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Anyone here ever built their own chopper?

Discussion in 'Other Rides' started by laketex, Mar 25, 2003.

  1. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    I want to build a bike from the ground up from the frame to rebuilding an old harley Vtwin, to handcrafting the tanks, ect...anyone ever done this? Or am I crazy?
     
  2. 4x4dreamer

    4x4dreamer 1/2 ton status

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    how much fabricating experience do you have and what tools do you have access to? I only know what I've seen, never tried it myself, but I'm debating on going custom with my bike...so some of that may be in my future.
     
  3. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    i've had a bit of fabbing experience in buiding truck equipment, cages, lawnart, ect...lol

    Used to have a ton of equipment to draw from but now i'm limited to mine and friends stuff. welder, torch, chopsaw, small lathe and mill, drillpress, getting a jd2 bender... /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    what kind of bike do you currently have?
     
  4. 4x4dreamer

    4x4dreamer 1/2 ton status

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    Mine's not a chopper, it's far from it. It's a 1989 Yamaha FJ 1200 Info about the 89 FJ with pics. The fairing was destroyed by the PO, and it has some 13 year old technology that I'd like to update. The motor is AWESOME, and that and the cost of new bikes are the only things keeping me from getting rid of it and going newer. That and the fact it fits my 6'2 self really well. I was thinking of maybe going streetfighter with it, or finding a different (cheaper than 250 for the stocker) fairing. Then making some changes to the frame and swingarm, updating the forks and rear shock, bigger brakes. My engine has already been bored, gotten a stage 3 dyno kit, exhaust, and rear sprocket swapped out. Just not sure where I want to go with hit.

    I've seen some custom chopper work ( mostly on TV ) and making tanks looks to be a real Byotch. Bending sheet metal and making it even...wow. I'd love to have those kinds of skills and tools available to me, But I'm just getting started. I would love to follow in the footsteps of Chip Foose and Jesse James as far as custom work...but I dont' have the knowhow and I can't quit my job. I'd love to discuss your ideas further though for your chopper.

    Let me know.
     
  5. Rebel88

    Rebel88 1/2 ton status

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    the tank and is the hard part...that and the fender...

    frame, motor, and tranny are the easy stuff...helped my uncle build a couple bikes...from two custom choppers to an old harley panhead and a shovelhead

    have fun with it...you can just order the fender and tank from jesse james or from j&p cycles

    Later
     
  6. BowtieBlazer

    BowtieBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    I'm working in a custom harley shop right now, get some interesting ideas thrown out and projects to work on....though we dont fabricate our own stuff, we have gotten some JJ style choppers to assemble and whatnot. Whats the sudden craze with owning a scooter, all of these new TV shows American Chopper, Orange county crap, etc etc is making people go nuts over owning a bike right now especially a chopper! If you do go for fabbing your own stuff I can't forsee any more problems than the forementioned such as the bending of sheetmetal on the tanks and fenders the rest should be typically cake besides the geometry in the front of the frame. I believe rule of thumb is for every degree you rake the front past 36 you should add 1" of travel to the front shocks. Also be careful of how short your turn stops are we had one chopper in the shop, I swear it needed about 30 full cut turns back and fourth to make a 180 in a 10x10 square in the shop /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
     
  7. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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  8. LKJR

    LKJR 1/2 ton status

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    dude that's scary, I"ve had this same thing on my mind lately. BEFORE I read this post.... just can't justify it yet, too many toys for a single man as it is. But dosen't mean design ideas and sources can't be established.
     
  9. bowtiepower00

    bowtiepower00 1/2 ton status

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    It all depends... There are some well-engineered complete kits out there, as well as rolling chassis kits, etc. It is going to take a lot of specialty tools to build. If you've never done it before, you may want to start with modifying a factory bike to get the hang of it. I'd stay away from custom sheetmetal and tank building, etc. That stuff can turn into a major headache really fast. Also, take what you think you are going to spend and double it, and that should get you in the ballpark. Make sure you have a good parts guy, and get his input before you spend your money.
     
  10. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    See, I'm not talking about a raked out 30K west coast chopper thingy. I'm talking old school, what choppers used to be back in the day. Where you take an old honda or bsa or something else nobody wants and strip all the BS off of it. Maybe you rake it, maybe you lower it, maybe you modify the seat, put on a suicide shifter, or stretch the damn thing. Make it hardtail! Or leave it a softie and swap in a flathead 4cyl. Something to rumble big and scare the kids. That's what I'm interested in...a 200 mile radius cruiser that's a bitch to ride, fun to work on, and hell on the eyes!
     
  11. Hustler

    Hustler 1/2 ton status

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    Man I wished I knew you liked Harleys when you were at my house. I could of shown you some pics of the last one I built. Well, a friend and I built it. Had it less then 1 Month and sold it for $25,000. Should of sold it for more, but when you are out of work and someone shows up with cash in hand. Its hard to say no. If I can find out how to scan the pics on line, I will post them so you can see them.
     
  12. bowtiepower00

    bowtiepower00 1/2 ton status

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    I hear ya completely man... I see yuppies with more money then brains all day at work, that want a pretty bike to ride on a nice weekend. Screw that! I just picked up a 86 sportster, and you better believe that it's going to be a ratty mofo without a single piece of chrome on it... I love the hardtails, I'd like to build a knuckle someday...
     
  13. SkulzNBonz

    SkulzNBonz 1/2 ton status

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    My wife's cousin,uncle, and I built a couple of VW trikes. Really cool. We fabbed the frames and sheetmetal. Took the rearend of a bug (frame and axles) and spliced them to the frames. Used a couple of non-descript front ends from some donor bikes. VW engines, transmissions, and rear brakes, motorcycle front brakes. They turned out really cool. Slapped some Bug headers on the engines (which can be rebuilt for about $300) and went. Loud as hell. Wish I had some pics, might just have to go snap some.

    John
     
  14. big pappa b

    big pappa b 3/4 ton status

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    I'm restoring my 1968 FLH Electra Glide right now. I'm not really fabbing anything but it's all stripped to the frame and I'm getting ready to primer everything so I can paint it. I went .020 over on the pistons and raised the compression from 8 to 10:1 and added an Andrews cam, a step or 2 above stock. I still have to buy a few things but this Blazer seems to be taking all my bike money /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  15. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    i know two ppl here that have each built a volkswagen chopper trike, one of them said three days with help or week without help, he rides wheelies all the time has rubbed the ends of the headers a few times he needs wheelie bars, he is gonna build another one and my neighbor is hooked after driving it the other day and wants to build one too.

    i know where two beetles are for sale plus my stepdad been doing wagens for yars and has engines and transaxles and such

    this may turn into something...

    happy chopping!
     
  16. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    I think I'm getting a CB750 in a couple months that a friend has. I'll ride it till it gets too cold and then this winter, i might hardtail it and stretch the frame. Then again i might not. There's infinite possibilities with a CB, old skool baby...as shown here:

    www.hondachopper.com
     
  17. Cmoe

    Cmoe 1/2 ton status

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    I bought a '62 xlch about a year ago as a rolling basket and have been working on it when I had extra cash. New sheet metal (& paint), wiring harness, tore down to the flywheel that I will have someone else re-build. Then I need to re-assemble it. I couldn't cut the frame to add a hard tail to it (stock frame with all tabs are hard to find nowdays), so I powder coated the frame and rims black w/ clear powder coat over the top. I'm down to the end of the cash output but it is more of a labor of love than anything else. once I finish it I'm hoping to ride it for a month or two before I end up selling it. and start looking for a bigger bike.

    Next I wanted a knuckle head or a shovel head, hardtail, I like a 4" to 6" over any more and it's just to long.

    Good luck.
     
  18. Topdown

    Topdown 1/2 ton status

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    I am converting an old dark-room that the previous home owners had into a fender-size paint booth (big enough for a fender and the guy painting it) Its temperature controlled and has a giant exhaust system already in place. So, I will be painting my frame/sheetmetal myself /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  19. chevyracing

    chevyracing 1/2 ton status

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    This year at Sturgis the choppers were not really getting the attention they got in the last couple of years. People would hear one comming up and look over and say,...........Oh........ and get back to what they were doing... Now, let a new Fatboy cruise by and that got some whistles... I think the chopper phase is being run into the ground by OCC and the like and people have had enough. I believe it is going to be like in the late 70's when the Vans had all of the murals and crap all over them and suddenly went the way of the dinosaur. Just my opinion.......

    John
     
  20. got_mud

    got_mud 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    My wife's cousin,uncle, and I built a couple of VW trikes. Really cool. We fabbed the frames and sheetmetal. Took the rearend of a bug (frame and axles) and spliced them to the frames. Used a couple of non-descript front ends from some donor bikes. VW engines, transmissions, and rear brakes, motorcycle front brakes. They turned out really cool. Slapped some Bug headers on the engines (which can be rebuilt for about $300) and went. Loud as hell. Wish I had some pics, might just have to go snap some.

    John

    [/ QUOTE ]

    my brother in law just recently decided to go this route, i'd like some pics and pointers on how to build one of these up. hell, if you have one handy i may just swing by and look it over.... /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
     

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