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1969 FLH Shovelhead Custom Bobber

John of Blue Moon Cycle, Inc. from Norcross, Georgia , United States made available these photos of his awesome 1969 Harley FLH Shovelhead Custom Bobber.

John: "OK, maybe it's just my opinion but it seems to me like every sort of custom bike today is being called a bobber. Bobbers don't have: raked frames, extended forks, ape hangers or saddlebags. Bobbers are basically stock bikes with parts removed, usually no front fender and a shortened back fender. No parts added to the bobber should be newer than the bike itself."

"OK, Now that I am off my soap box, here is a few photos of my 1969 Harley FLH. Formerly a Nevada Highway Patrol bike, this girl is now living the wild life. Sometimes chrome does get you home!"

1969 Harley FLH Shovelhead Custom Bobber by John

Custom Bobber or Oldschool Bobber?   Or Both?

To classify Bobbers is a matter of criteria. Here at Shovelhead-Bobbers.com we follow a dual approach to classify Bobbers, meaning that we follow both (1) Technical criteria and (2) Styling criteria.

From a technical point of view, in our mind any Bobber is either a Straight Bobber or a Custom Bobber, whereby a Straight Bobber is nothing but a stock bike without major modifications except that those parts which do not contribute to speed or performance have been removed.

John's bike has undergone major modifications, and with all her chrome and elaborate pinstriping she is a fine example of a Custom Bobber.

From a styling point of view, the design of John's bike contains many elements which refer to an earlier era.

Retro elements like the springer fork, hardtail frame and upswept exhaust pipes make her a fine example of an Oldschool Bobber.

So, technically speaking John's bike is a Custom Bobber, while at the same time from a styling point of view we rate her as an Oldschool Bobber.

1969 FLH Oldschool Bobber with 1200cc Harley Davidson Shovelhead engine 1969 Harley FLH Oldschool Custom Bobber...

1969 Harley "Generator Shovelhead" Engine

Photo of 1969 Harley Generator Shovelhead Engine by John. John's 1969 FLH Oldschool Bobber is powered by a so-called "Generator Shovelhead Engine".

Until 1969 the Harley Shovelhead engine retained the lower end of the predecessor Panhead engine which it had replaced in 1966. Note how the generator is placed in front of the engine case "Sportster-style". (Whereas Sportster engines in turn inherited this same generator arrangement from the Harley Flathead engines, etc.)

Harley Custom Bobber Front End with Springer Fork

Photo of 1969 Harley FLH Shovelhead Custom Oldschool Bobber by John.

Image of 1969 FLH Custom Bobber with 1200cc Harley Davidson Shovelhead engine.

Harley Oldschool Bobber Rear End

Image of 1969 FLH Custom Bobber with 1200cc Harley Davidson Shovelhead engine.

Actually, John is a BMW motorcycle guru. (Shit happens in the best of families... ;o)

His company Blue Moon Cycle specializes in classic and vintage BMW motorcycles. For some real cool old school stuff, check out his website:

Click to go to Blue Moon Cycle

Blue Moon Cycle, Inc.
752 West Peachtree Street
Norcross, GA 30071

(December 2009)