In biker speak, a “bobber” is a bike that’s had everything you don’t absolutely need removed to save weight. The front fender is usually the first to go, followed by the rear fender being cut short or “bobbed”, hence the name. Bobbers use a stock frame, as opposed to choppers, which generally have their frames modified to increase fork rake. Forks on bobbers are generally stock, while forks on choppers are usually stretched to provide a custom look (at the expense of handling). On the evolutionary scale of the motorcycle, bobbers represent the first climb out of the primordial stock bike-only-ooze, and they’ve still got a loyal following of riders.
By definition, I’d say it’s impossible to have a production bobber. Production bikes are each assembled from the same parts, in the same way. If it comes off the showroom floor, it isn’t really custom, is it? Victory Motorcycles would disagree with my contention, and would offer up their new High Ball Bobber as evidence that a bike can be both stock and custom at the same time. Victory calls their High Ball Bobber, “Stripped down, bare bones, a bold throwback.” I’ll give them the fact that it looks like nothing else, with whitewall tires, matte paint and factory standard ape hanger bars. Functionality aside, there’s still room for improvement if you’re going to call this a bobber: I hope that front fender is easily removed, because it doesn’t belong there. Those turn signals will need to disappear, and that rear fender needs some SawzAll liposuction. Victory can’t build a bike like that, because it wouldn’t meet DOT standards; as an owner, however, you can make any specific mods your local laws allow.
Victory builds solid bikes, and if I were a bobber guy who wanted to go the new bike route, the Victory High Ball Bobber seems like a good enough place to start. Love it or hate it, at least it doesn’t look like every other factory custom bike out there, so Victory deserves a nod of appreciation for continuing to go their own way.