Three Ways to Build a Motorcycle

Some people build custom bikes because they are cheaper than buying one. Others just want the I-built-that feeling as they look at it. Still others might want customization that they can’t get in an “off the shelf” model.

When someone decides to build a motorcycle, there are three paths to take depending on budget, mechanical skill, design aims, and past building experience. Those paths are custom bike kits, a rolling chassis, and building the whole thing from a collection of motorcycle parts.

Custom Bike Kits

The simplest choice for someone who has never built a bike before is to try one of the many custom bike kits out there. You get a box that has everything you need to build the bike from the ground up except the paint.

Kits are great for first-time builders. If you can follow instructions, you end up with a bike put together with your own hands. You don’t have to worry about picking the wrong parts or whether two pieces will work together. You will make mistakes along the way, but they will tend to be safe mistakes that won’t ruin the build.

The biggest downside is the cost. This is perhaps the most expensive way to build a custom bike. You are also limited as to how much customization you can do. Sure you can swap out the included parts with others of your choice, but that means throwing away pieces you’ve already paid for.

Rolling Chassis

A rolling chassis is a partially assembled bike that you can customize. It includes the frame, handlebars, wheels, gas tank, and other basic parts. You need to add an engine and a transmission then finish it off with custom pieces.

This is a good middle-of-the-road choice. A rolling chassis is cheaper than one of the kit bikes while keeping the advantage of pre-selected parts that work together. Since all you have is the underlying framework, you still have lots of customization options.

Building a bike from a rolling chassis requires more skill on your part, since you are going to have to choose the other parts yourself.

A variation on the rolling chassis is to take an existing bike, cut it down to the frame, thus producing your own chassis. A used bike will probably cost less than a rolling chassis and you will be removing the parts that have seen the most wear and tear such as the engine.

Building from Scratch

The ultimate in a custom bike is one that you select all the motorcycle parts yourself. The bike becomes a true expression of your personality because every nut and bolt was hand selected. Needless to say this build is beyond most first-timers and even most second-timers.

You can either go cheap, cannibalizing parts from junk bikes, or expensive, buying high end custom chopper parts. This is truly a blank canvas and the ultimate challenge for the bike builder.

The Benefits Of Commuting To Work On A Motorcycle

Commuting to work, whether it’s on the bus or in a car, can be a lengthy task that pushes your patience to its limits. An alternative is taking your motorcycle to work, rather than leaving in the garage till the weekend when you want a relaxing ride. It leaves you refreshed and with plenty of time to spare to sneak in that extra cup of coffee before work. Driving a motorcycle to work is beneficial for many reasons, not just the body, as it:

-Gets you to work much faster,
-Saves you money as it consumes less fuel,
-Parking and traffic for the motorcyclist becomes less stressful,
-Helps you to do your bit for the environment as there are less harmful emissions,
-Enables you to feel energized, alert but relaxed before and after work;
-And motorcycle’s also cause less damage to the road and driveway!

Of course to feel the benefits of commuting to work via motorcycle, you’ll need to know how to drive safely within the city and be prepared to carry any equipment you need. When driving a motorcycle you need heavy duty personal protective gear to protect from serious injury in the case of crashes So before you even think of commuting, make sure you have all the necessary gear that fits to your country’s regulations.

When travelling in a city, you have to take certain precautions due to the large amount of traffic. First, plan your route and make sure it is the safest one for motorcycle travel. Make your decision by finding a route that mitigates the issues of traffic and makes you feel the most comfortable. Driving on a route that makes you stressed out is no good for the high concentration levels you need when on a motorcycle.

Be alert on the road. Always be aware of the drivers around you and think about what maneuvers they are likely to do. Keeping safe is often about predicting people’s actions, so be aware of angry drivers, as well as the reckless ones. These forms of drivers can usually be found in neglected looking cars or cars that are meant to be intimidating. It is recommended that you always look around 10-20 seconds ahead of your position to anticipate driver’s maneuvers in order to keep yourself safe on the road.

Secondly make sure drivers always can see you in the wing mirrors. Keep in the vicinity of the wing mirror’s view as much as possible, avoiding any possibility of a blind spot. Obviously, don’t go too close to the car as you need to leave enough space in case they make an error when driving. Keeping a fair distance behind them should make sure they see you, whilst leaving enough space for their mess ups. Commuting on a motorcycle can be beneficial to you if you keep safety in mind and take a relaxed approach to driving.