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I didn't run into the term 'bobber' until about twenty years ago, we just called `em all a "chop" but I suppose that is locality... in any case my kid brother and I (actually it was his bike) rode an EL (60-in HD) back in the 60s... it shed parts over it's life -- paid $75 for the rascal and we rode it as long as we could get her started, finally left it in a ditch in eastern Montana...

Wasn't a style thing and surely didn't have fancy paint or anything else -- next bike was a Norton P11, bought new, but it quickly shed parts as well -- rode it with struts for a bit... ended up with gold tanks, cuz that was what was in the body-shops spray gun and the body man painted oil,gas and battery cover for a couple of buck-- actually I think my wife at the time paid $5... but we called em all "chops" -- only later did we see extended forks or fancy paint except in the magazines -- eventually rode a Ironhead with extended forks and hard-tail conversion, but that was mid-70s...
 

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Discussion Starter #22
I found this video on U-Tube. To me the type of riding depicted here is what Bobbers are all about.

Out with a mate or two, on your bikes, kicking around town, low and slow, and just having a blast. Total hooliganism, but undeniable pure fun.

The bikes they are riding are Royal Enfield long stroke singles, the Bullet has been produced in India since the late 1950s and in India, 20,000 rupees, (a few hundred dollars) will buy you a decent used one and all the parts you need to rebuild it. If you spill it, there's not much to scratch up, all the fancy bits have already been removed. Find the part and some baling wire, and you're back in motion, no need to be precious with a tractor.

The machine is so minimal, and so low, it's easy to get on fast, and even more important, to get off fast and clear.
 

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That actually looks a lot like I recall from early riding (other than "wrong side" of the road...). Although many of the post-Easy-Rider customs were HD, I don't recall a high percentage of HDs other than Ironheads (us po'folk could afford `em) and some WLAs -- no one was going to cut up a perfectly good Duo/Electro-Glide... Our EL Knuckle wasn't the rarity it might be today (this was before the HD street-glide or whatever it was called) and mid-60s before all the money got dumped into farkled customs, lean British bikes were more the norm...
 

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I really don't see very many in Chicago. I would only own one as a 2nd bike. Gotta have a bench seat for the ladies!
 

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Discussion Starter #28
That actually looks a lot like I recall from early riding (other than "wrong side" of the road...). Although many of the post-Easy-Rider customs were HD, I don't recall a high percentage of HDs other than Ironheads (us po'folk could afford `em) and some WLAs
Probably it is because those WLAs were treated as disposable back then, that the side valve engine bikes are bringing crazy big money now. There was a ratty Harley side valve for sale at a swap last summer and for half a minute I thought I could afford it. Then I realized the piece of paper had a fold in it, and I had missed seeing a digit.

Eventually, maybe I'll get the chance to buy a worn out, tired Servi-Car engine.

Those Iron Barrel Royal Enfield engines are great if you want an instant super retro look, and don't need a lot of horsepower. They made those singles with the detached gearbox and external oil lines, right up through 2008. There are millions of them out there, …. mainly in India and mainly 350 ccs.
 

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Eventually, maybe I'll get the chance to buy a worn out, tired Servi-Car engine.
I've been on the lookout for one of those for years. Lots of luck. If you find one they think it's gold or something. Would also like to find one of these...
 

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Discussion Starter #32
I know where you can get something like very reasonably. It will fool about 95% of the people at the mall into thinking it's an authentic WWII era artifact.

That Harley XA is going to be very hard to find, they only made 1000. At least I've never heard of one being chopped.

A WLA, you might still find. Crazy idea, maybe look on Russian bike selling sites? I read that 1/3 of them were shipped to Russia during WWII, and as far as I know, the chopper thing never really took hold in Russia.

Speaking of Russia, a Ural or a Dnepr is not that far off from an XA

I would think that something like this would fool 98% of the people at the mall if you did it right. Gotta put that leather Tommygun holster on it! Where you live, you could ride around with your 30-30 in there. Where I live, I'd have to put an umbrella in there, and I'd still get pulled over.
 

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Tommygun holster on it! Where you live, you could ride around with your 30-30 in there. Where I live, I'd have to put an umbrella in there, and I'd still get pulled over.
Around these parts no one cares when I tie my nylon rifle scabbard to the side of my bike, with rifle, and head out to the shooting range.
Although I do get a strange look or two.
Most likely that is because they figure it would have been easier just to take the truck with its rifle rack in the rear window.
Funny how things are sooo different from one region to the next in this country.

Bobbers?
I know these days people are calling 80 year old "throw together" bikes bobbers but I wonder when the term bobber became the official name of a bike that is missing it's azz end, along with other parts?
Silly kids.
It's not like my generation has much room to talk. I mean, some wore bell bottom pants back in the early dayzz and many a fool tried to put a foot down and caught that bell on the footpeg... Down they'ed go, girls watching and everything. :oops:

S F
 
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