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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.