Bobber Kits Guide
Bobber kits are an excellent alternative to buying a bobber, building a bobber, or turning your bike into a bobber. But before we discuss bobber motorccle kits, here is a little history behind them...
Men in the military returning home from WWII were the first to build bobbers as a way to get a little excitement. After storming beaches and dropping by parachute into enemy territory, their suburban lives must have seemed a bit dull. While in the military many of them had gained valuable experience has mechanics on jeeps, tanks, and other equipment used in war. While most were not mechanics by trade, they had learned a lot while over seas.
There weren't any bobber kits in those days because bobbers were all about stripping down bikes, and the term 'bobber' was just being coined...
Bobbers are motorcycles that are basically custom built fame the ground up, or motorcycles that have been customized to have the bobber look and feel. When a motorcycle is being customzied into a bobber, the lingo used during this bobber building process on a motorcycle is called 'bobbed'.
They are generally just the bare bones of a motorcycle, with out any non-essential elements. Bobber kits are everything you need to build a complete motorcycle, all in one box. They are perfect for weekend hobby mechanics to put together, custom paint, add any necessary fluids and fire up for a ride.
Many kits are totally complete, down to the nuts and bolts, including everything you will need to build the motorcycle with out purchasing anything more.
Then there are other bobber kits that are essentially just a bobber rolling chassis or a motorcycle frame on wheels. These type of bobber kit bikes are purchased by more experienced builders of custom motorcycles. These people know what they want, and where to get it, to complete a custom built bobber.
are like choppers in the fact that they approach bike building with a minimalistic attitude. Some of the characteristics are a shortened, or bobbed, rear fender and a rigid frame. The key difference is that they are built using stock frames that are unmodified. While, generally, a chopper frame will be welded and cut into shape. Bobber motorcycle kits are also usually void of the excessive aesthetics, such as lots of chrome, decorative detailing and elongated forks. They are a alternative for hobbyist to start when they are new to custom motorcycle building. Once they have gained enough experience, they can move on to choppers if they choose.
The best part about bobber kits is that they do not require a mechanic with Harley-Davidson dealer experience or a huge cabinet filled with hundreds of dollars worth of professional tools. Usually an average collection of automotive tools will suffice for kit bike build. These tools will include a quality set of various sized crescent wrenches and a socket wrench set. You will also need a good pair of wire cutters, electrical tape, and a stripping tool. One of the most important tools you will is a torque wrench. This will guarantee that all parts are tightened to meet the specifications. Even solid brute strength does not surpass the need for a torque wrench. Is is a tool that offers precision and will keep you from over tightening nuts and bolts, causeing serious damage.
Many of the most popular bobbers
reminiscent of Marlon Brando's bike in “The Wild One,” and have this nostalgic look from the 1950s. One bobber kit that might be a perfect example is the Kikker 5150 Hardknock with its spring front suspension, jockey shift (also called a suicide clutch), forward controls, and electric start. This bobber motorcycle kit bike also includes a solo seat, chrome-plated chrome-moly frame, a 4-speed 4-stroke engine, and hydraulic disk brakes.
Rolling chassis kits start around $1500, and chopper motorcycle kits start at around $9000 all the way up to $24,000. But most are in the $12,000 - $16,000 range, and go up from there depending on the quality of the kit.
Buying a bobber kit sure has its advantages. It is really cool doing it yourself. It gives you a sense of pride and joy and the adrenaline pumping as you cannot wait to take your kit bike for its first spin. Another positive in using bobber kits is that you tend to take better care of your bike when you build it yourself.
It becomes your new baby, as only you know the exact workings of every part and some of the finer details that went into having your bike completed. I can tell you that it is much better and more satisfying than just buying a stock motorcycle.
If you have never built a bike from scratch a kit is the best way to go because you'll get a firm understanding what it takes therefore reducing frustrations that arise from lack of experience. Plus you'll have your bike built faster, and it's a whole lot of fun!