2020 CCM Spitfire Bobber Stealth
Reminiscence of the Supermarine Spitfire, a British fighter aircraft from the times of World War II, the CCM Spitfire is the brainchild of a specialist division within the shackles of CCM called ‘the SkunkwerX team’. Launched first in 2017, all 150 of them were sold in the first week itself. The Bobber variant that came in 2018 had a butch floating leather seat to represent the Americas in the 30s’, and it too was a steal.
For 2020, CCM has decided to go all black, and have released Stealth editions of the Spitfire models, including this Bobber craving for constant attention. The bike was built with a custom hand-built chassis setup and a bespoke tank, which now comes in a murkier appeal, courtesy the dark paint job and rims. Chassis components also see an upgrade for the Stealth model.
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.
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.
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’.
2016 - 2018 Triumph Street Twin
The Triumph Bonneville line has underwent numerous redesigns over the years, but always kept that classic British flavor and dated panache that is both aesthetically pleasing and rooted in its own past. The Bonneville Street Twin joined Triumph’s new-in-2016 Modern Classics group that includes the Bonneville T120 family and the Thruxton R. Today, I want to take a look at the Street Twin and see how well Trumpet did in upholding the reputation of the venerable Bonnie line.
Continue reading for my review of the Triumph Street Twin.
2016 - 2018 Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber & V9 Roamer
Moto Guzzi launched a brand-new model family in 2016 that pays tribute to the past efforts of custom bike builders, of which there are no shortage given ’Guzzi’s long history on both sides of the pond. The all-new V9 range included the mainstream-custom “Roamer,” and the more sinister “Bobber” with a more outlaw-looking blackout treatment. Not only was the chassis new, but MG built a brand-new 853 cc engine with which to power this mid-size, standard cruiser.
Continue reading for my look at the Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer and V9 Bobber.
2016 - 2018 SSR Motorsports Snake Eyes
Nothing brings to mind the down-and-dirty custom-bike days of the ’70s and ’80s quite like a UJM-based custom bobber, and SSR Motorsports piles on plenty of that old-school with its street-retro ’Snake Eyes’. Built for the entry-level customer, and anyone looking for a somewhat whimsical nod to the custom culture for that matter. An 18-horsepower, 249 cc thumper drives the thing — plenty for trips around town or campus, but the real story here is with the overall vibe that looks to be straight out of the garage right off the showroom floor. Join me while I take a closer look at this fun little ride that so clearly is looking to capture part of the U.S. market.
Continue reading for my review of the SSR Motorsports Snakes Eyes.
2018 Indian Motorcycles Scout Bobber - How Does It Stack Up To The Competition?
Among the other party favors and door prizes at Indian’s “Hometown Throwdown” party at the 2017 X-Games was the unveiling of the new “Bobber” version of the popular Scout lineup. This re-imagined Scout uses much the same chassis and running gear as the rest of the retro-tastic family, but the overall panache takes it somewhere else, entirely. Why is it a big deal, you ask? Well, it signals that Indian has seen the writing on the wall, and is moving to capture the next generation of motorcycle riders and indoctrinate them with some brand loyalty early on with a sexy variant of one of the hottest bikes on the planet right now. Powered with a 1,130 cc engine that delivers 72 pound-feet of torque and 100 horsepower, is the Scout Bobber is just the bike to do it?
Continue reading for more on the Indian Motorcycle Scout Bobber.
2018 Indian Scout Bobber
When Polaris took over the operations ofIndian Motorcycles, they literally revived the brand from the dark shallows of the abyss and created a niche for the brand worldwide. Since then, Indian motorcycles seems to have found its stronghold and has been swiftly introducing more products to its existing lineup. For its new instalment on the Scout platform, the Polaris owned manufacturer has launched the 2018 Indian Scout Bobber. A black-out minimalistic approach of the Scout platform ready to tear apart the asphalt.
The reason it is in existence is credited to the purists and enthusiasts who started building one from their Scouts. So the folks at Indian decided to capture the American way of the ‘30s and built this brutally beautiful factory custom bobber. It carries around the same panache and poise of the Scout and leaves no question of having a prominent place in the lineup of this historic brand. This could just as well be the bike you’ve been waiting for, and I cannot wait to decipher the logic behind this.
Harley certainly loves historical references, and that comes naturally since they helped to define those eras. The factory picked the 1950s as the targeted period for the FLS Softail Slim, specifically the minimalist “bobber” niche known for trimming off anything that didn’t directly contribute to performance.
Bobber enthusiasts back in the day were fixated on one thing only — the need for speed — and Harley was not remiss in this regard. The factory keeps sticking more powerful engines into each successive model, so this ride is not meant for the all-show/no-go category. Let’s take a look and see how the details pan out.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Softail Slim and Softail Slim S.
Introduced in 2006, the Dyna Street Bob (FXDB) was the first "Dark Custom" designed for Harley-Davidson’s Dyna family. The Street Bob originally came with an 88.5 cubic-inch (1,450 cc) engine and graduated to 96.7 cubes (1,584 cc) in 2007. After the release of the Twin Cam 103 in the 2012, Harley dropped it into the Street Bob starting in 2014.
In the modern bobber style, the 2017 Street Bob is minimal: solo seat, no windshield, cut-down fenders, mid-mount controls and retro-style air cleaner cover. Minimal doesn’t mean lack of comfort, though. The Street Bob is very comfortable — comfortable enough for all-day riding. With bags and a windshield, it would make a nice casual tourer — better than a Softail would.
Minimal also doesn’t mean lack of quality. The Street Bob holds to the same standard of quality that Harley is known for and pledges that to you in a cast 3-D fuel tank medallion, not some econo graphic sticker.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Street Bob.
Black-out is the name of the game with Harley-Davidson’s Fat Bob — a member in good standing of the Dark Custom series. While the Fat Bob only saw a new paint color for 2015, for 2016 Harley slapped that High Output Twin Cam 103™ engine in it for some extra sexiness. With fat tires, an extreme riding position, and hot-rod styling, the Fat Bob looks like a beast and yeah, it talks the talk, but it also walks the walks when it comes to performance.
Continue reading for my review of the Harley-Davidson Fat Bob.