My First Custom Chopper Build
by Doug Lyons
(Greeley, Colorado USA)
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.