Is a two-seater bobber still a bobber?

Bobber motorcycles date back to the mid-1930s when Indian and Harley-Davidson racers would strip down bikes to reduce weight. By lopping off a section of the rear fender and removing the front mudguard altogether, competitors created a barebones aesthetic that suited for racing. Bobbers also lacked stylish (for the time) chrome bits or fancy paint jobs. 

Fast forward nearly 90 years and bobbers are all the rage. From the Triumph Bonneville Bobber to the Indian Scout Bobber, from the Harley-Davidson Softail Street Bob to the Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber, almost every make offers a stripped-down cruiser. With the market trend in full swing, resurrected Czech brand and current Indian manufacturer Jawa unveiled its bobber in November 2019. To add some custom flair to the new model, design firm SRK Designs reimagined the bobber with accommodations for a passenger.

Dubbed the Urban Edition, SRK Designs applied Photoshop’s suite of brushes, stamps, and tools to create a rendering that increases the Perak’s functionality. In India’s urban centers, motorcycles and scooters typically bear the load of multiple passengers or commercial luggage in addition to the rider. By extending the Perak’s floating seat, SRK’s design makes the model more suitable for India’s urban landscape but the structural support required changes all the lines of the motorcycle. 

Bobbers are known for a sloped backbone and floating seat. While SRK’s rendering accurately depicts the subframe necessary for multiple riders, the additional struts encumber the visual simplicity of Jawa’s bobber. Of course, room for a passenger would also require a saree guard to prevent the flowing garments worn by Indian women from flapping into the rear wheel or final drive chain—further muddling the minimalist bobber aesthetic.

SRK also included touches of the original bobber era with whitewall tires, a headlight grill, and WW2-inspired tank art. To tie the rendering to India’s urban environment, the design studio added the Perak name to the side cover in a graffiti font. 

Though SRK’s design imbued Jawa’s new model with a useful passenger seat, we could argue that it no longer makes the Perak a bobber. After all, the main use of a bobber is to look cool and Perak already does that direct from the factory.