There is something visceral and exciting about building your own motorcycle that has enthralled bike enthusiasts since the motorcycle first entered common use. The customisation options available make it possible for a motorcycle lover to create a bike that is deeply personal and unique. The glut of high-end choppers on the market makes some people think that building a bike on their own is something that has be to expensive, but this is not the case. By looking for deals and buying modestly, it is possible to build your own motorcycle at a reasonable cost.
- Skill level:
Determine the type of engine you want and find a used bike or engine. Every other decision that you make regarding the bike will be based around the engine, so make this your starting point. Search classified ads in your area for used bikes that feature the engine that you want to build your bike around. If you can get a complete parts bike, that is even better. You will be able to scavenge parts from it.
Decide on the style of frame that you want for your bike and start looking for deals. You should look at existing choppers and stock bikes and choose one that you want your bike to look like. You can then buy an appropriate new frame or have the frame from the bike you bought in Step 1 modified. Always inspect the frame for any rust, cracks or twisting before you purchase a used frame to ensure that you build your bike on a strong foundation.
Use as many of the parts from the used bikes that you buy as possible. Replace anything that is unsafe or does not fit your customisation plan. But keep in mind that the fewer parts you have to buy new, the more money you will save. This will free up funds for things like having the rake on the frame changed to fit your new style or custom paint.
Insure your bike. The greatest thing about building your own bike from a used bike is that if you use the majority of a single used bike you can still insure and license the bike as that type of motorcycle. This saves money and time. Trying to plate and insure a bike that you have built from scratch is problematic and costly.
Purchase a do-it-yourself kit bike if you want to customise every aspect. This is the more cost effective option if you want a high powered and highly customised bike.
Shop for a kit that is as complete as possible. The more complete the kit, the more you will end up saving on the overall cost of the bike.
Buy the few accessories that you need to complete your kit. A few things are needed to complement all motorcycle kits. These are the finishing touches. Usually, these will include things that are needed to make your bike road legal, such as mirrors, a speedometer and baffles for the exhaust. Go online to find the best prices.
Paint the motorcycle. If you plan to build more than one motorcycle yourself, it can be worthwhile to invest in painting supplies and learn how to paint bikes yourself. Though you might not be able to do incredibly detailed work on your first try, basic colours and simple patterns like flames are not beyond the reach of determined do-it-yourselfers. Although the cost of painting equipment will increase the cost of your bike, if you plan to paint than one motorcycle, the costs will eventually be less than that of custom paint jobs.
Tips and warnings
- When building a bike from scratch, check the laws in your state regarding the licensing and plating of custom bikes. Otherwise, you may find it difficult to get your bike legally on the road.
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