Since the early days of motorcycles, riders have been modifying, beautifying, and customizing their treasured rides. From bobbers and choppers to cafe racers and streetfighters, bikers around the world have continued to find innovative ways to take their two-wheelers to new creative heights. But no matter how wild (or weird) the design, every bike build has to cover the basics.
Here we take a look at the four major steps of building a custom motorcycle from start to finish, along with some inspiration from some of the coolest bike builders on Instagram.
MAKE A PLAN
No matter how out of this world your custom motorcycle idea is, it helps to have a plan in place before you start acquiring parts. This will ensure you don’t make expensive mistakes later down the line when you’re mid-bike build (or on the road).
Pinterest is a great place to gather inspiration before putting pen to paper and sketching your design. Not the most artistically inclined? Use a computer or tablet program to sketch over a template or image of your dream bike. Pro Tip: Be sure to consider not only what the bike will look like but what it will be used for.
Photo Credit: Custom Honda CBX750 from @bikeexif on Instagram
FIND THE RIGHT PARTS
Once you have a plan for your bike, you’re ready to start hunting for the right parts. Some prefer to hunt through salvage yards and Craigslist ads for motorcycle parts, while others prefer the convenience and safety of sites like eBay Motors. Which route you choose will depend on your budget and timeline.
Photo Credit: BMW Airhead from @revivalcycles on Instagram
ASSEMBLE THE MOTORCYCLE
Once you have all the right parts (including personal tools and gear), you’re ready to assemble your custom motorcycle. While the exact way you assemble a bike depends on the style you’re working with, the general rule of thumb is to start with the frame. Check out this custom bike build guide from Axle Addict for a step-by-step breakdown.
Photo Credit: Custom motorcycle from @tamaritmotorcycles on Instagram
ADD YOUR PERSONAL TOUCH
The best part of building a custom motorcycle is that you can make it uniquely yours. Wish your bike looked like it rode out of a 1990s Nickelodeon commercial? You can do that! Find a local restorer or paint shop that specializes in two-wheeled vehicles and share your vision with them. The sky’s the limit!
Photo Credit: Custom 1999 Ducati ST4 Sidecar-cross bike from @revivalcycles on Instagram
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