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I want to build a bobber. where to start?
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I want to build a bobber. where to start? - July 17, 2012, 07:47 PM

I'm looking at doing this project over the winter and I'm pretty mechanically inclined and looking to do 99% of the build myself (except welding if required).

I know the traditional sense of the "bobber" bike isn't the same as what I am looking to build but best used to describe what my final desired outcome to be and it's something like this..


I browse CL often looking for a good source bike but I get a little overwhelmed on trying to decide what is the best option.

I am doing this build on a budget so I'm looking for places I can source as many materials from for as little $ as possible.

Some questions I have if anyone has had experience with these things:
Any big handling issues between a "drop seat" hardtail frame and regular hardtail frame?

Whats a good source bike with reliable carbed v-twin engine, Hardtail, chain driven & allow for 170-180 rear tire?

I've started to put this thread up a few times and then delete it because I get frustrated whether I'm asking the right questions or not. I then go looking for them on the webs and usually end up with same questions. I'm sure more of them will come up as or if this thread progresses. Any insight would be a big help. Thanks in advance.
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July 17, 2012, 08:24 PM

Bobbers are often built inexpensively using old Jap Bikes. Hondas, Suzukis, Kawasaki, and Yahamas can be had for cheap and chopped apart!

Lots of Cafe Bikes are built this way with good results. Just a suggestion as an old Harley will be hard to come by and expensive!

Glad to see someone interested in a little different style. It will be a really fun build!

I saw a cheap Honda CM400 on CL. I've seen some cool Bobbers made from them.


- Norway Daily, 90' VFR750, V4 Touring Beast
- USA Daily, 08' Versys - Urban Assault vehicle
- Toy, 02' Ducati 900ss - Loud and angry noises
- Toy, 89' FZR600 - Raw Inline Deathbox
- Project, 91' CB250 - Goal: lightweight city bike
- Project, 79' CB350 - Finally runs, now to finish

- Sold, Red 94' VS800 - Loud as F@*$
* R.I.P. Blue 06' SV650, murdered by DC!
* R.I.P. Black 98' FZR600, murdered by DC!
- Sold, Red 81' GS650
- Sold, Black 81' CM400T
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July 18, 2012, 07:05 AM

also the old jap bikes run good for the most part, old Harleys... not so much.


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July 18, 2012, 07:09 AM

If you are looking to pick up a project already started by someone, I would be very careful when going over the work done to date. The reason I say this is because I was looking at doing something similar around this time last year. I looked all over CL and talked to a few folks. What I found is that guys got old bike (CBs and the like) and just started chopping them up. I was getting ready to go look at one bike before the seller pointed out that he had cut and welded the rear swing arm! May not have been a big deal if were not for his own admission of the fact that he had absolutely no welding experience!


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July 18, 2012, 07:14 AM

Good luck! I might go down this route eventually... one day



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July 18, 2012, 07:16 AM

I'd say the most popular Jap bike which are turned into bobbers are Yamaha XS650's. They are a great starting point with a strong motor and an abundance of aftermarket support. Old Triumphs are popular as well but you said you wanted to keep it on a budget, lol.
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July 18, 2012, 07:18 AM

If I had a garage I would already have one.

What I have found to work best with projects in the past is first and foremost be patient. Try to find a project that is about 90% done or is done and running but you can change up a few things to really make it your own. A lot of times a paint job and handle bars will completely change the look an d feel of a bike. Maybe some wheels and changing up some exhaust and polishing of the engine cases. The point is if you buy an ugly bike that is already running you know you have a running platform to start with and can make it your own for probably less that it will be to build one from scratch.





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July 18, 2012, 07:52 AM

Honestly, if you can ditch out 2k-3k for a bike, buy a Yamaha v star 650. Literally all you have to do is remove the front and rear fender and seat, and fab a trailer fender on the back tire and fab a springer mount, and you have a bobber. If you want to spend a little money, blue collar bobbers already have bolt on kits for them. They're twins and they are air cooled so no stinking big radiator on the front of your bobber. Many people use these bikes. I bought one to do it but lost interest and sold it, but now I regret it because I got the bike for dirt cheap and I know I won't find one for that price again, and I still want to build one.


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Thumbs up July 18, 2012, 09:47 AM

This was my first bike: 1981 Honda CM400; Bought it from a Puerto rican that spoke almost no english expect the word "Skulls" He just kept saying "You like the Skulls Man?!?"

Anyway, removed the tassels, installed lower bars, added Harley Sporter mufflers, removed the "Skulls" (along with dragons and fairies stickers) and painted it. Fun Project, Fun Bike, all said it cost me around $700 including brand new tires.
Here is a Before and After:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Before.jpg (35.5 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg After.jpg (69.4 KB, 15 views)


- Norway Daily, 90' VFR750, V4 Touring Beast
- USA Daily, 08' Versys - Urban Assault vehicle
- Toy, 02' Ducati 900ss - Loud and angry noises
- Toy, 89' FZR600 - Raw Inline Deathbox
- Project, 91' CB250 - Goal: lightweight city bike
- Project, 79' CB350 - Finally runs, now to finish

- Sold, Red 94' VS800 - Loud as F@*$
* R.I.P. Blue 06' SV650, murdered by DC!
* R.I.P. Black 98' FZR600, murdered by DC!
- Sold, Red 81' GS650
- Sold, Black 81' CM400T
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July 18, 2012, 09:55 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnbell View Post
This was my first bike: 1981 Honda CM400; Bought it from a Puerto rican that spoke almost no english expect the word "Skulls" He just kept saying "You like the Skulls Man?!?"

Anyway, removed the tassels, installed lower bars, added Harley Sporter mufflers, removed the "Skulls" (along with dragons and fairies stickers) and painted it. Fun Project, Fun Bike, all said it cost me around $700 including brand new tires.
Here is a Before and After:
Cool looking bike... not a bobber.
Needs hacked rear fender and solo seat.

Spraying crappy bikes flat black makes the "rat bikes."
Chopping the rears makes them "bobbers."


Everytime you cook up...a little boy gets crushed by a bridge. -JTG40cal



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July 18, 2012, 09:56 AM

I have a little bobber I take out from time to time. It gets lots of interest and people always try to buy it from me. It's not the most practical bike but it's fun.

My opinion of a bobber is a stripped down bike of bare necessities. The "bobbers" with red wheels and a bunch of stupid shit on them are just clown bikes in my opinion. Why the fuck would someone paint their rims red?

The cafe thing is out of control right now so its nice to see a fellow bobber enthusiast.

my bob
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July 18, 2012, 10:03 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildjester View Post
Cool looking bike... not a bobber.
Needs hacked rear fender and solo seat.

Spraying crappy bikes flat black makes the "rat bikes."
Chopping the rears makes them "bobbers."
Oh yea.. Oooops! i meant to add "This is not a Bobber.. Just an example of how you can take a crappy bike and make it cooler for cheap"


- Norway Daily, 90' VFR750, V4 Touring Beast
- USA Daily, 08' Versys - Urban Assault vehicle
- Toy, 02' Ducati 900ss - Loud and angry noises
- Toy, 89' FZR600 - Raw Inline Deathbox
- Project, 91' CB250 - Goal: lightweight city bike
- Project, 79' CB350 - Finally runs, now to finish

- Sold, Red 94' VS800 - Loud as F@*$
* R.I.P. Blue 06' SV650, murdered by DC!
* R.I.P. Black 98' FZR600, murdered by DC!
- Sold, Red 81' GS650
- Sold, Black 81' CM400T
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July 18, 2012, 10:24 AM

google do the ton. they have a nice bobber section under big arse projects. Go through a few of the long builds and short builds to get an idea what you think you could and couldnt do/afford.

I would recommend finding used bike on CL that is RUNNING. Unless you want to deal with pulling the engine and a full off frame restoration. Good bike to google is a cb750c as they are already framed out pretty well to do a bobber.

Not sure how big a rear they can fit however.

Good luck and do lots of research before doing anything and a lot of prep before you bring out the angle grinder.
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I hate Hybrid drivers
 
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July 18, 2012, 12:53 PM

It's pretty bad what people get away with calling a bobber.

I use this to search for bobbers on CL, searches DC, Richmond and Balto.
Craigslist Motorcycles >$500
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July 18, 2012, 01:08 PM



WTF....Look at that rear fender. You could fit a small child in the fender gap.





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