BMW Motorrad Spezial

1937 Harley-Davidson bobber

James Roper-Caldbeck doesn’t churn out bikes by the dozen. So when a new one rolls out of his Copenhagen, Denmark shop, it’s invariably worth a close look. And this lean green Harley-Davidson bobber is a curious mix of components that work well together.

You’re looking at a 1937 flathead engine and gearbox, sitting in a panhead frame—hence the slight rake on the forks. The engine has way more pep than the original: it’s topped with later-era ironheads, and breathes through a Dell’Orto carb.

The forks are from an obscure World War II XA (Experimental Army) shaft drive bike, and the tank is a 1947 item. A Bates seat adds to the authentic look, along with Stewart Warner gauges up front and a Sparto taillight out back. And repro Avon tires sitting on lovely 16″ rims.

Unfortunately, the bike isn’t for sale: it was commissioned for a customer. But if you live in Europe and you’re looking for a beautifully crafted ‘Old School’ Harley bobber, give Customs From Jamesville a call.

  • love it, save the whale-penis tail light.

  • really?

    Bobber? Sorry the hard tail was standard that year…

  • Really “Really?”, when did Bobber mean hardtail? Original bobbers were from the hardtail era and bobbing simply referred to removing the extra crap of a dresser to make a lighter bike – like the hinged rear section of the rear mudguard and the front mudguard.

    This is a bobber: a proper bobber, a closer relative to the original bobbers than the newly created bobbers that pay homage to them, swapping their swing-arm frames (sometimes, but even that isn’t essential) to recreate the lines of those stripped down streetbikes of our forefathers.

    Any more pictures available?

  • really?

    chill brrroooooo just meeessing

  • WRXr

    While it may be true to the original concept of a bobber, the rear fender looks incomplete and uncrafted.

  • Great bike, reminds me of the Classic Bobber from Brass Balls Bobbers. Would love a Route 66 road trip on one of these.

  • Hi WRWr

    i love to hear other people’s opinions, but i think it is always important to do a little research before giving one. this is the original rear fender that is being used, and of course it is incomplete it is missing the last section. that is what makes this bike a traditional Bobber, as this is what was done in the 1940’s. so in other words to say it is uncrafted is to criticize Harley- Davidson not me as they made the fender 73 years ago.

    And the Sparto rear light (whale penis) is again period correct made by a company in LA from 1930’s to 1950’s, back then you did not have a hugh choice of aftermarket parts. this was one of the very few around back then, and most commonly associated with tradition bobbers.

    thanks all for your responses

  • I’ve been building and restoring H-D’s from 36-57 for 22 years now. I can usually give an AMCA judge a run for his money on knowledge. Would I ? No… A man’s bike is his personal expression, his taste reflected in metal – instead of canvas. It is a close personal expression. To judge a man on his taste is futile. This is a very nice bike and the owner/builder should be proud to ride around on it. There is not a wide variety of parts available in Denmark like there is where I live. To own a period big flatty is super cool- let alone in Denmark! Did you forget to notice 37 is the first year for the U models? Super cool! Get real everyone and show some respect. Critical comments should be left to your wife or girlfriend to spout….

  • joe momma

    ….and to reason with most of the dorx on this site’s comments is like pissing in the wind……..nice warm shower………

  • Yes, I agree… it was said that “it’s hard to fly like an eagle when surrounded by turkeys”……
    The theory of relativism was perhaps not thought out completely by the relativist. All is not perspective- truth is light that extinguishes dark, and knowing that dark cannot persuade light.

  • dave

    i wish they they still made biks like the 30s thrugh 50s the bikes where awsome to look at and to ride