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Which motorcycle makes the best bobber? The 7 best motorcycles to build a bobber

March 25, 2020

Quelle est la moto qui fait le meilleur bobber ? Les 7 meilleures motos pour construire un bobber

Realistically, any motorcycle can be turned into a bobber . It entirely depends on your budget and what you want to get out of it. For this article, I'm going to focus on the type of o-word and donor pattern you'll find in the classifieds. But what exactly makes a good donor?

The base you choose will guide the modifications to be made and the parts to be changed.

The closer the bike is in spirit to a bobber , the less extensive the modifications can be.

The further the philosophy of the basic motorcycle is from the bobber spirit, the more important the work will be.

Before reading this article, we recommend that you discover the origin of the bobber and the characteristics that differentiate it from others .

To what type of motorcycle to turn?

We are going to concentrate on the large cubes, for the 125, we have dedicated a complete file .

Regarding the type of motorcycle used, the “custom” models are the models predestined for bobber preparations.


Photo: KAWASAKI VN 1500 CLASSIC source: moto-station

Indeed, the shape of the customs is close to that of the bobber and many parts can be used in the preparation.

The second type of donor motorcycle that can be used are the roadsters of the 70s, 80s because the manufacture is simple and they can be modified without too much difficulty.


Photo: Yamaha XS650 source: classic-motorbikes.net

We forget sports for this kind of realization because they are of the same essence or will produce very original bobbers.

It is the same with the enduros , the work and the modifications are important before arriving at a correct result.

The 7 best motorcycles to build a bobber

Which brand and model to turn to? Here is a selection of ideal models to build a bobber.

For the 125, we have also made a selection of motorcycles .

1.BSA 650

British motorcycles from the 60s and 70s make excellent donors. They have the good lines as standard, but unfortunately they have been completely restored. Or they are offered as found, straight out of the stable and fetching ridiculous money.

The Triumph and BSA 500 and 650 Twins are always a good bet, but the Norton Commandos have isolated engine mounts which could potentially make frame modifications more complicated.

Here is a 1970 BSA650:


source: https://british-classic-motorcycles.co.uk/

And here is a bobber preparation on a BSA650:

bsa 650 bobber

Source: http://www.britbike.com

On this preparation, many original parts could be preserved and this base exudes the bobber identity, a motorcycle reduced to simplicity and terribly attractive.

2. Harley-Davidson Softail

Harleys are an obvious answer here too. This is the essence of bobbers and choppers .

Harley FXSTBI Night Train

Source: motorcyclespecs.co.za

A Harley is the basis for a bobber and this is largely due to its famous V-Twin and its inimitable sound.

And here it is modified:

harley bobber

To stay with Harley but in a more affordable budget, there is the legendary Sportster which has proven itself for several years.

After these English and American, we are left with the Japanese motorcycles. And they are numerous and good bills in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

As for which brand and model to choose, that is purely a matter of personal taste.

Note that single-cylinder and twin-cylinder motorcycles such as the Yamaha XS650 , Honda CB450 , Suzuki 650 Savage and Yamaha SR500 are classics in their own right.

You will need a lot of luck to find an inexpensive one.

But there are other models for tight budgets.

3.Yamaha XS650

Source: mikesxs

We have previously seen the original version, now here is a superb creation by Motoshop Tonouchi :

xs650 bobber

Source: bikeexif

Mid-range four-cylinder models from Honda and Suzuki are always reliable horsepower, and you'll find cheap models on classified ad sites.

You'll also find Yamaha Viragos , Suzuki 250s , Twin 400s , and Kawasaki LTD 550s and 750s, all of which are good value bases.

4.Suzuki Savage

LS650 Suzuki Savage - Boulevard S40

Source: panzerriders

Equipped with a large single-cylinder and with an attractive price, the Suzuki Savage (aka LS 650 or Suzuki Boulevard S40) produced from 1986 to 2004, is a model appreciated by preparers.

savage bobber
Source: Ryca Motors

The result here of a kit that was offered by Ryca for this model. It's successful!

5.Honda Shadow

The famous Honda cruiser initially developed for the US market has had remarkable success. It is therefore quite naturally that we find this one among amateur or professional preparers in the form of bobbers .

honda shadow

Source: wikimedia

This model is popular with Remmotorcycle customers because we offer different products for this model.

shadow bobber

Here is a prepared version of one of the customers of remmotorcycle.com who used the Peanut tank with 8 cm tunnel as well as the pipe and carburettor kit to change its position in a Harley way.

6. Yamaha Virago

While Honda offered the Shadow in different versions, the same was done on the side of Yamaha, which offered the no less famous Virago, available from 125 to 1100 cc.

Here it is presented below in a 125cc version which is still very popular.

virago 125

Source: moto-station

This is found in abundance on the ad site and at all prices.

This is a base often used in the project of making a bobber.

virago bobber

And here is a very successful preparation where the basic model becomes difficult to recognize.

7. Royal Enfield Bullet 500

After seeing some rather common and abundant motorcycles, let's come back to a rarer and more exclusive motorcycle: The Royal Enfield Bullet 500.

Source: gaadiwaadi.com

Preparing this type of motorcycle is a sacrilege for some, an honor for others, but the result attests to it. Preparing a rare motorcycle, making it unique makes it possible to transform this type of motorcycle into a work of art .

Source: YouTube

This motorcycle has a soul. A bobber preparation suits him so well.

There are also new or recent models that can make great bobbers .


By selecting a custom or an old roadster you are on the right path to achieving a bobber .

As for knowing what makes a good donor; Take a step back from the motorcycle and stare at it. If you focus on the gas tank and admire its vanishing lines, chances are you've found it.

We have offered you different models to inspire you. But remember that there are no rules in personalization, there are only your rules.

For the rest, you can look at our articles dedicated to bobbers and ask us for advice.

2 Responses

Pépé Roger
Pépé Roger

April 11, 2023

Pas de magazine !!!!!??
Mais quel plaisir d’en préparer un
Pépé Roger


February 08, 2021

Un sujet traité de bien belle façon, laissant libre cours à l’imagination de chacun.

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