Quite a while ago we made a list of Top 10 Cafe Racers built around Yamaha SR400 and it was really exciting to make a research, look for the best builds and write their stories. For those interested, here's the link to that article. I figured why not highlight other custom bikes making Top 10 out of a particular style? I'm sure you guys will love many of the bikes I'm about to share with you today.
I see bobbers are casual, a little chunky and aggressively looking low bikes that are fun to ride in a relaxed sort of way. A big machine with a solo seat and wide tires on a clean road - that's all needed to have a great time on your own.
CX500 Deluxe Bobber was built by Kevin - a guy from Danville (US). Some people call CX500 model "sluggish" but whether it's true or not, in this case, it doesn't really matter. The bike wasn't made to break any records anyway. Though, according to the owner, this one is very quick and nimble.
After Bobber had been finished, Kevin just couldn't resist the temptation to test her on the road. He packed up some tools and rode over 200 miles with no leaks, noises or any other problems. Not only does this CX500 look great, it also turned out to be a very reliable bike. Great job!
Rajputana Custom team has proven to be really talented and creative. This Indian workshop builds amazing bikes inspired by their culture and environment. We've already written about one of RCM's recent builds but this one, named 8 Ball, on the contrary, is from the early days of RCM workshop.
8 Ball Bobber is based on Royal Enfield and was built for a customer from Delhi, who when he first saw the bike and rode it was amazed and speechless. Moreover, the guys provided an extra bolt-on passenger seat in case he had some company. With that look, loud exhaust and massive wheels the bike surely draws a lot of attention.
Heiwa Motorcycles is based in Hiroshima, Japan. The workshop is known for a minimalistic approach to their builds. The guys work mostly with Japanese bikes but also customize Nortons, BSAs, Triumphs etc.
This custom Norton Bobber represents precisely what Heiwa team like about bikes: low, small tank, minimalistic seat, and fenders (if any), and the engine (348cc single) that's exposed as much as possible. The build looks a lot like an early board-tracker but, you know, more modern.
This 1963 Jawa was customized by a guy from Ukraine. You wouldn't believe but this was his first build (at least the Internet says so) and he did everything by himself - from painting to re-lacing the wheels and rebuilding the front. Bobber looks sleek and very neat - nothing excessive or unnecessary seems to be installed. Two symmetrical wheels wearing 130/90/16 tires give this Jawa an authentic Bobber style appeal.
All the wiring had been hidden either in the tubes or that old army water jag - creative and inexpensive, I'd say. The only concern I have is about the rear fender. No doubt, it looks cool this way but it would be smart to fit at least a small piece to protect the rider's buttocks.
Here's one more CX500 Bobber build. OK I admit, maybe this one doesn't have a pure bobber style but who cares, builders aren't always chasing purity in their work (is there actually such thing as "purity" anyway?).
1981 Honda was a winter project and initially planned as a Cafe Racer bike, but when the builder - John Thompson, started modifying the frame to make a platform for a Cafe style, he wasn't happy with the direction it was heading in. So, John decided to go down the Bobber route which meant cutting off the rear section of the frame. "..it was scary", he admits. However, in the end, the bike came out really impressive.
Isn't this bike great? I just love those perfect lines - everything seems thought through so well. Despite the fact that KSS works mostly with cafe style, they occasionally go out of their comfort zone and impress everyone by producing bikes like this BMW 100/7 Bomber.
This was the first Hardtail Bobber made by KSS guys, so they wanted it to be special - a low, heavy and chunky bike with authentic features but at the same time with the unique lines, different from anything known before. With the help of Crobba Customs and Clive Cook the workshop finished the bike making it absolutely stunning. By the way, there are more pictures and a whole article about this build on BikeVX.
Bobber can be built almost from any donor but some bikes are just more capable of handling that job than the others - Royal Enfield is one of them. They make great base especially for retro style bobber builds. With their frame, engine layout and tank design, RE are perfect candidates for customization. Maybe, that's why RE custom builds are so popular.
Brent Giesbrecht from a Canadian Motovida Cycles workshop chose this 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet model because he saw the potential of building a "bicycle-esque" type of bike. The donor had a very classic look to begin with but after rebuilding, painting with the nostalgic pastel blue with chrome and hanging additional accessories like side bags (sewed by Brent himself, by the way) this RE became the bobber anyone would be thrilled to own.
This vintage BMW R90 made by Los Angeles based Spirit Lake Cycles is a true work of art. The bike's got both: vintage allure and a modern arrangement. Some parts like the reversed levers along with the retro style grips or the headlamp, make this R90 look like a real old school motorcycle, on the other hand, the seat, pipes and exhaust along with the rear end signify its recentness. Nevertheless, they are all blended together very skillfully and creative.
I believe the paint job and those two heavy Firestone tires played the big part in bringing this bike up to such level.
Our number 2 is 1973 Ironhead "Seventy Three" built by DP Customs - an Arizona (New River) based garage ran by two brothers - Jarrod and Justin Del Prado. The customer wanted a motorcycle from 1973 - the year he was born. Bobber also had to have a typical DP Customs style.
The guys mostly work with the 70s and 80s HD bikes with Ironhead engine, creating bobbers, choppers but also cafe racers. They say this build is very special with a lot of meaning behind it. Also, there were tons of hand-made parts created for the bike to make it the way it is.
Though the bike was about 40 years old at the time, "Seventy Three" looked even better than new, partially because of skillfully applied satin black and blue painting.
Here's another first-time build assembled out of so many different parts and components that make it definitely stand out from the crowd. Tim - the builder, is a carpenter who is also a motorcycles enthusiast and for a long time wanted to build his own bike. He didn't visualize the final result, he said, the design concept kind of came gradually during the four months of working on the bike.
Bobber was built around 1955 matchless frame and powered by 2001 KTM 520cc engine. A lot of parts were bought on eBay, like an old car number that Tim repurposed into a rear fender or a battery box made out of an old Maxim machine gun ammo box. The headlamp is a Dnepr unit and the tank is Jawa item also purchased on the Internet. It all came together great and absolutely stunning making Tim's first custom-built bike one of the best featured today.