Swap Meets Are a Gold Mine For Motorcycle Builders

Swap Meets Are a Gold Mine For Motorcycle BuildersWhen you are building a custom motorcycle on a budget you have better be prepared to use any trick possible to get the parts you need cause if you are not careful you could find yourself out of money with an unfinished bike on your hands. So what can you do to stretch your build budget and still get the parts you need? In a word…. Swap meets!  For as long as swap meets and flee markets have been around, there have been people selling new and used motorcycle parts and accessories and even more people buying those parts!

I consider myself lucky to have been able to watch master custom Harley builder and painter Mike Toupin of Chopper Design Group create motorcycle magic on a tight budget. His ancient secret to getting only the best parts and accessories for his custom Harley chopper build projects? Searching swap meets and flee markets for common parts and accessories.

Since Mike is constantly involved in multiple build or painting projects so rather than cruise the swap meets for parts when he needs then, he makes it a point to regularly hit the swap meets for must have parts, then after rebuilding or reconditioning he puts them on the shelf so they are ready when he needs them.

A few years ago, things like billet parts that used to cost an arm and leg are now nickel and dime items, those old rusty, dinged up Fat-bob and sporty gas tanks are show quality parts that haven’t been resurrected yet…think of it why would you spend good money on parts that are ready to bolt on, when you can get them for a fraction of the cost as long as you are willing to invest in some elbow grease?

When you go into most custom Harley shops looking for cool billet parts or a set of Ape hangers, most of them are used parts that have been cleaned up with fresh chrome and polish… so why can’t you get those parts used and have them chromed yourself?

Building custom motorcycles is much more than bolting on parts and applying paint…. it is a mix of design creativity, mechanics, and motorcycle artistry all blended together. While some custom builders lean more towards mechanical and some into paint and accessories, the end product is always an artistic reflection of the builder… and is that the main idea?

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  1. Rob Fleming - March 31, 2012

    New blog post: Swap Meets Are a Gold Mine For Motorcycle Builders http://t.co/cmfqQEEJ

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