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Harley Fathead Bobbers

Before Choppers, there was Bobbers...

Photo of 2004 Harley Davidson Twin Cam 88B engine - the FAThead This site is about the Harley Davidson Twin Cam® Engine, and all Bobbers, Choppers, Short Chops, Ratbikes, Lowriders, Hot Rods and other Custom Motorcycles powered by the Big Twin Harley TwinCam® or "Fathead".

HD introduced the 1450cc Twin Cam 88 engine in September 1998 for the 1999 model year. On the Softail models the Twin Cam engine wasn't available until the year 2000.

This was due to vibration problems in the Softail frame which were solved by adding chain driven counterbalancers in the special Twin Cam 88B version.

For the 2007 model year the TwinCam was beefed up to 96 cubic inches (1584cc), available in a 96A and a 96B version.

Harley FAThead?

The tradition is that every Harley Davidson V-Twin motor has a nickname which relates to the shape of the cylinder heads: Flathead, Knucklehead, Panhead, Ironhead, Shovelhead...

However, with the Evolution engine which Harley Davidson introduced in 1984, this tradition was more or less broken. Time will tell, but so far (2010) the nickname "Blockhead" never really stuck and the Evo engine is still generally referred to as the Evolution or Evo.

Same with the Harley TwinCam® Engine, which is "officially" nicknamed the Fathead. Ask anybody if they know any biker who rides a Fathead, and they'll think you have a speech impediment and meant to say fLathead ...

Anyway, we needed a name for this website, preferably in line with our other Bobber sites, so we went for "Harley Fathead Bobbers". That's it.

Harley Fathead Bobbers

TwinCam Chopper or TwinCam Bobber?

Except maybe for the expression "Old School" there is probably nothing that is abused as often as the term "Bobber". And Bobbers are very often confused with Choppers, and the other way around.

In our perception, a Bobber can de defined as a stock motorcycle without major modifications except that most or all of the parts which do not contribute to speed and/or performance have been removed or shortened (i.e. "bobbed").

Read more on what makes a Bobber a Bobber on the Bobber World website.


Choppers and Bobbers are quite different. By "Chopper" we mean a motorcycle of which the rake of the front fork has been increased to a rake which is considerably larger than the rake of the original stock motorcycle. If a bike has both fenders, a buddy seat, saddle bags and turn signals, she wouldn't classify as a Bobber, but she can still very well be a Chopper.

If a bike has the rake increased but keeps a low profile with a short front fork, she may look like a Bobber, but we call her a "Short Chop".

Read more about the differences between Bobbers, Choppers and Short Chops on the Bobber World website.


The above is the way that we see things. However, we are not taking ourselves too serious here. We also know that there's lots of people with different views, and we respect that. If at the West Coast a modified bike is called a Chopper, and at the East Coast that same bike is called a Bobber, that's fine with us!

Harley Davidson Cross Bones

Look at a stock CrossBones and hear her cryin' to be bobbed!

Click to view this Cross Bones Bobber by HD Wrench! In general terms, we would define a Bobber as a stock motorcycle without major modifications, except that most or all of the parts which do not contribute to speed and/or performance have been removed or shortened.

This Bobbing usually takes place in a garage or shed behind the house, by bike owners with a vision to create something beautiful or a wish to create something they can call their own.

As such, with all due respect, a stock bike straight from the factory - regardless of style - does not qualify as a Bobber.

However, everybody knows that customized versions of the Harley Cross Bones will be just a matter of time. Look at a stock Cross Bones and hear her crying to be bobbed...

It will be interesting to watch how modifications to the Cross Bones will develop over the next couple of years, both by the owners and by the factory. We are looking forward to it!       ... Read More ....

Harley Cross Bones Photo Albums