Custom Bike Builds – Fantasies Realized

Has this ever happened to you – You are out somewhere on a sunny day and see a custom bike parked near you? You wonder who made it, how much did it cost, and where you could get one. Well look no further than K and G Cycles (www.kandgcycles.com) for everything you need to make that dream a reality. We offer everything from the frame, to the suspension, to the tins, and everything else to bring your custom bike dreams to reality. Now keep in mind you won’t have it completed in 60 minutes like the guys on those TV shows, it will take time, but when it’s all done you will have created the bike of your dreams that inspires others.There are many questions you must ask yourself before you start your build.

What style of motorcycle do I want?  There are countless custom bike designs out there ranging from factory looking soft tails to fat tired hard tails to long air bagged show machines. This decision will somewhat be based on just how much riding you plan to do. Will it be a “Bar Hopper” or will you take the weekend long rides demanding some comfort? Also will you be carrying a passenger.This decision is the first and most important one you will make in regards to your build.

A Rolling Chassis or Roller is one option that comes with a frame, wheels and tires, and usually handlebars, but can include a fuel tank, oil tank, and possibly fenders. This allows the builder to start with matching components for reduced assembly time. Available in rigid and soft tail versions rollers are often used when time is a concern or someone wants a mild custom. All they have to decide on is the powertrain, controls, brakes, and lighting, and the bike is ready to paint.

Are you planning to ride on weekend trips or will be riding with a passenger, the soft tail would be a great selection. As the name reflects a soft tali has a rear swing arm and shock absorbers making the ride “Softer” than its hard tail or rigid cousin. With the soft tail design there are many seats available which can increase the comfort level for both the rider and passenger, allowing more time to see back road America and all it has to offer.

Is this bike is intended for just you or have an occasional passenger for short distances, a hard tail or rigid frame may be the right choice for you. This type of build is often less expensive because there is no rear suspension or swing arm to purchase, allowing for the funds to be spent in different places such as a more intricate paint job or custom features, but it also has no way to soften the ride. You will generally see a wider tire out back, some as wide as 330 mm ( almost 14″ wide). Many of these bikes have a raked out front end as well. Long and mean is the objective.

If money is no object and you really want a show piece more than anything, you may opt for a to use a stretched and raked soft tail frame that utilizes air bags for the suspension. These bikes are primarily for show, they are ridden very little and usually have no capacity for a passenger. Since money is often not a deciding factor, the paint on these custom bikes is usually over the top and when the pressure is released the air bag system allows the bike to literally sit on the ground.

Now that you have figured out what kind of bike you are going to build, there are a few more important questions you must ask yourself before turning the first wrench. Do you have the space for the project?  Will you constantly be moving this around, possibly losing vital parts or will you be able to dedicate space until your custom bike is finished? Are you all in until the project is complete? Is this an impulse buy, will the desire fade when you discover this is more work than you had originally thought? Do you have enough money to complete the project? Will your vision spiral out of control, costing you more the further you get into it? As silly as this seems you must also consider if you are married or in a relationship if the time or money spent during this project will become an issue. Set yourself a timeline and a budget, this will help you be productive and keep your spending in check.

Lastly, I will share one bit of advice that will make ownership easier on you – Save ALL your receipts. This will help you if you ever need parts for your custom bike, or when you go to register the bike. Don’t assume that because it has a V-Twin motor all Harley parts will fit . If a part has to be special ordered and needs to be returned there is often a restocking fee associated with it, and can be  as much as 25% or even in some case no returns allowed. Having receipts to answer many critical questions can save you money by being able to order it right the first time. Check out K and G Cycles (www.kandgcycles.com) for everything you need to have your fantasies realized.