My First Custom Chopper Build

by Doug Lyons
(Greeley, Colorado USA)

first custom chopper

first custom chopper

The theme of the bike is "Money To Burn": Two years ago I attended a bike builders bootcamp at Pro-One in Pamona CA. After much consternation, I decided to build a bike. I purchased a custom rolling chassis (unassembled), a driveline set-up from Ebay, and got started.

After assembling the roller, I discovered the frame was not square and sent it back. The motorcycle frame maker built a new one for me, but the rear fender and the oil tank didn't fit the new frame. I sent them back and they were made to fit.

After many months of dealing with this problem, I final.y had a square bike.

I purchased almost all of my parts on Ebay and quickly dicovered that most of them don't fit without modification.

This was very frustrating at first, but as I realized that this is par for the course, I looked forward to modifying things to fit. I learned how to grind on painted surfaces, grind on chome, and drill tubing.

I became one with my angle grinder and intimate with my drill press! Now when I get a new part, I don't expect it to fit. This saves a lot of anxiety!

I have developed many skills that I didn't think I could do and have had a blast. The most important thing I learned was patience. You must be very, very patient.

All the hard work was well worth it when I got a couple of buddies to help get the bike off the bench. One guy I didn't know said that my bike was the most beautifull bike he had ever seen. That made me very proud and all the problems were all worth it.

I'm thinking about another project and am very excited to do another one. With all that I learned on the first bike, I'm sure this one will go much smoother, but I won't get upset if I run into problems 'cause that's all part of the fun!

I took her to Sturgis this year and it was a big hit. Lots of people taking pictures and oohing and ahing. That was great. I've included a picture for your viewing pleasure.

My last bit of advise if you are thinking about building a bike is to take your time, walk away if you get too frustrated, and enjoy the process of building a work of art. It is well worth the effort.

Happy building,
Doug Lyons

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Nov 19, 2009
Beuty and the Beast
by: TurnNburn 1x

Hey Doug, WoW! Yu nailed it man. Way to go. That is creativity and imagination at it's best. And just as important as the finished procuct to me was that you took time to tell what it was like. I for one haven't built one yet. I've got the prints and that's it for a couple of months then I can start. What you said about the parts and counting on nothing fitting right made a lot of sense and reassured some suspicions I had as to how bad of a problem fit up was going to be. There is no way in hell it could just fall together. I can see the motor and tranny being the same make but other than that nothing else is really compatible if you think of it. Thats why I like this site so much is cause guys like me can come here and learn from guys like you, Thanks for your hard work and dedication. And thank you CCG.

Sep 10, 2007
by: Will (alloa, Scotland)

an absolute beauty :) realy nice bike :) this is something i eventualy hope to get into

Sep 10, 2007
There is always a first time.
by: nawar

I agree; I have a v-star 1100 custom that I have modified to the bone. I spent a lot of money on this bike but it was fun and very educational for me, even my Harley buddies were dazzled with the makeover.
I am buying my first chopper kit by December and I am looking forward to the challenge.

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