“One word to describe my bike- Me.”
How did you become interested in the “bobber” scene?
Through forums and youtube videos, I saw people talking about “bobbers”. Curious to know what that was, I began to do my research. I discovered that a bobber is a bike that is low budget, home built, and crafted to meet ones personal style. While searching for a bobber project, I stumbled across a sweet deal on a Honda Rebel. It was rare to see bobbers around San Jose, so when a friend of mine added me into a Bobber’s group, I was hooked. Although it was a fun bike to have and was useful to commute around SF, it was lacking tremendous power. Soon when I got to test ride my friend’s Honda Shadow, I knew that it was time to get rid of my Rebel and find one for myself. It wasn’t long until I laid my hands on a Shadow, and before I knew it, my first real bobber project was taking place.
What type of bikes catch your attention?
The loud, low, and fast bikes. The type that was built in someone’s garage and not a shop. A bike that is built to stand out and not look like others of its make. Simply, a bike that has its own story behind it.
What makes your bike unique to you?
There are many parts of my bike that make it meaningful to me. One of which is my suicide shifter. I was inspired by the old school look where most bikes had suicide shifters. Another reason is because it was uncommon to see and it made my bike more personal because not everyone would be capable of riding it.
The sissy bar was added because I loved the idea of being able to strap anything to it and have it act as a trunk for my bike. For example, I once went grocery shopping with my bike and it did the job of bringing my items home in one piece. The sissy bar was my first time bending metal and it didn’t turn out too shabby.
Next is my self-made handle bar. After a few months of using my Jack Rabbit handlebars, I wanted something slicker, narrower, and shorter for lane splitting. Inspired by a builder on Chopcult, I decided to make my own bars. I was still a bit new at welding, but I was able to finish the bars within a day. The ultimate test for my welding was when I took my bike on the freeway. Prepared for the worst, I felt relieved when my bike and I made it home in one piece.
After every ride, I’d tell Sheila about how fun and crazy it was. Stories aren’t the same as actually riding, so I decided to make a rear seat so I can share the riding experience with her. Food for thought, why buy when I can build? So after a few hours of coming up with ways to support a rear passenger, I began chopping. All the materials I used were found in my garage: a rear seat from my Rebel, fenders that were given to me by friends, and pegs from my Yamaha XS400. After a day and a half’s work running on four hours of sleep, the rear seat was finally complete. We tested out the seat by riding for a couple of hours and smashing down the freeway, and in the end, the rear seat was a success because Sheila was still sitting behind me.
What are your future plans for the bike?
I have nothing in mind right now, but give me a couple of months and you’ll soon see a change. This bike will never be finished.
Interview questions by: Sheila Bui
Photos by: Tony Pham