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So you want to be a custom bike builder? Start with a motorcycle kit!Written by Michael Holmes
The step from reading about building motorcycle kits and watching bike builds on television to real thing is a little more difficult than it looks…
So you want to be a custom bike builder? Well friend, before you rush out and buy that motorcycle kit, one that will set you on road to riches and fame, stop and think about level of expertise and artistry top builders have attained. More importantly think about how long it has taken them to attain it! Let’s look at a few key issues…
Education You’d be surprised how well educated a lot of today’s top bike builders are. Several of them have degrees (some more than one!) ranging from mechanical engineering to business and marketing management. Billy Lane, founder of Chopper Inc, has several patents relating to motorcycle technology in his name for example. What about someone a little more “old school” like Dave Perewitz? Dave has accumulated close to forty years of mechanical, metalworking and painting experience. Not theoretical, but genuine hands on, early morning late night kind of experience. Could you put that kind of time in? Matt Hotch is still only young, but has gained an incredible amount of practical experience customizing first bicycles, then VW’s before moving on to custom bike building.
Facilities These guys are building choppers and custom bikes that are state of art. They don’t get thrown together in yard; motorcycle shops have all tools and equipment required to produce almost anything out of metal, not just bikes. Just as important are other services these builders use; local chrome platers, machinists, painters and so on. These guys have just as important a part to play in construction of these one off bikes as designer builders themselves.
Desire All top custom bike builders live for one thing; building best bikes they can. They literally live eat even dream about custom bikes (and looking at some of more way out creations you can totally believe this from designs they produce!) They are constantly striving to build bikes better. Its not about money for top guys, I am convinced of that.