A hardtail bobber is a motorcycle that has all the cumbersome and unneeded elements from a motorcycle removed, leaving it with a sleek and fast look. Bobbers are custom built to fit the personality and style of the owner.
The word 'hardtail' comes from the fact the bike does not have any suspension for the rear wheel. This gives the bike a more authentic bobber look and feel. You'll also hear the hardtail bikes being called 'rigid', they are one in the same.
Many people who enjoy riding a hard tail bobber do so because of the low seat position. To get the seat in this position they remove the rear suspension. There are some custom hardtail bobber enthusiasts who will do what they can to get the seat as low as possible. Removing the rear suspension has the rider sitting directly on the back fender without anything to absorb the shock of bumps.
This style is where the hardtail bobber gets its name. There are many implications involved with the removal of the rear suspension to achieve the lowest seat possible.
Not only does the lower seat give it a sleeker look, but the fender will be so close to the back tire, that only the inside of the rim will be visible.
The design makes a bulky, loud bobber look more sleek and suave. Of course with this better look, there will be some comfortability issue.
When there is no rear suspension you will be able to feel every bump while riding a hardtail motorcycle. It is certainly not a bike for rough terrain or long trips.
If you have a road that is as smooth as silk and know it well, then a hardtail should work just fine. Rest assured, either way, you will feel the road beneath you. Down to the smallest rock and thinnest of road repair line. Pot holes and large bumps will simply be out of the question.
Then there is the handling. While the lowered position of the seat can improve the balance of the Hardtail bobber, the lack of a rear suspension can make it difficult to control the back.
Even when keeping at a medium speed, the wheels can leave the ground by simply going over a small rock. This lack of control can kill. Highways and freeways where you must go higher speeds are pretty much out of the question, because it is almost inevitable that the rear wheel will leave the ground. Also, the rear wheel on a hardtail will have less traction, making it vital that riders carefully navigate turns.
As weird as it may seem, having a passenger can actually help control issues because the extra weight will give the back tire more traction. Also, keeping the back tire slightly under flatted will cause it to act as a small shock absorber, but then you run the risk of it rubbing the back fender since there is so little space between them.
Hardtail motorcycles can be enjoyable to build and ride, if caution is taken. Simple rationale with some casual cruising and you can easily enjoy a hard tail bobber ride on a sunny day.