Building A Custom Harley Chopper

Building A Custom Harley ChopperBuilding a custom Harley Davidson Chopper starts with a rough design layout; seasoned builders will create a mock up using the frame, engine, and transmission to get an idea of how the rest of the design will come together with special attention to how the design will fit the rider, forward controls placement, handlebar height are integral parts of the overall design. The rest of the design builds out from this. the are many other aspects that will need to be addressed in the final build and design of your custom Harley chopper, such as accessories, molding and paint, but heart of the design must be established before moving on.

Inexperienced motorcycle builders may find it easier and more productive to build their first Harley from a kit. There are many reputable aftermarket Harley parts manufacturers that offer a variety of motorcycle kits ranging from full kits with everything needed to assemble your custom motorcycle to base kits or rolling chassis. There are also custom Harley chopper building blueprints that will give you complete parts lists and directions on how to build and assemble your new motorcycle. You can easily find everything you need to get started online, or at your local motorcycle parts shop.

The most important thing to remember is that when choosing a frame, engine and transmission, each of these components must be compatible with each other; newer frames come with motor mount adapter plates, but depending on the engine and tranny combo you go with it may be wise to make sure that they will both fit correctly on your frame.

Harley choppers are often powered by aftermarket engines, and because of this, they are not actually "true" custom Harley choppers. Registered new Harley Davidson engines are available from Harley Davidson dealers, and used Harley engines are available worldwide.

Whether you are planning to buy a new Harley, or build your own custom chopper i am sure you know they are not cheap, and some custom designs can cost upwards of $60,000.00 or more, but a careful shopper can easily find quality used parts, such as tanks, forks, etc that can be reconditioned or painted as needed to help shave building costs. Motorcycle shows, swap meets, and local bike clubs and groups are also great sources for finding deals on new and used parts.

If this will be your first bike and you are not going for that out and out full custom look, then consider purchasing used stock or factory parts. Many motorcyclists swap out stock parts for newer custom parts and you can pick these up cheap!

During the initial build you may discover you need to outsource some of the labor during your assembly, such as welding or engine balancing and tuning. you can easily find a qualified shop to perform this work at your local parts shop, they may even have in house services and can be packaged in with your engine or other parts purchases.

Custom paint can cost as much as the motorcycle. If you are going for that old school or vintage stock look then you can easily get what you need without killing your budget, but for that one of a kind custom paint job you had better be prepared to spend some real cash! One option is to find a newcomer to the field or an apprentice, who may be willing to do your custom motorcycle paint at close to cost just to get some exposure to other custom chopper builders.

There is a great sense of pride and satisfaction to be found in building a Harley, especially if it your first motorcycle and the time spent is knowledge and skill gained.

Building a Harley Chopper will provide the builder with the satisfaction of knowing their motorcycle is one of a kind, where everything on his bike came from and knowledge of Harley Choppers others can only envy.

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  1. Rob Fleming - November 24, 2010

    New blog post: Building A Custom Harley Chopper

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