What is the Difference Between a Street Bob & Low Rider?

by Sandra Rousseau
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In its history, Harley Davidson has produced many motorcycle models, two of them being the Street Bob and the Low Rider from the Dyna line. While these two models are from the same line and have some shared characteristics, they are each their own machine.

The Street Bob

The modern Harley Davidson Dyna Glide Street Bob was produced as a throwback to bobber bikes that became popular after World War II. These motorcycles were remainders of the war and were equipped with military equipment such as ammunition boxes and rifle mounts. People stripped them down for civilian use and the term "bobber," in motorcycle circles, came to mean a bike that was pared down to the bare minimum essentials.

The Low Rider

Harley Davidson first offered the a Low Rider model in 1977 as an answer to a customizing trend at the time. Motorcycle enthusiasts were customizing bikes themselves, adding low-slung seats, pull-back handlebars and low-profile suspensions. Harley Davidson capitalized on this trend by offering a factory bike with similar features.


Modern Low Riders and Street Bobs are both from the Dyna line, which gives them much in common, such as their general size, styling, power, instrumentation and chassis. Also, both motorcycles have a low seat height at around 25 to 26 inches, making them a popular choice with women, shorter men or anyone wanting a low-slung seat with a custom look and feel.


With both bikes from the Dyna line, differences are mainly in styling. In keeping with its bobber history, the Street Bob takes a more minimalist approach than does the Low Rider, with less accessories and chrome. The Low Rider is more ergonomically designed, its pull-back handlebars being easier to reach than the Street Bob's "ape hanger" handlebars. The Low Rider features front-mounted highway pegs (foot rests) while the minimalist Street Bob offers none.

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