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  1. #1

    Default Best bike to build a bobber?

    Whatís up, guys? Iím looking to get into the bobber scene. Iíve got about $3200 to spend on bike to start my project. I know that Sportsters and Shovelheads are probably the most popular, but sportsters might be too small for me (6í2, 210lbs), and I havenít been able to find a shovel head in my price range yet. So, what other harleys make for a good bobber that would be in my price range?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Keep looking. Deals are popping up all over. Hit craigslist in towns withing driving distance(500 miles at least). Dont just look in motorcycle section, check parts also. I saw a softail missing only the engine go for $1700.

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    https://austin.craigslist.org/mpo/d/...098106520.html

  4. #4

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    Wish I could find that in Ga!

  5. #5
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    Virago 500, best bobber. Also CB350, best brat bobber. Sym Wolf 125, best retro brat bopper racer

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    The more money you have the better bobber you can build...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Sexy DG Aug 2018 -9.jpg  

  7. #7

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    In my opinion if it’s your first build look for a sportster. You can typically find a good starting sportster base for around 2k. Also remember that 86-03 are generally the same so no sense it finding a newer one. Also 883s are typically quite a bit less than 1200s but are only 600$ away from adding a 1200 kit. I think it will be difficult to find a good shovel base for 3200$ on top of that if you have problems sportsters probably have the most aftermarket support of any bike. Lastly your not too big for especially if you stretch it a few inches with a hardtail.

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    I'm the same height and about the same weight. I'd certainly do a Sportster (I have three) though for a main ride I prefer an Evo big twin (I've two FXRs but they make fugly bobbers, while an Evo Softail is a natural fit and can be hardtailed. The later five speed Sportsters have much better engines because the alternator is on the crankshaft while on the four speeds it's a abortion integrated with the clutch basket. I wouldn't buy a four speed with all the five speeds around. Sporties are much lighter and more agile than big twins, which is why they got their name.

    If you buy an older HD like a Shovel expect to put serious additional money into it unless it's in exceptionally nice shape. If you don't already have an utterly reliable motorcycle, get an Evo instead and make a Shovel a second bike. Experienced mechanics can daily a Shovel but they're all ancient today.

    Prices will drop as the economy continues to sink. The advertisements haven't caught up with reality and what people ask for is usually higher than what they'll take. I would openly remind them the stock market is in ruins but if they don't like your money someone else will.

    Look on Facebook Marketplace. That's where many deals moved to in recent years.

  9. #9

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    if it absolutely has to be a Harley then try to score a cheap evo softail as they can look quite nice once stripped down and a few tweaks made due to the early softail frame geometry. Other than that, you could go for an 883 evo sporty but having owned sporties and being the exact same height and weight as you, you might need to consider a 4" stretch hardtail or a bigger aftermarket frame to make it more comfortable on longer rides. Good luck

    For reference. This was my ironhead sporty and this is what i built from a 95 heritage to replace it. If you can afford it..go for the larger bike.

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  10. #10

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    I looked out of state and found a 79 Shovel 2 hours away for $3400. 93ci (if that means anything). Seems to be in decent shape for what I’m looking to do. I’ve built bobbers before, but with Japanese bikes, so no Harley experience. I’ll probably go look at it/buy it today. I’ll update later today. Thanks, guys!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Superman27e View Post
    I looked out of state and found a 79 Shovel 2 hours away for $3400. 93ci (if that means anything). Seems to be in decent shape for what I’m looking to do. I’ve built bobbers before, but with Japanese bikes, so no Harley experience. I’ll probably go look at it/buy it today. I’ll update later today. Thanks, guys!
    Just remember with any of the older Harleys your gonna need to get your hands dirty wrenching on that thing. No matter how good it looks keep that in mind! If you are a competent enough wrench then have at it

  12. #12

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    Here’s a picture of it. I’m going to call the guy in a bit to get the details, but it does run. Does $3400 sound like a fair deal?

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  13. #13
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    It looks like a deal to me if it has a clear title in his name..........

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tattooo View Post
    It looks like a deal to me if it has a clear title in his name..........
    It does. I just spoke with him on the phone. Also has less than 30,000 miles. Crabs do need to be cleaned, but that's not an issue.

  15. #15
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    Hard to tell much from this tiny pic, but it looks like a great start for your project, it's in your price range, complete, titled and it runs... go for it!

  16. #16

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    Just got back from checking it out. I ended up buying it! He gave me a bunch of stuff to go with it. Extra tank, seat, exhaust, performance cam, etc. He has owned it for 30 years. I took it around the block and so far it runs and rides great. Also has a 5 speed transmission. Sounds amazing. Here are a few pics

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  17. #17
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    $3400 for that? Dang man you freaking scored on that one. I've been looking for that exact deal for a while now. I wouldn't even change much on that bike, it looks great the way it is. Those pipes are kickass

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superman27e View Post
    Just got back from checking it out. I ended up buying it! He gave me a bunch of stuff to go with it.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Man that is awesome... I'm really glad you got it, I figured it was a nice bike...... Since he's had it so long I'd bet he took care of it...

    Now get it off that trailer before it gets use to it........ LOL

  19. #19

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    Thanks, guys! I’m extremely excited about it!

    I had all these plans to chop it up, hartail, etc....but when I saw it, I started thinking I might just leave it like it is.

    Maybe down the road I’ll find another deal and I’ll chop the new deal, but there’s just too much history with this one. The seller, his wife and I stood in his shed that was dedicated and built just for his bikes just talking about the 30 years of memories they had with the bike. She took pictures of him selling it to me and pictures of me sitting on it. Super nice people.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superman27e View Post
    Thanks, guys! I’m extremely excited about it!

    I had all these plans to chop it up, hartail, etc....but when I saw it, I started thinking I might just leave it like it is.

    Maybe down the road I’ll find another deal and I’ll chop the new deal, but there’s just too much history with this one. The seller, his wife and I stood in his shed that was dedicated and built just for his bikes just talking about the 30 years of memories they had with the bike. She took pictures of him selling it to me and pictures of me sitting on it. Super nice people.
    That is cool. Too many people don't respect the owners and bikes past.

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