Less is More: 7 Great Bobber Motorcycles for 2023

A Triumph Bobber on a solo ride.
Bobbers are pure motorcycling. They’re what happens when you take everything you can off a bike and strip it to its basics.  These seven 2023 factory-fresh bobbers prove that less can be more and reduce motorcycling to just you, your bike, and the wind.

Sure, the origins of the bobber name are lost in history, and it could come from the “bob job” movement from racers in the 1940s, or the bobbed tail look of later bikes, or even “bar hopper.” But major manufacturers have zeroed in on the trend and these bikes are bobbed customs that you can buy right off the showroom floor.

2023 Triumph Bonneville

Triumph Bonneville Bobber 1200

When most of us think of bobbers, we think of something that looks like the 2023 Triumph Bonneville Bobber. It’s basic, it’s stripped down, and it’s low with a single seat. The Bonneville Bobber though gets its grunt from the Bonnie’s T120 motor, which means you get a1200cc 79 horsepower and 77.4 lb.-ft (104 Nm), a pair of chromed exhaust pipes, wire wheels, and that’s about it.

The Bonneville Bobber for many is the essence of a bobbed-tail bike, with a simple fender, no rear seat, and no place to stash your phone or gear. It’s a pure stripped down bike for solo riding.

Indian Chief Bobber

2023 Indian Chief Bobber
Some will say the big Chief Bobber is not a bobber because, well, it has a fender. But, this is a solo machine, one that strips all of the touring gear off and reduces the Chief to its basics. The blacked-out Dark Horse version has mini-ape bars, forward controls, and black fork and shock covers. The Chief gets a big motor, too, a 1818 cc (111 ci) air-cooled mill that makes a whopping 108 lb.-ft (146 Nm) of torque. Speaking of that big motor, it’s air cooled, one of a dying breed of V-twin bikes that don’t need an oil cooler.

New for 2023, the Chief gets a new slipper clutch with a larger friction zone. You also get the Ride Command system that lets you connect your phone to your bike and a Bluetooth helmet system.

2023 Scout Bobber

2023 Indian Scout Bobber
The 2023 Indian Scout Bobber, like its bigger brother the Chief, strips the Scout of all of the stuff you don’t need. Instead, you get chopped fenders, a lower bar, a custom looking side-mount license plate holder, and that’s about it. The Scout Bobber comes with Indian’s 1133 water-cooled V-twin that makes 93 horsepower (73 kW), with two giant Gatling gun exhausts exiting on the right.

The Scout is smaller and nimbler than the Chief, and for many, that handling is a huge bonus. We wouldn’t recommend the Scout Bobber for a long-distance tour, but then none of these bikes are really designed for long-haul rides.

2023 Duacti xDiavel

2023 xDiavel
When you say Ducati, most of us don’t think “bobber.” But, there’s no reason the xDiavel isn’t one. It is a stripped-down solo-seat bike with no real creature comforts or provisions for touring. It’s just faster than most other bobbers, thanks to its 1,262 twin-cylinder Testastretta engine that makes 160 horsepower (119 kW).

We like the Dark version, in all black, that seems to get at the essence of the bike. In all black, it just screams “I’m going alone.” The xDiavel also handles more like a sport bike than any upright bobber has any business doing, but the traction control and different ride modes will help you keep the shiny side up.

2023 Maeving RM1

Maeving electric bobber
The Maeving RM1 is a different take on a bobber. This British, hipster-styled, all-electric bike is designed for city dwellers looking to have some fun on their daily commute. Its top speed is just 45 miles per hour, and it has a limited range. But, it has a steel frame and brushed-aluminum body work that give it a real sense of quality.

The Maeving is clever, though. It comes with one or two batteries that slip into a storage spot under the “tank.” You can pull a battery and slip it into a charger that plugs into the wall. For those of us who don’t have access to a street charger this is genius, and it lets apartment dwellers charge overnight.

2023 Harley-Davidson Street Bob

The Street Bob is the classic Harley bobber. It has all you need on a bike, and not much more. With its bobbed fenders, high mini-ape bars, and bobbed fenders, it looks like a mild custom right off the showroom floor. The new 114ci (1,868 cc) Milwaukee-Eight engine stays true to Harley tradition with pushrod-operated overhead-valves, but it also makes it the most powerful Street that Harley has ever made.

Harley also makes the Fat Bob and the Sportster S, which many will also say are Bobbers. The Fat Bob has the new Softail frame and a Milwaukee-Eight 114 mill as well. To our eyes, however, the Street Bob with its solo seat option, traditional shocks up front (the Fat Bob and Sportster have inverted forks) and classic lines makes us want to hop on and head off into the distance.

Curtiss The 1

The Curtiss electric motorcycle is called The 1.
Curtiss’ The 1 is certainly an interesting all-electric art-piece bobber. The 1 has an 82kW (110 horsepower) motor that makes 200 Nm (147.5 lb.-ft) of torque. But the Curtiss isn’t about numbers, it’s about beauty and engineering. The electric tube motor is liquid cooled, for example, and it drives the rear wheel by a carbon fiber belt.

The company is named for aviation and motorcycle pioneer Glenn Curtiss, and its billet aluminum chassis certainly looks airplane inspired. But, unlike planes, The 1 is fully adjustable right down the wheelbase, the rake, the trail and the ergonomics. If you want a quicker-steering bike or a long-haul cruiser, it’s no problem.

After a couple of years of teasing us, Curtiss recently opened the order books. The company is prepping the bikes for delivery in late 2023. But, be prepared to pay for this marvel. The Curtiss 1 starts at $120,000, or $150,000 if you choose to commission your own custom Curtiss.

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