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Practical Realities of Custom Bike Building


By Ma. Carla Ballatan

For some motorcycle enthusiasts, their ultimate dream is to build their very own custom motorcycle. But most have the dread of having to use up their life savings and feel overwhelmed by all the details of putting such project together. Let’s say you’re in the process of getting ready to start your bike building project. Know that a complete and determined understanding of the great undertaking you’re going to face is what you need to become undaunted by the practical, if not harsh, realities of custom bike building.

First of all, you need to consider your financial status before you begin the whole project. Aside from the financial point-of-view, you also need to have a full inkling of all the nitty-gritty details to be considered. Be very aware that the use of mismatched, inferior motorcycle parts and improper assembly techniques can send the cost of your project sky-high!

Many online resources are offering book manuals and videos to guide you into making your masterpiece with less trouble, all in earnest. Just take care to find the most reliable source that would guarantee you results with a minimal investment. But here are several pointers in building your very own killer custom motorcycle.

• Be alert in selecting the proper motorcycle parts in order that everything works and fits together as one complete unit. Wise up on used motorcycle parts and choosing between OEM and aftermarket parts. Get to know and study the tools you'll be needing for assembly

• Don’t be discouraged easily by the "real life" assembly roadblocks you'll encounter. Even the professionals have to deal with these things at one point of their bike building careers.

• There’s a correct procedure for each phase of your project – like "mocking up" your rolling chassis and properly fitting and prepping all of your sheet metal parts. This phase may cost you thousands of dollars if done incorrectly.

• Research some tricks for installing front fork components that prevents damage to your show chrome finishes!

• There’s a correct way to prepare all the parts that are being sent out for paint.

• Installing brake systems are important and it would help if you have an idea on what do and what not to do. There’s also a proper way to install all of your brake and oil lines.

• Know about setting up the proper engine and transmission alignment. And, how to be careful not to drive it too hard when installing and setting up a rear swing arm and shocks!

• Installing a correct wiring system is a significant thing that should not be overlooked.

• You must be aware that there is a correct series of tests that must be performed before running your new bike down the road. -30-

Lala C. Ballatan is a 26 year-old Communication Arts graduate, with a major in Journalism. Right after graduating last 1999, she worked for one year as a clerk then became a Research, Publication and Documentation Program Director at a non-government organization, which focuses on the rights, interests and welfare of workers for about four years.

Book reading has always been her greatest passion -- mysteries, horrors, psycho-thrillers, historical documentaries and classics. She got hooked into it way back when she was but a shy kid.

Her writing prowess began as early as she was 10 years old in girlish diaries. With writing, she felt freedom – to express her viewpoints and assert it, to bring out all concerns -- imagined and observed, to bear witness.

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