The bobber has been trendy for the past few years and the big brands have understood it well.
As a reminder, a bobber is a type of preparation on a motorcycle.
The term actually dates back to the late 1920s in the United States, when the practice of stripping down motorcycles to their bare bones to reduce weight and make them simpler came into vogue.
The bobber has particular characteristics that define it, a triangular frame, large tires on small spoked rims, a peanut tank or similar, low handlebars, a solo seat on springs among others.
Until the 90s, the bobber was only a type of customization on an existing motorcycle. In those years, pioneering factory versions such as the Harley's Street Bob saw the light of day, making bobbers accessible to as many people as possible.
Since then, with the rise of customization and the democratization of the bobber , there are suddenly more choices than ever in a new bobber cruiser .
The lure of the bobber ? A fashionable, easy-to-ride, affordable cruiser style and a perfect basis for customization that appeals to many.
But what you should choose is less easy. We have made a selection of the best new bobbers in 2023 .
These are modern bobbers, we are far from the basic and traditional bobbers with a rigid frame and a springer fork. Indeed, motorcycle manufacturers must take into account the regulations and binding standards
Again, you could say it's more of a cruiser than a bobber , but Kawasaki now offers so many variations of its mid-range Vulcan, this one being decidedly "black-out" and minimalist, that it worth including it in our selection.
Kawasaki's Vulcan is derived from the ER6n roadster, but, as with the Honda, an engine has been revised and a new, low-slung, twin-shock frame to give an ultra-low seat height (705mm) has been added.
The maximum power is 61 hp , which means that it does not comply with the A2 standard in native mode, but there is an A2 version .
It's easy to drive, and overall it's unintimidating and efficient for transportation.
The downside is that the styling doesn't have the same cachet as a Harley or a Triumph, for example, and the customization possibilities are limited. It will therefore be perfect for people who want a bobber or cruiser with a modern style . It is a great option because it is an easy and accessible motorcycle.
Historic Italian brand Moto Guzzi has a long association with American-style motorcycles, dating back to early 1970s California, created from the V7 police motorcycles used by the California Highway Patrol (or CHiPs) and seen in the movie Magnum Force by Clint Eastwood.
After many "spaghetti western" V-twins since, such as the 750cc Nevada, Guzzi's latest "mid-size" offering is the more classic Bobber and RoamerV9 duo launched in 2016. Both were equipped from the classic "small block" Guzzi, a shaft-driven V-twin, but enlarged to 853 cc, updated to meet Euro4 standards and producing 55 bhp .
It's a decent enough model, but the rest of the bike is a bit basic and average, the fat tire bobber styling is a bit basic and the Roamer, with a taller, narrower front wheel and more chrome cruiser styling , is even worse - which is probably why it was discontinued in 2018.
The V9 Bobber , however, lives on, is a nice bike, has an exclusive, Italian appeal, and is fairly reasonably priced. And as if all that weren't enough, Guzzi for 2021 has also created the V9 Bobber Sport 850 - a more sophisticated, limited-edition version, with Ohlins shock absorbers, sports exhaust, two-tone paintwork and much more, for €11,499 (model shown above).
This proposal is what we can call a marketing coup inspired by recent fashion for the bobber. Indeed, Moto Guzzi did not push the modifications of its basic model as Triumph knew how to do.
The Nightster is the third new-generation Harley-Davidson and it is charged with continuing the company's sporting heritage.
The bike is based on an entirely new platform that features the Revolution Max 975T liquid-cooled, V-twin engine that develops 89hp and 95Nm.
The Harley-Davidson Nightster is a motorcycle that turned out to be more impressive than one might imagine. It offers a modern and fun driving experience. And yet, it retains that quintessential Harley-Davidson charm.
This model is provided 15190€.
The succession of the Sportster is assured but will convince the purists.
Slightly more expensive but equipped with the MILWAUKEE-EIGHT114 engine of 86 horsepower, the Street Bob is also a proposal to take into account for a fan of new Cruisers and Bobbers.
This model is available from €15,690.
Here is a test (in French) of the 2021 model:
TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE BOBBER (black version)
Without doubt one of the most impressive Triumphs of all recent years and almost certainly the most capable, dynamic and yet authentically stylish of all the bobbers.
It was introduced in 2016, from Hinckley's all-new family of retro Bonneville 900cc/1200cc roadsters, and uses the engine modified for more torque in its own hidden damper chassis (for the hardtail look) and suspension low.
As it's a Triumph , it handles and stops much better than its looks would suggest; this 76hp engine is a real gem and its entire look and detailing is exquisite.
Add to that two riding modes, LED headlights, a neat simple clock, adjustable riding position and more and it's probably no wonder this is one of Triumph's biggest business successes in recent times. years. A great motorcycle.
Overall, the only criticisms of it are two-fold: the very fact that it's a Triumph will either appeal or put off those looking for a true American-style bobber.
To convince these people, Triumph launched the Bobber Black version more faithful to the color code of the "purists".
The standard version is available from €13,350 and €14,500 for the Black version.
If you are looking for a real quality bobber, the Bobber version of Indian Scout probably has everything you need. Launched in 2017 as a lower, slightly redesigned version of its already impressive 1133cc Scout, there's no doubt that it packs a punch.
The 1133cc version of the Scout gives you the power of 94 hp , full of life but still as squeaky, which makes it the most powerful of the Bobbers presented in this article.
Although the shorter-travel suspension means the ride can be a bit harsh on bumpy roads, the Scout-derived handling remains excellent; comfort is good; it's successful and, although it's American-built but far more exclusive than a Harley, it's both authentic and different .
In short: what more do you want? The answer is simple: not much. The Scout Bobber is sold from 14790€.
There is a 1000cc version offered at €12,590; The Scout Bobber Sixty .
The BMW R18 is a nostalgic look at the bikes that started it all for the legendary German marque. Inspired by the magnificent 1936 BMW R5, the R18 is as authentic as a retro motorbike, and it's peppered with neat touches and sentimental nods to the past.
It's certainly better than BMW's previous attempt to break into the cruiser market - the R1200C and while it handled well, it wasn't very authentic. But the same cannot be said for the R18 , because it is as authentic as a cruiser. It also drives like an authentic cruiser
The R18 takes its name from its engine, the biggest boxer engine ever designed by BMW, an 1800cc with 158 Nm of torque at 3000 rpm and 91 horsepower.
This is the strength of BMW, which has been able to make a traditional engine with Euro 5 standards. Something that Harley-Davidson could not do and its 1200CC AIR-COOLED EVOLUTION which is no longer in the catalog for 2021.
A version with a solo seat like the Triumph Bonneville Bobber will soon be available as companions to the versions already presented.
The Bolt from Yamaha 's Sport Heritage line is a small bobber-style motorcycle with its high tank, short wheelbase and solo seat. Modern LCD instrumentation, twelve-spoke cast alloy wheels and an LED taillight keep this Bobber looking cool. Using the same engine as the V Star 950 , the duo's mill is the 942cc, air-cooled, 60-degree V-twin that develops 59NM of torque from 54.3hp .
The quality fork and twin shocks handle the undulations of the bike. Front and rear braking is done on 298mm "wavy" discs.
The R version of the Bolt additionally gets a set of dual rear shocks, a saddle with contrast stitching and more detailed paintwork.
The Yamaha Bolt is an ideal first motorcycle. Most bobbers make good entry-level bikes thanks to their low seat and center of gravity, but the Bolt is also a lightweight bike compared to most of the other bobbers listed here.
In addition, aesthetically, the XV950 Bolt is rather successful.
Modeled on the popular and affordable CMX500 Class A2, the newcomer is bigger and more versatile and is based on a modified version of the 1084cc parallel twin from the Africa Twin adventure bike.
It develops a power of 86 hp at 7,000 rpm and a torque of 4,750 rpm. The saddle is low (700mm), there are four switchable riding modes, an LED headlight, cruise control and also, unique among bobbers, the option of the revolutionary semi-automatic gearbox. Honda's "DCT" dual-clutch engine making it the only "twist n go" bobber currently available.
The 1100 version of the CMX Rebel is available from €10,499.
BENDA FOX 300CC (BD300)
Offered under the MAGPOWER brand in France and under the name of Avengers , this 30 hp custom is a good surprise for lovers of small displacements. This custom benefits from a Vtwin engine, perfect for this type of bike. This model is displayed at 5500€.
You can discover the test carried out by Motolive.tv:
HYOSUNG BOBBER GV300S
The Hyosung Bobber GV300S is a motorcycle model produced by the South Korean manufacturer Hyosung. It is a bobber-style motorcycle with a classic design, powered by a 292cc liquid-cooled, fuel-injected V-twin engine. It has a 5-speed manual transmission and delivers a maximum power of 27 horsepower. The bike features a steel tube frame, 41mm telescopic fork, and dual rear shocks for suspension. It is equipped with a front disc brake and a rear drum brake. The GV300S bobber has a tank capacity of 12.8 liters and is supposed to be a good option for cruising and riding around town.
It is marketed at a price of 5590 euros.
Models planned for 2023
ROYAL ENFIELD SUPER METEOR 650
After the success of the Interceptor, Royal Enfield hopes to reiterate in the custom segment with the Super Meteor 650 model. This model benefits from the same engine as the Interceptor. It is a twin-cylinder model powered by a 648cc air-oil cooled engine.
The Super Meteor 650 delivers 47 horsepower and 52 Nm of torque, which is a significant increase over the previous model, with a smooth drivetrain and good fuel economy.
The motorcycle is equipped with a double cradle frame, and features a telescopic fork and twin shocks for suspension.
It is also equipped with dual-channel ABS and a slipper clutch. This model is not yet available for sale. The price should be around 8000 euros.
SWM CUSTOM V1200
And no, this is not a Harley Sportster .
The Chinese juggernaut Shineray took advantage of the end of the mythical Sportster to release their version.
This model will be supplied in Europe by the SWM company which already offers several models in France, including several enduros.
The Stormbreaker is a copy of the last generation sportster. Even the smallest details look the same as two drops of water (for example the rear footpegs).
Shineray still made modifications, they added an LED headlight, an LED speedometer and to improve braking, a double disc at the front.
Shineray 's feat of cloning the mythical 1200 Evolution engine and making it meet E5 standards. Something that Harley did not favor in its strategy and simply withdrew the Sportster from its range. In addition, it announces a power of 80 horsepower. Or the equivalent of a Sportster stage 2!
However, Chinese sources announce a power of 60 hp. Have.
The Custom V1200 should be available for sale later this year. European prices are not yet known.
If you are a fan of the bobber style and want a new motorcycle, manufacturers now offer a wide choice to satisfy you.
Bobbers lend themselves to all ages: old riders looking for something less hard on the back and joints, as well as new young hipsters who find bobbers make an ideal first bike.
Whatever the reason, bobbers are definitely back on the motorcycle market.