The original low slung Bobber bikes were stock American motorcycles which the owner would lighten by removing all none essential parts.
Those huge fenders on the big ol’ Harley’s and Indians of the 1920’s and 30’s would be shortened or ‘bobbed’ and the Bobber culture was born.
Nothing will ever replace the satisfaction of building your own custom Bobber motorcycle but not everyone has the skill, the inclination or the time required to undertake such a project.
Today, Bobbers are available directly from the showroom floor with several motorcycle manufacturers producing them. In almost all cases, they are sold as a blank canvas with the idea that you customise it to make it your own after you purchase.
The motorcycle manufacturer will almost certainly have a multitude of ‘extras’ you can purchase to get you started with your customisation.
These ‘off the shelf’ Bobber bikes offer the buyer a thoroughly modern motorcycle with the classic pre WW2 looks of the old bob job styling.
Unlike many a shed built Bobber though, these modern retro motorcycles start at the push of a button, stop when you hit the brakes and many come with additional safety features such as ABS, cruise control and riding modes.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at the Bobber motorcycles available in 2023 from a dealer near you.
Triumph Bonneville Bobber
The Triumph Bonneville Bobber starts at £12,995 or $13,795 in America.
Although the Harley Street Bob was the first off the shelf Bobber produced by a mainstream manufacturer, it was the Triumph Bonneville Bobber some 10 years later that made the pre-war styling fashionable once more.
Released in 2017 it became the fastest selling motorcycle in the long history of the Triumph Bonneville.
The British marque nailed the low slung style at the first attempt and many (me included) purchased before they even reached the dealers – First time I’ve ever bought a bike without at least 1 test ride!
The 1200cc water cooled big parallel twin engine produces 77bhp but it’s the 78lb of torque that makes it such a fun to ride motorcycle and it’ll live with many a sports bike from the lights.
As standard it comes with drag style bars but can also be purchased with the ape bars.
The floating single seat has 3 positions so you can move it forward for a hot rod aggressive stance, backward for a more laid back cruiser position or go for the middle.
A large number of Triumph accessories as well as plenty of custom parts now being made for the Triumph, there’s huge scope to put your own mark on your Triumph Bobber.
If you are tempted by the Bonnie Bobber and want to find out how they ride, you might want to read my long term review of the Triumph Bobber, I purchased one of the first to be made back in 2017.
In 2019 Triumph released the Bobber Black. As the name suggests, it came with the majority of the parts blacked out. A bigger front wheel, larger gas tank and thicker forks helped give the Black an even more aggressive Bobber bike style.
Twin discs were also added to the front after some owners had expressed a lack of trust in the original set up. Older bikers swapping their high performance super sports bike for something more comfortable may well have found the brakes lacking. Personally, I have always found them more than capable.
In 2021 Triumph merged the standard Bobber and the Bobber Black into one motorcycle. It kept the larger wheel and fuel tank, thicker forks and twin discs up front but was available in several colour schemes.
Colours available as of March 2023 are jet black, Matt Ironstone and Red Hopper.
Triumph Bonneville Bobber Chrome Edition
The Bobber Chrome edition starts at £13,795 and $14,595
For 2023 Triumph have released the Bobber chrome edition. As you can see, this not a cheap bobber motorcycle but it features a 2 tone tank job in chrome and jet black paint plus a few other upgrades as standard.
Triumph Bobber TFC
If you are considering purchasing a used Triumph Bobber keep an eye out for the 2020 limited edition top spec Triumph Factory Custom (TFC) model.
Each of the 750 factory custom Bobbers made were individually numbered and came with improved performance, higher spec’s such as cruise control as standard and premium detailing.
The factory custom Bobber quickly sold out but a good few will have been purchased on a whim and will be sat in the shed collecting dust so you might be able to pick one up at a bargain price.
More info on the Triumph Bobber range here.
Indian Scout Bobber Sixty
$10,749 this is the introductory Indian Bobber option of 3 available and isn’t available in the UK.
All three of the Indian Bobber bikes have a lot going for them. The single seat on the Sixty is a big plus (anything else is a cruiser in my book) as is the colour options – any you want as long as it’s black.
The Indian Scout Bobber Sixty is very popular with female riders thanks to its low seat height and smooth power delivery.
I’m assuming spoke wheels are an optional extra rather than standard which is a shame.
It’s a 1000cc liquid cooled V-twin kicking out 77bhp. Only 5 speed though.
Indian Scout Bobber
At £13,695 or $12,249 this is the intermediate Bobber offered by Indian this year.
1133cc V-twin liquid cooled engine producing 100bhp. The extra dosh also gets you a six speed box. Still has the cast wheels though as standard. It has a more aggressive style than the Sixty and the side license plate as standard is a nice touch too.
There are 4 colour options available for the Scout Bobber – Black Metallic (standard), Black Smoke ($500), Ruby Smoke ($500) and Springfield Blue Metallic ($500).
For an extra grand there’s also 2 limited edition icon colours available for 2023 – Silver Quartz Smoke and Sagebrush Smoke.
More info here
Indian Scout Bobber Twenty
At £14,495 and $13,249 the Twenty is the most expensive of the Indian Bobber motorcycles.
The Twenty has the same engine as the Scout Bobber but finally we get a pair of spoked wheels as standard which to me improves the front end no end. Another difference is the high bars which supposedly improves the riding position.
The floating statement seat is a nod in the general direction of the Triumph Bobber while the 2″ of travel at the back end suspension is reportedly unyielding on anything other than a smooth road.
All the above Indian Bobber motorcycles look the part and have loads of extras for you to make your Bobber style your own. Different bars, foot controls and pegs, various luggage options, wheels, seats and protection are all available.
For 2023 there are 3 colours available – Black Metallic comes as standard or for another $500 you can go for Maroon Metallic or Silver Quartz Smoke.
If you are wondering why each of the above is the best part of a grand dearer in the UK it’s because of the ABS. It’s fitted as standard here to comply with EU regs, in the U.S. ABS is an optional extra.
2023 Harley Davidson Street Bob 114
Starting at £16,695 in the UK and $16,599 in the U.S. if you go for the black option. For 2023 it also comes in Industrial Yellow and Redline Red but costs £440 extra.
ABS and the security upgrade option are included as standard both sides of the pond as are the spoke wheels.
That seat looks like an armchair compared to the statement seat I have on my Triumph Bobber but it actually goes well with the styling, as do the ape bars.
The Street Bob was actually the first production Bobber motorcycle to be released, beating the Triumph option by a full 10 years.
It was first released in 2006 as a stripped back entry level Harley Davidson ready for the buyer to customise and make his own and today 17 years on, the same idea applies.
It has of course been updated over the years including the hidden shock at the back end and of course, the new Harley Davidson engine.
Instead of the old (and now retired) Harley Davidson Sportster engine the Street Bob now has the new big twin Milwaukee Eight 114 engine (so named as its got 8 valves and is built in the home town of The Fonz). It’s a big 1868cc V-twin kicking out 86bhp and it also has a six speed box.
Harley Davidson Iron 883
The Harley Davidson Iron 883 starts at just $11,249 and at $5350 cheaper, represents better value as a blank canvas than the Street Bob.
Not strictly an off the shelf Bobber but with its aggressive, almost hotrod style, air cooled engine, bobbed mudguards and solo seat, the old Iron was my personal pick as a blank canvas before Triumph released the Bobber.
The 883’s biggest asset is the price tag. At under $11,250 for a HD, you should have plenty of change left over to turn it into the Bobber motorcycle you want.
Unfortunately Harley Davidson are removing the last 2 Sportsters from their line up this year so the 883 and the Forty-Eight will be gone at some point this year. If you’re on the fence, grab an 883 today.
CCM Spitfire Bobber
I was blown away by the Spitfire Scrambler when images started appearing back in 2016.
Since then there have been a number of variations, many limited in numbers to 500. Each is hand built to order in the original CCM factory in the North West of England. One of the better Bobbers on the market.
The Spitfire Bobber base model shown above costs £10,585 ($12,680)
Power for the Spitfire Bobber (and all the CCM range) comes from a thumping 600cc single cylinder 4 stroke producing 55bhp. That’s plenty for a small bobber motorcycle like this.
More info here.
Yamaha Bolt R-Spec
Starting at $8,999 the Yamaha Bolt is an affordable bobber motorcycle that looks good straight out of the showroom. It was dropped from the UK Yamaha line up back in 2020.
The obligatory huge list of extras for you to make it your own are available from Yamaha.
At the heart of the Bolt is the 942cc air cooled V-twin which is mapped to deliver its torque at the low through mid range for town and city riding.
The Yamaha Bolt is an ideal first bike. Most Bobbers make good beginner motorcycles due to the low seat and centre of gravity but the Bolt is also a light bike when compared to most of the other Bobbers listed here.
Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Limited Edition
The limited edition for 2023 V9 Bobber costs £10,450 ($12,500).
When the V9 Bobber was first released I said that Moto Guzzi had bottled the bar hopper look by having a dual seat. I’m pleased to see the updated version is built for one – the pillion seat is removable.
Power comes from the air cooled 853cc transversal V-twin which produces 55bhp. There is a restricted option for A2 riders in Europe. Once you have passed your test and got your full license the dealer can derestrict the engine for you.
Total weight is just 462lbs (210kg) and that’s ready to ride with oil and a tank of fuel. Another for your shortlist if a Bobber is to be your first motorcycle.
The limited edition model is only available in the one colour. If you want your Bobber in black then the standard Guzzi Bobber below is still available.
Original V9 Bobber from Moto Guzzi
This is the standard Bobber from Moto Guzzi which is available in grey and black two tone.
Gone is the original awful bench seat and in its place is a removable pillion seat and once off, it looks a lot more like the Bobber it’s supposed to be.
It’s £9600 or $11,500 so considerably cheaper than the limited edition version. It’s also lighter and comes in on the scales ready for the road at just 119kg (438lbs).
More info on both the Moto Guzzi Bobbers here.
Honda Rebel 500 AKA CMX500
At just £6299 ($6449) the Honda Rebel 500 is the cheapest bobber motorcycle in the list and as such has always been a popular entry level motorcycle. It looks cool, it handles well and the seat is low, it’s an ideal beginner bike. It’s also popular with female riders for the same reasons and in Europe you can ride it on an A2 licence.
For 2023 there are 5 colours available: Candy Diesel Red, Smoky Pearl Grey, Titanium Metallic Grey and Mat Gunpowder Black.
If you like the styling of Bobbers and looking for your first motorcycle you won’t go far wrong with the Honda Rebel 500. Honda have designed it specifically for you.
There’s also a 300cc version of the Rebel but honestly, the bigger option is fine as a first bike.
The engine is a modest 471cc liquid cooled parallel twin engine, the bike weighs 190kg (419lb) on the road and the seat height is just 690mm (27inches)
Why Are Bobber Bikes So Popular in 2023?
These bikes have a minimalist design that emphasizes simplicity and function over extravagance. This stripped-down aesthetic has become increasingly appealing to riders looking for a more authentic riding experience.
One of the main draws of bobber bikes is their ability to be customized to fit an individual’s personality and preferences. Owners can personalize all of the Bobbers on this page by adding things like different handlebars, seats, exhaust pipes, and paint schemes to create a one-of-a-kind machine that reflects their personality.
This level of customization allows riders to truly make their bike an extension of themselves and if you have the time and finances you could build a Bobber yourself.
Finally, bobber motorcycles have an undeniable cool factor that sets them apart from other types of bikes on the road. Their sleek design combined with the sound of a rumbling engine makes them stand out from the crowd.
If you are already a fan of the pre-war styling then it’s probably easy for you to understand why Bobber motorcycles are now big business by looking at the bikes listed above.
It helped the Bobber cause that they lend themselves to all ages – old bikers looking for something less harsh on the back and joints as well as the new, young Hipsters who are finding Bobbers make an ideal first bike due to their low centre of gravity.
Whatever the reason, Bobber motorcycles are definitely back in the mainstream with a new generation of fans.