Do You Really Know: What Is A Bobber Motorcycle?

What is a Bobber motorcycle? This question is common for those who are not bike enthusiasts. Even those that are into bikes are still unfamiliar with this term.

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Exacting a Bobber motorcycle is quite confusing. This scenario is true especially when you put a Bobber side-by-side with a chopper. Some people say that the Bobbers we see today are not Bobbers at all. Others argue that dirt track racing bikes are the only real Bobbers.

If you go to the United States, the situation is different. Most of the motorcycle owners might say to you that Choppers and Bobbers are just the same. Interestingly, a few would tell you that when you are on the West Coast, they call it a Chopper. If you are on the East Coast, they would call it a Bobber.

The most noteworthy observation we have is that some individuals are naming it as "Chopper Bobbers." It is funny, but absurd at the same time. As a result, defining a Bobber can already cause a quandary.

When you look at the definition, chopping and bobbing are entirely different. Bobbing is a verb that means an act of removing, shortening, or cropping a part. On the other hand, the verb chopping is somehow the same, but more crude and drastic.

When you put these definitions into motorcycles, that could shed new light on our question.

So What Is A Bobber Motorcycle?

A bobber is a bike that has been modified. The modification only involves removing or shortening parts that do not play a role in the performance and speed of the motorcycle.

To make it short, a Bobber is a bike that has a minimalistic look. The speed and quality are the same. The only thing that you can notice is that it has fewer parts now compared to its original form. In relation to removing the parts, a Bobber motorcycle should weigh light too!

If you want to bob, make sure you have the right stock motorcycle. If you got the right machine, constructing a Bobber should not be costly. In fact, it could probably cost you nothing at all.

Perhaps, one major feature that a Bobber has is its construction. Motorcycle firms and companies do not manufacture this type of bikes. Instead, bike enthusiasts like you are the ones who are giving birth to Bobbers. Whether you create them from your garage or your private motor pool, it is up to you!

A Bobber would look cooler if you customized it with paints. Then, you should know How much does it cost to paint a motorcycle?​

Bobber vs. Chopper

Since we have already discussed what a Bobber motorcycle is, then it would be proper also to define the Chopper.


If we give a bike a look, we would call it a Chopper if it has a bigger rake and there is an increase in the length of its front fork. A Bobber has its parts removed, but you can notice that the rake and the fork are still the same.

In technical definition, our identification to a Chopper is right as correct. A Chopper is a type of motorcycle that has a longer front fork and larger rake compared to a standard stock motorcycle.

The rake of the Choppers is inclined vertically. Choppers has a stylish rake. We have to admit that. But somehow, you need to master how to ride a bike with a different size of rake. The rake controls the stability and cornering of a motorcycle. Changing its style means you are also changing its balance and maneuverability.

There are ways of increasing the size of the rake. You can choose to lengthen the front fork. Or you can decide to increase the rake by chopping its frame. After chopping, you can rearrange it its geometry. Or play with the motorcycle's triple trees.

Is our definition precise and universal? We don't think so. Take this for example. If we can see a 2010 Sportster bike that has a rake of 29.9 degrees but was increased to 36 degrees, we can't automatically label it as a Chopper. These are the ambiguous areas between Bobbers and Choppers. We just gave our technical definition. But definitely, we respect your opinions as well.

Creating A Bobber

Now that you have a clear idea of what a Bobber motorcycle is, let us cover briefly how to build one.

As you can see, there are reasons why you might want to create a Bobber. These reasons could be of style, changing of parts, or simply preferences. However, you must also consider the safety and stability of your bike before removing anything.

There are parts of your motorcycle that you only want to remove. Maybe you want to take out the unwanted passenger grab rail. Some owners also prioritize to remove the excess metal brackets of their bikes. There is a certain range of removal and modification you can do to your stock motorcycle. But as what we have said, you have to reconsider everything first.

For a regular Bobber, here are the frequent changes to its part:

  • Replacement or modification of the seat
  • Shortening of the rear and front fenders
  • Removal or replacement of mufflers
  • Replacement of the handlebars
  • Fitting of the custom lights
  • Changing the color scheme

Choosing The Perfect Bike

In making a Bobber, finding the right motorcycle is easy. There are a lot of models and brands that you can pick. For starters, choosing a retro model is a good move. These type of motorcycles has easily removable parts. In looking for the right candidate, make sure that you will select the bike that was built for customization. Of course, you should always go with the style or looks that you want!

Check this video about Bobber customization:

Final Thoughts

Now that we have all that covered, we are hoping that we gave you an idea of what is a Bobber motorcycle. Or the difference it has with Choppers. By knowing the right definition, you can assess what style to go. After all, there is no downside to making a Bobber or a Chopper. Therefore, it all just boil down to your preference!

But as a reminder, always consider first before you start modifying your stock motorcycle. Each part of your bike has a role to play in its function. Removing the wrong part can degrade the performance of your vehicle. It may make you prone to accidents or unwanted expenses.

Do you have any comments, questions, or suggestions? Ask us! We love to hear from you!

You would complement the classy look of a Bobber by wearing the right motorcycle boots! Check them out here!​

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Lucas Knight

Over the past 10 years, Lucas Knight has been a motorcycle rider. He has built up an incredible passion for travelling by motorbike and always wishes to contribute to motorcyclist community. This is the reason why he created where his passion is turned into useful and interesting information to the motorcycle lover. Follow his facebook and twitter or subcribe to his website to receive more useful information in motorcycle world.

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