Harley-Davidson has long been known for its style, shape, and sound. The Harley-Davidson Street Bob adds to all three of these legacies and more, with its cool “denim” finish, its sharp silhouette, and its single-seat smooth riding.
A Recent Addition to the Family
The history of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company dates back to 1903, even before World War I. That’s more than 100 years of experience in motorcycle production, design, and engineering in the American market. It’s no wonder that Harley-Davidson has a cult-like following in the US.
In 1991, Harley-Davidson unveiled the Dyna SuperGlide series. Between then and 2017, countless models, generations, and variations were produced, intended for both domestic and international markets.
Come 2006, the FXDBI Street Bob was introduced to the Dyna line. The Street Bob would come to outlast the Dyna line, which was discontinued in 2017, and be carried over to the newer Softail series.
The original Harley-Davidson Street Bob was built out of the Dyna SuperGlide chassis. Engineers and designers made changes, cuts, and additions here and there, producing the Street Bob fifteen years after pruning and preening the Dyna line.
The frame used in the original Street Bob was almost identical to that used in the standard Dyna series; however, the Street Bob was designed for a single rider, never included any kind of second-person seat, and enjoyed a few significant improvements to its performance.
One Model, Two Bodies
Because of the discontinuation of the Dyna SuperGlide series and the Street Bob’s transition into the Softail line, two generations of the Street Bob were created: the original with the Dyna frame and the other with a totally redesigned Softail frame.
- Harley-Davidson Street Bob (2006-2017)
The original Bob resembled other cruisers in the Dyna SuperGlide line in more than just an aesthetic sense. It used a four-stroke, 45-degree V-Twin, Twin Cam engine with a massive 1,584cc engine.
As of 2018, the Street Bob has been migrated to the Softail series. This new motorcycle sports the new Milwaukee 8 Engine, released in 2017. This engine comes in two displacements, 1,750cc and 1,870cc, making it one of the largest motorcycle engines commercially available in 2019.
The Legacy Continues
Harley-Davidson has announced plans to continue the Street Bob for an unknown number of years. The new 2020 model has entered production and, as of August 2019, is performing well in its target markets, meaning more may be yet to come in future years.
One of the greatest uses of the Street Bob was in the production of the music video for the Dirty Heads’ “My Sweet Summer” in 2014.
A general rule of thumb is: if it’s in pop culture, it’s easy to find a social group. While that’s accurate most of the time, a better rule of thumb is: if it’s a Harley-Davidson, you can bet big money that you’ll find a social group. HOG – The Harley Owners Group on Facebook, for example, has more than 35,000 followers.
Harley-Davidson Street Bob – the Survivor
Few models have managed to generate such strong popularity and consumer support as to warrant the survival of the model after the line that it’s a part of is discontinued.
The Harley-Davidson Street Bob is one of those few, and checking out the specs, there’s no wonder as to why.