We Like Modern Bobber Builds!!
How many people have we pissed off already just with the title? I know what the purists are thinking..
- It’s an oxymoron
- Therefore you are an oxygen burning moron
- If it has shocks then it isn’t a true bobber
- Kicking a bike into life is the only way to go
- What?! You didn’t spend 100 hours building up that motor. Go away!
Yeah and in truth I may have said these things to myself as well but.. hear us out. Most people out there love the look of a gorgeous bobber. Maybe they don’t want to wait 6 months for it to be built. Then there’s the shame of stalling at the lights when you were trying to impress that girl in the Hyundai beside you and having to kick the bitch back into life!
Whatever it is, modifying a late model cruiser is an alternative. We’ve done a few and it has to be said that the ease, budget and timeframe all make it a novelty for us.
We had just such a customer come to us recently. Andrew had moved on from his LAMS and was wanting something that would eat the km’s while still looking the part. A fairly clean XVS1100 was found for the right price and minimal damage to the exhaust (first thing to go anyway) so we snapped it up for him and he showed us pics of what he had in mind.
Candy apple red, whitewall tyres and some straight bars were the order of the day. Of course lowering the bike and doing something about the guards was always going to happen as well.
We make lots of kits up for the XVS650 and it didn’t take much modifying to transplant the guards from one of these to work with the 1100. We needed to do this first as the paint is what tends to hold us up on these builds.
Once we made the guards out of steel, it was time to strip everything else off the bike and make the three piles. Chrome, Candy and Black. The candy went to our painters and the Black to the local powdercoaters. As it was only a couple of pieces that needed chroming we thought we’d polish them oursleves in house to make sure everything could go back together in a timely fashion.
The seat we had earmarked for the bike was a no go after we got it on there and realised it looked ridiculously thin compared to the oversized tank so it came down to a Stock Heist seat or one of the fat Biltwell seats.
Whitewall tyres went on next. The old ones were no longer roadworthy so it’s not like it was a waste. unfortunately there is only one company that makes 19 inch whitewalls and we couldn’t match the tread to the back but it wasn’t unusual to have un matched tread patterns when I was growing up anyway;)
Now the only hold up (and believe me it was a proper hold up) was the paint this time around. Our two week turn around became a 5 week turnaround due to holidays etc so we were stuck dragging this heavy lump of lead around until we got the call we had been waiting for. Within hours everything was back together.
We hadn’t shown Andrew the bike during this period. He was good enough to trust us with the small things and see we wanted to make it worthwhile. When he arrived he was stoked. Even at 5 weeks we had managed to deliver a bike that sounded awesome thanks to some straight pipes we made up for it as well as handle the road and absorb ‘most’ of the bumps that came his way. It’s still not a light bike but the stand over height has been improved and the motor with a touch under 40k on it has plenty of life left in it.
Time to take it for it’s first road test. The bike felt a lot lighter than when we started. Maybe that’s just psychological?! lol. The front end definitely tracked better and helped with the lighter feel though. The pipes are loud! A couple of extra baffles meant that it took the edge off it though so longer rides were a lot more enjoyable. Overall the impression I got from this bike was it was more than enough. Don’t get me wrong. I have a 1584cc Harley as well as a couple of 1100’s, 1200’s and even a 1400 Suzuki in the shed. This bike though with it’s single seat and low slung ride height felt like a rocket ship. Maybe it’s because most of our Bobbers are around the 650cc size that this one just swallows up the kilometres like a champion.
Overall a very happy customer and a bike that we would ride long after most hardtails were left behind.
(thanks to Andrew for the pics)