What Is a Bobber Motorcycle?
Bobbers are customized motorcycles that have been stripped of all the superfluous bells and whistles and made to look simple in design so that there is less weight on the motorcycle. Bobbers are minimalistic which makes the bike have a better power to weight ratio and in turn makes for better performance. Usually the front fenders are removed and the rear fenders are shortened or made smaller. The earliest bobbers were hand built motorcycles by individuals with mechanical skills but they really became popular in the 40’s and 50’s when returning soldiers from World War II who had been inspired by the lighter motorcycles the lighter weight motorcycles they had seen the Europeans riding. How to Build A Bobber
Since the first bobbers were homemade, these custom motorcycles reflected their owners. Building your own bobber allows you to build a motorcycle that reflects your personality and style. There is a lot more to building a bobber than simply stripping off unnecessary parts of an old motorcycle and calling it a bobber. If you don’t know where in the world to start, there are actually a lot of options available for building that dream bike. Using an Already Built Motorcycle
The easiest way to build your bobber is by using a ready-made motorcycle. Almost any bike can be modified into a bobber but some popular choices are Sportsters brand of bikes and Yamaha’s XS650 because of their classic design. Motorcycles that use twin parallel engines are a perfect starting point especially for beginners. So if you’re looking for something that’s very inexpensive you might want to get a donor bike or purchase a used motorcycle in your local craigslist ads and there are hundreds available. You can always visit your local motorcycle store and Once you have the motorcycle that you’re going to use for this project, you will want to make the following modifications:
– Front fenders removed and rear fenders shortened or made smaller
On most bobbers the back fenders are shortened or you have the option of purchasing bobber style rear fenders from companies who design them for this specific type of bike. Modifying the original fenders isn’t as complicated as it sounds but it definitely requires your full focus. Most motorcycles fenders are made of steel so you can use a jigsaw cutter or steel fenders to cut into the fender and contour it to the seat of your bike. Of course, each owner will have to determine how short or exactly what length they want their modified fender to be. Before you make your cut it’s best to mark exactly where you will be cutting so that you won’t make any mistakes. Be sure to leave an extra bit of steel so that a sheet metal professional can clean up your incision.
– Replace or Modify the Seat
Now this is actually one of the fun parts because you can express your own personal preference. If your motorcycle has dual seats if you remove one you will lose some of the support so this is something you will have to keep in mind before you make the adjustments. You can also purchase bobber style seats for your bike. Bobber spring seats are popular because of their rigid frames that provide support.
– Removing the Muffler
Removing the muffler from your motorcycle used to be a common modification. As you may know when you remove the muffler it does increase the sound levels and in many states in the U.S this is illegal. Also removing the muffle can lead to mechanical issues such as the engine overheating and other damage. If you want to remove the muffler then you should take your bike to a professional bike shop and have them test your carburetor.
– Handle Bars
There are all kinds of handle bars styles and design. Although replacing stock handle bars aren’t necessary if this is something you really want to do then you’ll have to consider the implications of this procedure. A lot of motorcycles have their switch wiring running through the handlebars so if you decide to upgrade your handle bars then you’ll also have to modify the wiring scheme. So these are just a few standard modifications you can make. You can also make more customization to the lights and color scheme.
Building From the Ground Up
If you’re interested in building a bobber from the ground up not only will you have to have a decent set of mechanical skills but you should also be skilled in metalworking particularly wielding. There is a first for everything so it is possible for a beginner to build a bobber from the ground up.
When attempting to build a custom bobber motorcycle it’s always best to follow a blueprint. There are all kinds of bobber frame blueprints you can purchase that may fit your design plans.
Bobber Building Kit
Bobber kits are good alternative to buying a motorcycle and customizing it or building a bobber from the ground up. Some bobber kits are just the bare bones of a motorcycle and include everything you need to build a motorcycle including an average collection of auto tools. Some kits come with just the frame of a motorcycle known as a bobber chassis. These kits are for more experienced builders who have more than just the basic mechanical skills. Bobber kits usually don’t include the decorative detailing so if you want add bit of flair to your bike then you will have to purchase the accessories separately. Bobbers make great first motorcycles and are perfect for riders who simply want to enjoy the ride without needing any of the flashy accessories. Whether you’re interested in building one from the ground up, purchasing a bobber kit or modifying an existing bike as far fetch as the idea may sound, it is really possible to build your own bobber with custom parts. It’s extremely important to do your research before purchasing any items so that you don’t waste your money.