Is It Bad To Mix Old Gas With New Gas Building A Custom Chopper Motorcycle, Where Do You Start?

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Building A Custom Chopper Motorcycle, Where Do You Start?

So you want to build a custom helicopter? Me too, so the first question I asked myself is where to start. Should I make a business plan, a schedule, a financial statement, or should I buy my wife some flowers and proceed blindly? I think I should do all of the above, but not necessarily in that order.

I’m going to start by trying to justify this purchase and or try, to do that I’m going to make a list of my reasons for building a Chopper. 1) I want to ride a custom helicopter, a totally cool stretch, fire breathing, gas eating, sidewalk crashing, scary old lady, 2 wheeled monster. 2) I want to be able to say “I built that” when someone asks me where I got that totally sick bike. 3) I want to be able to customize the bike beyond the standard addition of parts that I can get for my current bike a Harley Davidson Fatboy. 4) I want to be able to make this dream come true, which means I have to be able to pay for it. A $35,000 helicopter is out of my current budget. 5) I’ve been talking about this for 5 years so why don’t I get it and stop talking and start doing some building.

Now I have some reasons on paper and will look at my options, then make a plan, a schedule and find some extra money.

Let’s start with my build options and plan for a slow and steady approach. I understand that I will need to do a lot of research before I begin. I have 4 basic options, a complete bike, a rolling chassis, a start from scratch build or an extreme modification of an existing bike.

Option 1) If I start with a motorcycle kit, I’m probably further ahead mechanically, and further ahead financially. What I mean by that is a complete bike has all the parts it just needs paint, labor, gas, oil and a little love. The trouble of a complete bike will cost me $12,000 to begin with. That’s a bit of I spend a ton of money now then I can’t ride a bike for a year or two thinking. If I get a kit, maybe I can put it together faster since I’ll be motivated and have all the parts ready to go. As a first bike, I think this is a very good option, when you consider all the expensive mistakes I can make along the way. One drawback of this option is the amount of customization I can do to the bike as assembled. Because all the parts are in the kit, I can resist the urge to get new rods or different sheet metal or other parts.

Option 2) Start with a Rolling chassis, this is the middle of the road option, spend a lot of money, about 1/2 what the overall bike will cost, and get a basic setup that works all together.

A rolling chassis kit consists of a frame, 2 wheels, forks and triple clamps and bars, all built and configured to work together. Add an engine and a transmission and all the main functions of the bike are in place. This setup helps avoid some of the major work required to mix and match these items together. This option also allows for a ton of customization in the parts people see and the parts that give a bike its personality. For me this is a very serious option to consider. I would only have 1/2 the cost and 1/2 the parts sitting around collecting dust until I have time to assemble it.

Option 3) Find each part one by one and build a completely custom motorcycle. I know I can do this, but I also know I will run into more unexpected and possibly expensive problems with this type of build. This option would give me a bike that no one would ever duplicate. This can be very good or it can be very bad. What if a possible combination of frame, engine, forks or wheels didn’t work together? It wouldn’t be revealed until the bike was all together. I think this option is best left to serious professionals who build bikes all night, since they work on other people’s bikes and run businesses during the day. I might consider this for my second custom helicopter.

Option 4) Take an existing bike and start cutting and modifying it. This is probably as involved as cutting and re-welding the frame to create a new rake and corners. Or it could simply mean taking a new frame and using the engine, transmission and various parts to build a new car. I like this idea and think it would be a lower cost alternative to all new custom parts. With this option you can also keep the current registration and title if the frame is not replaced. This is also a lower cost option because many different parts can be reused.

I know that in one page all possible combinations of Custom Chopper builds cannot be fully explained, I just hope this information gives you something to start and build. It has helped guide me in the direction of a rolling chassis, so I better shop around.

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