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So You Want To Be A Custom Bike Builder? Start With A Motorcycle Kit! By Michael Holmes
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So you want to be a custom bike builder? Well friend, before you rush out and buy that motorcycle kit, the one that will set you on the road to riches and fame, stop and think about the level of expertise and artistry the top builders have attained. More importantly think about how long it has taken them to attain it! Let’s look at a few key issues…
You’d be surprised how well educated a lot of today’s top bike builders are. Several of them have degrees (some more than one!) ranging from mechanical engineering to business and marketing management. Billy Lane, the founder of Chopper Inc, has several patents relating to motorcycle technology in his name for example. What about someone a little more “old school” like Dave Perewitz? Dave has accumulated close to forty years of mechanical, metalworking and painting experience. Not theoretical, but genuine hands on, early morning late night kind of experience. Could you put that kind of time in? Matt Hotch is still only young, but has gained an incredible amount of practical experience customizing first bicycles, then VW’s before moving on to custom bike building.
These guys are building choppers and custom bikes that are state of the art. They don’t get thrown together in the yard; the motorcycle shops have all the tools and equipment required to produce almost anything out of metal, not just bikes. Just as important are the other services these builders use; the local chrome platers, machinists, painters and so on. These guys have just as important a part to play in the construction of these one off bikes as the designer builders themselves.
All the top custom bike builders live for one thing; building the best bikes they can. They literally live eat even dream about custom bikes (and looking at some of the more way out creations you can totally believe this from the designs they produce!) They are constantly striving to build bikes better. Its not about money for the top guys, I am convinced of that.
So where does that leave Average Joes like you and me? Actually, I don’t think we are too badly off; in fact if you want to build a custom bike, it has probably never been easier. Here’s my take on it….
There is an unbelievable amount of information for the guys who want to start down the road to custom bike building. Videos, books websites, all of them help to flatten the learning curve for a novice. Most of the material out there relates to motorcycle kits, and for the beginner, building a motorcycle kit is definitely the best way to go if you want to get real hands on experience. After that there are motorcycle maintenance courses, which again will allow you to get up to speed as fast as possible in your quest to become the next Arlen Ness!
To put together a shop like the ones you see on television costs thousands of dollars. But you don’t need all that stuff if you start with a motorcycle kit. Motorcycle kits can be put together with some pretty basic tools, providing they are of good quality. Two things that are an absolute must in my opinion though are a torque wrench and a basic lift. With these two tools, you can tighten the motorcycle kits fittings correctly, and not break your back while you are doing it!
Well this is one area where you can match the pros, no question. If you really want to be a custom bike builder, start doing it for fun and put your motorcycle kit together.
We can’t all be Billy Lane, Eddie Trotta or Russell Mitchell, but we can have a lot of fun trying!
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Michael Holmes is a enthusiast for all thing motorcycle. His website, http://www.motorcycleparts-accessories-andmore.com, is a great resource of articles aimed at motorcyclists of all levels, including a page specifically about the motorcycle kits resources available online.
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My Motorcycle Won't Start!! What Now? By Keith Nivon
Maintain your Battery and check your charging system!9 times out of 10 the reason why your bike won't start is usually because of the battery condition or loose connections. A charging system failure is less likely but is still possible.I will talk about both of them here.First look at your battery connections. Check for obvious and easiest to fix problems first. A loose connection, poor ground etc. will likely cause intermittent operation of the starting and charging systems. If you find …
Online Shopping for Motorcycle Accessories By Ma. Carla Ballatan
When shopping for a certain item and material, the way to do it is to shop like a woman. Who else knows how to shop till they drop but women, right? Isn't it that husbands, partners, spouses and lovers often complain about the amount of time and the energy given to shopping by their women even for just one item they need?But who else gets the most of their budget, and takes home the item of high grade quality at the least price possible? Women. Women are known to have the intuition for great s…
Scooter Driving Safety Issues By Mitch Johnson
Scooter drivers of all ages, just as automobile drivers, have a responsibility to take safety precautions before jumping behind the wheel. For young scooter hobbyist, parents are also responsible for making sure their child driver has a basic knowledge on how to function the motor scooter. Supervisors of scooter riding and the drivers must always know the proper safety equipment to use and use it. Though motor scooters have the ability to serve multiple purposes, they are growing especially…
Motorcycle Protective Clothing That Works! By Michael Holmes
There is some great looking motorcycle clothing on the market these days, but believe me not all of the motorcycle clothing offers as much protection as you think. In Europe, for motorcycle clothing to be lawfully sold as “safety" clothing, it has to pass a series of European standards, which are pretty lengthy but are available on my website. The standards cover the clothing’s performance in abrasion, tearing and impact tests, and when they have passed; they are sold with the CE mark. However…
Kids Like to Ride Motorcycles Too By Jeff Sinason
Roaring up on a motorcycle has a strong draw for all of us who have adopted the biker lifestyle. This draw often hits our children too. I know that for me my kids love to ride and probably want to do it as much as I do. I love taking them for rides and sharing the experience with them. But there are some additional considerations that have to be taken into account when loading them on the back of your motorcycle.Protective Clothing Just like for us, kids have to have protective clothing on…
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