Motorcycle Classics Blogs > The Classic Life

Going the Bobber Route

by Landon Hall

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What do you do when you find a perfectly good deal on a bike that's, well, not perfect? You know, the nice bike that has most of the right parts but too many of the wrong ones to do a perfect restoration?

Make it a bobber, of course.

Heres a photo of my 1939 Indian Chief the day I bought it from an 80-year-old man that could no longer kick start it. 

Yes, the old geezer had hooked it to a Ural sidecar and used it to terrorize the neighborhood for the past several years.

When I got it home, I took off every non-Indian part on the bike. This included that fine front fender from a Honda Gold Wing, among many other incorrect pieces. When I finished, I had about three-quarters of a complete Indian. So, once the choice was made to go the bobber route, I set about finding the parts I'd need. About the only pieces I had to buy were the handlebars, the Indian scout headlight, and the solo seat from a Harley K model. I also couldn't resist putting a Klaxon horn on it from an old BMW.

The finished Chief Bobber is unique, lighter, fun to ride and a perfect bar-hopper.

-- John Landstrom