Before choppers, there was bobbers...
This Harley Bobber and Chopper site is dedicated to all Harley Davidson motorcycles which have been converted to Bobber, Chopper, Oldschool, Lowrider, Lane Splitter, Barhopper or Ratbike, and everything in between, whether bare bones or custom bike, whether Flathead, Knucklehead, Panhead, Ironhead, Shovelhead or Evo, and whether Sportster or Big Twin.
Harley Chopper Bobber or Harley Bobber Chopper?
From a technical point of view, a Bobber can de defined as a motorcycle of which all components which do not contribute to speed and accelleration have been removed.
This "bobbing" goes back to the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's, to the days of classic Dirt Track Racing, Road Racing and Hill Climbing events. At the time there was no big after sales market like we got right now and the most effective way to increase performance was to shed as much weight as possible.
So it was that during those days guys would ride their bike to work during the week, and during the weekend they would ride it to a motorsports event, open the tool box, strip off all ballast from the bike, and participate in the race! After the race they would put all parts back on again to make the bike street legal. That is, if the bike had not been crashed during the race...
Later on, somewhere in the 1950's, some guys started to chop the frame and to modify the rake of the front fork and there you go, the Chopper was born.
Choppers and Bobbers are basically quite different. If a bike has both fenders, a buddy seat, saddle bags and turn signals, it wouldn't classify as a Bobber, but it can still very well be a Chopper.
So, if you take any modern motorcycle and you take off all the ballast that does not contribute to performance, technically speaking you have created a Bobber.
If on top of that you have modified the bike in such a way that she now looks like she's ready to participate in a 1950's dirt track race or hill climb, you have definitely created an Oldschool Bobber.
The above is the way we see things. However, we are not taking ourselves too serious since we know that there's lots of people with a different view and we respect that. If at the West Coast a modified bike is called a Chopper, and at the East Coast that same bike is called a Bobber, we're fine with that!