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Custom Bobber Motorbike

What Is a Bobber Motorcycle?

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The word “bobber” can be traced back to the 1920s when Harley Davidson released the iconic “J” Series V-Twin. It featured a lower stance with smaller wheels and a shortened frame. The bobber has gone through many different iterations over the years and remains relevant to this day. The trend has even found its way into the world of social media. You can find all sorts of in-depth videos walking you through the modification process. Bobber motorcycles, or “bobs,” have a unique look all their own. Find out what makes them so distinct and how they are different from normal motorcycles. 

What Is a Bobber Motorcycle?

A bobber motorcycle is not a single type of motorcycle but a customization style. It is essentially a standard motorcycle with all of its external features and parts removed. Any aspect of the bike that isn’t considered essential to its performance and operation will be taken off, giving the bike a minimalist appearance. The purpose of the “bob job” is to increase the speed and fuel efficiency of the bike. Removing these parts reduces the overall weight of the vehicle, which will make it go faster while using less fuel than a conventional motorcycle.

A classic bobber motorcycle features the following modifications:

  • Removing the front fender
  • Replacing the rear fender with a shortened fender
  • Removing the mirrors and headlights
  • Thinner handlebars with little to no reinforced grip
  • Lighter seat with less support
  • Removing all chrome finishes 
  • Lower stance with a sweeping diagonal line between the steering head and rear axle

Getting rid of these parts and accessories shouldn’t affect the motorcycle’s performance. Lots of riders finish the job by adding a muted paint job. The bike is only designed to be ridden by one person at a time. 

The bike will still run like usual, but it may not be as comfortable as it was before. You’ll need to get used to riding lower to the ground. Your hands and bottom may also get tired without the added support of a cushion. 

Use a Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet to Stay Safe on Your Bobber

biker putting on helmet

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Traditional bobber motorcycles aren’t even street legal in most states. Motorcycles need certain safety features to be ridden on public roads, including mirrors and lights. So, what’s the point?

Some riders will modify their motorcycles just for the sake of appearances. These kinds of bikes are all over TikTok and Instagram these days. Others ride them on private areas or on private lands where they don’t have to worry about running into traffic. They should only be ridden during the day because they don’t have any headlights to see in the dark. Many riders race their bobber bikes due to their increased speed and they are usually only driven for short periods of time because they aren’t as comfortable as regular motorcycles. 

What Do You Need to Ride a Bobber Motorcycle? 

Removing these features could also increase the risk of injury. You won’t be able to see as much of your surroundings without your mirrors. You may have trouble staying in control of the bike if the handlebars are painful to hold. 

Make sure you are using the proper equipment when riding your bobber, including long pants, a long sleeve shirt, jacket, boots, gloves and a helmet, either full-face or skull cap with goggles. Safety should be your first priority when modifying the bike. 

touching communication device on helmet

Use a Bluetooth motorcycle helmet to stay connected to your phone while riding the bike. You shouldn’t have to take your hands off the handlebars or your eyes off the road to make a call or contact one of your companions. It fits right onto your helmet and uses voice activation for hands-free communication. Use a half-helmet Bluetooth headset if you are using a skull cap instead. 

Use a Half-Helmet Bluetooth Headset with a Skull Cap

Consider having the bike inspected by a professional after the modifications have been made. If you don’t feel comfortable doing the job yourself, hire someone with bob job experience.

You should be able to remove all of these parts without damaging your motorcycle. The bob job is also reversible so you can always go back to the traditional stock if you want to take your bike on the road again.  Use these tips to stay safe on your bob motorcycle.