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’ Bobbers 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 Bobbers currently available in a dealer near you.
Table of Contents
- Triumph Bonneville Bobber
- Triumph Bobber Black
- Triumph Bobber TFC
- Indian Scout Bobber Sixty
- Indian Scout Bobber
- Indian Scout Bobber Twenty
- Harley Davidson Street Bob
- Harley Davidson Iron 883
- CCM Bobber Stealth
- CCM Spitfire Bobber
- Yamaha Bolt R-Spec
- V9 Bobber Sport from Moto Guzzi
- Original V9 Bobber from MG
- Honda Rebel 500 AKA CMX500
Triumph Bonneville Bobber
The Triumph Bonneville Bobber starts at £10,650 or $11,950 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 as seen in the above photo.
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 and want to find out how they ride, you might want to read my long term review of the Triumph Bobber.
Triumph Bobber Black
The Bobber Black starts at £11,650 or $13,150 in America.
A year after the release of the Bobber, Triumph followed up with the Bobber black.
As the name suggests, it comes with the majority of the parts blacked out. A bigger front wheel 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.
Triumph Bobber TFC
The latest Bonneville Bobber model is the limited edition top spec Triumph Factory Custom (TFC).
Each of these factory custom Bobbers are numbered and comes with improved performance, higher spec’s such as cruise control as standard and premium detailing.
The factory custom Bobber quickly sold out and is no longer available new. Keep a look out though for them to start appearing on the second hand market. A good few will have been purchased on a whim and will be sat in the shed collecting dust.
Indian Scout Bobber Sixty
At £9995 ($9000 in the U.S) this is the introductory Indian Bob job option of 3 available.
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.
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 £11,899 ($10,999) 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.
5 colour options available for the Scout Bobber – Thunder Black, Black Smoke, Bronze Smoke, White Smoke and Deepwater Metallic.
For an extra grand there’s also 3 limited edition icon colours available – Radar Blue, Ruby Smoke and Deep Brass Smoke
Indian Scout Bobber Twenty
At £12,699 ($11,999) the Twenty (so named for 2020) 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.
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.
Harley Davidson Street Bob
Starting at £12,295 ($14,599 in the U.S.) if you go for the black option. Add £350 for silver, grey or spruce and £750 if you want the 2 tone option of red and black.
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 14 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 engine (so named as its got 8 valves and is built in the home town of The Fonz). It’s a big 1750cc 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 £8895 ($8999) and at £3,400 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 £9k for a HD, you should have plenty of change left over to turn it into the Bobber you want.
CCM Bobber Stealth
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 Bobber Stealth base model shown above costs £11,915 ($13,495)
CCM Spitfire Bobber
The Spitfire Bobber base price is £9,995
Power for both these Bobbers (and all the CCM range) comes from a thumping 600cc single cylinder 4 stroke producing 55bhp. That’s plenty for lightweight Bobbers like these.
Yamaha Bolt R-Spec
Starting at £9,047 ($8,399) the Yamaha Bolt (or known by its more boring name of XV950R in Europe) is an entry level Bobber that looks good straight out of the showroom.
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.
V9 Bobber Sport from Moto Guzzi
The updated for 2020 V9 Bobber Sport costs £9799 ($10,690).
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.
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 new sport 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 MG
This is the standard Bobber from MG which is available in Black, Red and Silver.
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 £8999 so considerably cheaper than the Sports version. It’s also lighter and comes in on the scales ready for the road at just 119kg (438lbs).
Honda Rebel 500 AKA CMX500
At just £5799 ($6199) the Honda Rebel 500 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.
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)
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.
Whatever the reason, Bobbers are definitely back in the mainstream with a new generation of fans.