Building custom motorcycles is a hobby for some and a livelihood for others. Builders start with a basic frame, which can be shaped in a variety of different ways, and then add to that frame as they build their bike. You can add any number of different things to your motorcycle frame, depending on the type of bike you are building. The types of motorcycle frame building supplies are numerous, and they are used based purely upon personal preference.
Metal tubing is the primary platform for building motorcycle frames. Depending on the type of frame you are building, you can purchase tubing in several types of metal, ranging from steel and aluminium to carbon fibre and titanium. Hybrid metals can also be used, such as a mixture of aluminium and carbon fibre or magnesium and aluminium.
Sheet metal is one of the basic building supplies for motorcycle frames. It can be used to make gas tanks, special flares that are welded onto the frame, custom plates and other accessories that are included in the base frame, depending on if you are building a chopper, pro-street or softail, for example.
Pipe benders are a necessary component in the building of motorcycle frames. In order to customise the actual form of the metal tubing, you need to use a pipe bender to bend the tubing to fit your particular style of frame. Handheld pipe benders can be used for smaller, one-bike projects, while mechanical pipe benders are used in mass-production facilities where dozens of frames are being manufactured on a regular basis.
Welding machines are another basic component for building motorcycle frames, as they are used to actually connect the metal tubing together. In addition, any sheet metal (such as custom plates or gas tanks) is welded into place using a welding machine. The type of machine and weld used depends on whether or not you are spot-welding or arc-welding, as well as if you are roughing in a frame or working on a visible, finished section.