The “bobber” originated in the 1930s, when ageing Harley Model Js and Indian Scouts were modernized, lightened and modified for AMA Class Racing. The “bobbed” fenders and stripping of parts was the utilitarian approach to the racing problem, but their style carried over to the post-War years when returning servicemen wanted more performance, more style, and more individuality. And so the custom car and motorcycle scene exploded.
The chopper appeared in the 1960s with frame modifications and increasingly individual custom features and appearance.
The 1977 Harley-Davidson Brooklyn Bobber offered here was borne of the Keino Cycles workshop in Brooklyn, New York. Keinosuke Sasaki was born in Japan and introduced to motorcycles by his enthusiast father, an artisan and engineer in his own right. While at university, young Keino served an apprenticeship at custom builder, Shrews. Post-university he pursued his passion, ending up in New York and landing a job with famed custom builder, Indian Larry. Upon Larry’s passing, Keino became partner in the firm before moving on to his own shop in 2008, aptly named Keino Cycles.
The bike features a signature Pan and Shovelhead engine mounted in a low-slung rigid wishbone frame with a bobber stance. At its heart is a 1977 Harley Shovelhead engine with S&S heads, Evo oiling system, S&S Super E carb and a Panhead rear rocker cover. The engine has Dyna S ignition and a brand new Baker 6-in-4 gearbox. There is a BDL belt drive, while clutch and starter isolator system come from Cyclone. The high bars are narrowed Indian Larry subway hangers mounted in to brass risers and with internal cables, give the bike a short, clean, but aggressive stance. The rear fender is West Coast Customs and the seat is Paul Cox with rigidaire for added comfort. Rear brake is Wilwood twin caliper for on-dime stopping, while a front brake was deemed superfluous. Exile forward controls with foot clutch and jockey shift add to the authentic feel of the bike. The paint is beautifully executed and stunning in every regard.
Owned since 2018, the bike has been a feature of a California collection of motorcycles and classic Shelby Mustangs and Cobras. The bike presents perfectly and exudes the very highest build quality: a fantastic talking point of any collection.
Location: Ventura, California