in depth what were the characteristics of these Bobber motorcycles.

LDK Sixty Nine
Sixty-Nine

Bobber style features

Keep in mind that the following characteristics are general and are not always met when customizing a motorcycle in this Bobber style.

The diagonal line

It is the first track to recognize a Bobber motorcycle. Due to the low height of its seat, the peanut-shaped tank and the high handlebar, a very characteristic ascending line of these models is created.

Also, starting in the 40s and 50s, the wheels begin to separate (unlike in the beginning), which is why they are often called their “long and low” shape.

Sportster 48 Bobber by Lord Drake Kustoms
Sportster 48 Bobber by Lord Drake Kustoms

Elimination of any superfluous element.

As we said before, it is one of the characteristics inherited from its early days. Making the bike less heavy was essential to gain speed.

Already in the 40s and 50s, the soldiers who returned from the war sought to modify their motorcycles to have the maneuverability of the motorcycles used in the front. The commercial bikes of those times were much heavier.

Use of classic engines.

It was usual to mount classic motorcycle engines to those of that time, especially Harley-Davidson engines. Some of these iron hearts were the famous OHVs like the Knuckleheads or Panheads.

Sportster Black by Lord Drake Kustoms
Sportster Black

Single seat

It is also a very characteristic aspect of the Bobber. It is usually a triangular single seat. Docks under the seat cushion road bumps. Being low, forces the pilot to keep his back straight.

Fuel tank

They are usually of low capacity, but the characteristic is their ascending form, in the form of a peanut in some occasions.

The high handlebar

It is another factor, next to the low seat, that forces a straightness in the rider’s back when driving this motorcycle. They are usually high handlebars, also called “hang monkeys”.

Rusty Rush
Rusty Rush

The wheels

They are usually quite separate and have the same diameter. Lightning radios and thick tires are also often used. Typical tires in this style are white-painted tires on their sides.

The Fenders

At first the fenders were non-existent (especially the front ones), but today they are optional. Of course, if you choose to include them on the motorcycle, they are usually quite short and very close to the tire.

The Exhaust pipes

If you’ve ever heard a Bobber motorcycle accelerate, you may have noticed the noise they make. That is because their exhaust pipes are usually open and trimmed.

The painting

As a general rule it is normal to remove the chrome plating to leave them in matt. In this way, it is easier to apply paint on certain parts of Bobber motorcycles.

Springer SDT
Springer SDT

Do you want to have a Bobber style motorcycle?

If you like Bobber motorcycles, you’re in luck. Lord Drake Kustoms is the best motorcycle workshop in Malaga and Miami, specialized in Custom Motorcycles, Cafe Racer, Scrambler, Bobber and any other style you can imagine.

In addition, we are experts in Harley-Davidson, BMW, Ducati and many more.

If you want to have your own Bobber motorcycle or any other style, do not hesitate to contact us without obligation. We also have Bobber for sale!

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