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What Is A Bobber?


If you already know this, it probably means that your an old git, or old anyhow. OK, so we all know what a bobber looks like don't we? The best example that I can think of is the navy blue scout that the handsome chap with a Kojak hair style (Long John Silver AKA Cock A Leg) rides on the Indian club rallies.

After world war two some American veterans found a replacement for the camaraderie, excitement, danger and general speed of life at war, in motorcycles, and soon after they returned home from Europe formed the first motorcycle clubs or gangs, so what had solely been a means of transport, became the common denominator of social gatherings. A lot of servicemen had been quite taken by the lightweights that they had seen in Europe but were not available back home. However, the big heavy Indians and Harleys (Army surplus ) were cheap and an option available to guys who could not afford a motorcycle prior to the war. Now, in the days before Custom chrome, Highway hawk ect, the easiest way to be in front of the others when racing to the next bar or road junction and increase your street cred, was to reduce weight, being known as a bob job or bobber, taken from the hair style of the 20's and 30's. As with any custom job, some would go further than others, so the front fender and lower part of the rear fender along with the luggage rack, black out lights and chain guards would be removed and then depending on your ability and access to engineering equipment, the next step would be to cut off side car mounts, cut and weld together the gas tanks to a reduced size and omit the dash, seat pans were also reduced in size. Accessories were usually parts robbed from other vehicles like 36 Ford radiator caps for the gas and oil tanks, and car or truck lights used up front with the rear being side mounted after it's original mount being removed. All in all bobbers were stock bikes with any unessential parts removed. But you oldens knew that anyway, didn't you ?

Indian Bobber Indian Bobber

Ivor Forward  Ivor Forward

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Indian Motocycles - you can't wear them out                                  Indian Motocycles - built to last  
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