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I might answer my own question here, but I'm considering a Bobber after having my Indian Chief Vintage stolen this week.

I just want to be able to take a day ride, maybe 400-500 miles, once or twice a year.

Tolerable?
 

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Totally depends...on the size of your a_ _, on the condition of your back, how much you want to carry with you, wind tolerance and not riding long stretches (over 120 mi. if you’re lucky) without a gas station. But, as
you see, guys are doing it all the time. So, it depends...
 

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It’s do-able. But would not be my first choice of bike.
Personally, my limit (at present) is about 300km on a day ride with the Bobber. The next day i was sore and had a migraine. So it’s not something I’ll be repeating until I can build up my touring tolerance bit by bit on the Bobber.
 

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I have no issues for 1 to 1-1/2 hours before stopping for a break. As mentioned it’s not as good for touring as some other bikes out there but then most of the other bikes don’t enable you to look as cool and as much fun as the Bobber so it’s a trade off ;)
 

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I have been riding BMWs since the early 80's so my view about what makes a good long distance motorcycle is slanted. A BMW R1200RT or a BMW R1200GS is a good long distance motorcycle. I could ride a 500 mile day with no problems on a BMW.

IMHO a Bobber is a good short distance motorcycle. The Bobber is a good bike to ride for an hour. Get off, stretch your legs, scratch your butt, take a bathroom break, buy some gas, get something to drink, get back on and ride some more. Can you do that for 400 or 500 miles?

In my youth I might have been able to ride a Bobber for 400 miles. At 71 years of age, 200 miles is about my limit. If I go more than 200 miles I'll take my car. :|
 

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Skip I have followed your story over on the Indian forums, so sorry! I have done 2 400 mile trips on my Bobber with just a swingarm bag and tool bag. All my trips were with IMRG riders, they love it. You will not be as comfortable as your Vintage but very doable and you will love the handling. It will be perfect for 95% of your trips. If you have bad knees the forward controls are great.
 

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In my previous post I was at work, more time now! Skip, as you know the Vintage is a better touring bike then the Bobber will ever be. As I own both, I feel I can give an objective answer.

I have done (2) 400 mile trips on the Bobber. Firstly, fuel management is important, the Bobber has a very cool looking but small tank! I always show up for a ride with a full tank. By myself it's not an issue. When riding with an Indian group they are usually a "mature" bunch and do a comfort stop in less then 2 hours, so not a problem. If there are Scouts in the group they have to stop anyway. If it's my Harley buddies some are in their mid 20s or thirties but they go less far then the Indian riders and if there is a Sporty in the group they have to stop anyway!

Comfort wise you need to try it for yourself. If you don't like the bars or seat or whatever just remember Triumph makes over 150 accessories and the aftermarket is growing daily. The stock seat is comfortable and so is the Quilted, stay away from the Statement seat, you will pay for that cool look, I have all three. The seat is adjustable forward or back and goes down as it goes back. The optional Apehanger bars are super comfortable for me, as they are for many!

The Bobber handling is great. My Harley buddies don't want to get off the thing, it's a gas to ride. 90 HP bicycle is the most common quote, everyone is smiling when they come back! If you are near the 185 lb target weight of the stock shock you mite be fine. If you are a big lad then the optional Fox shock or a Matrix may be better , they are fully adjustable, but expensive. You will not get the "riding on a cloud feel " of the Vintage though! You will love that Triumph accessories are about a third of the cost of Indians.

Every year the Vintage gets harder to maneuver around the garage with cars, other bikes etc., Not so the much lighter Bobber.

Everyone compliments the Bobbers looks and thinks is is a meticulous restoration, much more so then the Indian! When we were at the bottom of Mt Equinox I was parked next to my buddies $40K RM Elite and about 3 people walking by said "gorgeous Triumph" I was embarrassed for him!

In short the Bobber is just a super fun ride. I have a great bunch of bikes in the garage that have mostly sat since I bought the Bobber! Give it a test ride! >:)
 

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First off, really sorry your ride got stolen. That sucks.

But my opinion is that no, the Bobber would not be good for a long trip.

The seat height is lower than the bonnevilles, so a wind screen would be more effective, but the ergonomics of the bike aren't conducive for long rides. The seat isn't great, and the mid controls and tracker bars are uncomfortable for taller people. Perhaps with a few mods (apes/forwards) it would be a better ride, but as it is now, I think the new Bobber is better for bar hopping. I rode one for 30 minutes the other day and I was ready to throw in the towel. It's an awesome looking bike though.

The speedmaster would be better for a 500 mile trip, but really a Harley or Indian would be ideal. That is, after all, what they're manufactured for.
 

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Is the Bobber suited for long rides?

NO, the clue’s in the name the Bobber’s great for bobbing around!

Can you use it for long rides?

Yes of course, I’ve got a mate who travels to European Vespa rallies on a 150cc vintage scooter. Anything’s possible it just depends on how much discomfort you can endure. :surprise:

Having said that my bike got stock suspension and the quilted seat and I can easily do 300mile in a day no problem. At a push I’m sure I could do 500mile but it wouldn’t be enjoyable and there are many bikes better suited to the task.
 

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“The Bobber is a good bike to ride for an hour. Get off, stretch your legs, scratch your butt, take a bathroom break, buy some gas, get something to drink, get back on and ride some more”

Man, that just says it all. And sounds like a blast, too. ??
 

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I would totally do a 500 mile day on my Bobber. Especially if it's just once or twice a year, with the majority being ~200 mile days, the Bobber's a total blast.

If you wanted to do 500 miles every weekend, I'd suggest a different bike, but if that's your high-water mark then I htink the Bobber will be fine.

- Mark
 

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Just to throw my 2 cents in, even if he is looking at downgrading to the vintage :D , I think it also depends on the type of riding you do. No matter what bike I ride, if I am doing long haul straight roads I start to feel uncomfortable and start to hurt in places that I shouldn't be. Take me through the back roads and the twisties however and it's a different story and I can ride for hours. I've always thought it's because you're moving around on the bike and staying alert that you feel better. I've done 300km plus rides on the bobber through the mountains and still felt good at the end of it but I've also done 45 minutes on the freeway and my butt has started to complain. Anyway, keep on bobbing along :D
 

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Since 1979, I've done the Exeter, Devon (South-West England) to Paderborn/Hannover (Germany) 1000km route, God knows how many times, in both directions, on many different bikes.
1977 RD250 Yamaha; 1974 CB750K2 Honda; 1979 T140D Triumph Bonneville (several times); 1978 TY175 Yamaha Trials bike, at 35mph in the winter!!; 1959 5TA Triumph Chopper with rigid frame and 24 inch over forks!!; 1963 BSA 650 A10 Chopper with rigid frame; 1999 W650 Kawasaki; 2001 955i Daytona Triumph; 2006 Harley VRSCD Nightrod; 2009 Harley FLHR Road King.

Something that no-one has addressed to the OP's original question is: how fast do you want to get to where you want to go? If you want to just take it easy and cruise at 120km/h or 70mph, I could do that all day on the bobber; and have already done. On the other hand; if you wanna do some intercontinental blasting, then you may... just may need a different bike :wink2:

Next Thursday I'll be riding over from here (Hannover area Germany) to Exeter, and the following Sunday back home; on either my Road-King or the bobber. Haven't decided yet. Granted, the Road King has; windscreen, big tank, big seat and luggage provision; but it's also immensely heavy, has probably the worst suspension I've ever encountered, and consumes almost double the amount of petrol compared to the bobber.

So I'll be deciding tomorrow which bike is taking me. It's a round trip of about 2500-2800km in 5 days. I have no doubts whatsoever that the bobber will be suited to this task. It's just a matter of me adapting to how I intend to travel, regarding clothing, luggage etc.
I tend to take a break about every 200km on long trips anyway and I normally get around 210km out of a tank on the bobber. There's petrol stations along my route literally everywhere.
I'll keep ya'll posted if you like:smile2:

Cheers!
mike
 

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Just to throw my 2 cents in, even if he is looking at downgrading to the vintage :D , I think it also depends on the type of riding you do. No matter what bike I ride, if I am doing long haul straight roads I start to feel uncomfortable and start to hurt in places that I shouldn't be. Take me through the back roads and the twisties however and it's a different story and I can ride for hours. I've always thought it's because you're moving around on the bike and staying alert that you feel better. I've done 300km plus rides on the bobber through the mountains and still felt good at the end of it but I've also done 45 minutes on the freeway and my butt has started to complain. Anyway, keep on bobbing along :D
I can understand your statement on "downgrading" but you do understand that's a $20k bike?
 

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I've ridden to 46 states from my driveway , on a number of different brands and styles. The Bobber and I will be rolling into Austin Texas in about 3 months for a nice 9 day trip. Riding is what you make of it. I'm pushing 46 , so not old , but not young either. Anytime I think "hey , that's not the right bike for that"........I just think of all the pioneers that did precisely "That" on brand XYZ from a half century ago on much worse bikes and much worse roads. Now we have Markets. Touring , cruising , sport , adventure , etc....... Or , as I recall as a kid , the same stuff guys were doing on SOHC Honda 750 motorcycles.

Yeah , they look best naked and clean , but throwing a set of bags on them and hitting the open road is not an impossible dream. Esp for a fella that knows he's only going to hit the open road a couple times a year for 500 miles.
 

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I've ridden to 46 states from my driveway , on a number of different brands and styles. The Bobber and I will be rolling into Austin Texas in about 3 months for a nice 9 day trip. Riding is what you make of it. I'm pushing 46 , so not old , but not young either. Anytime I think "hey , that's not the right bike for that"........I just think of all the pioneers that did precisely "That" on brand XYZ from a half century ago on much worse bikes and much worse roads. Now we have Markets. Touring , cruising , sport , adventure , etc....... Or , as I recall as a kid , the same stuff guys were doing on SOHC Honda 750 motorcycles.

Yeah , they look best naked and clean , but throwing a set of bags on them and hitting the open road is not an impossible dream. Esp for a fella that knows he's only going to hit the open road a couple times a year for 500 miles.
Well said. I think the industry would like us to have multiple bikes for different scenarios. I have no problem putting a screen and bags on a "bobber" and take a longer ride.
 
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