Yes, the Street Bob is a bobber as interpreted by a major manufacturer. By default that means its sensible and safe design (dictated by DOT requirements when building a bike for the masses) doesn’t incorporate many of the edgy, law-flouting styling elements found on many hardcore bobbers. But then again, the Street Bob comes with a factory warranty and Harley’s massive dealer network – no chance of that from Billy’s Backyard Bobber Emporium.
Bob’s yer uncle
As part of Harley’s Dark Custom line, the Street Bob takes some of its cues from what the cool kids are doing with their rides these days. A target of immediate re-fabrication and hallmark styling trait of the go-your-own-way crowd is to somehow muck with a bike’s handlebar. For the Street Bob, it’s all about the fists-in-the-wind ape-hanger look.The bar’s height (10.0-inch-tall bar with 2.0-inch rise) is legal in all 50 states, and just high enough that I didn’t feel like I was riding a cookie-cutter cruiser. But during extended freeway blasts the bar was almost too tall for my liking. Their placement means your arms are raised and open, leaving your torso to take the brunt of the windblast: fighting against the wind to keep a secure grip gets a little tiresome after 20 miles or more. How do the hardcore biker dudes ride with those mega-tall apes…?
Apes on the Street Bob might give the impression that they diminish handling, but it’s only during low-speed maneuvering that steering can feel cumbersome at times. Depending on your physical stature you might find that it’s a bit of a stretch to the outside bar-end when performing tight-radius turns, etc.
I had myself convinced that the mid-mount footpegs would place my knees too high to remain comfortable for long – just like I presumed about the apes. While the pegs aren’t low and forward as on most cruisers, I was surprised after the first few miles at how well the pegs’ placement complemented the rest of the rider triangle: not too low, not too high. A solo saddle is de rigueur for bobber styling. The SB has a 26.7-inch seat height, and the saddle’s shape and foam density was comfortable mile after mile.