Top 5 new Bobbers coming in 2020
Minimalism and understatement do not always go hand in hand. In this case, it is the whole point of the design. Bringing the designs from their history books and fusing them with cues of early performance models, manufacturers catered to the ’bob-job’ from the 1930s through the 1990s custom scene.
Stripping excess bodywork from a motorcycle, shortening the fenders, and having a bob-tail, here is our list of the top five Bobbers coming in 2020. They run on massive engines yet harks back to a different time – ostensibly the post-WWII era when returning servicemen stripped their bikes of all unnecessary weight for the sake of going faster.
Which motorcycles on sale today give the best mpg?
The beginning of this century saw the world views changing gradually towards climate change and the need to preserve the environment. This, along with stringent policies, has forced the manufacturers to develop motorcycles that can run cleaner fuel and extract the maximum economy from it, sometimes even at the cost of performance.
Bad news for people who seek the element of thrill, but a pretty good one for someone living in urban jungles where folks prefer commuting on a motorcycle rather thank a car for its practicality and frugal fuel-efficiency. Then there are us few who love the idea of putting serious miles on two-wheels and living the adventure.
We here have compiled a list to give you the best available tools for such situations and save some money on gas while at it.
2016 - 2020 Yamaha Bolt
The Yamaha Bolt continues into 2020 with that classic "bobber" style, high tank, and short wheelbase, folks expect to see in old-school styling. Powered by an air-cooled V-twin engine, but with a plenty of technology on board, the Bolt is a good in-between size: not too small that you’ll outgrow it soon and not so big that it is intimidating for new riders. The bobber-style solo seat, easy cruisin’ rider triangle, and naked-bike look make the Bolt a choice little bar hopper or commuter ride.
2020 Indian Scout 100th Anniversary Edition
The first Indian Scout model first saw showrooms in 1920, so that means the model-name hits that incredible 100-year mark in just a few months. The 2020 Scout 100th Anniversary Edition is built as a tribute to that era on the thoroughly modern new Scout platform. Classic touches and design high points combine with the new Scout platform to deliver a potent dose of nostalgia along with 21st century performance.
2016 - 2020 Yamaha Bolt R-Spec / Bolt C-Spec
The Bolt from Yamaha’s Star cruiser line is a cool little bobber-style bike with its high tank, short wheelbase and solo seat. It’s a nice around town bike — lightweight and agile — and naked with real-steel sheet metal, so it just begs you to customize it. What could be better? Enter the Bolt’s siblings, the dressier Bolt R-Spec and the café racer Bolt C-Spec. The Spec duo are every bit as snappy and fun to ride as the Bolt, but with some upgrades, both hardware and cosmetic. Powered by the air-cooled 942 cc V-twin engine, the Specs are in the same size slot as the Bolt: not too small that you’ll outgrow it right away and not so big to be overwhelming for new riders. At just a few bills more than the Bolt, they’re worth a look.
2018 - 2019 Triumph Bonneville Bobber Black
Triumph expanded its record-setting Bonneville Bobber range last year with the new-in-2018 Bonneville Bobber Black. The “Black” builds on that success with more of the same stuff that made it a hit in the first place and some custom touches that give it more of a home-spun look right off the showroom floor. Already a thoroughly modern ride, the factory brushed it up with more tech even as it embraced even more retro-tastic features for an interesting duality of development, if you will. The Bonnie Twin mill delivers its 77 horsepower with the same characteristic ’tude we expect.
2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Fat Bob
Heavily bobbed and blacked-out, the Harley-Davidson Fat Bob comes with a choice of engine: the 107-inch Milwaukee-Eight or the 114-inch version. These grunty powerplants, along with a (relatively) sporty new suspension system from the redesign in 2018 give the Fat Bob an aggressive bent that is meant to appeal to a younger generation of rider. The Fat Bob saw a complete do-over in 2018, so if you rode it before and weren’t impressed, know that you haven’t ridden this Fat Bob.
2017 - 2019 Triumph Bonneville Bobber
A 1200 cc plant pushes the classic-looking frame on the new-from-2017 Triumph Bonneville Bobber. Much like Harley-Davidson’s Softail, it comes built to look like an old hard-tail. The result is a modern ride with very deep roots traceable back to the Speed Twin 5T of the late ’30s. There are plenty of other little historical touches here and there, and though this is no replica piece, it can serve as a sort of rolling museum.
2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim
Harley-Davidson and the custom-bike culture have always gone hand-in-hand, and the updated-in-2018 Softail Slim makes for a rolling tribute to both. The Slim rides on the same, newly-revamped frame as the rest of the fake-hardtail family for the unmistakeable geometry and dated look that you just can’t get from a traditional swingarm. Bobbed fenders and blackout paint tie right into the custom trends of yesteryear quite nicely, but it’s the 107 cubic-inch Milwaukee-Eight V-Twin and its 100-plus pounds of torque that drives the Slim past “historical-tribute” turf right into viable power-cruiser territory. Since the whole point of the original bobbers was to provide a more thrilling ride, I find this pairing of power and panache to be entirely fitting.
2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Street Bob
The Harley-Davidson lineup underwent some serious changes for MY2018, and the chopped-down, Dyna-based Street Bob was rebuilt and reintroduced as a Softail model before the Dyna family was cut from production in its entirety. Not only did it switch to Harley’s faux-rigid style frame, but the frame itself was completely reinvented to the point where it bears little resemblance to the original that saw the light of day for the first time back in ’84. Sure, it still has that classic Softail visage, but the factory achieved it in a totally different way this time, and any perceived similarities are only skin deep. To add to the revamp, the Street Bob was on the receiving end of a beating-heart transplant with the addition of the then-new-to-cruisers, Milwaukee-Eight 107 powerplant that brings over 100 pounds of grunt to the table. The Street Bob has more power, new frame, and a new family/model combination as it rolls into 2019.
2019 MG V9 Bobber Sport
Moto Guzzi modified its already-sporty V9 Bobber with even more race-tastic yummy-goodness to produce its new-for-2019 V9 Bobber Sport. The “Sport” pays homage to the post-WWII flat dirt track racers of the late forties and fifties with beefy tires, liberal blackout treatment and fork boots. Aesthetics may be intentionally dated, but performance from the 850 twin is entirely modern with a double dose of electronic safety gear to boot. A special, two-tone palette wraps the package up and identifies it at a glance, and of course, the racing bits make a slightly more subtle impact that further sets it apart from the base V9 Bobber.
Continue reading for my review of the Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber Sport.
Top 7 Bobbers of 2018
Minimalism and understatement do not always go hand in hand. In this case, it is the whole point of the design. Bringing the designs from their history books and fusing them with cues of early performance models, manufacturers catered to the ’bob-job’ from the 1930s through 1990s custom scene.
Stripping excess bodywork from a motorcycle, shortening the fenders and having a bob-tail, here is our list of the top seven Bobbers of 2018 that run on huge engines yet harks back to a different time – ostensibly the post-WWII era when returning servicemen stripped their bikes of all unnecessary weight for the sake of going faster.
2016 - 2019 Yamaha XSR900
Influenced by the classic “XS” series from the ’70s and ’80s, the XSR900 from Yamaha shows its roots with retro styling and stepped seating combined with just enough modern tech that you know you’re in the 21st century. At first glance, it looks like a nice little bike: compact and sporty. On second glance...and third...it looks like a whole lot of bike for an affordable price.
Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha XSR900.
2018 - 2019 Harley-Davidson Breakout
Once again, Harley-Davidson takes what’s old and makes it new again with its revamped-in-2018 Softail lineup, and the drag-tastic “Breakout” is one of the models that made the jump and carried into 2019. Harley offers this bobber-burner with the 109 pound-foot, Milwaukee-Eight 107 and the Mil-8 114 that boasts a total of 119 pounds o’ twist. The ground-up Softail-family rebuild contains myriad changes from the remarkable to the mundane that go way beyond a handful of re-arranged trim packages. We’re talking about the re-invention of the whole range with capabilities meant to offset the loss of the Dyna family, and technology that is more in line with the current industry standards. We’re talking a renewed focus on the Softails as H-D’s sole (or should it be soul?) cruisers. This is it; the drag-tastic sub-model of the range that Harley hopes will attract the younger buyers.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Breakout.
2018 - 2019 Indian Motorcycle Scout Bobber
Indian Motorcycle has certainly called some attention to its mid-size bikes this year through its success on the flat track, and the Scout Bobber looks to capitalize on that by garnering some of the factory-custom business. The “Bobber” brings modern performance to the table along with an overall look that is rather unique, yet fits in well with the rest of the made-for-the-US market, foreign and domestic built. An 1,133 cc plant delivers the power, and this year, the Bobber rocks improved electronics plus a USB charging port, regardless of which color you choose. I’ve been a fan of the new Scouts since day one, so let’s dig into the nuts and bolts of the thing and see what all there is to love.
Continue reading for my review of the Indian Motorcycle Scout Bobber.
Moto Guzzi to give us a new V9 Bobber variant
Celebrating 95 years for a company is a big thing and to have survived against all the odds was a mountainous task for Moto Guzzi. Paying tribute to this past effort of custom motorcyclists, MG headed to a major revival plan and launched the new range of V9 platform a couple of years ago that angles towards the cruiser style rather than the V7’s roadster theme.
The first offerings are in the form of the mainstream-custom “Roamer,” and the more sinister “Bobber”. For 2019, the Lario eagle moniker is getting a sporty new variant to debut in another couple of days. Called the “V9 Bobber Sport”, Moto Guzzi has teased us with just one image, and we can tell you a little bit about it.
2018 CCM Spitfire Bobber
When Clews Competition Machines unveiled their Spitfire model last February, it made headlines all over the internet and received an insane amount of response from the riding folks. So much so that all the limited 150 models were sold within a span of one week. “It was a combination of the promise of pure riding pleasure and a timeless design that set hearts a fluttering at the show.”
CCM’s “SkunkweX” division has now unveiled a new Bobber variant of their new Spitfire range at the 2018 MCN London Motorcycle Show. The bike will use the same 600cc single pot mill that does the job on all the Spitfire models including the Scrambler, Café Racer, and the Flat Tracker. But comes with white-walled tires, spoked wheels and a butch floating leather seat to represent the Americas in the 30s’.