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Monday, September 28, 2015

The Bobber Story : The Fastest Indian gets into a new class

Everyone loves customising their rides to suit their own taste and/or anything which makes their ride unique. Some people carry out their own work whereas others approach certain custom bike builders. We keep hearing about modified two strokes/four strokes every now & then but when we heard about a modified Pulsar (yes, you read it correct!), we could not surmise that.

And just because of the love of our lovely readers, we had to get to the bottom of this. As we dug deeper into this and as more details were unearthed, the outcome astounded all of us at Motohive. So read on, dear readers, to find out more about this professionally done awesome custom job…
Whenever we hear the word ‘Custom Bike’, the first picture that comes to our minds are of a modified Royal Enfield but this time it’s something completely different. This time, Pune’s fastest growing custom motorcycle builder – Gabriel Motorcycles – have come up with a unique Bobber in their latest build which is based up on a Bajaj Pulsar 220.
Wait a second, did we say a ‘bobber‘ ? What is that, never heard of it?
Well, after the Second World War, military motorcycles were in surplus. They usually had a lot of heavy duty gear mounted on them or at least had provisions to mount them. Bikers who bought them stripped away the excess baggage. They cut the rear fenders or “bobbed” them, hence the name “Bobber”. Bobbers are characterised by big tube tyres on both sides and mostly sport a single seat. 
That’s right people – A bobber based on one of India’s most successful motorcycle in recent times – Bajaj Pulsar 220!

At the first glance, no one can tell that it’s a Pulsar 220. It’s a completely new thought process and design approach taken by the Gabriel Motorcycles. 

The Ideation

The core idea behind the project was very humble – “to do something which was never done on a Bajaj Pulsar before”. Thus change the mindset of the Indian riders that a bike like the Pulsar 220 could be modified to something other than a sports bike.

In the beginning, there was no target set that this build is going to be a bobber. In fact when Mr. Abhijeet (owner of this P220) approached the Gabriel Motorcycles, he was confused about his requirements or how he wanted the bike to be. He wanted it with minimalistic looks but something unique which was not done before and at the same time, it should stand out. He and team Gabriel were dabbling between a Cafe Racer and Bobber and later on decided to go with the bobber.

So the entire project didn’t start with an inspiration rather it was started with lot of uncertainty. This was the first time that the team Gabriel were working on a Pulsar. Before this project, they were mainly into Royal Enfield’s customization work. Every part of this bike was new to the team.

The Design

During design phase, they only had a blurred image of the bobber in their mind and a hazy picture of what all were needed to achieve the look. The first thing they started with was the wheels and hence working their way up the motorcycle. Hence the concept of the bobber became clear. Along the way, there were multiple changes to the design and they had to do lots of trial and errors.
For example, choosing the correct swing arm and the suspension was quite an uphill task. They had to try different suspensions from different bikes before finalising on the Yamaha R15 suspension. They had the chassis parts painted from different painters and towards the end of project, they had to redo the paint job because it was not satisfactory.

In the above photo, the underbelly suspension is seen. Also, checkout the unique swing arm design below.

With all these hurdles and their solution, it took Team Gabriel 4 months to complete this project.
Here’s a list of the parts that were customized for the bobber. Please don’t forget to checkout the detailed photos of these parts in the Gallerysection at the end.
1. Front Tyre 130 x 15
2. Rear Tyre 150 x 15
3. Front Single Disc
4. Rear Single Disc
5. Custom made Front & Rear Fenders
6. Multi spoke wheel
7. Custom made Swing arm
8. Underbelly rear Suspension
9. Custom made Knuckle Duster Foot pegs
10. CNC cut Flame shaped Brake & Gear pedal levers
11. Custom Laser Engraved Air Filter & battery box
12. Single Seat
13. Hazard/Parking lights
14. LED Tail light
15. Side mounted Tail lamp & number plate
16. Bar-end rear view mirrors
17. Sprocket as Fuel tank lid
18. Custom Exhaust
19. Air brushed Paint job
20. Heat resistant black coating on engine and exhaust.

Checkout the custom made knuckle duster foot pegs above. Don’t you want them on one of your rides, eh? Also, don’t miss out on this kind of attention to the details :

The Critical Analysis

Lets see what our senior automotive designer, who is the ultimate authority on the vehicle design, has to say about the build and design of this custom bobber :
“This Gabriel bobber looks incredible! A good proportioned custom bike and slowly the details of the bike start sinking in. The attention to detail is excellent. Right down to the nuts and bolts. This bike follows a tribal theme in general. Skulls and flames are found in generous doses. And it is mixed with an industrial theme grunge look. With nuts riveted to big panels to make it look heavy metal!”

“Clever tricks by the designer have been incorporated. Such as a spear shaped swing arm with wires inside! Under body suspension like some exotic motorcycles! Brass knuckle footrest screams bad ass! A gear shaped fuel tank cap and gold-black tank makes it look industrial. Spoked wheels offset the visual heaviness of the thick walled tyres. The rider sits in a flat sheet of leather riveted to a metal plate.”

“Execution: This, in no way, suggests that the donor bike was Pulsar 220! As shocked as we were, the designer has integrated engine and frame in a very professional way! Speaks a lot about Team Gabriel’s expertise! Attention to detail is excellent. The edges of sheet metal are controlled in production quality. Tank surface quality is excellent. This even has clip-ons whereas a bobber would usually flaunt a flat bar. But it’s a custom bike so you create the style. When the rider sits on the bike, we can feel the air box and filter on inner thighs. If the rider is shorter it will be painful. As per the designer, you have to rest only one foot on the ground. Apart from that the saddle can be a bit harsh on your buttocks. And we were really hard pressed to find any serious shortcomings in this design.”

Parting Thoughts

Gabriel Motorcycle’s hard work saw justice and the bike was really appreciated by everybody. The customer was really happy with the design and execution of the project and it also met all his expectations.
Gabriel Motorcycle has many more exciting projects in the pipeline. Their next projects are a 9 footer powered by an Enfield 500 EFI motor and a Royal Enfield Classic 350 based on the lines of the ‘Indian Scout’. We can’t wait to see them!
Team Gabriel take every project as a challenge and for sure, every project encourages them to learn something  and move on to the next one. If they had the proper resources, they would love to do a bike with their own engine. They believe in welcoming their challenges with a smile. Everyday there is a new idea and nothing seems impossible for them.
Motohive wishes Gabriel Motorcycle all the best for their future endeavours. May they keep on designing & building such beautiful and fantastic motorcycles.

Feature Video:

Well, that’s not all. We know very well that only photos can’t do justice to such a marvellous job. So here’s something Motohive special to feast your eyes on.

Source: Motohive
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