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Discussion Starter #1
anyone catch this thing on the discovery channel???

these cutsom hardley builders build and ride their pride and joys from california to frickin sturgres(or what ever) and the junk is breakin down all along the way...what a bust..
 

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I thought it was pretty cool. I would love to build my own bike like they do at W.C.C. You know its custom when the guy is bending the chassis tubes on a jig clamped to a table and the engine block is machined down the street!! As for the guys' personal bikes, didn't you notice the custom R1 that Jesse James was riding on?

It is amazing how they design and fabricate everything themselves in that awesome workshop. They even design and CNC the wheels in house. Sorry, but you simply must appreciate all that is going on in there.

Does anybody know a place that builds truely custom sportbikes? I haven't seen too many.
 

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I agree with Napalm.


Jesse James is a fricken cool dude. I've talked to him through some e-mails before. Those bikes that he makes are hardly bikes at all, they're more like pieces of art.

And yah, he does have a pretty wicked looking R1. I saw that in the garage that he was in on Monster Garage (or whatever it was called) last night.
 

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While his bikes are not my preferred ride, I do have to admire the skill he has as a builder and fabricator. I have my nose in the service manual whenever I do anything on my bike, he writes the manual as he goes!
 

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I have to agree with Napalm too. Those bikes are art in motion. I'm not really into cruisers, but I'd have West Coast Chopper build a bike for me if I had the money. I mean how often in the world can you drive something that is a total original? If you had a customer car built you'd be paying allot more than $60K, you'd probably be looking at something like 125K to 500K depending on what you want. As far as the bikes breaking down, I think Jesse James bike broke on a fluke, and the other two bikes were older than me. If I could get 30 years out of my CBR, I'd expect a few mechanical difficulties.
 

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Between the bike special they had and "Monster Garage", even though I really don't like cruisers of any kind, I have an enormous amount of respect for what JJ is capable of. His skills as an artist and fabricator are well proven. He is living the backyard mechanic's dream.
 

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Napalm said:
Does anybody know a place that builds truely custom sportbikes? I haven't seen too many.
It's much harder to build a truly custom sportbike that properly does what a sportbike is supposed to do. But yes, WCC's stuff is cool.
 

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Sorry, I didn't mean that to be sarcastic. I really do want to know who is working on custom sportbikes. There must be somebody doing it, but one does not see that too often.

It seems that there is more work on "semi-custom" batch products for sportbikes, like that single side swingarm for the R1. It's expensive and not mass produced.
 

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I have a lot of respect for JJ's work. If I had the cash, you'd better believe I'd be in there buying a bike. He obviously enjoys performance of all kinds, because he's got the chopped 54 Chevy, a 360 Modena, Steve McQueen's ancient Indian, an R1, and a wild assortment of other stuff. He might be a bit of a dumbass and less than totally responsible, but he certainly seems to know that he is, and he's at least taken responsibility for it (and his life--Getting sober ain't the easiest thing to do, I watched my Grandfather die trying).

I'd love to meet him and BS about bikes, cars, or whatever else.
 

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You have to respect a guy that starts with some steel polls and ends up with a one of a kind frame. Then uses sheet metal and comes up with a one of a kind gas tank. He designs his own wheels too. Then they cut them to his design. The mans a genius.
 

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Napalm, the only company I can think of that comes to mind for building a custom sport bike would be someone like Spondon Engineering. I think they are an English co and I know they do swing arms and custom frames. From the ground up... I don't know.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
anyway, these things could'nt get out the state...

before the harley thing kicked in...would you spend that kind of money and have to have a mobile garage following you??

i agree the bikes were awsome looking...but looks arnt every thing..except for michele smith....aahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!
 

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napalm,

to build a sportbike from the frame up, i doubt you'll find one just because of the rigidity that a sportbike frame needs. the oem's can build the frames much cheaper and then they can be modified.

hell most custom harley builders use paco (sp?), wcc, rolling thunder and a few other chassis that they modify. frames take a lot to build. and for most it's cheaper just to buy an existing product.

there are a few in pa who are doing some major sportbike stuff. james custom cycle (they mostly do harley-type bikes, in wilkes-barre) and pro-fab near philly. but i think they both use existing motorcycle frames and motors.
 

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Checked out Napalm's link to the Bandit streetfighter. Oh My God! I'm in love. That thing is hot! I'll have to look up the specs on it later. Also, I've read about a few guys in Motorcyclist Magazine that will take a sportbike and rework it from the ground up. I've seen an R1 and a 'Busa that were done and they were something.
 

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Okay, I guess I'm missing the boat...


What exactly constitutes a bike being a "street fighter?"

Is it just the paint, or does it have to have some custom fairings?? I'm confused I guess...
 

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I agree that chassis / frames for sportbikes are more difficult to manufacture than a harley. The requirements for a sport frame are much higher, but thats not to say it can't be done. The Deltabox frames and similar ones made by other bike manufacturers would take a ton of money to tool and fabricate. But look at the Ducati Monster. Its a simple, tubular frame.

It can be done, but you just need to have the money...and it would probably be about as reliable as the custom harleys until you had a chance to work everything out.:)
 

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To me a streetfighter is about naked aggressive bikes. Each one an idividual. There are several custom frame manufacturers in the UK Spondon & Harris are amongst the best known. Most streetfighters start life as a sports bike that has been down the road on its side. All the plastic is thrown away and a small bikini fairing or headlamp assembly fitted then the tuning and handling departments are looked at. Single sided swingarms USD front ends. turbos and nitrous and even superchargers are all common mods that are seen on these bikes. You end up with a faster lighter better handling "Muscle Bike". Without a fairing you need the muscles to keep your head looking the right direction in the uprotected blast and mental acceleration that some of these bike give you.
The suzuki bandit is a popular bike that a lot of builders use, as suzuki has made an excellent starting place without having to rip off all your fairings. The suzuki motors are powerfull and are able to be tuned up to release a lot of horse power.
I regularily get the Streetfighters magazine which is an excellent place to see what it is all about. Some of the bikes in the mag could easily cost upwards of £30 grand to build. And they have some of the most amazing paint jobs. Hmmmmmm the things I would do if I won the lottery!!

harris

spondon
 

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I agree with naefearjustbeer on the naked agressive part of streetfighters, but I would add that they are something a person puts together to suit his (or her) own wants and needs in a daily rider. Sort of an urban assault vehicle to borrow a phrase I once heard. Also, where do you get this Streetfighters magazine you mentioned? It sounds cool!
 
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