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Kevin Baas on Bobbers and Choppers

A Talk with the Experts... has invited a number of motorcycle experts and Bobber artists to give their opinions and personal views on Bobbers, Choppers and other custom bikes. Not with the intent to find alignment (nothing lost if we do or if we don't) but rather to deepen the subject.

Kevin Baas, a.k.a. 'Teach' On this page we got Mr. Kevin Baas, owner of Baas Metal Craft from Lakeville, Minnesota, United States.

Kevin, a.k.a. "Teach", is a highschool tech ed. teacher by trade, but has a passion for working with metal. He has also written a book: How to Build and Oldschool Bobber.

Kevin is specialized, or has a preference so to speak, in Knuck, Pan and Shovel Bobbers. An example of his work is his 1947 Harley FL Knucklehead Bobber that he shows to us on our Knucklehead Bobbers website and that can be viewed if you click HERE.

And the beautiful thing is, Kevin does not put his precious vintage Bobbers in a bike museum. He puts them on the race track!

Photo of Kevin Baas racing his 1947 Harley Knucklehead Bobber Kevin Baas racing his 1947 Harley Knucklehead Bobber.

Kevin on Bobbers

What makes a Bobber a Bobber?

Kevin: "A bobber in my opinion is a stripped down stock bike. No rake modifications, with a stock length front end. No front fender or a cut down small one. Rear fender trimmed or cut down to expose much of the rear tire. And as much of the extra crap that wasn't needed taken off to reduce weight for racing.

Indians, Harleys, Triumphs as well some other bikes of the 40-60s can be seen in many pictures wearing this style. On the true bobber old Knucks and Pans the rear lower hinged section was removed.

New bikes of today with electric start or built with all the billet garbage and new technologies will never be a true bobber, just a bike that was built to resemble the bobber style.

The term "Bobber" has been beat to death and misused by millions over the last 10 years as every newbie who wants to try and be cool and ride what the trend is were throwing a sprung seat on their bikes and calling them bobbers."

"Original Bobber"?

Kevin: "I have not heard this expression nor do I use it. I guess an Original Bobber could only be a barn found old bike that was bobbed over 50 years ago or more by someone before it became the new mainstream trend."

"True Bobber"?

Kevin: "I don't use the expression but it would be any original bike of 69 not made up of the new repop aftermarket junk to try and look like it is an old bike."

"Oldschool Bobber"?

Kevin: "I may have used the expression "Oldschool Bobber" a long time ago but again that term has been killed by the people who don't truly appreciate or understand what that would or should mean. It's just another try to be like the cool kids term that has now been banished by the riders of these old bikes."

What does your favourite Bobber look like?

Kevin: "My 47 Knucklehead."

Kevin on Choppers

What makes a Chopper a Chopper?

Kevin: "Chopped frame or an aftermarket one that is extended or has rake modifications."

What does your favourite Chopper look like?

Kevin: "Long, with a Pan, Knuck or Shovel motor."

Check Out Kevin Baas:

If you'd like to get to know Kevin a little better, please don't hesitate to visit his Baas Metal Craft website:

Click Picture to visit Kevin's BMC - Baas Metal Craft website

Kevin's book:

(January 2010)

The Experts' Views on Bobbers and Choppers

On these pages we give you the personal opinions and views of motorcycle experts and Bobber artists.

Discover what the other guys have to say: